FARMINGTON – A network of local food enthusiasts from Franklin and Somerset counties is updating a directory of farms where locally grown and raised foods can be purchased.

“The booklet will highlight sources for fresh healthy breads, cheeses, eggs, fruits and berries, meats, milk, vegetables and seedlings produced on farms in our region. Farm tours, pick-your-own and value-added products can also be included. The booklet will be distributed free of charge in May,” said Kathleen Beauregard, project coordinator for the Western Mountains Alliance.

The booklet will be dedicated to Mabel Dennison, who put together the first Farmington area local food directory in 2000 by driving around the county and stopping to talk to local farmers.

This year the effort is coordinated by the Western Mountains Alliance with partners: Healthy Community Coalition, Fairbanks School Neighborhood Association, Mountains Counties Heritage Inc., Farmer’s Market Associations, University of Maine at Farmington, Maine Alternative Agriculture Association, UMaine Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and the local food group that has produced the booklet since its first edition.

“As part of a two-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Western Mountains Alliance will publish and distribute the 2006 edition of the booklet. But it could never happen without the cooperation and knowledge of the partners. This year a University of Maine at Farmington practicum student, working with Healthy Community Coalition’s Eileen Liddy, is conducting hundreds of phone calls to update the directory. Our goal is to have the local foods network share the work and resources each time the booklet is updated,” said Beauregard. “These groups share a common goal – to promote local farms and make fresh healthy foods easier to purchase – the more we work together, the more we can accomplish.”

This project is part of the alliance’s Eat Smart Eat Local initiative to build a vital local foods economy in western Maine. For details, visit www.westernmountainsalliance.org.

Farmers from both counties who would like to be listed in the booklet may contact Healthy Communities Coalition at 645-3136, ext. 5105, prior to April 14.


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