August 2018 — Summer’s bounty can be found at farmers markets and at farm table dinners all over Maine this month. But the cool nights of August are also a reminder that fall is on the horizon. So it’s a good month to plan an incredible foliage drive in the state, head north for the best fly fishing of the year or plan a trip to the largest annual seaplane gathering in the state. August also marks the debut of a landmark show of American artworks at the Portland Museum of Art. For writers, editors and bloggers looking for short-lead news, you’ll find immediate details under Happening Now. Those in search of longer lead news can scroll down to the Looking Ahead section.
Barn Dinners and Community Suppers
The community suppers, pancake breakfasts and bean-hole bean gatherings held in church halls and granges all over the state in August are a real hallmark of a Maine summer. So are farm-field-to-farm-table dinners. Flanagan’s Table, at The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Buxton, is a monthly dinner held to benefit the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. Other inventive field-to-table dinners are found at Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport, a working organic farm, and at The Well at Jordan’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth. In the southern Maine village of Standish is The Stone Barn at Sebago Lake, set on an 18-acre organic crop and livestock farm on Saint Joseph’s College’s 474-acre campus. It serves as the venue for a limited number of summer and fall farm-table dinners created by Maine chefs Mary Paine and Scott Walsh. At Nebo Lodge on North Haven Island, the bounty comes directly from Turner Farm, just three miles away. Every Thursday from July through mid-September, Nebo Lodge hosts five-course feasts at the Turner Farm barn, where you can enjoy a glass of wine or one of Maine's craft beers before sitting down to dinner as the sun sets over the fields. Go to Visit Maine for more details.
Farmers Markets Statewide
August is a bountiful month at the dozens of farmers markets found statewide. In Downeast Maine, head to Eastport, Lubec and Machias. Further west along the coast, there are dozens of markets, including Bath, Boothbay and Brunswick. Head inland and you’ll discover the Skowhegan Farmers’ Market at the Somerset Gristmill. In Western Maine, the Bridgton Farmers’ Market, the Bethel Farmers’ Market and the Kingfield Farmers Market offer the best of the season. There are now farmers markets every day of the week in Maine, from the Sunday markets in Lewiston and Scarborough to the Deer Isle Night Market on Tuesdays and the Castine Farmers Market on Thursdays. The Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets has an interactive map to help you find the closest market.
“Americans Abroad, 1860-1915” at the Portland Museum of Art
In the late 19th century, American artists headed off to Europe in search of inspiration. This summer, works by these artists, including Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent and Mary Cassatt, will be on view at the Portland Museum of Art’s (PMA) exhibition, Americans Abroad, 1860–1915. The exhibit will feature watercolors, prints and paintings by American artists who travelled to Europe for training, as well as inspiration, in the late 19th century. It will include gems of the PMA collection as well as special loans. The exhibition runs from August 15 to December 2, 2018. Visit the Portland Museum of Art.
Maine’s Classic Foliage Routes
Maine offers some of the most spectacular fall foliage in the country. Classic drives include a Midcoast tour from Brunswick heading Down East along Route 1, pausing at Pemaquid Point, Boothbay Harbor and Friendship. Go further east and drive the Acadia Byway through Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. In Western Maine, the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway follows Routes 17 and 4, close to the Appalachian Trail and through a landscape of rolling hills and mountains, with Height of Land on Route 17 offering breathtaking views of Mooselookmeguntic and Upper Richardson Lakes. Both the Sunday River ski area in Newry and Sugarloaf ski area in Carrabassett Valley offer foliage viewing from chair lifts. Further south, explore the rural areas near Fryeburg, Evans Notch and Bridgton. Go to Visit Maine for more inspiration.
International Seaplane Fly-In
Seaplanes, which are also known as floatplanes, are a way of life in Maine. It’s how fishermen, hunters and tourists get around the northern part of Maine, and they are often the only way to reach remote camps and resorts on the thousands of lakes and ponds that dot the state. This world of planes and pilots is celebrated at the 45th annual International Seaplane Fly-In on the shores of Moosehead Lake from September 6-9, 2018. Close to 200 aircraft are expected at this year’s event, where pilots get a chance to show off their skills and fans can get up close to some rare vintage aircraft. Go to the International Seaplane Fly-In for more details
Maine Sporting Camps for Fall Fishing
The ultimate time for a classic Maine sporting camp getaway is in the fall, when fishing for trout and landlocked salmon is at its peak. Maine sporting camps typically feature lake-side cabin accommodations and home-cooked family-style meals. “Sports” head out for the day, often in the company of a registered Maine guide, by boat, canoe or floatplane to explore different waters. Check in with the 40-plus members of the Maine Sporting Camp Association, who are scattered across the northern half of the state offering some of the best fishing and old-fashioned accommodations in the Northeast.