Doaks welcome visitors to Woodland for Maine Open Farm Day
Phil and Jackie Doak opened up their Maple Ridge Farm in Woodland for visitors on Sunday for Maine Open Farm Day.
Dozens of people looking for local food and crafts toured the Doak’s farm and newly built farm store on a crystal-clear summer day in The County. With homemade jams, jellies, soap and fresh lamb and pork available right at the store, Maple Ridge Farm was busy from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m..
In fact, the Doaks plan to have their freshly minted store open regularly — hours will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. The Doaks also sell their products at the farmer’s market in Presque Isle every Saturday.
Maine Open Farm Day is an annual statewide event during which farmers welcome visitors to show them how agriculture is flourishing in Maine. Locally, McElwain’s Strawberry Farm and Micmac Farms, both in Caribou, also welcomed visitors for the event.
Longtime farmers and businesspeople, the Doaks run their farm with local families in mind.
“Family is important to Phil and me,” said Jackie Doak, explaining how happy it had made her to see children checking out their baby chicks and flock of Romney-Dorset sheep on Sunday.
Both Jackie and Phil keep busy on the farm.
“My first love is jams and jellies,” said Jackie, surrounded by a wide variety of homemade treats in their new store. The Doaks also sell vinegar and pickles.
Although the items sell well, Jackie Doak said that the process of creating homemade food can be time consuming. Of the vinegar, Jackie said, “It takes a little longer to get the flavor.”
Another of the Doaks’ many enterprises is maple syrup. In the back room of their new store stand sparkling new evaporators for next year’s maple season. The farm, located on Margison Road in Woodland, is home to a large stand of sugar bush and a neighbor has also graciously said the Doaks can tap some nearby trees off that farm.
A sense of community is in the air on Maple Ridge Farm as the store also is stocked with soap and baskets made by neighbors right on Margison Road. The Doaks also sell affordable and well-crafted aprons made not far away in Washburn.
Maple Ridge Farm also offers hay for sale at $4/bale at the farm or $3/bale in the field. Phil Doak is experienced at making quality hay and sells decently sized square bales.
Longtime owners of Phil’s Florist in Caribou until 12 years ago when they sold that business, the Doaks have many loyal customers at their farm. The store is new — it had been open for just two days prior to Sunday — but the Doaks see many familiar faces when selling their meat products, jams, jellies, honey, and more.
Later in the season, the Doaks also plan to host special events on their farm. The activities — to be announced in detail at a later date — will be focused on family and seasonal farm events.
For more information, Maple Ridge Farm can be reached at 227-6173.