All posts by Emilie Knight

Maine Harvest Bucks at WINTER farmers’ markets

Augusta Mill Park market is one of the many that move inside during the winter months, so we don’t have to huddle by the flames to stay warm!There’s still plenty of fruits and vegetables available during the winter months. Markets move inside so we can all stay warm while we shop!

There are lots of fruits and vegetables available at farmers’ markets throughout the winter months. Many markets have winter locations inside- each with their own fun activities and seasonal offerings.

Here’s a list of farmers’ markets where you can DOUBLE your SNAP/EBT during the winter months with Maine Harvest Bucks.

 

 

Augusta Farmers Market at Mill Park – 70 State St, Augusta ME Tuesdays, 2-5  ***STARTING November 27th!

Bangor Farmers’ Market– Sea Dog Brewing Co. (Banquet Room) 26 Front Street in Bangor. 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month: December through April (no market on 4/21/19)

Belfast Farmers’ Market – Aubuchon Greenhouse – Rte 1, 231 Northport Ave. Fridays 9am – 1pm

Bridgton Farmers’ Market – Bridgton United Methodist Church, 214 Main Street. Every Saturday 9AM – Noon

Ellsworth Farmers’ Market – 142 Main Street, downtown Ellsworth. Saturdays 9:30am to 12:30pm.  Through Saturday December 15th. Check back for possible additional dates.

Hampden Farmers’ Market – Kiwanis Civic Center, 55 Main Rd. N. Every Friday 2:00pm-5:30pm through April!

Kittery Community Market – Kittery Community Center, 120 Rogers Road. Sundays 10am-2pm  on the following dates: Nov 18th, Dec 16th, Jan 20th , 2019, Feb 17th, 2019.

Lewiston Farmers’ Market – YWCA 130 East Ave. Sundays 10 am – 12 pm. Through February 24th, 2019.

Portland Farmers’ Market – Outside still! Stay tuned.

Saco River Farmers’ Market – Peppermill Mill Campus 40 Main St, Biddeford, ME. Saturdays 9-12:30pm through April 2019

Skowhegan Winter Farmers’ Market- November through April, the first and third Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00pm at Boynton’s Greenhouse

Waterville Farmers’ Market -New Colby Dorm Concourse in Downtown Waterville; Every Thursday, 2-6pm, December through April

 

How to use MHB at the farmers’ market





Every day of the week there is a farmers’ marketCSA or farm stand where you can find Maine Harvest Bucks available. All markets follow the same simple rules. No sign up is required and you will get BONUS fruits and vegetables when you shop with your SNAP/EBT/Food stamps. Every market has a friendly person to welcome you to the program and help you understand how to get the bonus bucks.

How to shop with Maine Harvest Bucks at a farmers’ market

The Skowhegan Farmers’ Market is one of 32 farmers’ markets where you can shop this summer and double your SNAP/EBT dollars. Every week the market has live music and a kids’ coloring activities table.

1) Start off by visiting the market info booth

You’ll be greeted by Darcy, the info booth manager. Darcy will give you a shopping sheet that you can use to shop with all 16 vendors at the market. Every Maine Harvest Bucks farmers’ market in Maine has an info booth where you start your shopping for credit/debit  or SNAP/EBT.

Darcy will process SNAP-EBT/Credit/Debit cards at the info booth.

2) Use the shopping sheet to shop for food with your SNAP/EBT card first

Most SNAP shoppers will buy non-produce items first, because they know they will be getting Maine Harvest Bucks to buy fruits and vegetables.

Many shoppers buy meat, eggs, and bread with their SNAP/EBT cards. Then they use the Maine Harvest Bucks to buy the fruits and vegetables.

3) When you are finished with your SNAP/EBT shopping, go check out at the info booth

You will be ringed up like a grocery store check-out. Except, you are outside, there’s music playing, and you just bought some incredible food!

4) You will receive $1 extra in Maine Harvest Bucks for every $1 you spend with SNAP

For instance, if you just paid $15 for eggs, meat and bread, then you will receive $15 in Maine Harvest Bucks vouchers to go buy fruits and veggies.

Farmers enjoy helping you shop with your Maine Harvest Bucks!

5) Go shop with your Maine Harvest Bucks

You can use it just like cash with farmers who sell fruits and vegetables. You can also save your MHB for a different day (or when blueberries are in season!)

Tips from shoppers

Many savvy Maine Harvest Bucks shoppers would recommend using your SNAP/EBT dollars on your proteins and grains and other non-produce items. At Skowhegan Farmers’ Market you can find an assortment of cheese (goat and cow), bread, honey, pork, beef, and eggs. There’s even a vendor who sells ready-to-heat-and-eat soups and homemade pasta from Maine-grown grains. All of this can be purchased with your SNAP/EBT card!

Then, of course, there’s the fruits and vegetables!

The Skowhegan Farmers’ Market has 5 farmers that grow all the fruits and vegetables you can imagine in Maine. In August, you can expect blueberries, summer squash, tomatoes, greens, onions, garlic, kale, broccoli, and so much more! The farmers at this market love to see people shopping with Maine Harvest Bucks.

Nothing tastes better (or lasts longer in the fridge) than produce that is harvested hours before you buy it at the farmers’ market. In peak season, the prices from some farmers are comparable to what you’ll find at a supermarket. However, supermarket food is likely not grown by your neighbor, nor was it picked fresh within the last 24 hours.

We hope to see you soon at a Maine Harvest Bucks market!

Senior Farm Shares- get yours now!

Any eligible senior gets $50 to spend with a local farmer.

If you are a Maine resident over the age of 60 and living on a fixed income, you may qualify for a $50 farm share from a local farmer. That’s $50 extra dollars to spend on local fruits and vegetables!

