Daytripping: Farms and Gardens to Visit This Summer

At farm and garden tours this summer, learn about seed saving, organic vegetable gardening, chicken breeding, growing fruit trees organically, sourdough bread baking, food lawns and much more. For more farms to visit this summer, please check the event calendar on MOFGA’s website, where you’ll find Farmer to Farmer in the Field events, Gather & Grow Homestead Tours and more.

Dates               Farm or Garden

July 10              Belfast Blueberry Cooperative, Belfast

July 24              Farr Homestead, Troy

July 31              Khadighar, Industry – general farm tour

Aug. 7               Khadighar, Industry – Scatterseed Project tour

Aug. 13             Refections Farm, Dayton

Aug. 13 and 14  Trotochaud/McDowell Gardens and Everyday Pottery Studio, Belmont

Various Dates

Beau Chemin Preservation Farm, Waldoboro

Crystal Lake Farm and Nursery, Washington

Rabbit Hill Farm, Stonington

The Good Life Center, Harborside

Winterberry Farm, Belgrade

Franklin County

Khadighar in Industry, Maine, is a unique example of veganic gardening — maintaining soil fertility sustainably without animal manures. Will Bonsall and friends focus on self-sufficiency, growing a wide range of vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes. Special features include extensive terraces, solar-powered irrigation, intensive (not raised) beds and the use of ramial chips (chipped branches of deciduous trees).

Dates: July 31, 2 p.m., rain or shine: general farm tour. Visitors’ interests usually draw this tour out to 2 1/2 to 3 hours, so plan accordingly. Aug. 7, 2 p.m., rain or shine: Scatterseed Project. Tour seed propagation plots, including discussion of pollination control strategies. Many varieties of crops are grown. The discussion includes exploring plant genetic diversity in order to identify varieties suited to specific local conditions and uses.

Directions: From Farmington, follow Rt. 43 east to Allens Mills (about 4 miles). Continue on Rt. 43 for another 1 1/2 miles, past Junction 148. Continue on Rt. 43 another 1,000 feet to the first road on the right. Follow signs.

Contact: Khadighar, 39 Bailey Road, Industry, ME 04938; 207-778-2410

Hancock County

The Good Life Center at Forest Farm is the historic final homestead of Helen and Scott Nearing, who were prominent proponents of simple and sustainable living, leaders of the back-to-the-land movement and powerful social activists. Resident stewards will be available to lead tours of the organic gardens, hand-built structures and homestead grounds, and to demonstrate the simple and sustainable living skills of Helen and Scott. Visitors are welcome from Memorial Day through Indigenous Peoples Day.

The center will host educational workshops on Maine’s Open Farm Day on July 24. Their Summer Speaker Series will be held on Sundays, July 3 through Aug. 28, and is themed “living simply and sanely in a troubled world,” after the tagline of the Nearing’s iconic book, “Living the Good Life.” Donations are welcome.

Dates: July 3 — Patrick Donovan, environmental teacher at Berkshire School, “Climate Change and Social Justice”; July 10 —Matt Murphy, manager of WERU-FM, “Community Radio, Media, and Social Justice”; July 17 — Lynne Cherry, environmental writer and children’s author, “Research on Black Bears”;  July 24 — Greg Joly, homesteader and researcher, “Scott Nearing: Resource Wars and the Green Economy”; July 31 — Bill Case, Maine Maritime Academy history teacher, “Holocaust and Significance for Today’s World”; Aug. 7 — Abby Barrows, marine biologist, “Microplastics in the Ocean”; Aug. 14 — Julia Bouwsma, poet laureate of Maine and homesteader, “Poetry and the Homestead”; Aug. 21 — Gretchen Legler, author of “Woodsqueer” and professor at University of Maine Farmington, “Homesteading in Central Maine”; Aug. 28 — Margot Anne Kelley, author of “Foodtopia,” “History of Homesteading Movement.”

