Time to go whole hog, literally. Cumberland County 4-Hers will be auctioning off the animals they’ve raised at the Cumberland County Fair. The event at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 25 will be held at the Cumberland County Fairgrounds, 197 Blanchard Road.

The livestock auction will include calves, market lambs and market hogs, all 100 percent-grain fed and raised by local 4-H members. Bring cash or check for payment. For more information, go to umaine.edu/cumberland/4h/events/cumberland-fair and scroll down to “4-H at the Cumberland Fair.”

Casco Bay, get ready for your close-up

I’ve long been a fan of earthcam.com, where you can browse a network of livestream cameras planted all over the world. Check out the weather at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the view from the Statue of Liberty’s torch or watch diners enjoy eating lunch outdoors at the News Café & Bar in Miami. One of my favorites: Watching brown bears fish for salmon in Alaska. There are already lots of live cams in Maine, and now earthcam.com has added another – a camera on the deck of the new Island Lobster Company restaurant on Peaks Island. You won’t see people eating the day’s catch, but you will get a stunning view of Casco Bay and be able to watch the ferry arrive and depart.

It’s all the buzz….

Worker bees surround the queen bee at a Honey Exchange hive in Portland. The queen has a color-coded marking, applied by the beekeeper, so she is easily found and her age determined. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

Phil Gaven, proprietor of The Honey Exchange on Stevens Avenue, has put together an interesting and unusual event focused on honeybees. “The B Side” will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 21 at the Portland House of Music, 25 Temple St.


The event is about much more than how honeybees help feed us, although the program does have a food component. Gaven calls it a “storytelling event” that will focus on “how honeybees are an unexpected part of the cultural fabric of our lives.” In addition to presentations by seven speakers, singer Emilia Dahlin is scheduled to perform and Josh Berry, executive chef at Union Restaurant (who raises bees on the roof of the Press Hotel), will do a cooking demonstration.

Tickets cost $45 and include breakfast from Rose Foods and Coffee By Design. Proceeds will fund the education programs put on by the Honey Exchange, including Gaven’s visits to local schools.

Festival preview: crustaceans, contests and cocktails

It feels early to be talking about this year’s Harvest on the Harbor food and wine festival in Portland, which will be held Oct. 17-20. But the more popular events sell out early, so here’s a quick look at some of the highlights. As always, tickets for each event are available through harvestontheharbor.com. All events will be held at Brick South at Thompson’s Point and are for those 21-plus only.

The four-day festival kicks off with a three-course, sit-down harvest dinner, with pairings of wines and Allagash beers, featuring chefs from some of Portland’s best restaurants, including Back Bay Grill, Evo Kitchen + Bar, Solo Italiano and Union. The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17 and costs $165. Proceeds benefit Full Plates Full Potential.

Ten cooks/chefs will vie for the title of Maine Lobster Chef of the Year at 11 a.m. Oct. 18. Each chef presents a lobster course to the public and the judges, who then vote on their favorites. Tickets are $95 and include a 10-course lobster luncheon, beer and bubbly.

Carrie Whitcomb, of Springdale Farm in Waldo, sells cream cheese to a crowd at last year’s Market on the Harbor, the final event at the annual Harvest on the Harbor. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

If oysters are more your thing, you can’t miss Maine Oyster Fest, where you can sample oysters from as many as 30 Maine growers on Oct. 19. But please note this does not mean unlimited slurping. The $65 ticket gets you a dozen oysters and some beer or wine to wash them down. Want more? A $90 VIP ticket buys you early admission, 20 oysters, an oyster-shucking demo from The Maine Oyster Co. and a personal introduction to the oyster growers. The event begins at 3:30 p.m. I’m told all the oyster shells will be recycled, and the drink cups will be plant-based.

Other events include a Maine Distillers’ Guild cocktail party ($65), a Bloody Mary Pig Roast brunch ($55) and a Waffle and Prosecco Brunch ($65, including entrance to the grand finale culinary market). The market itself (tickets $25 -$35) offers cooking demonstrations and tastings, often of new products, as well as vendors selling items for the kitchen and dining room, such as glassware and cutting boards. I always like this event since you get opportunities to taste, shop and meet the people behind some of your favorite local products.

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