Want to see how nursery crops are grown organically, how angora rabbits are raised for fiber, or how crops are grown at Maine’s northernmost certified organic farm? Every summer, many MOFGA members and friends open their farms and gardens to visitors for a day so that those visitors can enjoy beautiful gardens, learn about organic methods, and find out how healthy food is grown.
Many of the farms and gardens included in this list are organic; some are commercial; some are homesteads. This year we are pleased to include “Pasture Walks,” organized by dairy specialist Cal Walker from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. During these walks, livestock producers from around the state will show their intensive grazing systems and answer questions.
Most farms and gardens have scheduled a specific day for visits, and most require no advance notice of your visit. Just follow the directions – the DeLorme Maine Atlas and Gazetteer is helpful – and enjoy finding out how others grow their crops and raise their animals. Bring the family, bring a lunch or snack, but please leave the dog at home.
PASTURE WALK – CLINT FOX, LISBON – A herd of 60 Holstein milkers is grazed on approximately 30 paddocks. The cows and water tubs are moved to a new paddock every 12 hours.
Date: July 2, 10 a.m. to noon
Directions: From I-95, take Exit 24B (near Topsham) onto Route 196, follow Route 196 for 6.5 miles through Lisbon Falls and you’ll see Lisbon High School on your left. One mile beyond the high school on Route 196 is River Road on your left. Fox Farm is at the end of River Road, about 1 mile from Route 196. From I-495 (Maine Turnpike) take Exit 13 and follow Route 196 through Lisbon village (not Lisbon Falls). About 1.5 miles from the traffic light in Lisbon Village on Route 196, you’ll see Two Rivers Medical Bldg. on the left. Just beyond the Medical Building, River Road is on your right. Follow River Road to the end to reach the farm.
NEZINSCOT FARM IN TURNER, owned by Gregg and Gloria Varney, specializes in organic meats, vegetables and cheese. These items are sold at Nezinscot’s farm store, which also carries a full line of natural foods. The cafe is open for brunches and luncheons. During the summer, Nezinscot has a large array of small animals for petting and playing with – great family fun.
Date: Open seven days a week, Mon. through Fri. 6 to 6; Sat. 8 to 5; Sun 9 to 5.
Directions: Go North on Route 117 from Route 4 for 1 mile. Nezinscot is the first farm you come to; it’s midway between Turner Center and Turner Village.
Address: RR 2 Box 1311, Turner, ME 04282. Tel. 225-3231.
PASTURE WALK – GUIMOND FARMS, FORT KENT – This beef operation consists of 80 brood cows, 17 replacements, and three bulls with 150 to 200 acres of pasture land. The herd is divided into three or four groups, which are moved through large paddocks (10 to 15-acre blocks), depending on the grass height. A moveable water source gravity feeds to the paddocks. Some hayland gets opened for grazing later in the season.
Date: June 1, 1 to 3 p.m.
Directions: 4 miles south of Fort Kent on Route 11.
SKYLANDIA ORGANIC FARM IN GRAND ISLE has a breathtaking view of the Canadian border and is the northernmost certified organic farm in Maine. The Skylandians (Jim, Kate, Rivera, Marada, Leah, Land and Skylar Cook) have approximately 5 acres under cultivation, including two hoop houses for season extension. Major crops for market include potatoes, carrots, onions and raspberries. Minor production of miscellaneous vegetables, flowers and herbs supplies the family and farmstead. A small laying flock, a pig, a dog and a cat round out the menagerie. With many hiking trails and picnic spots, Skylandia is an ideal destination for Sunday fun. The Skylandians will talk about planting, growing, harvesting and marketing for all those interested. Kite flying is available for kids of all ages.
Date: Sunday, July 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Directions: On U.S. Route 1, look for a 100-foot greenhouse 2 miles west of Grand Isle.
Address: P.O. Box 14, Grand Isle, ME 04746; Tel. 207-895-5634.
WOODPRAIRIE FARM IN BRIDGEWATER is a 110-acre, MOFGA-certified organic farm with 45 acres in rotated cropland. Jim and Megan Gerritsen and their family raise certified seed and tablestock potatoes, carrots, vegetables, milling grain (wheat, oats, rye, spelt and corn), and hay. The Gerritsens market their crops through a mail order catalog and wholesale to mail order seed companies and natural food stores.
Date: Sunday, July 6, in conjunction with Open Farm Day. A walking farm tour will begin at 2:30 p.m.
Directions: From Bridgewater, at the big white school and church, take the West Road for 3 miles to a “T” and turn left. The farm is 1/3 mile in on the right. The mailbox says Gerritsen, but the farm is 600 yards back in.
