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The Wrap: Outdoor farmers market in Portland returns April 27

Take a kitchen tour, attend a flint corn conference, taste new foods and more.

Carolyn Snell of Snell Farm stacks beets at Deering Oaks farmers market in 2016. The market moves outdoors for the season April 27. Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Another sign of spring: There’s just one more week before the Portland farmers market moves outdoors.

The final winter market at 631 Stevens Ave., the former Maine Girls Academy, will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The first outdoor market is scheduled for the following week, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 27 in Deering Oaks park, where as many as 32 farmers will offer seedlings, vegetables, meats, cheese and more.

Don’t forget that a lot of families can’t afford to shop at the farmers market. A month after opening for the season, on May 25, the Deering Oaks market will host a fundraising event for its Low-Income Food Access Program, which has provided more than $100,000 worth of free fruits and vegetables to needy families since 2006. Greater Good: A Fundraiser for Food Access will include a silent auction and a Friends of the Market drive. Friends of the Market is an annual membership program that supports access to healthy local food at the market. Individual memberships begin at $35; business memberships begin at $250.

The Monument Square outdoor farmers market, held on Wednesdays, is scheduled to open May 1, and will have the same hours as Deering Oaks. The markets move back indoors on Thanksgiving Day.


There was a time when kitchen tours were all the rage, attracting hundreds of curious lookie-loos and raising more money for local charities than any bake sale or walk around Back Cove ever could. Interest in these events – or at least the number of them – seems to have died down the past couple of years, but the tour in downtown Portsmouth marches on.


The Music Hall is hosting its 28th annual kitchen tour on May 11 – Mother’s Day weekend –  from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This self-guided tour, which attracts more than 1,000 visitors, will include 11 home kitchens; the craftsmen, designers and architects who created the spaces will be on hand to answer questions. Tickets are $25 for Music Hall members and $27 for non-members. All tickets cost $30 if purchased the day of the event. Buy them online at or by calling (603) 436-2400.


Albie Barden peels an ear of Gi Gi flint corn in a field at his Norridgewock farm. Gregory Rec

I got a note from Albie Barden this week letting me know that he’s putting together an all-day conference on growing flint corn, to be held on May 4 at his farm in Norridgewock.

The  conference, which will be held in Barden’s barn from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,  celebrates the corn that was a staple food of the Wabanaki people and has been in danger of disappearing.

You may know Barden as the co-founder of both the Common Ground Fair and the Kneading Conference, an annual gathering in Maine of bakers who are bringing heritage grains back into the mainstream. He’s also a longtime corn keeper who is trying to save Maine’s native corn varieties by building seed banks and encouraging people to grow the corn in their own farms and gardens.

People who attend the conference will have access to about a dozen varieties of northeast flint corn that they can take home and grow. The only requirement is that they return a portion of their harvest to Barden for the seed bank. Attendees will also hear from a few speakers: Steve (Silver Bear) McComber, who is a Mohawk elder and corn keeper; Heron Breen, a seed historian; the owners of Songbird Farm in Unity, where they grow and mill Roy’s Calais Abenaki flint corn; and Pam Prodan of Wilton, who will share her experiences growing and hand-pollinating Byron flint corn.


The conference costs $10, which includes lunch. To register, email [email protected]


The members of Fork Food Lab have scheduled several spring and summer pop-up events, where you can taste the food these entrepreneurs have been developing.

Pop-up markets will be held from noon to 7 p.m. every first Friday from May to September at Rising Tide Brewing Co., 103 Fox St., Portland.

On Wednesdays from June to September, the markets will set up outside Foundation Brewing Co., 1 Industrial Way in Portland. The hours will be 4 to 7 p.m.

One-day markets will be held April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, and on June 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Fork Food Lab, 72 Parris St., Portland. Finally, a market will be held on May 6 on the rooftop of Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder St., Portland, from 5 to 8 p.m.



The Gulf of Maine Research Institute, 350 Commercial St., will hold its 6th annual Gulf of Maine Seafood Celebration from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 25. Lots of chefs, marine scientists and fishermen usually attend this event, which supports the institute’s sustainable seafood work.

Tickets cost $60 (or $75 at the door) and include two drinks (beer, wine or soda) and a selection of sustainably harvested seafood prepared by local chefs. Go to the GMRI website to buy tickets. Maine-grown oysters will be served, of course, and here’s a look at some of the other dishes that will be available for sampling:

Inn By the Sea: monkfish puttanescat;

Hugo’s: Bangs Island mussels en escabeche with focaccia;

Cliff House: redfish ceviche, avocado, finger limes, ramps, and fresno chilies served with wonton and plantain chips;

Black Point Inn: scallop crudo with celery root puree, pink pearl apple slaw, maple samba glaze and cashew crumble.


Andrew and Briana Volk’s cookbook, “Northern Hospitality,” is up for an IACP award. Courtesy photo

Congratulations to Andrew and Briana Volk, owners of the Portland Hunt + Alpine Club and Little Giant, who are finalists for a 2019 IACP cookbook award in the Wine, Beer or Spirits category. IACP stands for the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

The Volks’ book, “Northern Hospitality with the Portland Hunt + Alpine Club” (Voyageur Press 2018) is up against “Julep: Southern Cocktails Refashioned” by Alba Huerta and Marah Stets and “Mead: The Libations, Legends, and Lore of History’s Oldest Drink” by Fred Minnick.

The winner will be announced at the 41st Annual IACP conference in Santa Fe May 16-19.


Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad



















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