Washington County Farmers’ Market Trail

The Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets (MFFM) has just released a new project, the Washington County Farmers’ Market Trail. The trail, published as a full-color brochure (with elements online at mainefarmersmarkettrail.org), features a detailed map of the region, plus descriptions of each market in Washington County and free, outdoor activities located near each.

Designed by cartographer Margot Carpenter of Hartdale Maps in Belfast, the map features key roadways, topographical details, and protected/public lands, making it the perfect tool for planning an excursion in Washington County. The reverse side of the map offers detailed information about the farmers’ markets, each illustrated with an original watercolor design by Machias artist Nicole DeBarber.

Included in the project are the Calais, Eastport, Lubec, Machias Valley, Milbridge, and Princeton farmers’ markets. Spread across the county along U.S. Route 1, each market has a distinct atmosphere, and will reward visitors with unusual finds, whether they are tourists spending time on vacation, or locals exploring the region.

“The goal of the project is to raise awareness of the diversity of Washington County’s farmers’ markets and the beautiful natural resources surrounding them,” according to the MFFM Executive Director, Leigh Hallett. “The map is a great tool for anyone wanting to get to know the area better, and is perfect for planning a family day trip from other parts of Maine.”

Terry Moffett (of Beauregards Farm) a member of the Calais Farmers’ Market, recently noted that, “We’re a huge tourist spot this year, and I do believe from all indications that that trend is only going to grow.  Every time I’m asked about ‘untapped markets’ for local farms, I have just one comment: tourism.” USDA research has shown that farms that sell through farmers’ markets and CSA programs are more sustainable, so attracting new customers to rural markets is another facet of supporting rural farms.

Copies of the map are available at the farmers’ markets, businesses along the Rt. 1 corridor in Washington County, visitor centers, and by request (assistant@mffm.org). There is also a website, mainefarmersmarkettrail.org, with additional details and photos of the markets and communities. Information about all of Maine’s 115 summer markets, including a searchable database, can be found at mainefarmersmarkets.org.

Historian John Dudley examines the FM Trail map.
Historian John Dudley examines the FM Trail map.