Address: WoodPrairie Farm, 49 Kinney Rd., Bridgewater, ME 04735. Tel. 429- 9765.
PASTURE WALK – SETTLEMIRE FARM – One system takes care of about 50 ewes and a separate system is for approximately 40 lambs. Primarily, four fields (4 acres each) are subdivided into paddocks approximately 160 x 300’ each. All have water in grazing location. Plant species are mainly orchardgrass and New Zealand white clover (Pita and Hui).
Date: July 26, 10 a.m. to noon
Directions: Four miles from Pleasant Street, Brunswick, on the River Road. Look for the Settlemire Farm sign.
Address: 908 River Rd., Brunswick
PASTURE WALK – SUNRISE ACRES, CUMBERLAND. Sally Merrill (owner) and Rick Baier (farm manager) graze beef cattle, sheep and broiler poultry. The animals are moved every 24 hours. Animals include 30 cow/calf pairs of beef cattle, 10 yearlings; 100 ewes in various stages of lactation and 15 to 20 yearlings; and 500 broilers in 10x12x2 pens.
Date: June 3, 1 to 3 p.m.
Directions: Exit 10 Maine Turnpike; left at end of ramp; right at second blinking light; bear left at fork (Fire Station); 2 to 21/2 miles to farm.
Address: Sunrise Acres, 42 Winn Rd., Cumberland
BRAY HILL FARM IN PHILLIPS is farmed by Mara LeBlanc, Paul Brown and Shelley O’Connor. It is well off the beaten path in a small pocket of the Maine woods. In its first year of operation, the farm will focus on constructing greenhouses and developing local markets for certified organic salad greens and value-added products, such as salsas and pestos, which are expected to hit the markets by midsummer. The growers also plan to sell fresh herbs, dried flowers and herbal soaps and salves. Visit the 21/2-acre blueberry barren, share the spectacular 180-degree view, and help chase the moose out of the garden.
Date: Sunday, July 6, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in conjunction with Open Farm Day.
Directions: From Phillips, take Route 142 north (toward Kingfield). After you cross the Sandy River, take the second left (East Madrid Rd.), then the first right (Bray Hill Rd.). The farm is at the end of the road.
Address: Bray Hill Farm, P.O. Box 425, Bray Hill Rd., Phillips, ME 04966; Tel. 639-4228.
PASTURE WALK – EARL & FRED HARDY, NEW SHARON. This is the only pasture walk in this series where you will see tumble wheels used to move the fence. The herd consists of 30 to 35 Holstein milking cows. In spring and early summer, the cows will be in one of three paddocks (about 12 acres total in the three paddocks). Each paddock is subdivided with wire on tumble wheels so that the cows have new grazing every 24 hours. After the first cutting of hay on some fields, those fields are grazed.
Date: June 11, 1 to 3 p.m.
Directions: U.S. Route 2 East from Farmington, first left beyond Silver Valley Farm (Davis) on to Weeks Mills Road. The farm is about 4 miles on the right. Or, take U.S. route 2 west from New Sharon, second right after the bridge in New Sharon is the Weeks Mills Rd. The farm is about 4 miles on the right.
KHADIGAR IN INDUSTRY is well known for the impeccable gardens and seed saving efforts of Molly Thorkildsen and Will Bonsall. This is a veganic family farm focusing on intensive, self-sufficient food production.
Dates: Sunday, June 29, 2 p.m., rain or shine – Demonstration of veganic composting and explanation of veganic farming, a system that relies directly on haylands and forests to generate soil fertility much more efficiently than animal manures. The method is not exclusively for vegans, but can be used in conjunction with keeping livestock.
Sunday, July 20, 2 p.m., rain or shine – Khadigar General Farm Tour. Features 1/2 acre of terraced slopes in intensive beds, companion and succession planting to a great diversity of grains, legumes and vegetables (plus many permacrops), fertilized only with farm-made veganic compost and mulched with shredded leaves. Self-sufficiency-oriented.
Sunday, Aug. 3, 2 p.m., rain or shine – Scatterseed Project. Tour of seed propagation plots and screenhouse, including discussion of pollination control strategies. Each grow-out includes over 600 potato varieties and 300 pea varieties, plus many hundreds of varieties of other crops. Focus on exploring plant genetic diversity in order to identify varieties that are uniquely suited to specific local conditions and uses.
Directions: From Farmington, follow Route 43 east to Allens Mills (about 4 miles). Continue on Route 43 another 11/2 miles, pass Junction 148. Continue on Route 43 another 1000 feet to the first road on the right. Follow signs.
Address: Khadigar, Box 1167, Farmington (Industry), ME 04838. No phone.
