Goats at Sunflower Farm Creamery in Cumberland enjoy a snack. The farm is participating in Open Creamery Day this Sunday.

Sunflower Farm Creamery in Cumberland and its 32 Nigerian dwarf goats will participate in its 10th Open Creamery Day Sunday, an event held to spotlight cheesemakers statewide.

“We are always excited about any opportunity to connect our farm to the public in a meaningful and memorable way,” farm owner Hope Hall said. “Farming is so dependent on community and all the connections that can be made, especially in Cumberland. Farming has always been at the roots of Cumberland.”

Sunflower Farm has been in business for 11 years and sells goods such as cheese, yogurt, caramels and fudge.

On top of the 194 dairy farmers in Maine who ship milk to bottling plants and dozens of others that sell pasteurized and raw milk directly to grocery stores, the state has more than 75 artisan cheesemakers and 20-odd creators of frozen treats such as ice cream and gelato, according to Julie-Marie Bickford, executive director of the Maine Dairy Association.

About 13 creameries statewide are participating in the 14th annual Open Creamery Day, sponsored by the Maine Cheese Guild.

At Sunflower Farm, located on Harmon Way, planned events include yoga with its Nigerian dwarf goats from 9:30-10:30 a.m., followed by apple cider and donuts. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at sunflowerfarm.info.  The farm will be open to all from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for goat visits and a live performance from local folk artist Carolyn Currie. Vendors will sell baked goods, honey, floral arrangements, soaps and small gifts at a farmers market, and massages and face painting will be available.


“The fun thing about an event like Open Creamery Day is we have our regulars who have been coming to the farm for a decade now, but Open Creamery also tends to draw some fresh, new people who then become loyal customers in the years ahead,” Hall said.

Sunflower Farm also will be selling a magazine they produced with a grant from the Northeast Dairy Innovation Center. The one-time publication, “Simply Good,” includes a list of dairies and goat farms in the state, profiles on Maine farmers and other agricultural businesses and plenty of delicious recipes. The cost is $15.

People who visit dairy farms on Open Creamery Day are also encouraged to post their photos online using the hashtag #GoatAdventureME.

“That way they can promote all Maine dairies around the state,” Hall said. “I think the wonderful thing about Open Creamery Day is that the stronger all dairies are, the stronger each individual dairy is. It’s not a competitive thing, it’s more about how we can all collaborate to bring people to the state seeking out Maine dairy, because it’s such an amazing thing.”

More information on Open Creamery Day and other participants, go to mainecheeseguild.org.

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