get back in touch with nature
SEASONAL BOUNTY OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, PLANTS, and flowers
Visitors to Portland look to its farms, markets, and gardens for a grand display of fresh foods, flowers, plants, and more. Not to mention an opportunity to mix with locals—whether it’s the height of summer or a chilly winter morning. Area farms and farmer’s markets serve another purpose here as well: providing local growers, stewards of our natural resources, and producers of good, wholesome food with an important link to the local community.
Year-round farmer’s markets
From early spring to late fall, visitors can join farmers at Deering Oaks Park to partake in the seasonal bounty of fruits, vegetables, plants, cheeses, eggs, and countless other items. Monument Square in the heart of the city provides a more urban backdrop for those filling their bag with vegetables, meats, herbs, and cut flowers. During the winter season, farmer’s markets continue in full swing indoors at pre-determined locations where famers bring an abundance of root veggies, greenhouse greens, baked goods, meats, and jams and jellies to market in a lively setting with music and food trucks nearby.
For those with a desire to go beyond the farmer’s market, popular day trips to farms, including maple sugar farms, and apple orchards, are wonderful diversions for families, as are trips to wild blueberries barrens, local potato growers, or farms with breeding stock and grazing sheep. There are many farms in Portland and surrounding areas like South Portland, Cumberland, Scarborough and Freeport, for example, that provide communities and area restaurants (and in some cases, the nation) with their Maine-grown and Maine-raised goods. Family-sized farms welcome visitors to their farm stands, while some larger farms feature corn mazes, pumpkin picking, wagon rides, and tours, along with opportunities to buy local cheeses, meats and produce.
Green Spaces + Gardens
Greater Portland garden tours are a special way to see some of the city’s hidden gems – some tours incorporate tours of historic properties, summer cottages, inns and “neighbor’s” gardens in all their glory.
Those visiting the home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow will delight in the Longfellow Garden, a secluded Colonial Revival style garden with meandering paths created in 1926 that is an oasis of green and quiet in the heart of downtown.
Follow up with the Tate House Museum herb garden to experience the practical beauty of herbs and learn how they were used as medicine and for cooking in Captain George Tate’s day.
Garden enthusiasts seeking even more immersion can always enjoy a trip to the Boothbay region’s Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, just a short drive from the city on the coastal route to Boothbay. It features waterfront & woodland trails and gardens on 270 acres, and is dazzling year round.
More things to do
Check out our options for specialty shopping ideas.