DARTHIA FARM IN GOULDSBORO is a diverse, organic farm operated by Cindy and Bill Thayer and Sheila Unuala. Here you’ll see a milk cow, sheep, turkeys, pigs, chickens, bees and Haflinger work horses. Enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, a composting demonstration and a spinning demonstration. Darthia has a fall mail order business.
Date: July 6, in conjunction with Open Farm Day, noon to 4 p.m.
Directions: Darthia is located on the northeast side of Route 186 that goes around Schoodic Point. Follow the blue highway sign (with a pumpkin on it) off of Route 1 in Gouldsboro. The farm is 1.7 miles from Route 1 on the left. Follow the signs up that lane.
Address: Box 520, West Bay Rd., Gouldsboro, ME 04607. Tel. 963-7771.
INDIAN MEADOW HERBALS IN EASTBROOK is a 1/2 to 3/4-acre medicinal herb and vegetable garden on top of a southerly ridge with a spectacular view of Blue Hill and Mount Desert Island. It is owned and managed by Nancy Lowry, Roseanna Rick and Margaret Young.
Date: June 21, July 5 and 26, August 9 and 30, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Directions: From Bar Harbor, take Route 3 off the island and turn right at Lamoine, Route 204. After the Volunteer Fire Dept. and a white church, both on the left, travel 1.6 miles and at a “T” take a left, then a quick right, and continue on Route 204 for 1.4 miles. You will see a sign that says “To Route 1.” Take a left turn there on to Mud Creek Road. Travel 2.7 miles and when you come to Route 1, take a right. Go 0.5 miles on Route 1 and take a left at Route 182. Go 4.6 miles and take a left on Route 200. Travel 6.2 miles and you’ll come to a “Y.” Route 200 bears to the left. You will bear right onto Molasses Pond Road. Travel about 1.5 miles and you’ll see a “Dangerous Intersection” sign on the right. Slow down. At the intersection, take a right onto Macomber Mill Road and go to the second house on the right at the large red mailbox.
Address: RR 1 Box 547, Macomber Mill Rd., Eastbrook, ME 04634. Tel. 565- 3010.
PASTURE WALK – KING HILL FARM, PENOBSCOT – Dennis King’s herd consists of 30 ewes and lambs and a few beef cows. Sometimes they graze together, sometimes not. Groups of animals are moved at least every four days, often sooner. Underground waterlines supply water, and a rubber tank with a float valve and a hose is set up at various points on the waterline. King has about 12 acres of permanent pasture used in spring and early summer and 10 acres of improved land that is hayed first and then used as late summer pasture.
Date: July 8, 1 to 3 p.m.
Directions: From Bucksport, take Route 1 east toward Ellsworth, turn right on Route 15, take Route 15 south about 4 miles to Route 199, take Route 199 south about 2 miles. There is a black mailbox on the left and the driveway to King Hill Farm on the right. Go up the hill to the farm.
PASTURE WALK – GERALD & AL FORTIN, BENTON – This dairy herd of 70 to 90 milking cows has been intensively grazed for three years. Cows are moved to new paddocks every 12 hours. This year the Fortins will be trying crops to extend the grazing season. At the time of the Pasture walk, the cattle may be grazing perennial rye.
Date: Aug. 16, 10 a.m. to noon
Directions: The farm is on Route 100 between Benton and Clinton. From south and west, take Exit 35 off I-95 onto Route 139. Follow Route 139 through Fairfield to Benton and then, where Route 139 and 100 separate, follow Route 100 north. The farm is about 2 miles on the right. From north, take Exit 37 off of I-95. Go toward Clinton village, turn right on Route 100. Follow Route 100 south about 2 miles. The farm is on the left. A sign on the end of the barn reads, “Fortin Farm.”
JOHNNY’S SELECTED SEEDS OF ALBION is well known through its catalog that caters to gardeners and farmers in the Northeast. At the Open House, Johnny’s trial gardens will be on display, with guided tours available throughout the day, or you can roam about on your own. Staff members will be available to answer questions. View vegetables, perennials, medicinal herbs and more. This year’s Open House promises to be bigger and better than ever, since Johnny’s has been chosen by the American Horticultural Society as one of its nationwide celebration sites as it celebrates its 75th anniversary.
Date: Open House: Sat., Aug. 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about events to be held throughout the day, call Johnny’s at 437-4301. In addition, guided tours are available weekdays in July and August at 2 p.m., or you can take a self-guided tour Monday through Saturday between 8:30 and 5 p.m. from May through October.
Directions: From Route 137 (China Road), take Garland Road 31/2 miles to Albion Road. Go right on Albion Road for 41/2 miles to Foss Hill Road. Go left on Foss Hill Road. Johnny’s is 1/2 mile up the road on the right. Look for signs.
