The sign for the farm store at Laughing Stock Farm in Freeport. The farm is open seven days a week with a variety of items for purchase. Sande Updegraph / For The Forecaster

Farm direct marketing is more popular than ever (especially since the pandemic). It allows local farmers to sell straight to consumers at farmers markets, through you-pick models, CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), mail order, agritourism and farm stands. Many customers don’t view food as only food. They want to connect with producers and the pleasure of learning about growing operations, like the social aspect of conversing with and getting to know the farmers, supporting local businesses and the community economy, and feeling a link to the past.

Sande Updegraph lives in Brunswick and is a longtime food writer. She can be reached at [email protected]

Farmers markets have been around for many years, but farm stands have grown substantially since the era of social distancing, mask wearing and isolation. Here are a few worth visiting in the area:

Freeport

• Laughing Stock Farm is open all week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. In addition to their own produce, they carry bread, dry beans, dairy products, eggs, pork, beef, cheese and prepared meals. 79 Wardtown Road, 831-2182.

• Bessie’s Farm Stand has local, wild blueberries and raspberries, homemade soups, baked goods, and warm muffins on Saturday mornings. Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, self-serve, cash or checks only. 33 Litchfield Road, [email protected]

Durham

• Replenova Farm grows and sells MOFGA-certified organic vegetables at their store from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. They are open year-round. They also sell baked goods, local honey, cheeses, meats, eggs, jams and more. 1252 Royalsborough Road, 409-0446.

Bath

• Swango Farm’s store is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week through Indigenous Peoples’ Day. They offer vegetables, berries, baked goods and vegetables. 32 Old Bath Road, 442-7882.

New Gloucester

• Pineland Farms carries their own corn, cucumbers, beans and summer squash, plus pick-your-own berries. They are open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The store also offers cheeses and meats produced on the farm. 15 Farm View Drive, 688-4539.

Topsham

• Whatley Farm has a self-serve stand open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, on the honor system. They offer their own produce, duck eggs, pesto and salsas, along with specialties from other local growers and makers. 3 Whatley Farm Road, 844-0381.

Harpswell

• Two Coves Farm sells meats, eggs and fresh produce. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 90 Neil’s Point Road, 400-7999.

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