The Star-Herald

Holiday Festival Market (but no unicorns)

The very fortunate have experienced the pure joy found in Sheldon Silverstein’s poetry, either as the beloved reader to Little People or as a Little Person squirming with pleasure at the charming, colorful characters who populate his story poems.  If you are of a certain age, you may even recall one of his poems put to music as the theme song for The Irish Rovers. ”There were green alligators and long-necked geese, humpty-backed camels, and chimpanzees…” The Unicorn Song offers an explanation as to why unicorns are no longer among us    All but the silly unicorns gathered in pairs on Noah’s arc just before the skies opened up for 40 days and nights!

Venders had an equally exciting adventure last month at the Harvest Festival Market hosted by Micmac Farms.  The heavens opened up and dropped snow and sleet rather than rain; transportation included SUV’s, vans, and one very stoic horse rather than an arc.  The other animals present included beef, pork, lamb, fish, and fowl, cut and wrapped in vac-packs or paper wrap. Home kitchens generated jars of jams and preserves, honey and maple syrup, pickles and candies.  Bakers came with delicious bread, rolls, muffins, sweets and treats. Staples meet specialty items in the form of roasted coffee beans, specially blended teas, home grown and hand ground grains. Heaps of winter vegetables like squashes, pumpkins, potatoes, onions, garlic as well as dried beans and some tough-enough greens rounded out an extensive selection of Aroostook County grown products.  Local musicians kept things lively throughout the day.

Matched pairs of customers came aboard with bright eyes and exclamations of pleasure at the scents, sights and sounds within.  Venders greeted them with big smiles of their own. An attitude of bonhomie permeated the room. To a (wo)man, those who ventured out in the snow to participate in the Harvest Festival Market was pleased to be there, excited by the prospect of supporting local agriculture, and genuine in their desire to turn their purchases into gifts or mouth-watering holiday fare.  

Jacob Pelkey, the Noah for this modern-day arc, commented how pleased he was with how well the first ever winter market came off, not without a hitch, but perhaps because of it.  In fact, it was so much fun that we are going to take another crack at it this month. On Saturday, December 15, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., you will find a Holiday Festival Market hosted by Micmac Farms on Route 1 near the Presque Isle/Caribou line.  More than 20 Aroostook farmers and food producers will bring their wares, talented local musicians will bring their instruments, and loyal customers will bring their gift lists and holiday plans. You can even buy a hot lunch. “Cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you’re born, don’t you forget my unicorns.”

The Presque Isle Farmers’ Market president for the 2018 season is Deena Albert-Parks of Chops Ahoy Farm in Woodland. For information about participating or visiting the market, contact her at hoctrainer@aol.com.

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