Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) has a new leader to help advance the future of farming…
On October 5, a group of friends donated an easement to protect Shooting Star Farm in Canaan. The 51-acre property is owned by the group, none of whom live at the property year-round, but all work and stay at the farm frequently. Formerly known as the Dickey Farm, the property was operated as a diversified farm and homestead for many years. In the 1970s the farm became the first test garden for Fedco Seeds. Some of the landowners currently produce Jerusalem artichokes and Echinacea for Fedco, in addition to haying the fields and maintaining a small market garden. Everyone (including the dogs!) is excited to know that this special farm will remain available for agriculture far into the future.
On October 22, Lee Houghton closed on an easement to protect his ~130 acre farm in Union. Lee is a longtime dairy farmer in the Union area. In August of 2019, after many years of discussions with MFT, Lee sold his home farm and MFT simultaneously protected that 165-acre property with a conservation easement. Now Lee lives on an adjacent farm parcel now also protected with an easement! Lee currently leases the 76 acres of fields to a nearby dairy farmer for hay and corn. The farm includes 121 acres of important agricultural soils and is bounded on the west and south by the Medomak River.
On October 28, MFT closed on a purchased easement on a 350-acre property in Saint Albans. In 2017, MFT worked with the same landowner to protect another 106 acres nearby, and this new project creates a cluster of protected farmland in the area.