Sunday is Open Farm Day across Maine ”“ a chance for folks to get a glimpse of farm life. Folks can see how food is grown, from plump, sweet blueberries and fragrant apples to rosy, red tomatoes and sweet corn, or partake of a farm-raised burger or an apple cider doughnut. In addition to food products, folks can visit with flocks of Icelandic sheep, llamas or alpacas or watch a bee demonstration.

Open Farm Day is sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Close to 100 farms across Maine ”“ including a dozen in York County ”“ will open their gates to the public.

At McDougal Orchards in Springvale, Ellen and Jack McAdam will offer self-guided tours of the property, which has been farmed by members of their family since Joshua Hanson bought 450 acres at a tax auction for 52 pounds and 10 shillings in 1779.

On Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., folks can learn about the farm’s history and enjoy Jack McAdam’s apple cider doughnuts.

As well, said Ellen McAdam, folks are invited to share reminisces of Robert McDougal, who began the orchard’s pick-your-own operation in 1992. Robert McDougal died Dec. 9.

“We planted a honeycrisp apple in his honor yesterday,” McAdam said.

Another of the open farms in York County is Rivard Farm in Springvale, which began as a dairy farm by Henry Rivard in the 1920s ”“ just seven years shy of a century ago. When his son, Gerard Rivard, returned home from World War II, he acquired the farm and started a pick-your-own strawberry operation, said his daughter, Diane Rivard. When his children were grown and began their adult lives away from the farm, he switched to a less labor intensive pick-your-own blueberry operation.

Diane is one of seven siblings ”“ five sisters and a brother ”“ who now operate the Rivard Farm on Blanchard Road. She said visitors are welcome to come and view the blueberry and raspberry operation and they can peek in a new greenhouse to look at the hydroponic tomatoes ”“ a relatively new addition to the Rivard Farm.

Harris Farm in Dayton will mark Open Farm Day 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday,  July 28.

“All across Maine you can visit dozens of small farms; farms with vegetable stands and market gardens; farms with hay rides and home bakeries; farms with sheep, cows, horses, rabbits, pigs or chickens; farms and farm owners who want to show you a fascinating cross section of life growing out in the Maine countryside,” said agriculture Commissioner Walt Whitcomb.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, Ext. 327 or [email protected].

Open Farm Day locations in York County

Here is a list of York County farms participating in Open Farm Day, on Sunday, July 21. Open hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., unless otherwise noted:

”¢ Berry Best Farm, 33 Colburn Way, Lebanon ”“ pick blueberries, raspberries and peaches; make butter; games for kids; and hayrides.

”¢ Blueberry Hill Farm, 231 Blueberry Hill Farm Road, Acton ”“ pick blueberries; blueberry goodies to sample, free recipes; visit the hens, miniature donkeys and a miniature horse.

”¢ Ewe and I Farm, 286 Arundel Road, Kennebunkport ”“ fiber farm; demos of spinning wool and alpaca fleece; and bee demonstration at noon.

”¢ Frelsi Farm Icelandics, 111 Watson Hill Road, Limerick ”“ Icelandic sheep and goats; sheep-to-yarn demo; felting wool demo; lamb and goat meat to sample.

”¢ Long Plains Alpacas, 301 Long Plains Road, Buxton ”“ meet the alpacas; yarn dying demo using local plant materials.

”¢ McDougal Orchards, 201 Hanson’s Ridge Road, Springvale ”“ diversified orchard; apples and other tree fruit; hiking; visit the animal area; sample cider doughnuts.

”¢ Oakhill Alpaca Ranch, 2 Oakhill Road, Shapleigh ”“ visit the alpacas; refreshments.

”¢ Pamelamas, 233 Limerick Road, Arundel ”“ alpaca fiber farm; spinning and weaving; farm store; refreshments.

”¢ Pondview Farm, 691 Ossipee Trail, Limington ”“ grass-fed, pastured beef, lamb, pork and chicken; farm tours to see Scottish highland cattle, Icelandic sheep, pastured chickens and pigs;  honeybees.

”¢ Rivard Farm, 110 Blanchard Road, Springvale ”“ blueberries, raspberries, hydroponic tomatoes, hay; tours; pick-your-own berries.

”¢ Sea Hill Farm Alpacas, 621 Haley Road, Kittery Point ”“ see alpacas, mini donkeys, Shetland sheep and ducks; demonstrations.

On July 28:

”¢ Harris Farm, 262 Buzzell Road, Dayton, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ”“ diversified dairy, beef and vegetable farm; educational hayrides; 16th annual Lunch on the Land with farm-raised burgers, corn and milk, homemade salads and desserts, proceeds benefit Goodwin’s Mills United Methodist Church.



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