Damion Davis, cheesemaker at Nezincsot Farms, demonstrates cheese-cutting in the stage before draining it. Looking on, from left, Pete Miller, Joanne Miller, Annie Schlaefer and Alex Miller. Angelique Goubert, an intern from France, stands behind him on the far left. The demo was part of Farm Days.

Tyler Castagliola and his grandmother, Nancy Baranelli, pet one of the horses at Double Z Farm’s Open Farm Day in Turner Sunday as Tyler’s mom, Rachel Castagliola, looks on. Double Z was one of many farms in maine who opened their doors to the public.

More than 60 farms across the state opened their doors to the public on Sunday to celebrate Maine’s 28th annual Open Farm Day, each showcasing its own specialties and charm for visitors to experience.

Chris and Kate Abbruzzese, owners of Double Z Land and Livestock in Turner, participated in their third Open Farm Day, and were excited to “connect with people personally.”

“It’s important for people to know their farmers and see who is raising their food,” Chris said.

The couple showcased their unique extension of the farm, Fireworks Mobile Wood Fired Pizza.

The Abbruzzeses’ mobile oven is similar to a stationary oven, constructed on a custom-built trailer. Heat from a wood fire radiates throughout the simple and efficient domed oven and is then absorbed by the dense interior masonry walls and stone oven floor. Baking temperatures can range from 500 to 900 degrees Fahrenheit.

Jerry Beaucage and Jill Polley of Turner described the pizza as “amazing” and “fantastic.”


“It has a real rustic taste, and I love the crust,” Polley said.

Aside from the pizza, the farm, which started up in 2013, specializes in grass-fed beef and lamb, which Chris and Kate’s son, Matteo, said is the way to raise an animal “at nature’s pace.”

Grass-fed cattle take between 24 to 28 months to mature, while grain-fed cattle take only about 14 months.

“The main benefit is the flavor,” Matteo said.

“Their bodies were made to eat grass,” Kate added.

The farm’s grazing technique used is called management intensive rotational grazing, which Matteo says preserves the “ice cream grass” or the sweetest blades the cows prefer. By rotating the cattle to a different grazing area every 3 to 4 days, the sweetest, most nutritious grass is allowed to grow steadily.


“It’s funny how practices now considered progressive were actually used in the 1800s,” Matteo said.

Nezinscot Farm in Turner, established in 1990, is owned by Gregg and Gloria Varney and known as the first organic farm in Maine. The farm also participated in Open Farm Day, with demonstrations on cheesemaking, guided tours and specials from its on-site café.

Damion Davis, the cheesemaker of Nezinscot Farm, has been in the business for five years. He learned the process on a small farm through trial and error, then worked in a Boston factory making 600 pounds of cheese a day, before moving to Turner.

Davis starts with goat or cow’s milk, and heats it up to pasteurize it, which kills harmful bacteria. It is then molded in wooden hand presses, brined and moved to the “cheese cave,” where is sits on racks for three months or more, depending on the type of cheese.

David described his trade as enjoyable, easy, and not too demanding, but certainly not for everyone.

“If you don’t have patience, you will learn patience,” Davis said.


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