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Come Spring Farm in Union permanently conserved

Union — Herbert Harriman has lived on Come Spring Farm since the 1960s, raising his family, managing the farmland and milling lumber. The old farmhouse, while not the original Come Spring Farm dating back to the late 1800s, sits up on a hill on Come Spring Lane and looks out across 14 acres of rolling fields onto Round Pond in the center of Union. On Dec. 21, 2011, Harriman signed a conservation easement with the Georges River Land Trust that will allow the land to remain as farmland forever.

The land has been actively farmed over many years, beginning with the Robbins family noted in the famous “Come Spring” book by Ben Ames Williams. The survey plan of the farm still contains notations citing a transfer of lands from Philip Robbins to Jesse Robbins in 1784. Recently, the fields have been leased to Beth’s Farm where various crops are raised for their farm store and other outlets. In addition to the valuable farm soils, the property has frontage on Round Pond where ducks and migratory birds frequent to feed and rest. The pond’s edge fluctuates seasonally across a broad floodplain.

Harriman and his wife Vicki are pleased to have their land in conservation, realizing the agricultural conservation easement protects their land and allows them to continue doingwhat they have always done on the land. “It feels good to do something lasting for the land that supports our ability to farm it,” Harriman said in a press release.

Maine Farmland Trust joined the conservation effort as a partner by providing transaction funds through their Conservation Grants program to help cover some of the costs to complete the easement. As expressed by John Pioti, the executive director of MFT, “We truly appreciate the chance to partner with local land trusts to meet mutual farmland protection goals.”

The land trust is extremely pleased to hold this easement as a way to support the legacy of Come Spring Farm and protect working lands in the heart of Union.

For more information about the conservation work and programs of the Georges River Land Trust, please call 594-5166 or visit

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