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UMaine Today Magazine


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In July, the Stutzmans sponsor a community Berry Festival, featuring live, down-home music and a feast prepared with fresh produce, like raspberries and strawberries for shortcake. Among the festival entertainers: Sid Stutzman and the Douty Hill Band.
In July, the Stutzmans sponsor a community Berry Festival, featuring live, down-home music and a feast prepared with fresh produce, like raspberries and strawberries for shortcake. Among the festival entertainers: Sid Stutzman and the Douty Hill Band.
 

Destination: Douty Hill

In a low-slung building at the crest of a hill in Sangerville, Sid Stutzman eyes bushels of neatly arranged produce, picked that morning in the field below. Tucked away in a corner kitchen behind the cash registers, more than 40 pies a day are mixed, rolled, poured and baked to flaky perfection, offering his customers an even tastier way to enjoy the farm's harvest.

Customers come and go, making their just-picked or fresh-baked selections, pausing to chat with one another about family and friends, the latest news and gossip.

It's a far cry from the impersonal fluorescence of the grocery store, and that's just the way Stutzman likes it. Raised on the same hill where he harvests the day's crops, Stutzman's personal connection with his customers, his workers and his fellow farmers means much more to him than just revenue for the farm.

"We try to do a lot with the community. We're big into the Senior Farm Share Program, we give a lot of local kids their first job, we do the Berry Festival. It really gives you a good feeling," says Stutzman, a third-generation farmer and talented musician. "We used to do a lot of wholesale, but we expanded the farm stand and now we sell most of what we grow to our own customers."

Stutzman and his wife, Rainie, work closely with University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialists to improve their farming and marketing practices. The result is a successful, multifaceted agritourism business built on the Stutzmans' reputation for supplying the freshest, most flavorful food available.

"People want to buy local because they want to know where their food is coming from," says Stutzman. "They can go to the store and get week-old produce anywhere, but they come here and they know what they're buying was picked the same day."

 

UMaine Today Magazine
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