Aroostook County, otherwise known as “the County” or “The Crown of Maine,” is the northernmost region of Maine and one of the places I most enjoy spending time. The thousands of acres of farmland offer a spectacular view anytime of the year and the families that farm them are good people – kind folks who open their homes to you offering homemade meals and friendship. One such family are the Bucks, who I feel privileged to know. Felicia Buck, the glamorous matron, is a hard-working mother who values family above all else. Her cooking is hard to beat and the crews who have worked for her family’s farm (primarily potatoes – run by her husband and his family) have been blessed with her homemade cinnamon rolls and other baked treats through the years. Lucky people!
I met Felicia a few years ago while working on a potato farming story. We kept in touch and she invited me back up for a day of candy making with her and her friends and continues to keep me abreast of fun happenings in her neck of the woods. I was thrilled when she agreed to participate in this post.
How long have you lived in Aroostook County?
I have lived in Chapman, Maine for almost 23 years. I grew up in the town 5 miles from where I currently live (Castle Hill). My community is a tri-area community consisting of the 3 small towns of Mapleton, Chapman, and Castle Hill. Population around
What does it feel like in spring there?
I know that spring officially starts in March but in Aroostook County I don’t personally consider it spring until we can get on the ground planting our crops. That is the farmer’s wife coming out in me. I don’t particularly like the rainy season and mud, but I do like the smell of newly tilled soil ready to be planted. I also LOVE the scenery in my community as the flowers start blossoming and the trees start budding. Also the fields look so neat and tidy after they are planted and the crops start sprouting and your can see the rows in the fields. Spring is a very busy time of year in Aroostook County since we are a farming community. There is so much to be done and a short window of opportunity to achieve the goal. The fields are filled with tractors and farming equipment and the roads have large farm trucks loaded with potatoes or whatever crop is to be planted.
Not only are the farmers working hard but everyone is getting their lawns ready, flowers planted and gardens growing. It is almost like a fresh start.
What do you miss most about your hometown when you’re away?
When I am away from my hometown I miss the relaxed environment our community has and the peacefulness. There isn’t the traffic or the rush to get from one place to the other in my area. Most everyone is so friendly and you always bump into someone you know. Some may think that it isn’t easy to live where everyone knows each other, but I believe for the most part it is a blessing. There is always support and friendship in a community like mine.
What would surprise a newcomer to your area?
I think that the biggest surprise to a new comer to my area would be the beauty. There are a lot of beautiful places in the world but I believe that we have one of the most beautiful. We have 4 DISTINCT seasons and all are truly breath taking with it’s fields, hills and forests.
Where are your favorite places to go with friends?
Here are a few of the places to eat in my community:
Boondocks in Fort Fairfield – They have delicious seafood and steak
Cafe Sopresso’s in Presque Isle – fine dining, lunch has unique sandwiches and the best lobster rolls around
Gram Russo’s in Presque Isle – delicious italian food
Rosella’s in Presque Isle – best homemade pizza. Homemade crust and homemade sauce. (sweet sauce, alfredo, buffalo, etc)
Irish Setter Pub in Presque Isle – pub style, burgers, nachos and a whole lot more
Long Lake Sporting Club in St. Agatha – beautiful view of the lake, leisure dining, delicious steak and seafood, french ployes, fun atmosphere
Here are some places and events we like to attend in our community:
Haystack Mountain in Mapleton – previoiusly a volcano , not a long hike to get to the top but breath taking views
Balloon Festival in Presque Isle – takes place in August, hot air balloons (about 10 – 15) take flight. You can pay for a ride, they have balloon glows at dawn and dust. It usually last a few days. Absolutely beautiful!
Maple Meadow Festival in Mapleton – takes place a weekend in June. A mixture of local merchants, antiques and demonstrations of antique farm equipment , horse drawn plows. Food, music
Potato Blossom Festival in Fort Fairfileld – Middle of July. It is a celebration of farming in our community. It is a week long event. Many festivities, street dance, pageants, celebration of Farm Family with legislatures, mashed potato wrestling, cooking contests, LARGE parade and so much more.
Where do you go for weekend getaways?
If we were going away for the weekend we would generally go downstate to the coast, Bar Harbor or Old Orchard Beach. Somewhere very different from our hometown. It is always nice to experience something completely different than what you are use to. I must say that it is very nice to visit other places, but I have found that it also makes us appreciate what we have right around us in our own hometown.
**All images provided by Felicia Buck. Top two – views from her home. Middle two images of her home. Bottom two of Potato Blossom Festival.