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 listof 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.
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!
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!).
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
Click herefor 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-
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.
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 what’scalledan“infobooth,”whereyouwillfindafriendlypersonwaiting 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!
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’ Marketswebsite!