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The Maine Fiddlehead Festival
Farmington – In Franklin County, the return of spring signals the start of the growing, foraging and fishing seasons. On Saturday, May 7, 2016, the 5th annual Maine Fiddlehead Festival in Farmington also returns to celebrate such local food traditions. Peter Judkins, President and CEO of Franklin Savings Bank will open the festival.
Crowds will gather at the free outdoor festival on Saturday, May 7, 10 am – 3 pm at the north end of the UMF campus at the Emery Community Arts Center patio to enjoy live acoustic music, learn about responsible harvesting and safe preparation of fiddlehead ferns, meet local farmers and food vendors, learn things like homesteading skills, weaving, and goat raising at this year’s ‘Tent Talks’, antique tractors, supervised children’s activities, the farmer’s market and more. Get together with old friends and meet new. Have a conversation with a local food producer!
The Maine Fiddlehead Festival was born of an idea Grace Eason, UMF Professor of Science and Environmental Education had of the need to grow awareness of local foods and sustainability. From this, the festival was first organized in 2012 by a coalition of University of Maine at Farmington faculty, community members, and local food businesses to spotlight the bounty of local food resources from our farms and forests.
UMF’s Sustainable Campus Coalition (SCC), which promotes environmental sustainability on campus and in the community, with help from local community members, coordinated the first festival and has continue to do so for 5 years. This year, in addition to the UMF SCC, event supporters include UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement; Franklin Savings Bank; Bangor Savings Bank; University Credit Union (UCU); University of Maine Cooperative Extension; Love Grown Caregiver Services of Maine; the Homestead Kitchen, Bar and Bakery; Lillian Lake, Community Visionary; MyMarketingDesigns and the Healthy Community Coalition.
Lillian Lake observed “the festival has helped grow not only farms and other food opportunities, it has strengthened the community by growing partnerships between institutions, organizations, businesses and individuals.” She mentions that increasingly, farmers are hiring, local schools are committing to having fresh and local foods served, and people are overall becoming conscious of choosing healthy food options, which often mean foods produced or foraged locally. She concludes, “all of this has an overall effect on the well-being of a community. Food brings people together.”
UMF Sustainability Coordinator, Luke Kellett offers, “this event has been embraced by the campus-community and is attracting hundreds of people from all over the state. We can’t think of a better place than Farmington and the Sandy River Valley, to celebrate Maine’s agricultural heritage and passion for locally grown and foraged foods.”
For more information on the festival, visit www.mainefiddleheadfestival.com, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Luke Kellett at 778-7096.