Maine
10:12 am
Sun July 27, 2014

Maine Leaves the Barn Door Open

One of Maine's fastest growing industries is on display today.

Milk cows at Balfour Farm in Pittsfield, one of more than 80 farms participating in Maine Open Farm Day.
Credit Jennifer Mitchell

More than 80 farms are open to public as part of Maine Open Farm Day.

"Farms sort of work their way into the heart of the community," says Paul Birdsall at Horsepower Farm in Penobscot. "We've been going since the 1970's, and people just love coming here."

Farmer Paul Birdsall, who will be performing draft demonstrations for Open Farm Day.
Credit Nick Woodward

Birdsall, 87,  plans to offer demonstrations of his team of Suffolk draught horses at work. Other farms plan to offer milking demonstrations, hay rides, garden tours, trail walks, and more.

Similar to companion programs like Maine Maple Sunday, Open Farm Day is a program sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, designed to create a stronger connection between consumers and food producers.

Farming in Maine was one of the few sectors that continued to grow during the recession, with the value of the state's farms increasing 24 percent during that time period, with a value of more than $763 million.

Governor Paul LePage says the number of farming operations with hired workers  also increased 28 percent during 2007 and 2012. 

Participating farms will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

It's the 25th anniversary of the open farm program.

More information about the event is available at www.getrealmaine.com