Living

Visitors enjoy petting zoo, plants and sun at Bouchard’s Country Store

FORT KENT, Maine — Families and garden enthusiasts gathered under sunny skies at Bouchard’s Country Store in Fort Kent on Saturday to enjoy a farm animal petting zoo and plant swap.

Children who visited Bouchard’s annual petting zoo viewed piglets and calves, pet baby rabbits and chicks and fed a dandelion-munching goat. The PAWS Animal Welfare Society also brought some kittens to the petting zoo.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Fort Kent Garden Group sponsored the plant swap outside the store.

Amy Ouellette, who attended with her daughter, Gracie Ouellette of Fort Kent, said the family frequently visits Bouchard’s Country Store and picked up new flower pots, seeds, tomato and broccoli plants, fiddleheads and some of Bouchard’s homemade ice cream on Saturday.

“My children especially love playing with the animals,” she said. “I love seeing our neighbors out and enjoying the beautiful spring day together after a long winter.”  

Cooperative Extension Regional Supervisor Lisa Fishman said many people visited the plant swap, during which local gardeners exchanged seedlings from their gardens and information about gardening.

“The popular thing this year happened to be herbs — lots and lots of herbs and flowers went out the door,” Fishman said. “I guess every year it’s something a little different that intrigues people. This year seemed to be herbs and flowers.”

The plant swap also included a children’s table where youngsters were able to plant their own seedlings and bring them home.

“It seemed to be popular with the kids that came by,” Fishman said. “They could grow either a flower (nasturtium), a bean or pumpkin seeds. When I mentioned that they could eat the flower and leaf of the flower, it seemed to be the one the kids all wanted to grow after that.”

The garden group is accepting new members, including those new to gardening, Fishman said. The group holds regular meetings at the University of Maine at Fort Kent to discuss gardening and share ideas.

“Come along — bring a friend — anyone who has an interest in doing some gardening in the community or an interest in learning a little more about gardening, ” Fishman said. “We have some master gardeners who are part of the group. They are a great source of information.”

For more information about the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Fort Kent Garden Group, call Lisa Fishman at (207) 834-3905.

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