Directions: A half-hour drive from Blue Hill. From Blue Hill village, take Rt. 176, Rt. 15 and Rt. 175 through South Brooksville; turn left onto Cape Rosier and follow the signs for the Good Life Center.

Contact: 372 Harborside Road, Harborside, ME 04642; Warren Berkowitz at 207-374-5386; goodlife.org

Hop on over to Rabbit Hill Farm on Deer Isle. Located in the coastal town of Stonington on the island of Deer Isle, Rabbit Hill Farm is a certified organic farm, specialty food company, sparkling cider producer and rabbitry. Visit with baby rabbits, picnic at the shore, tour a certified organic farm and explore Rabbit Island. Rabbit Hill offers chowder and popover lunches, wine tastings, farm-to-table suppers, celebration events and educational opportunities for the whole family.

Dates: Rabbit Hill Farm Days are June 28, July 12 and 24, and Aug. 2 and 16.

Directions: Take Rt. 15 onto the island of Deer Isle and proceed to Deer Isle village. As you pass the red house and go down the hill, turn right off Rt. 15 onto Main Street. The Deer Isle post office and the Pilgrim’s Inn will be on your left. Drive south toward Stonington for 4.2 miles. Turn right onto Barbour Farm Road., a dirt road. Keep left and follow for 1 mile to the end and up the hill. Drop-off passenger area and handicap parking only are available on the hill. This is a private road and parking is limited. Please drive slowly and plan to park and walk.

Contact: 148 Barbour Farm Road, Stonington, ME 04681; 207-367-5003, cherylwixsonskitchen.com

Kennebec County

Winterberry Farm is a beautiful farm on the shores of Great Pond in Belgrade, Maine. Established in 1870, Mary Perry and her three kids have been farming Winterberry Farm for 22 years. On 40 acres, the farm produces certified organic vegetables and cut flowers using horses and oxen. Other animals include a flock of Romney sheep, hens and runner ducks. In July and August, on select dates, the farm offers a cut-your-own flower garden — check the farm’s Instagram and Facebook pages or call. 

The farm store is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is stocked with baked goods, ready-baked meals, fresh vegetables, and lots of yummy products made from what the farm grows.

Farm tours are available daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Walk through the wooded trails or sugarbush, and visit the barn and four greenhouses. It takes 30 to 60 minutes. The tour costs $5 per person. Farm maps and animal treat bags included. Visitors will be delighted with this extra-special gem of a farm.

Directions: Drive north from Augusta for about 15 minutes or west from Waterville for about 20 minutes to 538 Augusta Rd./Rt. 27 in Belgrade.

Contact: 538 Augusta Road, Belgrade, ME 04917; 207-649-3331; winterberryfarmstand.com

Knox County

Crystal Lake Farm and Nursery in Washington is a mother-and-son operation owned by Sharon Turner and Eli Berry. Their 75-acre property is comprised of a tree, shrub and perennial nursery, managed woodlot, rotational grazing pasture for four head of Dexter cattle, large vegetable and flower gardens, four hoop houses and a small orchard area. In season, they offer native and favorite potted and field-dug trees, shrubs and perennials chosen especially for birds, bees, butterflies and other beneficials. Other offerings include herb and vegetable seedlings in spring as well as tools for the garden, farm and woodland.

Open by appointment.

Contact: 246 Youngs Hill Road, Washington, ME 04574; 207-845-2140; crystallake.me

Lincoln County

The 180-acre Beau Chemin Preservation Farm emphasizes conservation of rare livestock, raising you-pick berries and practicing sustainable farming. They sell wool from three endangered breeds of sheep and work with fiber year round. Organic, you-pick raspberries and grapes, several seldom-grown varieties of berries, and species pelargoniums are available in season. Learn about their farming and felting practices, 210-year-old house and 180-year-old barn, and antique spinning wheels and loom. Guests are welcome to walk their trail to Havener Pond, about a mile round trip. A bird list is available.

