Rockland Farmers Market draws large crowd
Rockland — May 22 was the second Thursday of the season for The Rockland Farmers Market at Harbor Park, drawing large crowds from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
From popular wood-fired pizza made in a mobile brick oven, to organically grown ice cream, meats, and vegetables, including tarragon, arugula and Yukon gold potatoes among others, the market invites more than 20 vendors to sell their fare. Their items are certified home-grown by The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.
Bill Minder of Rockland, one of many customers lining up to buy wood-fired pizza from Uproot Pie Co. owner Jessica Shepard, said he tries to visit the farmers market every Thursday, which runs until Oct. 30. Uproot Pie features items such as fig jam, arugula, prosciutto, and Moroccan spiced lamb sausage.
“Best pizza, ever,” Minder said, who likes his only with fresh onions. “I don't know what she does with that dough, but it's superior.”
Shepard, one of two farmers market managers, has been part of The Rockland Farmers Market for four years, and gets her organic ingredients from her fellow vendors. Many of them own organic farms, such as the market's other manager, Dandelion Spring Farm owner Beth Schiller of Newcastle.
Julia Maher of Owls Head, buying some Yukon gold potatoes from Schiller at $2 per pound, appreciates organic products that are not only fresh, but certified organic by Maine growers. “I think I'm just going to roast them,” she said. “They're also great for mashing.”
Andrea Smith of Union, who owns Brae Maple Farm in Union with her husband, Al, is the longest continually operating vendor at the farmers market. A vendor since the early 1990s, she sells MOFGA-certified live plants including tarragon, which is an herb used with fish and chicken, chives, rosemary, catnip, and many other plants.
“I even make rosemary cookies,” Smith said.
Upcoming Thursdays at The Rockland Farmers Market will include the “Taste of the Market” June 12; Midcoast Spinners July 17; Music by Playin' Possum Aug. 14; and another “Taste of the Market” Sept. 11.
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Larry Di Giovanni, a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, is returning to his daily reporting roots in order to cover the city of Rockland for The Courier-Gazette. Originally from Athens, Ohio, his family includes one son, Tony.
Di Giovanni has covered news beats ranging from the city of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., to the largest tribal government in the United States — the Navajo Nation. He has also worked as a writer in the public education and higher education fields. He's an animal enthusiast and loves dogs.
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