Address: Foss Hill Road, Albion, ME 04910-9731. Tel. 437-4301; Fax 437-2165.
PASTURE WALK – IVAN SMITH, MONMOUTH. Smith is starting the third year of intensively grazing a dairy herd of 55 milking cows (Holsteins and Jerseys). The grazing system consists of 30 paddocks that are approximately 3/4-acre in size, and six larger paddocks, about 3 acres each. Cows are moved through the smaller paddocks every 12 hours and the larger ones every three days. Heifers are grazed at a separate farm.
Date: May 27, 1 to 3 p.m.
Directions: Follow Route 132 into Monmouth village. Route 135 intersects with Route 132 in the center of Monmouth village. The next street south of Route 135 intersection is Maple Street. The post office is on the corner of Maple St. and Route 132. If travelling south on Route 132, turn left onto Maple St., which will merge into Cobboseecontee Road. The farm is on Cobboseecontee Rd., about 2 to 3 miles from where you left Route 132. The barn is red and the house is white.
AVENA INSTITUTE IN WEST ROCKPORT is a nonprofit, educational center started by Deb Soule and offering a variety of programs for the general public and for health care providers in Medicinal Herbs, Homeopathy, Nutrition, Organic Gardening, Ethnobotany, Movement, Meditation, Women and Children’s Health, and Herbal and Homeopathic Care of Animals. This 28-acre farm borders a 6,000-acre protected wetland. Avena Institute comprises medicinal herb gardens, a newly planted native woodland garden, an octagon-shaped classroom, and the offices of Avena Botanicals herbal apothecary. In addition to a Women’s Medicinal Herb Foundation Course that meets on four weekends from June through October, Avena offers lectures and workshops from April through December. The Wednesday afternoon talks in the herb garden are free.
June 11, Wed., 9 to 5 – Echinacea planting. Learn about Echinacea by helping Avena gardeners plant several hundred plants. Bring lunch and tools; tea will be provided. Please preregister.
June 25, Wed., 4 to 5 p.m. Herb Tea and Talk on Creating a Healing Herb Garden. Deb Soule.
July 2, Wed., 4 to 5 p.m. Gary Lawless reads his poems in Avena’s gardens. Enjoy a cup of herb tea.
July 9, Wed., 4 to 5 p.m. Diversity in the Garden. Melanie Gideon, Maria Marta Aris-Paul and Kwah Waadabi of Avena share thoughts and experiences as people of color living in New England. They will talk about racism, colonization and healing fragmented cultures. Herb tea provided.
July 11, Fri., 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meeting Medicinal Herbs, Deb Soule. Closely observe several herbs and learn their medicinal uses. Tea provided. Fee.
July 12 & 13, Sat. & Sun. Astrology and Herbs. Kwah Waadabi and Deb Soule focus on the influences of the Moon on psychological, physical and spiritual health of humans, plants and animals. Camping overnight. Fee. Call for more info. and to preregister.
July 15, Tues. 10;30 to 2:30. The Spirit of Plants: Creating Rapport With Nature. Facilitated by Stephen Huyler and held in a beautiful secret garden in Camden. Limited registration. Fee. Call for more information.
July 16, Wed. 4 to 5:30 p.m. Third Annual Garden Fairy Tea Party. Dress as your favorite garden fairy, if you wish. Herb tea and fairy cookies will be served in the garden.
July 23, Wed., 4 to 5 p.m. Sacred Basil. Art historian, ethnologist, writer and photographer Stephen Huyler will talk about his sacred herb of many Hindus. See sacred basil growing in Avena’s garden and drink its tea.
July 30, Wed., 4 to 6 p.m. Peace Gathering. Margaret Pavel of San Francisco will share her experiences of traveling on the PeaceBoat for five weeks. The PeaceBoat visits people directly affected by WWII and travelers hear their stories. Enjoy a Japanese Tea Ceremony.
Aug. 20, Wed., 4 to 5 p.m. Using Herbs in our Daily Life. Deb Soule. Tea provided.
Sept. 26, Friday, 9:30 to 3. Herbs and Homeopathy for Children. Susan Lie- Nielson and Deb Soule. Includes the vaccination controversy and a nourishing meal. Fee.
Oct. 16, Thurs., 5:30 to 9 p.m. Herbs and Yoga for easing PMS and other discomforts associated with the menstrual cycle. Deborah Keene Jones and Deb Soule. Fee.
Nov. 12, Wed., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Herbs and Homeopathy for Animals. Susan Lie- Nielson and Deb Soule. Fee.
