About the 2017 Maine Fiddlehead Festival

    Some have called it a “mini Common Ground Fair.”  It might be more accurate to say “mini, pre-season, western Maine Common Ground Fair.”  But whatever else you call it, the 6th annual Maine Fiddlehead Festival will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2017 on the campus of the University of Maine at Farmington.  

    The festival is held each year on the first Saturday in May, a date meant to coincide with the beginning of the fiddlehead season – and most years this works out.  Our experts predict that this year will be a good one to attend the yearly “Fiddlehead Talk & Walk,” just one of several demonstration talks offered throughout the day.

Live music, a farmers’ market, and live baby farm animals are regular features of the festival.  Food vendors offer locally-sourced lunch food; this year there will be demonstration talks on making goat cheese, baking your own pita bread, seed-saving facts and techniques, fiddlehead foraging and processing, making cannabis edibles, and processing acorns into flour. There will be a gourmet fiddlehead cooking demonstration with FREE SAMPLES.  Visitors will also find craft and book vendors and information tables on food, gardening, and farming organizations; the popular Franklin County Fiddlers will play, belly dancers and stilt walkers may show up again,  and there will be a supervised children’s crafts tent.

The first Maine Fiddlehead Festival was organized by a group composed of  UMF faculty, staff and students and several community members in response to shared concerns about the current and future status of our food supply.  After some debate and discussion about prioritizing issues, the group decided to approach the subject from a positive angle – to focus on solutions, not problems.

    In fact, they further agreed, maybe we should even have fun!  How about a festival that highlights the benefits and potential of our local agriculture and rich foraging resources?  Since fiddlehead ferns are a traditional, local, seasonal delicacy – and what’s more, they sound like fun – why not call it the Maine Fiddlehead Festival?  Invite the Franklin County Fiddlers and the Sandy River Farmers’ Market, and voila!

  This year’s theme for the Fiddlehead Festival is “Seeds and Breeds:  Promoting and Preserving Food Diversity.”  It will highlight seed-saving and other attempts to preserve heirloom varieties and  heritage breeds that are critical to a diverse and sustainable food future.  

    Diversity in seed stock world-wide has been threatened by modern industrialized food production, and in fact has diminished substantially, but there are many individuals throughout the world working to compensate for the losses. “SEED: The Untold Story,” a documentary film highlighting seed-saving and seedstock diversity around the world, will be shown throughout the weekend in Farmington.  Will Bonsall of Industry, Maine, who appears prominently in the film and who created the Scatterseed Project, will be introducing the film at the Narrow Gauge Cinema on Saturday and at UMF on Sunday.  Farmers and vendors at the festival will also feature special seeds and breeds.

    The Maine Fiddlehead Festival has gained momentum with each new year,  its reputation spreading as a family-friendly event for all ages. The local food theme has attracted a growing body of people who are eager to learn more about how to buy,  grow, forage, and use more local, natural, high-quality food for their family’s health and happiness.  And most of all, to have some fun on the first Saturday in May!

 

    Some have called it a “mini Common Ground Fair.”  It might be more accurate to say “mini, pre-season, western Maine Common Ground Fair.”  But whatever else you call it, the 6th annual Maine Fiddlehead Festival will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2017 on the campus of the University of Maine at Farmington.  

    The festival is held each year on the first Saturday in May, a date meant to coincide with the beginning of the fiddlehead season – and most years this works out.  Our experts predict that this year will be a good one to attend the yearly “Fiddlehead Talk & Walk,” just one of several demonstration talks offered throughout the day.

Live music, a farmers’ market, and live baby farm animals are regular features of the festival.  Food vendors offer locally-sourced lunch food; this year there will be demonstration talks on making goat cheese, baking your own pita bread, seed-saving facts and techniques, fiddlehead foraging and processing, making cannabis edibles, and processing acorns into flour. There will be a gourmet fiddlehead cooking demonstration with FREE SAMPLES.  Visitors will also find craft and book vendors and information tables on food, gardening, and farming organizations; the popular Franklin County Fiddlers will play, belly dancers and stilt walkers may show up again,  and there will be a supervised children’s crafts tent.

The first Maine Fiddlehead Festival was organized by a group composed of  UMF faculty, staff and students and several community members in response to shared concerns about the current and future status of our food supply.  After some debate and discussion about prioritizing issues, the group decided to approach the subject from a positive angle – to focus on solutions, not problems.

    In fact, they further agreed, maybe we should even have fun!  How about a festival that highlights the benefits and potential of our local agriculture and rich foraging resources?  Since fiddlehead ferns are a traditional, local, seasonal delicacy – and what’s more, they sound like fun – why not call it the Maine Fiddlehead Festival?  Invite the Franklin County Fiddlers and the Sandy River Farmers’ Market, and voila!

  This year’s theme for the Fiddlehead Festival is “Seeds and Breeds:  Promoting and Preserving Food Diversity.”  It will highlight seed-saving and other attempts to preserve heirloom varieties and  heritage breeds that are critical to a diverse and sustainable food future.  

    Diversity in seed stock world-wide has been threatened by modern industrialized food production, and in fact has diminished substantially, but there are many individuals throughout the world working to compensate for the losses. “SEED: The Untold Story,” a documentary film highlighting seed-saving and seedstock diversity around the world, will be shown throughout the weekend in Farmington.  Will Bonsall of Industry, Maine, who appears prominently in the film and who created the Scatterseed Project, will be introducing the film at the Narrow Gauge Cinema on Saturday and at UMF on Sunday.  Farmers and vendors at the festival will also feature special seeds and breeds.

    The Maine Fiddlehead Festival has gained momentum with each new year,  its reputation spreading as a family-friendly event for all ages. The local food theme has attracted a growing body of people who are eager to learn more about how to buy,  grow, forage, and use more local, natural, high-quality food for their family’s health and happiness.  And most of all, to have some fun on the first Saturday in May!

Music schedule:

2017 SCHEDULE

10:00-10:05: Opening Remarks

10:15-10:45 Erica Haywood

10:55-11:25 Lindsey Mower

11:35-12:05 Merry Plinksters

12:15-12:45 Franklin County Fiddlers

12:55-1:25 Usual Suspects

1:35-2:05 Jonboy Nemo

2:15-2:45 Nuclear Salad

2:55-3:00 Closing Remarks

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