Your Market is Open, by Sarah Pebworth

Sarah Pebworth has a column in the Blue Hill Weekly Packet – Feb 22nd, 2024


Do you remember when the co-op moved to South Street? Do you remember when Largays was where the old co-op used to be? Or when Firepond was on the Mill Stream then Wescott Forge was there then 66 then Thurston’s then Blaze? But wait, I forgot Table, a farmhouse bistro. Do you recall South Street before we had the roundabout, before we had the trail to downtown, before we had the sidewalk, before Tradewinds became Hannafords?  


Can you count your time in Blue Hill by the winter market at Mainescape? Those blissful Saturday mornings, fueled by David Dillon at the espresso machine, anchored by Eliot Coleman’s vegetables from Four Season Farm and heavenly bread from TinderHearth Bakery? There was Mia with her noodles and miso soup in the far back corner. Farmers Courtney Haight, may he rest in peace; Noah, from Rainbow Farm, knitting while he sold us eggs and meat; and the Tylers, John and Betty, with pinup pics of the blondes they raise off Tamworth Farm Road. You might have seen a baby goat, heard live music, or headed home with a Ukranian egg.


You have to pity Mainescape owners Althea and Don: we’ve badgered them about any possible return of the winter market ever since. The pandemic changed so many things and how Mainescape could best use that retail space was one of them—we all did more gardening. The glass house was needed to sell us, not local goodies, but the plants we were clamoring for. There’s a rumor—just a possibility—the winter market might be back next year! (You heard it here first.)

In the meantime, we have the online market, FarmDrop.


If you’ve never heard of it, start by going to and watching well-produced short films about local farmers. You’ll learn about happy pigs, heritage apples, and pasture-raised poultry.


You might be enticed by the quality of the local meats available. You might like supporting a woman-owned, mission driven local business. Maybe you just like the idea of ordering farm eggs and fresh spinach online and picking them up at a neighbor’s barn. Or perhaps you want interesting prepared foods to drop in the oven or toaster after a busy day.


Or maybe it’s the idea that this model reduces waste and helps farmers. 


FarmDrop started here in Blue Hill in 2011 (thank you, Blue Hill Wine Shop family!) but now has three regions with mid-coast and mid-Maine. Hannah Semlar, gleaner extraordinaire, carries the title of CEO, which in this case stands for community engagement orchestrator. 


A well-designed object makes me swoon. FarmDrop’s website is easy to use and fun to peruse. The gentle reminders to order and pick up are direct and friendly. But like any business we love, we have to use it or we might lose it. What are you waiting for? “Your FarmDrop market is now open.” Order by Monday, pick up Wednesday. You’re welcome.


Sarah Pebworth