TURNER — After a winter break, Nezinscot Farm is reopening its store and cafe this week, and though pandemic precautions limit what you can do inside, the food and scenery should be incentive enough to visit this beautiful, hilly spot 20 minutes from Lewiston-Auburn.

The cozy cafe with counter service slings Equal Exchange coffee ($2.50), espresso drinks ($3-$4.50) and tea ($2) blended from herbs grown right outside.

Along with breakfast classics – including crepes, pancakes, waffles, French toast, omelets, quiche du jour and a breakfast burrito – are more creative options, such as poached eggs in marinara sauce with sausage, greens and pepper jack curds ($12) and a Scotch egg with toast ($7).

The truly farm-to-table menu includes Nezinscot’s own vegetables, chicken, eggs, pork, beef and turkey. To wit: a Reuben ($11) starts with crisped-up pulled ham, then is loaded with sauerkraut pickled in the same kitchen that bakes the bread and whips up the sauces.

The Reuben at Nezinscot Farm is made with local ham and house-made sauerkraut. Photo by Kevin Lee

You can expect quick service and solid portions of delicious, hearty fare. Kimchi “street toast” ($10) features scrambled eggs, cheese and that memorable ham. The flatbread special ($10) on my visit was stacked with greens grown and sausage made on the premises. Prices top out at $14 for poutine with animal protein ($12 without), either on home fries or mashed potatoes instead of the traditional french fries.

Vegan options include a house-made veggie burger ($9), enticing salad combinations ($8-$10) and pastries baked on site. The menu specifies at least half a dozen gluten-free choices.

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Nezinscot Farm’s poutine comes with a choice of protein, like bacon, and can be made with home fries or mashed potatoes. Photo by Kevin Lee

All food is currently prepared for takeaway only. If COVID rules allowed, I’d have lingered a while in the upstairs yarn and fiber studio, where assorted cats loiter on an inviting couch. The loom- and sewing machine-crammed workshop is the headquarters of an artisans’ guild. Community member-made blankets, scarves, hats, gloves and baby clothes are available for sale, and were inspiring to this aspiring weaver.

The farm’s commercial production in cheesemaking, breads, teas, medicinal and culinary herbs, canning and charcuterie rounds out a country store brimming with goods.

Named for a meandering tributary of the Androscoggin that flanks its pastures, Nezinscot Farm is stewarded by third-generation proprietors. It’s Maine’s oldest organic dairy and offers a long-running CSA program. Workshops, retreats, farm stays, events and concerts are held from time to time; check the farm’s website for details.

Alison McConnell is a freelance writer who lives in Auburn.


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