Summer’s Bounty

Visiting the Deer Isle or Stonington farmers market at this particular point in August takes me back to my childhood when a trip to the beach, or a day on the waters of New England were followed by a stop at a farm stand, where we loaded up with plump tomatoes and sweet corn.  At the often un-attended small shack on the side of the road, we felt privileged the owners trusted us to leave the correct amount of money, so we were always sure to count it out carefully.

Coated in sand and salt and glowing with the effects of the sun, we’d take our bounty home where my mother would serve the tomatoes with a pinch of both sugar and salt, and dinner would offer that perfect combination of fresh corn, sliced tomatoes, and boiled new potatoes with butter. For me, those wonderful vegetables were the stars of the meal, and the meat or fish was the accompaniment.  If blueberries were still lingering, then homemade blueberry pie would complete the experience.  This was back in the day when August was lazy and relaxed, and excessive use of sunscreen, or the dread of returning to school before September didn’t exist.

I can’t imagine a life without these experiences, which is why Deer Isle and this particular neck of the Maine coast are so wonderful and unique within the context of our busy, complicated world. We are blessed with many organic farms and farmers markets, and you’ll still find those un-attended farm stands that bring out the best in us.  That intoxicating combination of salt air, a day on the water, late summer sun, and earthy vegetables, is something every child should have in their memory bank. 

The Deer Isle farmer’s market takes place every Wednesday starting at 9:30AM, and the Stonington market is Fridays at 10AM. For a day at the beach or on the water, Sand Beach in Stonington, and Old Quarry Ocean Adventures for a kayaking trip are good bets. — Tina Oddleifson