Foothills Food Festival in downtown Norway offers a full plate Saturday

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FOOD — The annual Foothills Food Festival opens Saturday, Aug. 12, at noon in downtown Norway. It will feature workshops, music, speakers, beer and, of course, food.

NORWAY — A celebration of local food, brew and music are on offer on Main Street in Norway on Saturday, Aug. 14, from noon to 9 p.m.

The Foothills Food Festival promises a day filled with fun for all ages.

Music 

Kicking off the event on the main stage in Longley Square, Norway’s own, Singepole Mountain Band will begin the day’s lineup. Next, hear the sounds of the Caribbean by Maine’s premier Reggae band, Stream Reggae. Or start the day off with an interactive children’s concert with Roger Tincknell, who will perform at noon at Alan Day Community Garden on Whitman Street.

Wear your dancing shoes, because this year’s Foothills Food Festival features some incredible musicians and bands from right here in Norway, including The Youngerboods with its energetic soul/funk/blues infusion, Earthfunk’s guitar, percussion and bass trio, the acoustic and vocal harmonies of Pond Scum, and headliners for this year’s festival, The Cobblestones, featuring the sounds of acoustic rock and Americana roots.

Knowledge

Sharing the main stage are two of Maine’s leading local food advocates, Marge Kilkelly and Bonnie Rukin. Kilkelly is both a farmer and policy expert in agriculture on both the state and national level and serves as senior policy advisor for Sen. Angus King. She will address the importance of the 2018 Farm Bill, which will set federal agricultural regulations for the subsequent five years and is of critical importance to small-scale agricultural producers here in Maine.

Rukin, coordinator of Slow Money Maine since 2010, is a social change activist who will raise the question, “How do we, as people who care about growing and eating healthy food, ‘step up the plate’ as we build local food economies, wherever we live, in this changing culture?” Rukin will be available throughout the day for conversations and to answer questions.

Education

Educational tables and presentations will share valuable information about Maine’s food system. There will be information about the Maine Network of Community Food Councils, and folks from the Good Food Council of Lewiston Auburn will discuss their Community Food Charter.

“Tent Talks” and discussions will be held in the education tent, located near the kiosk in Longley Square. The Oxford County Cooperative Extension will discuss season extension.

Maine Farmland Trust and the Maine Farmers Market Federation will discuss the Local Food Access Network that provides nutrition incentives through markets for Maine products.

Jumper Hill Farm in Harrison will demonstrate growing mushrooms and Standard Baking Company will demonstrate making sourdough.

The Maine Food Atlas will showcase this growing online resource. GOT Farms will share about the greenhouse project at SAD 44 in Bethel.

Members of the Maine Gleaning Network and the Maine Food Recovery Coalition will discuss food waste. Western Foothills Land Trust will discuss farmland preservation in this area.

There will also be tables providing information and resources for the Maine Coast Fishermen Association on Maine fish and seafood, the Norway Lakes Association on water quality, Alan Day Community Garden projects and the Oxford County Democrats on food-related legislation.

Stearns Hill Farm will discuss farm histories, and Grazing Maine will discuss raising critters.

There will also be information provided by the Maine Food Strategy, Cooperative Maine, the Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree’s Food Recovery Act, Organics Research Act and 2018 Farm Bill summary.

Food

This year’s Foothills Food Festival will feature a full plate of options.

AND MORE FOOD — A diversified assortment of food offerings will tease the palate at the Foothills Food festival Saturday, Aug. 12, in Norway.

Returning for year two, Fiddlestick Farm will feature its homemade ravioli made with foraged fiddleheads and mushrooms, as well as wood-fired pizza sourced with local ingredients.

Riverside Lodge and Sauna will make homemade meatballs and a variety of desserts.

Also returning are Alan Day Community Garden and Café DiCoco with Chef Anna Sysko. Both are sure to have plenty of vegetarian options.

New to this year’s food festival is 2016 Maine Battle of the Food Trucks Winner, Pinky D’s, who will feature classic poutine with a whole new twist.

Also joining the festival are Worth the Wait BBQ, Coffee from Maine Morning Roasters of Bridgton, and locally made ice cream from Smedberg Farm of Oxford.

Come hungry and remember to refuel when you’ve danced the day away.

Market 

One of the goals of the festival is to support local farmers, who are vital to the food system and local economy. Food vendors are highly encouraged to incorporate local foods into their menu, and for most of them, that is their specialty. A highlight of this year’s festival will be a robust farmers’ market with local producers we know and love, but who might be new to you. Make sure to stop by, say hello, and pick up some fresh produce, meat, eggs, cheese and more from the farmers’ market.

At the market this year is Roberts Farm, a unique partnership between Western Foothills Land Trust and the SAD 17 school district, where kids are learning skills of gardening and growing food.

Mid Ridge Farm of Casco and Ordway Grove of Norway will have a variety of seasonal vegetables.

Pie Tree Orchard of Sweden will also bring vegetables. Back To Roots of West Paris will come with its specialty flavors of popcorn, while Beacon Blessings of Oxford will have homemade jams, jellies, barbecue sauce, and ketchup.

MOFGA-certified Wildfire Fellowship farm of Buckfield will offer its full fair of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Jumpers Hill Farm of Harrison will sell its recently harvested garlic, as well as introduce a new business venture, Shady Grove mushrooms at Jumpers Hill Farm. Mighty Maine Greens of Woodstock will offer micro greens. Beech Hill of Waterford is known for Bison meat, but did you also know they are certified MOFGA vegetable growers?

Joining this year is Maine Morning Micro Roasters of Denmark whose coffee beans are sourced from farms that support social, economic, and environmental development projects.

Welcomed back is the Alan Day Community Garden, a nonprofit of Norway, whose mission is to cooperatively create an educational demonstration garden, where people can grow their own food, using organic, sustainable methods to support an enduring community food system. Its youth leadership program has been instrumental in its CSA and will offer fresh market vegetables at the 2017 Foothills Food Festival.

Taps

Maine is quickly rising as a craft brew scene so sample some of its brews. A beer garden bracelet can be purchased ahead of time on Eventbrite at www.eventbrite.com/e/foothills-food-festival-beer-garden-tickets-3671823… or the day of the festival.

The roster includes the likes of Portland-based Allagash Brewing Company, Saco River Brewing, Pennesseewassee Brewing, Sunday River Brewing Company, Bear Bones Beer, Banded Horn Brewing Company, Sebago Brewing Company, Ricker’s Cider and Norway Brewing Company. Joining brewers in the tent are Blue Ox Malt House and Maine Grains.

The Festival is a celebration of local foods in Maine’s western foothills and is organized by the local community food council, Community Food Matters, which is based out of the Center for Ecology-Based Economy.

The 2017 Foothills Food Festival is made possible by the generous donations and contributions of community partners New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, Maine Farmland Trust, Pie Tree Orchard, Norway Savings Bank, Wheeler Insurance, Norway Brewing Company, Green Machine Bike Shop, GOT Farms and Oxford County 5210 Let’s Go!