Nov. 21, Fri., 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Herbs and Yoga for Menopause. Deborah Keene-Jones and Deb Soule. Fee.
Dec. 6, Sat., Herbs and Yoga for Easing Stress. Deborah Keene-Jones and Deb Soule. Fee.
Dec. 11, Thurs., 4 to 6 p.m. Avena’s First Mother-Daughter Tea. Bring your mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, aunt, niece, neighbor or friend and your favorite tea cup and enjoy this tea tradition, which Deb grew up with in western Maine.
Directions: From the traffic light on Route 1 in Rockport, go west on Route 90, through the junction of Route 17. After a pond on the left, go left onto Mill Street. Avena is about a mile up the road on the right, at 219 Mill Street.
Address: Avena Institute, 219 Mill St., Rockport, ME 04856. Tel. 594-0694; Fax 594-2975.
HIDDEN VALLEY FARM IN ALNA is a 70-family Community Supported Agriculture farm with 4.5 acres of organic mixed vegetables, cows, pigs, chickens, a large greenhouse and hoop house, hayfields and a large woodlot. It is owned by Bambi Jones and David Moskovitz. Registered Maine Guide Gary Hayward of Just for the Fun of It Guide Service will also be here with several of his pack llamas.
Date: July 6, in conjunction with Open Farm Day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Directions: From the intersection of Routes 218 and 194, head east on 194 for 2 miles. Take a left on Fowles Road (a dirt road) at the sign “Beane’s Custom Cutting.” Hidden Valley’s drive is 1 mile on the left.
Address: Hollywood Blvd., Alna, ME 04535. Tel. 586-5839 or 586-5837.
MORRIS FARM IN WISCASSET is a 60-acre farm, mostly hayfields and pasture land, including a pond, waterfall, small woodlot, barn and farmhouse. It is owned by the Morris Farm Trust, a nonprofit corporation formed by midcoast Maine citizens, and is supported by its membership, Friends of the Morris Farm, and by foundations and fundraising events. The Trust promotes a local farm and landscape that provides food, education, recreation and pride in midcoast Maine. Sustainable techniques and consumption of locally grown food are promoted, as is the value of hand labor. Morris Farm also offers a summer camp for children ages 6 to 12.
Dates: July 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Fair and Auction. Don’t miss the pet show, kids’ games, dunk tank, crafts, and foods made from the early summer harvest. Kaja Veilleux will auction items from the antique to the everyday.
July 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open Farm Day. Farm tours will focus on the poultry, pigs and cattle grazing the pastures on the Morris Farm. Guided farm tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; self-guided tours also.
July 9 – Weekly Morris Farm tours begin. Take a relaxing hour-long walk on the Morris Farm. Visit the vegetable gardens and the animals growing on pasture, see the waterfall, and learn about farming techniques that are kind to the land and to your taste buds. 4:30 on Wednesdays, July 9 through Aug. 29. Suggested donation $4 per adult, under 18 free.
July 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Lincoln County Tour of Country Gardens. Visit some of the finest gardens at private homes in Lincoln County. Ticket price $20, to benefit the Morris Farm. Tickets available at TREATS, Main St., Wiscasset. Call 882-6010.
July 26, 2 to 4 p.m. Canning and Freezing Workshop. How to process the summer’s bounty and enjoy tasty, homemade sauces, jams and jellies, pickles and more – and how to make it fit into your busy schedule. $10 fee includes materials. Please call 882-4080 by July 24 to reserve a spot.
August 11 – PASTURE WALK – The Morris Farm is in its first year of intensive grazing. The 35 or so acres of pastures fed dairy cows until the late 1960s, then beef. Damage to stream beds and steep slopes exists. The Morris Farm has fenced the cows off of the waterways, installed a pressurized watering system, and is managing the steep slopes to stop erosion. This year 10 to 15 steers and 15 Jersey heifer calves will graze the pastures. A contractor will take one cut of hay from about 20 acres. The Jerseys will begin milking on grass in 1999. Pasture-raised broiler chickens, ducks and laying hens in an eggmobile on pasture will also be seen.
Aug. 16, 2 to 4 p.m. Preparing Gardens for Winter. Gardens need special care to prepare for the frozen months ahead. Improve your harvest next year by taking a few steps this fall. Focus on grasses and legumes that protect and enhance the soil. Fee: $7. Please call 882-4080 by Aug. 15 for reservations.
Sept. 13, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pressure Canning Workshop. How can you “put up” chicken broth, meats, and low-acid vegetables without pickling or lots of sugar? The pressure canner lets you preserve a wide array of foods. Fee: $10 (includes materials). Please call 882-4080 by Sept. 11 to reserve a spot.
