One of the pleasures of riding a bicycle is that it allows you to take in your surroundings at a much slower pace. If you're in a car, for example, you might zoom past something of interest, but most likely you can't be bothered to turn around and go back. After all, you're probably in a hurry, right?
But pedaling along a road or trail kicks in all your senses, which in turn becomes a path to discoveries only achieved from the saddle of your bike. Well, because of my cycling, I've found a hidden gem in Gardiner, Maine, which I believe is worth finding with your own mode of transportation — but hopefully, by way of a bicycle.
The place is Butting Heads Farm and its small, but well-stocked store, offering pickles, preserves and so much more. It's run by Jackie Frost, who lives on the premises with her husband and where she raised three boys. The farm was actually started by her great-grandparents in 1933 and handed down through the generations. Along with the extensive — and colorful — flower gardens, there are numerous small pastures surrounded by trees, and also a barn and outbuildings, which contain goats, chickens, pigs and beef cattle; all furnishing by-products that eventually end up for sale in the farm store.
Curious as to why the farm was called Butting Heads, Jackie was quick to say with a laugh, "Because I have goats ... and I have a husband."
Other items offered include different types of relish, goat milk soap and lotions, fruit and chicken pies, biscuits, breads, whoopie pies, cakes, baked beans, and countless other products and goodies — even goat milk fudge. The one baked good I'll be returning for again and again are Jackie's delicious cinnamon rolls; it means many more miles on the bike to justify the indulgence, but it's more than worth it — believe me.
Over the past few years, there has been a greater emphasis in Maine and elsewhere around the country to buy local and, obviously, Jackie concurs. "Why wouldn't you?" she said. "It just makes sense. It's the way it used to be. It's common sense to buy local."
Jackie encourages people to come and relax and even walk around the beautiful countryside surroundings. Butting Heads Farm is located at 281 Costello Road. The phone number is 207-462-1637 and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The store is open during the latter part of the week and on weekends, but there is a good chance that Jackie or someone else is always present to assist customers.
Yes, riding a bicycle uncovers many treasures, and I want to thank Jackie for allowing me to locate and learn about her wonderful little farm in Gardiner.