School gardens across state give public a chance to visit

School gardens across Maine will be open to the public Oct. 1.

This free event will include garden tours, demonstrations, games, food tastings, garden-themed artwork and music.

School gardens that plan on participating include Appleton, Bath, Belfast, Georgetown, Hiram, Kennebunk, Orono, Port Clyde, Scarborough, Thorndike, South Berwick, Turner and Wiscasset.

Hours will vary at each location. For a list of schools and when they will be open, go to the Maine School Garden Network at

Creamery Day celebrates fall foliage, Maine cheeses

It’s that time of year again: Time to indulge in fall foliage and cheese.

The Maine Cheese Guild will hold its annual Open Creamery Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 9, which is during Columbus Day weekend — prime foliage-viewing time.

Visit the Alpine goats at the Appleton Creamery or sample the aged capriano and ripened chevre roll at York Hill Farm in New Sharon. Pineland Farms Creamery in New Gloucester will be offering tours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Olde Oak Farm in Maxfield will be serving brunch made with the farm’s cheeses and ingredients from local farmers markets.

For more details and a list of creameries that will be open, go to

Maine group gets $3 million for healthy-food initiatives

Coastal Enterprises Inc. of Wiscasset has received a $3 million grant that will be used to provide financing for businesses that bring healthy food to rural Maine communities.

Maine’s grant was the largest of 12 awarded by the federal Healthy Foods Initiative Program. The money can be used for projects such as creating mobile farmers markets or for a small grocery to install a new cooler for storing fresh local foods.


Town restaurants square off in 19th Chowdah Challenge

The 19th annual Chowdah Challenge will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 1 at Discovery Park, located between the L.L. Bean flagship store and the L.L. Bean Home Store.

The chowders will be provided by Freeport chefs and will include New England clam chowder, seafood chowder and lobster bisque. Participating restaurants include Jameson’s Tavern, the 1912 Cafe, Petrillo’s, Buck’s Naked Barbecue, Freeport Cafe, Freeport Chowder House, Gritty’s, Harraseeket Inn, Topside Tavern and Linda Bean’s Maine Kitchen.

The cost is $10 for chowder sampling and voting. Homemade pie and ice cream will cost $3.50. Proceeds from the event will go to Freeport Community Services, a nonprofit that provides heating fuel assistance, a food pantry, a thrift store, medical equipment loans, rides to medical appointments and other services.

For more information, call 865-3587.


Chefs offer signature dishes to benefit March of Dimes

Chefs from Nosh Kitchen Bar, Figa, The Salt Exchange, Zapoteca, Dimillo’s on the Water, Porthole and Hannaford will prepare their signature dishes in tasting-size portions at an Oct. 12 benefit for the March of Dimes.

The event will be held at Dimillo’s, 25 Long Wharf, at 5:30 p.m. and includes a live auction and a silent auction. Tickets are $40 in advance through the Maine March of Dimes website,, or $50 at the door.

Funds raised by the Signature Chefs Auction support March of Dimes research and education in Maine, including research grants to Jackson Laboratory, local community grants and a neonatal intensive-care center family support program at Maine Medical Center.

El Bulli’s cutting-edge chef gets star treatment in film

El Bulli, the restaurant in Spain that has been named best in the world more than once, closed its doors in July, so you can no longer eat there.

But you can see how renowned chef Ferran Adria developed his cutting-edge cuisine in the film “El Bulli: Cooking in Progress.”

The film will be shown at the Portland Museum of Art three times: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30, 2 p.m. Oct. 1 and 2 p.m. Oct. 2.

Tickets are $7, and are available at 10 a.m. on the day of the show at the museum’s admission desk.

Author of ‘Wine Maniacs’ plans reading at Longfellow

Layne Witherell, wine expert and author of “Wine Maniacs: Life in the Wine Biz,” will be reading from and signing his book at 7 p.m. Friday at Longfellow Books.

In the book, Witherell covers his 30-year career in the wine business.

Longfellow Books is located in Monument Square at One Monument Way.

Havana South’s Wine Night features Devenish samples

Wine Night returns to Havana South at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Devenish Wines will be bringing some Italian wines for sampling. The cost is $10 for 10 wines, and there will be appetizers to complement each wine.

Havana South is located at 44-50 Wharf St.

Figa pairs five-course meal, wine selections from Austria

Figa restaurant, 249 Congress St., will be holding its first wine dinner at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

A five-course meal will be paired with a selection of Austrian wines from Klaus Wittauer of KW Selection.

Tickets are $65, and reservations are required. Call 518-9400.


Course takes entrepreneurs from recipe to marketplace

Do you dream about selling your homemade jam or chowder and becoming the next big food entrepreneur?

Learn what it takes to make that dream come true at a five-part workshop sponsored by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension at its Learning Center, 75 Clearwater Drive.

“From Recipe to Market: Cashing In on Value-Added Opportunities” begins Sept. 28, and will feature presentations by experts on food safety, licensing, state regulations and insurance. Each participant will get individual business counseling.

The workshops will be held 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 28; 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 5, Oct. 12 and Oct. 18; and individual appointments on Oct. 26.

Participants must have a specific food product or recipe in mind, and must attend all sessions. To reserve a space, call 781-6099 or (800) 287-1471.


Swine & Stein pulls pork, microbrews onto the street

The second annual Swine & Stein will be held Oct. 1 in the streets of historic Gardiner.

This rain-or-shine Octoberfest celebration features local farm-to-table pork and Maine craft beers, accompanied by live music.

Ten Maine microbreweries will be serving brews in the beer tent. Other events include a chicken fling, dunk tank and stick pony races.

Admission includes entertainment and three 5-ounce taster vouchers.

Discount tickets will be on sale at all Bull Moose locations and at local Gardiner merchants. Tickets will be $15 on the street the day of the event. The first 1,000 people through the gates will receive a complimentary souvenir taster glass.

For more information, call 582-3100 or email [email protected]