singing to garlic: MAINE’S FARMER MUSICIANS BY CARRIE BRAMAN PHOTOGRAPHS BY MOLLY HALEY
John and Martha Charest recently donated an easement to Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) on their 69-acre farm in Buxton.
John Charest acquired the property in the 1974 and began the work of restoring the alder choked fields and rehabilitating the century old farmhouse and barn. The Charests are only the fifth owners of the farm, which was originally awarded to Captain John Elden, a veteran of the French and Indian War, in the mid-1700s.
The Charests began raising Belted Galloway cattle in 1978 and raised sheep and pigs over the years. They continue to raise a small herd of cattle and actively manage the farm’s woodland acreage for silvopasture (woodland pasture for livestock) and tree growth under a forester’s guidance.
John and Martha first reached out to MFT a decade ago. They wanted to make sure their land will remain available for farming. In 2017, after many family discussions, they decided to place an easement on the property. They chose to donate the easement to MFT because they feel the Trust is best situated to ensure that the lands they restored to productivity will protected and available for agricultural use for generations to come.
“Maine Farmland Trust was always upper most in our minds as we looked to the future. They came highly recommended,” said the Charests. “With the help of the MFT we are assured that this land we’ve worked so hard for over the years will remain open and productive fields and woodlands.”
Maine Farmland Trust is pleased to accept this easement and thrilled that these productive lands will be available for future farmers.