Locally grown food directory released

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FARMINGTON – Western Mountains Alliance, along with the Healthy Community Coalition and a number of local businesses and farmers, has released a 2008 directory for local farms and farm markets. The booklets, which list addresses and contact information for 83 local farms, are available throughout the county.

The booklet is the third edition of the directory, which Western Mountains Alliance has produced with the assistance of a number of other agencies.

Eileen Liddy, a Healthy Community Coalition nutrition specialist and, at right, Western Mountains Alliance Executive Director Tanya Swain announce the publication of the latest directory of local farms and farm markets.

This edition was particularity challenging to produce, as WMA had to design, print and distribute the books without any supporting funds from grants. Instead local farms and businesses, along with HCC, raised the money.

“It was this tremendous partnership that made this possible,” WMA Executive Director Tanya Swain said at the Sandy River Farmers’ Market, which the organization chose as an appropriate place to unveil the latest edition.

Booklets are also produced for Somerset and Oxford counties, and a similar program may move forward in Androscoggin next year. The booklets, which also feature brief descriptions of the various participants, are available online at www.westernmountainsalliance.org and through the WMA, HCC offices or at the Sandy River Farmers’ Market.

The booklet arrives during a period of time in which political and global forces have made locally-grown foods particularly attractive. High fuel prices has driven the price of transportation up dramatically. The latest salmonella scare, which the Food and Drug Administration has tentatively traced to tomatoes then jalapeno peppers, comes after growing concerns over the quality and safety of food. These events have combined to create a new, powerful incentive for people to buy locally, according to Swain.

She noted that at the Sandy River market, many people ran out of items early in the day. A Page-N-Thyme Farm’s Joanne Gorey, who sells meat, eggs and handcrafted goat milk soap among other items, agreed.

“We run out of some things pretty early now,” she said.

The directories appear to be helping as well. Swain noted that local farmers often tell her about eager customers that arrive at their doorsteps, booklets in hand.

This delicious cheese pie was made from cheese made at Longfellow’s Creamery at Second Chance Farm in Avon.

“We’re definitely hearing from local farmers that it’s driving people to them,” she said.

HCC nutrition specialist, Eileen Liddy said that local foods from Maine could be purchased year round, and often included some companies people might not consider “local.” Country Kitchen baked goods, Oakurst dairy products and B&M baked beans are just a few examples.

“We really want to make sure you know you can buy local food year round,” she said. “These are Maine companies serving Maine food, and I don’t think people realize that.”

The Sandy River Farmers’ Market is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday, in the parking lot off of Front Street.

JoJo’s Barbue Cups

JoJo’s Barbue Cups – These delicious snacks were served at the market today. Joanna Gorey, along with her husband David, run A Page-N-Thyme Farm in Anson and they offer the recipe:

Ingredients: 1 lb of ground goat meat, 1/2 a cup of BBQ sauce, shredded cheese, 3 TBL of dark brown sugar and 1 can of pre-made biscuits.

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown goat meat in a pan, then add brown sugar. Let this simmer for 10 minutes or so, then add BBQ sauce, enough to coat the mixture well. Let this simmer for another 10 to 20 minutes.

Take a cupcake pan and place one, uncooked biscuit in the each of the wells, heaping the meat mixture into each cup and topping with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool before eating.

Goat meat is sold, among other meats, eggs and many other items by the Goreys at the Sandy River Farmers’ Market, or at their farm. They can be contacted at 696-4949.

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