It’s a working farm, so please contact before visiting. Please plan to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Directions: Finntown Road goes south off Rt. 1 in Warren. The intersection is 4 miles east of Moody’s Diner in Waldoboro, and 1.7 miles west of the Warren intersection of Rt. 90/Rt 1. Beau Chemin Preservation Farm is 3.2 miles south of Rt. 1.

Contact: 1749 Finntown Road, Waldoboro, ME 04572; Jo Ann Myers: 207-691-8164 or [email protected]; Wayne Myers: 207-596-1161 or [email protected]; beaucheminpreservationfarm.com

Waldo County

Take a short woodland walk to a small mountain field to nibble on Belfast Blueberry Cooperative‘s just-ripening crop (eating them in the field is always free); observe species in the marshy mountain stream; and see the site of their future sloped passive-solar blueberry drying house and transport cable.

Date: Sunday, July 10, 2 to 4 p.m. RSVP by calling 207-338-3301 (voicemail only, no text): say your phone number and planned arrival time, so they can meet you at the top end of the path.

Directions: From Rt. 3/Rt. 131/Lincolnville Road intersection in Belmont, go south on Lincolnville Road about 4.5 miles. Just after the big marked curve to the left and before the 45 MPH sign, look on right for stone pull-off and parking (the road name changes there to Greenacre Road at the Belmont/Lincolnville town line — the Greenacre sign may still be missing). Park; follow the green rope.

At Farr Homestead visitors can learn about chicken breeding using broody hens instead of incubators, mid-scale gardening with minimal equipment and young orchard management. Their homestead kitchen work includes sourdough breadmaking and canning jam, jelly, vegetables and more.

Date: Sunday, July 24, from 1 to 5 p.m. Please RSVP before your visit, so that workshops on homestead skills can be planned accordingly.

Directions: From Unity, take Rt. 220 North/Rt. 202 East into Troy. Turn left (north) onto Barker Road. The road takes a hard bend to the right, then another bend back to the left, and the homestead is at the second bend, 2.5 miles north of 202, on the left/west side of the road.

Contact: 448 Barker Road, Troy, ME 04987; Steve and Kari Farr at 207-948-6055; farrhomestead.com

The Trotochaud/McDowell Gardens and Everyday Pottery Studio in Belmont will hold its annual pottery sale and garden tour on Aug. 13 and 14.  With a goal of creating a sustainable, organic garden, Mary Trotochaud and Rick McDowell have established numerous fruit, vegetable and flower beds that include cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, rhubarb, raspberries, figs, breadseed poppy, and hazelberts, as well as cherry, peach, apple, apricot, pear and plum trees. A romantic but sturdy grape arbor supports five varieties of grapes. See also a fire pit, a pizza oven, a well-designed chicken coop and a reflecting pool with a small fountain. (Trotochaud is a long-time donor to the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee’s Empty Bowl Supper.)

Dates: Saturday, Aug. 13 and Sunday Aug. 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open other days by chance or appointment.

Directions: From the intersection of the Rt. 1 bypass and Rt. 52 in Belfast, take Rt. 52 for 5 miles to Ryan Road. Turn right on Ryan Road (which becomes Northport Road) and go about 2 miles. Signs for Everyday Pottery are on Rt. 52 and at the house.

Contact: 103 Northport Road, Belmont, ME 04952; 207-342-2251; [email protected]marytrotochaud.com

York County

If you’ve never seen a “Food Not Lawns” yard, visit Refections Farm in Dayton. See raised beds, fruit trees, and non-raised beds everywhere that something else isn’t. There is a huge variety of vegetables and flowers (perennials and annuals), and herbs.

Date: Saturday, Aug. 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rain date: Sunday, Aug. 14, noon to 4 p.m.

Directions: Off of Rt. 35 heading south.

Contact: 209 Dyer Road, Dayton, ME 04005; Carol E. Niles at [email protected]

Due to COVID-19, we urge readers to contact the farmers and gardeners listed before visiting them. In light of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI H5N1) being detected in Maine in 2022, we encourage farmers and guests who have poultry to practice good sanitation. Please leave pets at home when you visit these farms.

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