As the snow and ice recede, Aroostook County Fiddlehead pickers are starting to advertise their bounty for sale. Many fiddlehead vendors set up shop along North Main St. in Presque Isle. Some are even willing to ship to customers outside the area.
The Presque Isle Air Museum announced that a squadron of around 10 C-47 transport aircraft will be flying over Presque Isle on Sunday, May 19 and then land at Presque Isle International Airport for a short layover.
The squadron of C-47s are making their way to France to take part in the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
The squadron will land at Presque Isle International Airport at the General Aviation terminal, weather permitting, around 11:00 a.m. and stay on the ground for approximately two hours.
The public is invited to be a part of this historic flight as it takes part in the D-Day festivities. Parking for the event will be in the Coca-Cola plant lot at 1005 Airport Drive with Presque Isle Historical Society’s Molly the Trolley providing free shuttle rides across to the plane viewing area.
There was a spectacular Easter Sunday sunset over most of Aroostook County, Maine last night. Up in the Allagash, the sunset turned the river a pink glow. Tylor Kellys Camps caught some ice chunks floating down the river during the show.
If you plan to visit Aroostook County in 2019 please take a few minutes of your time and take our survey. Your time will help us better understand the tourism industry in Northern Maine and allow us to better serve you!
Fiddlehead picking in Maine is a tradition that has its roots in Native American times. Many Mainers can recall the time-honored family tradition of fiddleheadin’ with their parents and grandparents, and it has become a cherished springtime ritual. The tradition of fiddleheads is so rooted in Maine culture that there is even an annual “Fiddlehead Foodie Fest” in May celebrating the delicacy with cooking contests and tastings by well-known local chefs.
Fiddleheads are the coiled tips of young ostrich ferns that grow near brooks, rivers and lakes in Maine during late April, May and early June, depending on when the snow has melted. Because they need to be picked before they unfurl into the large fronds of the fern, Maine’s spring fiddlehead-picking season is short, only four to six weeks long. With their short growing season, this wild delicacy is a highly coveted sign of spring renewal.
Fiddleheads are delicious and have a woodsy taste like asparagus, spinach and mushrooms combined. They are high in vitamins A and C, rich with assorted minerals and low in calories. Whether you pick them yourself, or source them at a local market or farm stand—there are a few things you should know.
There is an unwritten rule about picking. Only two or three fiddleheads should be taken from each clump, leaving some on the plant to mature and reproduce.
Pick only enough for you and leave some for the next picker.
Make sure you have permission from the landowner to pick.
It’s important to clean and cook fiddleheads properly.
Rub off the brown papery skin.
Wash thoroughly several times until the water runs clean.
Cook them thoroughly—at least 10 minutes. Undercooked or raw fiddleheads can make you sick.
A traditional fiddlehead preparation is to boil and serve with a little butter and salt, but if you are lucky enough to visit Maine during the fiddlehead season, the “locavore” foodie movement in Maine takes on a whole new level of excitement in celebrating all of Maine’s finest springtime treats! With the ever-increasing popularity of farm-to-table cooking and a reliance on local products as much as possible, Maine chefs are taking the fiddlehead tradition to a whole new level. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has published a helpful fiddlehead fact sheet including many recipes, available here.
Aroostook County is the place for your summer adventure and there are few adventures that compare to canoeing and camping along the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. Check out this excellent video showing some of the remarkable scenery you’ll experience on this trip.
Contributed to The County.me by Steve Dobson owner of Aroostook Hospitality Inn located in Washburn and Van Buren
I own and operate two small mom and pop motels in The County, by the name of the Aroostook Hospitality Inn.
That was a great Crown and Down column Paula Brewer wrote about supporting local businesses, and I agree with everything said. However, the local business owners also need to understand they cannot scalp the local shoppers and tourists who shop here.
Let me give you an example. I needed some toner for one of my laser printers. I had been buying my equipment from a local office supply store. When I went back to the store where I bought the printer, I told them what I needed. No problem, they had it in stock. When they brought it out to me the bill was $145. I thought that was a bit much but it was a local person so I paid it.
When I got back and opened it up, it was an Amazon product. I decided to check what the store paid for the product through Amazon. Much to my amazement, they paid $35 for the product, and it was shipped free.
I took it back and complained. This particular business said they had to make a living and they could not take it back because the package had been opened. Needless to say I have never returned to that particular business, and I tell everyone who happens to ask what my experience has been with that business.
I believe that businesses can and will thrive in Aroostook County, if everyone would work together and treat people fair and honest. I believe that most businesses in The County are fair and honest, but it only takes a few to give everyone else a bad name.
Steve Dobson Aroostook Hospitality Inn Washburn Van Buren
Some photos from around the Crown of Maine over the last few days.
For Sale: Log Cabin on Pleasant Lake
2 bed 2 bath year round lakefront home in Island Falls, Maine. This home has been meticulously cared for and has owned frontage on Pleasant Lake. Features many amenities including Vermont Castings wood stove, oak flooring, ash cabinetry, marble counter tops, and custom details! $325,000. Call Deb today for more info: (207) 852-7577
A slideshow of harvesting potatoes along the Saint John River Valley in New Brunswick. Like Maine, this area has a long history of farming potatoes and people working hard to get the crop in.
I Survived Picking Potatoes T-Shirt
For many years in Northern Maine, school would recess in the Fall and kids would spend long hard days working in the potato fields. Pick up potatoes, fill a basket, dump the basket in a barrel and repeat. When the barrel was full you earned $0.25. Repeat until sunset or longer. Many kids would use the money to buy school clothes or other necessities. Were you part of this tradition?