The County 2017 | Aroostook County Tourism - Page 47

AGRICULTURAL ROOTS OUR ROOTS RUN DEEP IN THE COUNTY. Since the 18th century, potatoes have been the region’s main agricultural product, thanks in part to the rich soil and strong backs. Today, growers focus on certified seed, processing, table stock, and specialty markets like potato chips. We celebrate our signature product annually with the Maine Potato Blossom Festival, hosted by the town of Fort Fairfield as Aroostook County’s premier, family-friendly event. Scheduled in July, the festival coincides with the gorgeous sight of millions of potato blossoms coming into bloom. For this year’s 70th anniversary, the festival features the ever-popular Potato Queen pageants (five this year), a float parade, music, fireworks, good eats, and more. The festival is often a homecoming for generations of Fort Fairfield residents. But potatoes are only the beginning! Ten percent of Aroostook is tillable farmland: When you consider The County is larger than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined, you understand agriculture’s importance. You’ll see endless fields full of broccoli, cauliflower, wheat, corn, berries—the list goes on. Malt barley and hops are grown for Maine’s craft brewing industry. At smaller farms, you’ll come upon greenhouses full of colorful flowers, tomatoes ready for early harvest, or pick-your-own strawberry fields. Goughan’s Berry Farm in Caribou features a unique corn maze every fall. Some farm stands have foraged fiddleheads packaged up for you—or you can pick them yourself. These are a tasty treat, cooked until tender then tossed with dressing. Another must-have—Aroostook County maple syrup. The sap is collected and processed the old-fashioned way—tapped and then boiled. Maine Maple Sunday celebrates this delicious industry with free samples and demonstrations. It’s a great opportunity to meet people: Maple syrup gets people excited! Many small farms also offer other products, like apple butter, herbs, or homemade soap. And you’ll see numerous farm stands that go by the honor system: Simply shop on your own, then drop your money into the payment box. Above all, you’ll find our farmers are friendly and happy to show you around. CHECK OUT WHILE YOU’RE HERE Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum, Littleton, OldPlow.o &pRVFrf&2WFTVFtf&26ФB'&vrf&vFRF'&vr6ФvVv( 2&W''f&6&&Rf6V&6vVv0f"&Rf&F&WBf&2f&W'2&WG2B6זW"v6F2FR&Vvf6BW"vV'6FRvWE&VR6"6VGB#b#Cc2f6D&7F6Хf6D&7F6УCP