BELFAST — Maine Farmland Trust this summer is challenging Mainers to explore their local farm landscape through the Maine Farms Scavenger Hunt.

Launched during the pandemic and back for a second year, the hunt invites participants to seek out local farms, try new local foods and farm products, and learn about Maine’s abundant and diverse food and farm system. The scavenger hunt, which was popular among families and local food lovers last year, offers the opportunity to choose adventures close to home or further afield.

The trust will also release new “missions” throughout the summer, prompting participants to experience the seasonal joys of Maine agriculture.

The trust launched the hunt as a way to safely connect people with Maine farms during the pandemic. More than 300 participants signed up to spend the summer completing family-friendly tasks such as cooking meals with Maine foods, meeting farm animals, and learning about Maine’s agricultural past and present.

“We were really excited to provide folks with a fun, family-friendly way to safely get outside and engage with their local farms,” said Meg Quinn, event manager at the trust, according to a news release from the trust.

“One of Maine’s greatest assets is our vibrant local food system. The best way to protect the land we need to support this system is to support the people in our community that produce our food and steward the land, soil and water we all rely on.”

MFT, whose mission is to protect farmland, support farmers, and advance the future of farming in Maine, hopes that the hunt will be a fun way to grow the number of people eating from and interacting with Maine’s robust farm community. The scavenger hunt will also showcase the network of support that helps drive Maine’s food economy, highlighting the work of organizations like the Maine Grain Alliance, the Maine Wild Blueberry Association, Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, MOFGA, and Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture & the Environment.

The scavenger hunt will include more than 30 tasks of varying difficulties, with additional tasks to be released throughout the summer by the trust and sponsoring partners. Prizes will be available for several levels of completion, with a grand prize for participants that complete all available tasks. The trust will use an app to administer the scavenger hunt, making it easy for participants to play and share their submissions.

Participants are encouraged to explore farms safely and respectfully in accordance with CDC guidelines, and are reminded to check to see which farm stands or farmers markets are open to visitors this summer and what the various protocols might be prior to venturing out. For more information and to sign up for the 2021 hunt, visit go.mainefarmlandtrust.org/explore.

Maine Farmland Trust is a statewide, member-powered nonprofit working to protect farmland, support farmers, and advance the future for farming. Since 1999, the trust has helped keep more than 60,000 acres of farmland in farming and has supported more than 800 farm families with critical services. For more information, visit, mainefarmlandtrust.org.