Directions: The Morris Farm sits just north of the Wiscasset Primary School on Route 27, 3/4 mile north of Route 1 and the center of Wiscasset.
Address: The Morris Farm Trust, P.O. Box 136, Wiscasset, ME 04578. Tel. 882- 4080.
OLD STAGE FARM IN LOVELL is owned and run by John and Sue Belding and their children (see the March/May 1997 issue of The MOF&G for a feature story about Old Stage). They have a greenhouse, farmstand, flowers, vegetables, seedlings, herbs, chickens, turkeys, pigs, alpine goats, Scotch Highland cows and a year- round pit greenhouse. The emphasis is on cut flowers, especially unusual varieties.
Date: Sunday, July 13, 1:00 to 3:00.
Directions: The farm is on Route 5A, which is a loop off of Route 5. You can get there from Stoneham (north) or Fryburg (south) or take Route 93 from Bridgton to Route 5.
Address: RR 1, Box 377, Lovell, ME 04051. Tel. 925-1006.
RED ROAD FARM IN SOUTH HIRAM, says owner Pat Foley, has lots of rocks and little, low-impact gardens of heirlooms and traditionals scattered around. It is not a farm, more of a big garden, where Pat grows most of her own food, sells some, and works cooperatively with others in the area. She is trying to get along with deer and woodchucks without resorting to violence. She grows herbs, perennials and vegetables and has a nice view.
Date: Saturday, July 12, 10 to 2.
Directions: Take Route 25 to Cornish. Opposite the Cornish Inn, take Bridge Street over the bridge and at the fork go left past Apple Acres Orchard. Red Road Farm is just past the second road on the right (Tripp Town Road – no sign) in a half-painted house with an unpainted barn saying “Smith Farm.” If you get to the daycare on the right, turn around; you’ve overshot the mark. It’s the first house on the right coming back from the daycare.
Address: Durgintown Rd., South Hiram. Tel. 625-4179.
PASTURE WALK – JOE CHERNOSKY, EAST CORINTH – A small beef herd (Shorthorns and Shorthorn x Angus) is kept in 20 permanent paddocks with water in every paddock. Paddocks are subdivided when necessary. Animals are usually moved once or twice a day. Chernosky plans to frost-seed annual ryegrass, white clover, palaton reedcanary, Puna chicory and cicer milkvetch this spring.
Date: Aug. 4, 1 to 3 p.m.
Directions: From south or west, take Route 43 east out of East Corinth for 2 or 3 miles, turn left on Puddledock Road. Chernosky’s is the first farm on the left. From north or east, take Route 43 from Old Town west through Hudson, about 3 miles past the intersection with Route 221, turn right on Puddledock Road. Tate’s Strawberry Farm and Tilton’s Livestock Auction House are both on the same road as Chernosky’s, so follow those signs.
PASTURE WALK – MIA AND STEVE MORRISON, CHARLESTON – The herd consists of 35 Jersey milk cows plus a group of dry cows and bred heifers, and another group of young heifers. The milkers are moved every 12 hours; others every three to four days, average. Water tubs are gravity fed by spring to some paddocks. A few paddocks use the barn water supply, while other pastures use a mobile watering tank.
Date: July 29, 1 to 3 p.m.
Directions: From East Corinth, take Route 11A into Charleston Center. At the stop sign just beyond Agway in the center of Charleston, don’t turn right on Route 11A: go straight north toward Atkinson. The farm is about 1 mile on the right and has a big maroon barn with a silo.
CHECKERBERRY FARM IN PARKMAN is a small scale, diversified, family operation of 40 acres, 20 of which are open. Approximately 25 acres of neighbors’ fields are used, also. Barbara, Jason and Emma Kafka have a small herd of Herefords, a pony, and a small flock of laying hens. The Kafkas grow a large kitchen garden, and for market grow mixed vegetables, garlic, onions, dry beans, seed and tablestock potatoes, herbs and dry flowers. This year they have a new, 17x58-foot greenhouse.
Date: Sunday, July 27, 1 to 4 p.m.
Directions: From Guilford, take Route 150 south toward Skowhegan. After about 4 miles, you’ll pass through Parkman four-corners (don’t blink) and then 2 miles later you’ll be in “Pingree Center.” Turn off here to the right (west); the sign says Wellington Road. Continue for 21/2 miles until you come to mailbox 263, on a roller-coaster hill of note. The house is right on the road and is the only big old barn on the left (south) side of the road.
Address: RFD 1, Box 263, Wellington Rd., Guilford (Parkman), ME 04443. Tel. 277-3114.
