Freshness to the Max...
It Starts Here.
We Love Local
Uncle Dean's loves supporting local farmers, bakers, and candle-stick makers. These are our friends, neighbors, and fellow Maine-ers. They, like us, want to get back to basics and make available the best quality products to our customers. These small businesses often got their start out of a desire for better quality products for themselves and their families. Now we get to share in the bounty!
Whether it's home-made breads and salsas, freshly harvested produce, free-range chicken eggs, or pasture-raised beef, Uncle Dean's supports local producers. We want to provide our customers with the best Maine has to offer, and items that you can't buy at the big-box stores. We think we do a pretty darn good job of it, too!
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(keep scrolling for the insider stories of some of our local vendors!)
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Buy Local, Support Maine: Full Fork Farm
For the past 200 years, the beautiful, rolling acreage on Dutton Road in China, Maine has been used as farmland in one way or another. To the casual observer, another farmer purchasing the old farmstead near Dutton Pond with hopes of continuing the longstanding farm tradition, most likely would have been of little note. This new owner is, indeed, continuing the tradition, but with a drastically different ideology than recent previous owners.
Historically, the farm had been cultivated with a more conventional mindset. Anson Biller, founder and owner of the current Full Fork Farm, has set out to change that. While many small-scale farms are set on pursuing MOFGA certification, Anson has a slightly different priority in his farming endeavor: creating a full circle farm. This “full circle” farming method “looks toward and seeks to emulate earth’s natural cycles and processes” (www.fullforkfarm.com). One way Anson is incorporating this into the farm’s everyday routines is through seed saving. Every season he saves seed from his own best plants to use for next year’s sowing. The benefit of this method is that he is able to cultivate plants with the best adaptations to Maine’s specific growing season, including disease and pest resistant properties as well as colder weather hardiness. This helps ensure the integrity and availability of consistently health and hardy seed stock, not only for his farm but for others’ farms, as well. Another piece of full circle farming is the utilization of organic practices that will not harm the flora and fauna, even if on a larger scale. Though this will be Full Fork Farm’s fourth season, it will only be the first year Anson could begin the official MOFGA certification process if he so desires. Yet, Anson’s organic practices are already drawing people from hours away to his U-pick strawberry fields. The question then becomes whether or not to seek actual certification. It can be a costly endeavor and those costs are then passed along to the consumer, meaning less customers can afford the farm’s produce.
While the strawberries are already a large part of the farm’s sales every season, summer greens, herbs, and veggies are also available. Anson aims to grow his piece of the summer produce market by adding a couple acres to his strawberry patch, incorporating field rotation, and adding winter greens growing processes. The winter market is largely untapped in Maine so Anson is planning to jump right in by constructing multiple types of caterpillar and high tunnels. Another market he is thinking of experimenting with is U-pick, organically grown canning tomatoes later this summer. Be on the lookout! There always seems to be something new happening on Full Fork Farm. Partner with us to support this local, stewardship-minded, full-circle business!