Thursday June 20, 2013 | 02:03 PM
Posted by Mike Tetreault

Lunch breaks on Tuesdays and Fridays during the summer months are a special kind of treat. From 8:00am-2:00pm, the Brunswick Farmers’ Market draws 15 vendors from around the area. Most stands sell vegetables, but there’s also fresh-cut flowers, cheeses, and, of course, lobsters.

I look forward to the days when I can walk a just few blocks from The Nature Conservancy’s office to do some food shopping. There’s nothing better than a plump heirloom tomato, picked from the vine that morning. And every now and then, I come across a vegetable or fruit that I’ve never seen before. Kohlrabi, Romanesco broccoli, Jerusalem artichokes, and celeriac are a reminder of how creative nature can get.

The best part is that it’s all from Maine. I love knowing that my food comes from a local, ethical and sustainable source.

When you buy food from Maine, you’re enhancing the economic, social, and environmental health of your community. The food is fresher and more nutritious that what you find at the grocery store. I think that’s something we can all agree is a good thing.

Farmers are some of the best stewards of the land that we have. They keep our waters and soils clean with responsible resource management and farming practices. Brush along fields, farm ponds, hedgerows, ditch banks and other transitional areas provide habitat for wildlife such as birds, bees, butterflies, foxes and deer. Working the land every day, year after year, farmers are some of the few left who have the privilege of an intimate knowledge of place and watching how it changes over the course time.

You, too, can celebrate Maine’s bounty through the Nature is ME sweepstakes. Send us your favorite recipes that feature Maine ingredients - and the stories behind them – and you’re entered to win prizes like gift certificates, ski passes, and hotel stays.

Don’t cook? There are other ways to participate. Submit a photo of yourself and/or your friends and family experiencing nature in Maine. Any Maine location or activity that represents nature to you is eligible, at home, in your town or beyond. Or, take a quick quiz about Maine’s culture and economy.

A thriving local food scene is just one of the many things that make Maine great.  Together, we can support the foundation of our community and embrace our exceptional natural world.

P.S. Get Real, Get Maine, Maine Audubon, and The Nature Conservancy in Maine will be at the Portland Farmers’ Market on this Saturday, June 22nd. Be sure to stop by, say hello, and take part in the Nature is ME sweepstakes.

 

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Mike Tetreault leads The Nature Conservancy in Maine, where he works with partners in conservation, government and community development to identify solutions which ensure that Maine's natural resources are available for people and for nature.

He holds a degree in environmental studies from Brown and a MS from the field naturalist program at the University of Vermont, and has studied resource management in Kenya, Mexico and throughout New England.

Tetreault started his career teaching wilderness leadership and environmental education, and has worked for The Nature Conservancy since 1998. He lives in Bath with his wife, their daughter and a menagerie of pets.


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