Archive for August, 2010

Note: Farmers Fare closed in June 2011.

Belfast-based designer, Patricia Shea, who writes the fun dessert lover’s blog, Pattern Patisserie, sent a glowing email about Farmer’s Fare in Rockport—a market/eatery featuring locally grown produce, Maine cheeses, coffees, spices and specialty food items.

Outside is a wrap-around deck that’s perfect for families

Not long ago, MP decided to stop in for a much needed caffeine fix and a treat for the kids. She was immediately impressed by the display of local children’s books and handmade gifts at the entrance. And all of us were taken with the bountiful baskets of fruits, vegetables and flowers.

Temptation in the form of local veggies

A tomato tasting station, which offered varieties from Green Arrow Farms in Searsmont, delighted CP #1—a self-described tomato fanatic. Her brother, who has yet to meet a vegetable he likes, was quick to find the play area, equipped with a pretend market and giant, felt foods.

CP#1 would have eaten all of the samples if we let her

CP#2 offering Mom a nice bunch of felt grapes

MP and DP sought out iced coffee and discovered a freezer full of lemon and blueberry sorbet made by Gelato Fiasco in Brunswick. Most surprisingly, these perfect, single serving size cups were free. The kind folks at Farmers Fare invite guests to experience “The Frozen Joy,” with a pay-it-forward policy. Have a $1 on you? Great. If not, contribute next time.

Maine Wild Blueberry sorbet. Yum!

The kids devoured their sorbet in minutes, and MP wished she had room for the decadent Coconut Moo Shake. Or the fabulous looking vegetable torte. Or just about anything in Farmers Fare deli case.

Farmers Fare
Route 90 and Cross Street
Open Mon. – Sat: 8am to 6pm
Closed Sundays

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Last Sunday, the team discovered the ever-so-gorgeous Merryspring Nature Center in Camden.Thanks to our friends, Nate and Mary Larlee, who celebrated their wedding at Merryspring, we were able to spend hours taking in the wildflowers, perennials and fields around the park.

Hydrangeas. A garden gazebo. What’s not to love?

MP fell for the gardens, especially a space designed just for kids. And it was fun to watch her duo, along with other wee wedding guests, launch foam stomp rockets into an open field nearby.

The children’s garden invites kids to explore without limits

Entrance to the children’s garden

CP#1 watches her stomp rocket take to the skies

CP #2 liked trying out the benches throughout the gardens, while his sister was charmed by a small cottage hidden among the blooms.

A boy and his bench

The 66-acre, nature preserve also offers easy, family- and pet- friendly walking trails, an arboretum and several shaded spots to enjoy a picnic lunch.

While MP was checking out Merryspring’s web site, she noticed the park also holds some free family activities, including an upcoming Fort Building and Fairy Houses event (September 12) and an Enchanted Forest party, featuring trails aglow with jack ‘o lanterns (Oct. 31).

Merryspring Nature Center
30 Conway Road (off Route 1)
Free admission & parking

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Last weekend, the team traveled to Camden/Rockport for a friend’s wedding. The rehearsal dinner took place at Rockport Marine Park and we can’t imagine a lovelier setting for a family celebration. CP#1’s and #2’s Uncle Neil, who was visiting from San Francisco, took one look at the picturesque harbor and said, “I want to move here.” We’re fairly certain most visitors are similarly charmed. The park offers generous open space for kids to run and play, along with views of lobster boats and schooners.

Just one of several lovely views around the harbor

The park is also home to honorary harbormaster André the Seal, who spent summers entertaining visitors to Rockport Harbor. Today, a granite statue commemorating André resides in the park. Our duo was taken with André, and took turns pretending to feed him pebbles, while asking what it’s like to be a seal. (more…)

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We are thrilled by the responses to our latest giveaway. Thanks to all who entered! Our 3 winners were chosen based on the beaches’ unique locale and family-friendly vibe. So without further ado, congratulations to:

• Michelle Webb (Peaks-Kenny State Park, Dover-Foxcroft)

• April Cloutier (Ferry Beach State Park, Saco)

• Harmony Lattin (Sand Beach, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor)

Sand Beach at Acadia National Park

We can’t wait to hear more about our winners’ experiences, and look forward to upcoming posts on these three fabulous beaches.  As promised, each of the winners will also receive a free, one-day Maine State Park pass from our friends at the Maine Department of Conservation.

Interested in finding out more about Maine beaches? Check out Park Search and this helpful, Acadia National Park site for great information. We also love this site for its handy list designed for beach-goers.

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Not long ago, the team ventured to Ocean Park—also known as the quieter side of Old Orchard Beach. We loved exploring the wide, sandy beach, but what really interested us was the Ocean Park Soda Fountain, complete with heart-shaped chairs, wooden booths and pinstripe valances on the windows. It’s not unusual to find a line out the door, but the young staff works quickly while patiently answering questions about the ice cream. Don’t be fooled by the sign outside, there are a lot of unique flavors to be had. (more…)

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CP#1 and #2 during a recent visit to Reid State Park

The team at Cute Potato is having a wildly busy summer. We’ve opened the doors of our little house to family and friends for most of July and there’s no sign of slowing down in August. With that in mind, we’re looking to our readers for help. Tell us your family’s favorite Maine beach and you could win a Guest Blogging spot on Cute Potato. Send your stories, pictures and all the wonderful little details that make this particular beach your fave. Plus, three lucky winners will receive a free day pass to any Maine State Park.

Giveaway ends Wednesday, August 4th. We can’t wait to hear your suggestions!

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