In our rural area, farming and agriculture are an integral part of the culture. The best places to shop for local, in season produce, homemade pies, bread, eggs, meat, cheese, even bouquets of fresh cut flowers are Farmer's markets and farm stands. You can pick up some fiddleheads in spring (fern-like greens that are delicious fried up in some butter) in spring or fresh berries in the summer. Better yet, visit a Pick-Your-Own Farm and spend the morning on a quiet hillside, gathering fruit for a homemade pie for your supper. Many of these places also have homemade jams and preserves that make great gifts or souvenirs.
Many of our small farms are organic thanks to MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners) one of the nation's oldest and strongest advocates for organic food (if you're searching the MOFGA site, Hancock County is the western portion of our region, Washington County is the eastern portion). And there is a lively artisanal movement in cheese, microbrews, bread, chocolate, and other specialty foods. Cooking classes, demonstrations, and pick-your-own--mussels, blackberries, sunflowers, strawberries--are a wonderful way to participate directly in the Downeast's lively food culture.
The season dictates the menu: fresh strawberry shortcake in June, salmon and peas for the 4th of July, blueberry pancakes in August and freshly-pressed cider and pumpkins in the fall.
August through October is the time for agricultural fairs and celebrations, like the Blue Hill Fair (where E. B. White's Charlotte built her fictional web), the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival or Stonington's Fisherman's Day where you can try your hand at the haddock relay race or savor a lobster roll down on the pier.