Daytripping: Farms and Gardens to Visit This Summer

May 29, 2024

At farm and garden tours this summer, learn about organic vegetable gardening, veganic gardening methods, raising livestock on a small scale, seed saving, natural dyeing of wool, lacto-fermentation for food preservation, building a stone garden wall, and much more. For additional 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

  • June 27            Sanford Regional Tech Center, Sanford
  • July 14             Belfast Blueberry Cooperative, Belfast
  • July 25             Holden Elementary School, Holden
  • July 27-28       Trotochaud/McDowell Gardens and Everyday Pottery Studio, Belmont
  • July 27-28       Versicolor, South China
  • July 28             Apple Creek Farm, Bowdoinham
  • July 28             Dandelion Spring Farm, Bowdoinham
  • July 28             Frinklepod Farm, Arundel
  • July 28             Ripley Farm, Dover-Foxcroft
  • July 28             Khadighar, Industry — general farm tour
  • August 1          Portland Arts and Technology High School, Portland
  • August 4          Khadighar, Industry — Scatterseed Project tour
  • August 3          Urban Garden Tour, Bangor and Brewer

Various Dates

  • Beau Chemin Preservation Farm, Waldoboro
  • Crystal Lake Farm & Nursery, Washington
  • The Good Life Center, Harborside
  • Maine School Garden Network, Statewide
  • Smithereen Farm, Pembroke
  • Sweet Dreams Lavender Farm, St. Albans
  • Winterberry Farm, Belgrade

Statewide

Join Maine School Garden Network for a series of school garden summer tours! Held in the late afternoon at various schools across the state, these tours offer a firsthand look at the incredible work being done to cultivate nature-based education spaces for students. Led by dedicated school garden coordinators and staff, each tour shows off the individuality of school gardens and is followed by a potluck picnic. All community members interested in seeing the progress of Maine schools in promoting nature-based learning are welcome to attend.

Dates: York County — Thursday, June 27 at 4 p.m., Sanford Regional Tech Center; Penobscot County — Thursday, July 25 at 4 p.m., Holden Elementary School; Cumberland County — Thursday, August 1 at 4 p.m., Portland Arts and Technology High School.

Look out for tour dates in Belfast, Caribou and elsewhere! For up-to-date information, visit the Maine School Garden Network website and join their mailing list at msgn.org.

Contact: To RSVP for tours, please email [email protected].

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 28, 2 p.m., rain or shine: general farm tour. Visitors’ interests usually draw this tour out to 2 ½ to 3 hours, so plan accordingly. Aug. 4, 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.

Location: Khadighar, 39 Bailey Road, Industry, ME 04938. 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: 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. Enjoy tours of the organic gardens, hand-built structures and homestead grounds, and demonstrations of the simple and sustainable living skills of the Nearings. Visitors are welcome from Memorial Day through Indigenous Peoples Day.

The center will host the following hands-on educational workshops this summer: Lacto-Fermentation 101 with Lauren Landers on July 13; Gardening for Pollinators with Lauren Landers on July 20; and Stone Wall Construction with Greg Joly and Ned Reynolds on July 27.

The Good Life Center’s Summer Speaker Series will be held on Sundays, July 7 through Sept. 16, at 4 p.m., 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 7 — Charles Rolsky, Are Microplastics Mega Problems? What About Climate Change?; July 14 — William Case, Unique Presidential Elections in American History; July 28 — Greg Joly, The Nearings’ Vermont Years; Aug. 4 — Lynne Cherry, Eternal Rainforest of the Children; Aug. 11 — Irwin Gratz, How Bad is the News About the News; Aug. 25 — Sonya Donaldson, Memory, Community, and Performance: The Many Lives of James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing”; Sept. 8 — Bonnie Newsom, Changing Climates and Wabanaki Shell Heaps: Partnering to Preserve Indigenous Pasts; Sept. 15 — Nicole Grohoski, Local and Statewide Political Issues.

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

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 25 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 for more information. 

The farm store is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is stocked with baked goods (including Miss Mary’s famous wild Maine blueberry pie and other flavors), ready-baked meals, fresh vegetables, and lots of yummy products made from what the farm grows.

Farm tours are available daily, April 1 through Sept. 1, 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. Cutting your own flowers is an option while you’re on your farm tour. Visitors will be delighted with this extra-special gem of a farm.

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

Versicolor operates a dye garden and studio. Visitors can participate in natural dyeing of wool; tour the vegetable garden and greenhouse, including Asian vegetables; and check out a “rewilding” planting project to increase native trees, shrubs and perennials.

