by Barb who’s cleaning out her house in Massachusetts, so she can spend more time in Maine (Yay!)
Everybody has a favorite farmstand, right? When it’s just Bill and me, we meet most of our produce and yummy bakery needs at the Boothbay Farmer’s Market. But sometimes when we expect a houseful of guests, or the farmer’s market is on the wrong day, we need to go farther afield. That’s when we make a pilgrimage to Beth’s in Warren, Maine.
Beth’s is quite a place. People come from miles around, which they would have to for it to be such a going concern, being that is in the middle of nowhere. (No offense to the citizens of Warren. I think that like that it’s nowhere.)
The first time Bill and I passed the signs for Beth’s it was purely by accident. I think we were speeding to a library talk I was doing somewhere. But then Lea Wait and Bob Thomas said they loved it, so we go curious and returned. Boy were they right.
Beth’s offers fresh produce, almost all of it grown on their farm, along with beautiful flowers. They carefully detail the provenance of the items they don’t grow–the meat, oysters, lobsters, etc. The variety of produce is mind-blowing, and they’ve found a way to harvest strawberries late and blueberries and potatoes early, ensuring a steady supply.
Like almost all New England farmers, Beth’s makes prepared foods, jams and jellies, and baked goods, including strawberry shortcake. (Transforming the raw materials is part of what makes the economics work.) They’re open in the fall for pumpkins, a corn maze, cider and donuts, and in December for wreaths and trees.
Recently, I had to send my editor cover ideas for the seventh Maine Clambake Mystery. It takes place in July. I was clear what food I wanted on the cover, except for the side dishes. Bill and I took a ride up to Beth’s for inspiration.
We both came away inspired. Bill took the photos below. Enjoy!
Readers: Do you have a favorite farm market?
[All photos below the prose in this post are by Bill Carito. If you like them and want to see more, you can friend him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bcarito and follow him on Instagram at billcarito and bill.carito.colorphotos.]
We are steady customers at the Portland Farmer’s Market, where we always score something great from the two farms we support with CSA shares (Green Spark Farm in Cape Elizabeth and Cornerstone Farm in Palmyra.)
We’re also regular customers of a number of other PFM vendors – Dandelion Spring Farm of Newcastle, Snell Family Farm of Buxton, Goranson Farm of Dresden and during blueberry season, our friends from the Blue Hill Berry Company in Penobscot, who make the trek to Portland each week to sell their delectable organically-grown Maine wild blueberries.
I need to go there. I have a friend who shops at Beth’s regularly and raves about it. Even though we have a garden of our own, I love to go to farm stands for the ambience as well as the unusual veggies that we don’t grow.
The ambience at Beth’s is wonderful!
Wow! You are busy. We’ve never done a share–we do too much running around. Maybe once we consolidate.
I’ve driven past it a zillion times, and being always in a hurry, never stopped. I’ll have to change my ways.
I do the Brunswick Farmer’s Market on Friday mornings. This past week, I found a black radish which I’ve never seen before. I asked the farmer about it, and he had a lot of suggestions about what to use it for. So far, though, I have only taken it’s picture.
Black radishes? Never heard of them. Stop next time you go zooming by Beth’s!
Yes! Beth’s is our favorite! One item they have that’s wonderful … small dried ears of corn. You put them in a paper bad (yes, they’ll give them to you) and put them in a microwave — and — voila! popped corn on the cob. Grandkids love it!
I saw the popcorn ears there. We’ll have to try it.
Beth’s is a great place. We go there frequently. Love their cheese and jam as well as the fresh produce and flowers. I also frequent the Union Farmer’s Market on the Common in the village, Fridays 3:00 to 6:00. Someone is always playing music, fiddles and other strings. Delightful.
So glad to find another fan of Beth’s. The Union Farmer’s Market sounds wonderful.