The 2019 Maine Fiddlehead Festival


With a new location and an exciting theme, the Fiddlehead Festival enters its 8th year with    refreshed energy.  The new location in the courtyard and amphitheater between the University ofMaine Farmington Student Center and Roberts Learning Center and the adjacent amphitheater, willoffer more space and accommodate much more parking than in previous years.

Always a celebration of local food and agriculture, this year’s festival incorporates a theme of The Joy of Fermentation and its use in transforming, preserving and creating some of our favorite foods, like yoghurt, sourdough, sauerkraut, cheese, vinegar, kombucha, wine, beer, miso, kimchee, soysauce, and countless others from around the world.  Demonstration talks will cover various fermented products and methods, along with sample products.

Live music will be in the hillside amphitheater, with a line-up of local acoustic and electric bands, and graced by the appearance of the Franklin County Fiddlers, as usual.  

The Maine Fiddlehead Festival is organized annually by a coalition of volunteers from the surrounding communities and the UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition.  It grew out of many years of local food promotion efforts by area farmers, food activists, and college faculty, and was conceived as an opportunity to celebrate the bounty of food, both farmed and foraged, in the Franklin County area.

Fiddleheads, of course, are the emerging coils of the fiddlehead fern, a seasonal delicacy traditionally harvested as one of the first spring greens. Variations in spring weather influence whether or not the festival’s namesake will cooperate for the festival in any given year, but the show will go on either way! As usual, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension will lead aFiddlehead Talk and Walk to a nearby location.

Formerly around the Emery Arts Center on Academy Street, the new High Street  location will accommodate more vendors and exhibitors, with food, crafts, information, and miscellaneous goods arranged around the buildings and their grounds.  Once again the crowds will be entertained, informed and sample-fed by Ashley Montgomery’s gourmet fiddlehead cooking demonstration.

This family friendly event is free and will occur from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Children’s activities will be organized by UMF student service club members.  The public is invited to bring their home-made fermented products to share and discuss in the fermentation tent.  If you are interested in entering your fermented food in a taste contest, please contact us on our Maine Fiddlehead Festival facebook page or at cynthia.hoeh@gmail.com.  

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