Dates: Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28 at 10 a.m. through 3 p.m.

Location: 28 Willette Drive, South China, ME 04358.

Contact: Jude and James Hsiang at 207-480-0332; [email protected]

Knox County

Crystal Lake Farm & Nursery in Washington is a mother-and-son operation owned by Sharon Turner and Eli Berry. Their 75-acre property comprises a tree, shrub and perennial nursery, managed woodlot, rotational grazing pasture for 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.

Dates: Open by appointment.

Location: 246 Youngs Hill Road, Washington, ME 04574.

Contact: 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. From their three breeds of sheep, they sell breeding stock, wool, and felted garments. They also raise the Poitou donkey, which is nearly extinct — there are only about 500 in the world. Organic, you-pick raspberries and grapes; several seldom-grown varieties of berries; dye plants; rootstock; and rare 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 roundtrip. A bird list is available.

Dates: It’s a working farm, so please contact before visiting.

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

Penobscot County

Join the Urban Garden Tour to visit as many as 10-12 individual or community gardens in the cities of Bangor and Brewer, and talk with local garden hosts about how to “grow your own” in the city, no matter what size garden space you might have. Gardens feature vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, and/or trees and shrubs. Educational workshops are also offered, such as how to build a garden bed. Plus, tour Food AND Medicine’s greenhouse in Brewer.

Date: Saturday, August 3, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Rain date: Sunday, August 4, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Contact: Visit foodandmedicine.org or contact Larry Dansinger, 207-262-3706 or [email protected], for a schedule and list of gardens and times to visit during the day. 

Piscataquis County

Ripley Farm raises organic vegetables, flowers, herbs, perennials, and small-scale livestock (cows, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens) in Dover-Foxcroft.

Date: Visit the farm on Open Farm Day on July 28, from noon to 3 p.m., for farm tours. The farmstand will also be open.

Location: 62 Merrills Mills Road, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426.

Contact: Gene and Mary Margaret Ripley at 207-564-0563, [email protected]; ripleyorganicfarm.com

Sagadahoc County

Apple Creek Farm was established in 1985 by the Galle family. Now run by the second generation, Jake Galle and Abby Sadauckas, the farm is certified organic and produces grass-fed meats and eggs. Originally wooded, the farm now includes numerous pastures and wooded trails. The farmers raise chickens, cows, goats and sheep and the farm produces eggs, meats and sheepskins.

Date: The farm will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Open Farm Day, July 28. Join farmer-led tours at 10:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m. or 12:15 p.m. Come and meet the animals, enjoy activities for children or shop in the farm store. Please dress for the weather and walking over uneven ground, bring a cooler and leave dogs at home. 

Location: 538 Millay Road, Bowdoinham, ME 04008.

Contact: applecreekfarm.me

Dandelion Spring Farm is a certified organic mixed vegetable and herb farm and has been in production in the Midcoast for 18 years. Beth Schiller joined the Bowdoinham community in 2018 when she purchased 85 acres of land, with beautiful ridges and soil of statewide agricultural importance. After purchasing the property, she sold an easement to Maine Farmland Trust to forever protect the land. Tender salad greens and aromatic herbs are the baseline of Dandelion Spring, but they also have other greens, squash, fairytale eggplant, and roots. Their products can be found at the farmers’ market in Portland and at many natural food stores and restaurants along Maine’s coast.

During Open Farm Day, they hope people have an opportunity to feel connected to where their food is grown and the farmers who raise it. They hope for conversation, laughter and community. Visit the farm-based art exhibit in the The Hive, their new timber frame barn, and relax with a short chair massage. Enjoy local food, art and music. For more information and to sign up for a massage, visit their website. 

Date: Open Farm Day, Sunday, July 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: 961 Ridge Road, Bowdoinham, ME 04008.

Contact: Beth Schiller, farmer, and Hilary Crowell, event coordinator at the Hive at Dandelion Spring Farm, at [email protected]; dandelionspringfarm.com

Somerset County

Join a lavender farm tour at Sweet Dreams Lavender Farm. Activities include: lavender tasting, lavender picking and more. Let’s talk lavender!

Date: July, Thursday through Saturday, 11 am. to 4 p.m.

Location: 408 Dexter Road, St. Albans, ME 04971.

