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May 27, 2008

A Maine Farmers’ Market: Chocolates & Fiddleheads

It was opening day at the Rockland Farmers’ Market and I headed straight to the public landing to see who was there. It was like a block party, filled with old friends and familiar faces, plus some new vendors I was eager to meet.

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Kerry Altiero from Café Miranda was there with his line of piquant sauces and salsas. Kate and Steve Shaffer were sampling their exquisite handmade Black Dinah chocolates, and Judy Getman had a sumptuous display of artisan breads from Atlantic Baking Company.

I got reacquainted with Caitlin Hunter of Appleton Creamery who was introducing cultured butter made with organic cream from Caldwell Farm. I bought some tomato, pepper and basil seedlings from Josh and Ning Oxley from Rolling Acres Farm for my garden. (Now that all the cardboard is gone, I can start the hard work of tilling in compost, building the furrows, and setting out seedlings.)Jimnfiddles2621_3

But the big surprise of the morning was running into Jim Freyenhagen who was there selling his maple syrup and baskets of freshly picked fiddleheads. We had done a feature on “Froggy’s Sap Shack,” as Jim calls his place, in the 2007 winter issue, and we’d heard he may have retired from the sugaring business. Not so fast, as it turns out. Jim looks better than ever and he’s just as busy as he ever was.

Even though the morning was overcast and dark clouds threatened, the first farmers’ market of the season is the official beginning of summer, as far as I’m concerned. It couldn’t have been a brighter day.

The Rockland Farmers’ Market continues until mid-October on Thursdays, 9-1.

Merrill Williams is the publisher of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

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