ENTWOOD FARM AND NURSERY IN BURNHAM is owned by Ernie Glabau and Bianca St. Louis, who raise zone 4 hardy nursery crops and perennials, certified organic herbs and bonsai, provide landscape services, and make and sell herbal products. Their plants have been selected for maximum insect and disease resistance. Nursery stock grown in the ground is certified organic, and that grown in containers is being converted to organic production. They also offer bonsai classes and workshops throughout the year.
Date: You can visit Entwood’s retail store on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from May through September.
Directions: From Unity (Routes 202 and 9), via Augusta or Bangor: Take Route 139 north and go past the Irving station; take the first right after the bridge; go 3.2 miles. Entwood is on the right. From Pittsfield (Route 100), take Peltoma Ave. (opp. Maine Central Institute) south; go 9.9 miles. The farm is on the left, 0.2 miles past Patterson’s Store. From Waterville and Fairfield, take Route 139 south from Route 100 in Benton. Go 10.8 miles and take a left onto South Horseback Road. Go 3.2 miles. The farm is on the right.
Address: Entwood Farm & Nursery, Inc., RR 1 Box 1298, South Horseback Road, Burnham, ME 04922. Tel. 948-3281.
THE GEORGES RIVER LAND TRUST 6th annual “Gardens in the Watershed” tour will include six gardens in the northern watershed towns of Montville, Searsmont, Morrill and Appleton. Featured will be an English-style garden, an organic apple orchard, vegetable gardens with stonework and concrete sculptures, a forest restoration project, and gardens of flowers grown for wedding ceremonies and celebrations. Workshops will cover twig arbors and furniture, tending beehives, trellising apple trees, and using forest restoration as a means to a natural and rewarding lifestyle.
This year’s tour has been selected by the American Horticultural Society as one of the country’s 75 gardening events most worthy of recognition as part of the AHS 75th anniversary celebration. This honor is shared in Maine with Johnny’s Selected Seeds.
Tickets are $8 in advance and are available with maps and descriptive brochures at The Fertile Mind in Belfast, Planet in Camden, The Fraternity Village Store in Searsmont, The Cricket in Union, Thomaston Books and Prints and the Personal Book Shop in Thomaston and The Reading Corner in Rockland – or by mail from the Georges River Land Trust. Tickets will be available at any garden on the day of the tour for $10.00.
Date: Sunday, July 13, 10 to 5, rain or shine.
Directions: See pamphlet from ticket outlets
Address: Georges River Land Trust, 328 Main St., #206, Rockland, ME 04841; Tel. 594-5166.
KELMSCOTT FARM IN LINCOLNVILLE was established in 1993 by the Metcalfe family to promote the preservation of rare breeds and provide educational programs about farming. Here you will see a Shire horse; Gloucester Old Spots pigs; Kerry cattle; Jacob, Cotswold, Shetland and Katahdin sheep; dwarf Nigerian goats; a Dartmoor pony; and a variety of rare poultry breeds, as well as a garden of heirloom varieties and a farm shop and museum. A limited edition line of classic English woolen products, including skeins of natural Cotswold wool, hand-loomed scarves, wool-filled duvets, blankets, felted hats and a rug, help support the farm. Enjoy a wagon ride, hunt for eggs in the poultry house, enjoy a nature trail and picnic area. Admission fees are charged for many events.
Dates: Open May 24 through September 1, Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
May 24–Opening Weekend, Maine Livestock Preservation Day
May 25-26–Llama Days. Spinning, weaving and felting activities; traditional packing presentation; obstacle course demonstrations; handling and grooming workshops; rope making; llama rides for young children; take a stroll with a camelid.
June 7-8–Art Festival. Two days of art safaris, classes, demonstrations and exhibits celebrating art in its many forms in an agricultural context.
June 14-15–Woolfest. Shearing demonstrations, knitting classes, felting, weaving and spinning.
June 19-20–Dairy Weekend. Butter and ice cream making, milking contests, parade of breeds, lectures and demonstrations.
July 12-13–Herbal Thyme. Lectures and demonstrations on the multiple uses of herbs in aromatherapy, as medicinals, dyeing, landscaping, cooking and decorating. Children’s activities.
July 19-20–Border Collie Trials. See a real sheep dog trial! Two days of competition among New England’s top dogs and handlers. New England Border Collie Association sanctioned trial. Judge: Patrick Shannahan of Caldwell, Idaho, winner of the National Finals Trial.
July 26-27–Pig Birthday Party Celebration. Happy Birthday to Kelmscott Farm’s herd of Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs! Guess father Patrick’s weight. Meet Josephine, Princess and Muriel’s new litters, and “pig out” on cake.
August 2-3–Chefs at Kelmscott. Cooking demonstrations by chefs using Maine products; tastings of locally produced foods and beverages, book signings.