Contact: Marie Kirven at 207-938-3951; mainelavenderfarm.com

Waldo County

Walk up a woodland path (about 550 feet) to eat your fill of just-ripening blueberries on Belfast Blueberry Cooperative’s lush Cattail and Sky Field (on-site eating is always free; your own picnic is ok, too). This eastern foot of Levenseller Mountain overlooks Tilden Pond and Mount Waldo. Learn about 100% wild pollination, leaf spreading, biochar in soil and opportunities for fruitful involvement.

Date: Sunday, July 14, noon to 4 p.m. 

Location: From Rt. 3/Rt. 131/Lincolnville Road intersection in Belmont, go south on Lincolnville Road about 4.5 miles. Soon after the big marked curve to the left and just before the “Greenacre Rd.” and 45 MPH signs, look on right for stone pull-off and parking (the road name changes to “Greenacre” at the Belmont/Lincolnville town line). Park; follow the green rope to the top of the field.

Contact: RSVP by calling 207-338-3301 (voicemail only, no text) — say your phone number and planned arrival time, then come on up!

The Trotochaud/McDowell Gardens and Everyday Pottery Studio in Belmont will hold its annual pottery sale and garden tour on July 27 and 28. 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, rhubarb, raspberries, figs, breadseed poppy and hazelberts, as well as cherry, peach, apple, pear and plum trees. A romantic but sturdy grape arbor supports three varieties of grapes. See also a fire pit, a pizza oven, a well-designed chicken coop, a beehive 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, July 27 and Sunday July 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open other days by chance or appointment.

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

Washington County

Smithereen Farm is a super diverse, MOFGA-certified organic farm looking out on Cobscook Bay in beautiful Downeast Maine. They’re building an abundant, dynamic and multi-faceted agroforestry operation, producing healthy food for Washington County and beyond. They grow big gardens, gather wild medicinal herbs and seaweeds, and harvest low-bush blueberries and cranberries — and then process all these unique tastes into value-added products in their commercial kitchen.

They welcome visitors to the farm and the larger campus in Pembroke, to visit the Farm Store, to attend a public event, or by appointment. They offer self-serve you-pick wild Maine blueberries in July/August and cranberries in August/September.

The Smithereen Farm Store is open from May 1 through October 1. Find their value-added products, hot takeaway food, fresh organic produce from the farm, and a wide selection of frozen, fresh and shelf-stable items from local producers. Stop by for picnic supplies or to stock up on delicious souvenirs from your time Downeast. They carry produce, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, breads, oysters, honey, chocolate, coffee, books, gift items and more. The Farm Store is their de-facto agritourist orientation center: Here you’ll find visitors’ guides to help you eat Downeast, trail/cultural suggestions, and even an electric car-charging station! Visit smithereenfarm.com/camp or search “Smithereen Farm” on Hipcamp to learn about camping opportunities.


They host events and workshops in partnership with Greenhorns (their nonprofit sister organization). They host popular Spa Days, opportunities to luxuriate in a seaweed soaking tub with access to a shared woodfired sauna. Learn more at smithereenfarm.com/events. In Pembroke, you’ll also find Reversing Hall, a former Odd Fellows Hall that now houses the Greenhorns Agrarian Library, open to the public by appointment or chance. 

Dates: The Farm Store is open May 1 through October 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.

Location: Smithereen Farm Store is located at 12 Little Falls Road, Pembroke. Reversing Hall Agrarian Library is located at 4 Leighton Point Road, Pembroke. You-pick blueberries are at 306 Youngs Cove Road, Pembroke. You-pick cranberries are at 4 Cranberry Drive, Dennysville.

Contact: [email protected]; @smithereenfarm (Instagram); smithereenfarm.com

York County

Frinklepod Farm is a small, diversified organic farm, growing vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers on 4 acres of land and in three greenhouses. Visit their farm store, pick your own flowers, enjoy non-dairy soft-serve ice cream, and take a guided tour of the farm.

Date: Visit on Open Farm Day, July 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Farm tour times will be announced on their website and social media.

Location: 244 Log Cabin Road, Arundel, ME 04046.

Contact: 207-289-5805; frinklepodfarm.com.

A few things to note: Please leave pets at home when you visit these farms. Due to the risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI H5N1) in Maine in recent years, we encourage farmers and guests who have poultry to practice good sanitation. Farms and gardens participating in this listing are not vetted by MOFGA, and a listing does not imply an endorsement.

This article was originally published in the summer 2024 issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Visit our events calendar for more opportunities to learn about organic farming and gardening.

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