Different yet familiar: Peninsula Fall Festival, Blue Hill

Passing out samples of a hearty winter stew and potatoes is Mark Desantis, chef at nearby Brooklin Inn on Eggemoggin Reach.

Passing out samples of a hearty winter stew and potatoes is Mark Desantis, chef at nearby Brooklin Inn on Eggemoggin Reach.

On our resumes, we just may have to list “festivalgoer” on the space reserved for non-paying occupations.  After all, we’ve peeled crustaceans at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival in Louisiana and sampled pimento cheese biscuits at Knoxville’s International Biscuit Festival with party stops in between.  And even it it’s trite to say: we truly have never met a festival we didn’t like.

Peninsula Harvest Festival in Blue Hill, Maine, just gave us another glimpse of life (and tastes) of Down East while mingling with Mainers and getting a feel for why folks take pride  in locally sourced foods. Blue Hill Heritage Trust sponsored this third-year event  held at Mainescape Nursery & Garden Shop in Blue Hill.

Site of Peninsula Fall Festival:  Mainescape Nursery & Garden Shop

Site of Peninsula Fall Festival: Mainescape Nursery & Garden Shop

Located near the entrance, hand dyed yarn by String Theory added a tactile interest to the festival.  Socks, shawls, and caps knitted with blends of merino wool and cashmere begged to be touched, but not bought:  display only.

It was the yarn itself — dyed by hand — that was for sale and made people dream of spending cold winters by the fire, needles and soft threads in hand.

Colorful bins of hand-dyed yarn waiting to be touched and bought!

Colorful bins of hand-dyed yarn waiting to be touched and bought!

Another crafty Mainer from Blue Hill Spoonworks knew what to do to get us to part with our money.  His invitation to touch and hold the few pieces he had left of birds-eye maple had us opening our wallets.  Now, we’ll be cooking, stirring, and tasting Maine long after vacation ends.

Great to hold, even better for cooking:  hand-made wooden spoons from Blue Hill Spoonworks.

Great to hold, even better for cooking: hand-made wooden spoons from Blue Hill Spoonworks.

Since food’s a big draw for us, we were in luck.  No shortages here.  But it wasn’t always something familiar.

New to Us:

Goat’s Milk Fudge

Goat's Milk Fudge at Peninsula Fall Festival

Goat’s Milk Fudge at Peninsula Fall Festival

Maine Maple Syrup (OK, we’ve heard of Vermont maple syrup, but this is the first from Maine we’ve seen.)

Maine Maple Syrup at Peninsula Fall Festival

Maine Maple Syrup at Peninsula Fall Festival

Mini Whoopie Cupcakes — a version of Whoopie Cakes, but smaller — and maybe cuter.

MaVa's Mini Whoopie Cupcakes

MaVa’s Mini Whoopie Cupcakes

Local oysters on the halfshell — You don’t see these passed out at festivals in Tennessee, but in Maine, you do!

Passing our free samples of local oysters on the half shell.  Oh, my.

Passing our free samples of local oysters on the half shell. Oh, my.

A Maine take on familiar goods:

Crepes

Apple crepes!

Apple crepes!

Colorful, imported rugs

Colorful rugs to keep your feet warm during Maine winters!

Colorful rugs to keep your feet warm during Maine winters!

And pumpkins by the cartload

Could it even dare to be a fall festival without a cart full of punkins?

Could it even dare to be a fall festival without a cart full of punkins?

But the prize for most unusual items on a table (for us, at least) had to be Pickled Quail Eggs and Rabbit Handpies from Sweet Life Flower Farm in Sedgwick.  Of course, as Southerners do, we struck up a conversation with the lady at the table who told us, “Yes, I boil the quail eggs, peel them, and pickle them all myself.”  She’s definitely dedicated.

Sign for quail eggs and whole meat rabbit.

Sign for quail eggs and whole meat rabbit.

Jar of picked quail eggs from Sweet Life Flower Farm

Jar of picked quail eggs from Sweet Life Flower Farm

The day ended as sweetly as it began with a mini-concert by a talented 16-year-old whose mother stood beside us, toe-tapping and beaming with pride.

Young entertainer at Peninsula Harvest Festival - drawing a crowd with his toe-tapping music.

Young entertainer at Peninsula Harvest Festival – drawing a crowd with his toe-tapping music.

And then there was this guy who might have been a plumber in a former life.

Pumpkin Man!

Pumpkin Man!

All good, if you ask us.  And just another reason to be a festivalgoer in Maine.

For more information:  Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce

About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
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7 Responses to Different yet familiar: Peninsula Fall Festival, Blue Hill

  1. OOh food festivals. Now you are talking my language! Yum! Lots of original goodies out there. Betting my hubby would love pickled quail eggs! ( But I will definitely pass on the rabbit pie 🙂 Looks like so much FUN!
    Peta

    • You’re so right — regional food is a joy to discover. I’m not always as adventurous as I perhaps should be, but I still like to hear about how things grow and how they are prepared in different regions of the country. This is fun, because meeting people and getting to know our country better is one of my favorite things to do. Thanks for your comments.

  2. Lulu says:

    This looks like an event to add to my list of things to do in Maine.

    • Any time we can attend something local, we do. Today, we went to a used book sale at the local library. The people there couldn’t have been nicer, and we got away with several books about the area. Isn’t it great to travel and see/hear different things? Thanks so much for your comment.

  3. Laughing about the plumber pumpkin man, Rusha. Looks like a fun festival. And I with you. I’ve never met one I didn’t like. –Curt

    • Give me a festival, and I’m there. I like talking to vendors and farmers and sampling the food the best. I listen for different accents, and they all seem to enjoy my Southern drawl. Although we have a lot in common in the U.S., it’s the differences and the finding of them that makes travel so much fun!

      • Agreed, each region and culture has its own unique twist. It keeps life interesting and also helps to maintain cultures and diversity in a positive way. –Curt

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