August 9-10–Horsefest. Parade of breeds; demonstrations; dressage, jumping, western reining pattern, barrel racing, pole bending, driving, vaulting, drafting with farm implements; polo demonstrations; donkey obstacle course.
August 16-17–Feathered Friends Weekend. Meet the breeds; presentations on heritage and ornamental birds; family activities; egg toss, egg race and treasure hunt.
August 30-31–Renaissance Weekend
September 1–Last Open Day. Celebrate the Renaissance at Kelmscott Farm. Jousting, pageantry and dancing. Meet Pete, the Shire horse, and Connie, the Welsh Cob, both breeds once ridden by knights in battle.
Directions: From the north, take Route 1 to Belfast and turn right on Route 52. Travel about 6 miles to Pitcher Pond on your left and Pitcher Pond Crafts on your right. The farm is the next road on the right (Van Cycle Road/ Fire Lane 90). It is the first farm on the right.
From the south, take Route 1 to Camden. At the library turn on to Route 52 past Megunticook Lake and go about 6 miles to Lincolnville Center. Continue on Route 52, which goes right after the Lincolnville Center Store, 4.2 miles and turn left onto Fire Lane 90.
PASTURE WALK – SPRINGDALE FARM IN WALDO, owned by the Whitcomb family, has a large Jersey herd (165 milkers) that has been intensively grazed for many years. Milking cows are moved to a new plot every day, while dry cows and yearlings are moved less frequently. Water is supplied by plastic pipe that follows the lanes. Plant species are mostly native grasses. By mid-June, paddocks are expanded into fields where the first crop was harvested as haylage.
Date: June 26, 10 a.m. to noon
Directions: From west or south, Route 3 east from Augusta, left on Route 131, first right after crossing Route 137, farm is less than 1 mile on the left. From east or north, Route 7 south through Brooks, right on Route 131, first left after little league field on right. Farm is less than 1 mile on the left.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE/UNITY COLLEGE DEMONSTRATION AND COMMUNITY GARDEN, managed by Rick Kersbergen of the Univ. of Maine Cooperative Extension, has demonstration plots of new and exciting projects in home gardening. It is staffed by Master Gardeners and other volunteers and offers community gardening plots, as well.
Dates: Tuesday evenings from 4 to 6 p.m.
Directions: Unity College, Unity, Maine – behind the library.
Address: Rick Kersbergen, RR 4, Box 4645, Belfast, ME 04915; Tel. 1-800-287- 1426.
CROSSROAD FARM IN JONESPORT is owned and farmed by Arnold and Bonnie Pearlman with able help from their son Jodi and daughter Delia. The Pearlmans have been growing organic crops for over 20 years and raise a full spectrum of vegetables, including 58 varieties of potatoes. They have a 3-acre apple orchard with an impressive variety – 50 in all! They market their produce through local supermarkets and through a mail order business.
Date: Sunday, Aug. 3, 1 to 4 p.m.
Directions: From Ellsworth, go 60 miles on Route 1 toward Machias. At the second junction of Route 187, turn right at the DOT sign for Crossroad Farms. Go 2.2 miles to a larger DOT sign and turn right on Indian River Crossroad. Go 1.5 miles – it’s the only place on the road.
Address: Crossroad Farms, Box 3230, Jonesport, ME 04649-9709. Tel. 497-2641.
MAINE-LLY LLAMAS FARM IN HOLLIS is a 100-plus-year-old farm where John and Gale Yohe have a bed and breakfast and raise llamas, which are sold as breeding stock, livestock guards, pets and for fiber. Both llamas and Angora bunnies provide quality fiber, which is sold draw to handspinners, as handspun yarn and as hand-woven rugs. The market garden is certified organic and is nourished with home-produced compost. Bring a picnic or walk the guided nature trail. Fiber, compost, veggies, Peruvian imports and other farm products and crafts will be for sale. Visit with llamas, Angora rabbits and turkeys.
Date: Sunday, July 6, in conjunction with Open Farm Day. Talks are scheduled as follows:
10:30 Llamas – basics of their care and management
11:00 Garden and greenhouse tour with master gardener
12:00 Composting talk with master gardener
12:30 Spinning demonstration
1:00 Garden and greenhouse tour with master gardener
2:00 Composting talk with master gardener
2:30 Llamas – basics of their care and management
Directions: From Route 202 in Hollis Center, take Route 35 south 1.6 miles. Maine-lly Llamas is on the right. From Route 5 in Dayton, take Route 35 north for 2.8 miles. The farm is on the left.
Address: 482 Clark’s Mills Rd., Hollis ME 04042. Tel. 929-3057.