It’s easy to enroll in the program.  Sign up is done through the farmer of your choice.  Here is a list of all the participating farmers in the program. The list is broken down by County. When the list is released, call a farmer near you on the list for full details and to sign up.

Seniors can also contact the Area Agency on Aging for assistance in locating participating farmers by calling 1-877-353-3771.

To find out if you are eligible and for more information, visit this page.  Eligibility is based on your household income.

The Maine Senior FarmShare Program is administered through the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. 

 

 

Buy fresh food and seedlings this spring with Maine Harvest Bucks!

Shop Seedlings!

You can buy fruit and vegetable seedlings at the farmers’ market with SNAP or Maine Harvest Bucks. If you’re a gardener, be sure to get your seedlings from the experts- your local farmers. At this time of year, farmers are selling vibrant seedlings for your garden. This includes tomatoes, broccolli, kale, parsley, cucumbers   Just a few tomato plants can lead to an abundance of tomatoes come August and September!

Shop Veggies!

You’ll be surprised to see what vegetables are in season at farmers’ markets in May. Here’s a recipe for what to do with spring-dug parsnips! Many spring greens are filling up the shelves at farmers’ markets. A simple, light stir fry of greens, perhaps with a little soy sauce, can add a healthy side to any meal. Here’s a recipe that works well with any spring greens you may find at the market (bacon is optional!).

 

Keep an eye on the Maine Harvest Bucks website for further updates and to see what markets are operating the program in May.

Farmers’ Markets and Maine Harvest Bucks are moving back outside!

Spring has sprung! The weather is finally warming up in time for our farmers’ markets to move back outdoors. Are you shopping with SNAP this year? If yes, then come to one of the many farmers’ markets opening up and offering Maine Harvest Bucks.
Remember, Maine Harvest Bucks DOUBLES your SNAP dollars. Spend one dollar in SNAP, get one dollar in Maine Harvest Bucks to spend on fruits and vegetables. You can also spend SNAP and Maine Harvest Bucks on seedlings!
 

May farmers’ markets offering Maine Harvest Bucks

See you outside!
Click here for more details on the markets currently offering Maine Harvest Bucks! 

Augusta Farmers’ Market at Mill Park- 5/1/2018
 
Bucksport Bay Farmers’ Market -5/17/2018
 
Brunswick Topsham Land Trust (FM at Crystal Spring Farm)- 5/5/2018
 
Bridgton Farmers’ Market- 5/5/2018
 
Damariscotta Farmers’ Market- 5/18/2018
 

Ellsworth Farmers’ Market-

Look for the logo at a market near you!

5/5/2018

 
Hampden Farmers’ Market- 5/11/2018
 
Madison Farmers’ Market- 5/12/2018
 
North Berwick Farmers’ Market – 5/18/2018
 
Sanford Farmers’ Market- 5/5/2018
 
Skowhegan Farmers’ Market- 5/12/2018
 
Steep Falls Farmers’ Market- 5/5/2018
 
Waterville (Downtown) Farmers’ Market- 4/26/18
 

Keep in touch!

Keep checking our website for updates about more markets launching MHB this year.
Check your local market’s Facebook page and stay up to date.

Donate to Maine Harvest Bucks #NourishMaine

Donating to Maine Harvest Bucks is easy to do. Your donation in support of Maine Harvest Bucks will be addressed to the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets, as the administrator of Maine Harvest Bucks.

Mail your check to: MFFM 165 Sebasticook St., Pittsfield, ME 04967, or contribute online:

 

 

How to use SNAP at the Farmers’ Market

Using SNAP at Farmers’ Markets is Easy!

Gina at Waterville FM Info Booth

Shopping with your SNAP/EBT card at farmers’ markets in Maine is easy.  As a matter of fact, we hear from SNAP/EBT shoppers all the time, “I didn’t realize how easy it would be!” Shopping at the farmers’ market can be a little overwhelming if you are new to the scene. To make it easier, each of the markets that accepts SNAP (and there are now 35+markets that accept SNAP/EBT) have whats called an info booth, where you will find  a friendly person waiting  to welcome you and help you get started.

The simple how-to…

When you arrive 1) look for the info booth. If you can’t find the info booth, just ask a farmer or vendor. At most markets, you (like all other shoppers using any kind of card) will 2) receive a “shopping sheet”. With the shopping sheet in hand, you can proceed to 3) visit vendors and shop for SNAP-eligible products. With each vendor you shop at, they will write down the price of the food on the shopper sheet, which will be added up when you 4) return to the info booth.  Once back at the info-booth, the friendly staff will 5) swipe your EBT card and you’ll enter your PIN- just like at the grocery store.  You’ll receive a receipt back (which will state your remaining SNAP balance), and you may also receive Maine Harvest Bucks. Lastly, don’t forget to 6) enjoy your fresh, healthy and nutritious food!   If you’re not sure what to do with certain food items, find recipe and cooking resources here.

More affordable than a grocery store?

Grocery stores are the most popular place to find affordable food, which is essential when you’re on a limited food budget.  But, how do farmers’ markets compare? During a product’s peak season, you may find berries, eggs, fruits and vegetables that are just as affordable than what’s at the grocery store. It’s true that some local products, like dairy and meat, often cost more than their grocery store counterparts, but, the quality and freshness of local food is incomparable. To make local food even more affordable, many farmers’ markets accept Maine Harvest Bucks, which gives SNAP shoppers bonus bucks to spend on fresh produce. With Maine Harvest Bucks, farmers’ markets may be the best and most affordable place to spend limited SNAP funds.

Now get to the market!

Many markets have signs like this to help you find the info-booth.Now get to the market!  

Shopping with SNAP/EBT at farmers’ markets is very easy, and farmers are eager to welcome more SNAP shoppers to the market!  Find a market near you, and double-check the hours and location, on the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets website!