This is a story from our Newsletter a year ago, with an update:
It was not too many years ago that Rokes Egg Farm in Camden was a bustle of agricultural activity. And soon the property will be bustling again.
Cooper Funk and Marina Sideris recently purchased the 40-acre property from MFT. They intend to create a vibrant, diversified farm that will grow vegetables and flowers and raise livestock. The couple has recently relocated from California, where Funk managed a successful organic vegetable farm. Sideris was raised in Camden, practically within sight of Rokes Farm. “It fulfills a dream to be able to come home to farm,” said Sideris.
The sale of this property is the next step in a multi-step process that began years ago when Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) approached the Rokes about selling an easement on their property. Though excited about the prospect of protecting their land in this manner, the Rokes needed to sell, so MCHT needed a new partner. Enter MFT, which bought the farm in early 2012. Since then, MFT has been working in partnership with MCHT to help raise funds for the easement, and to find the right buyer.
The Camden area is ripe for a rebirth of farming, given local interest in fresh farm products. Yet in communities like Camden with high development pressure, sometimes the only way to expand farming is to protect more land with agricultural easements, making it more affordable for new farmers.
A year after that story from our Spring 2013 newsletter, we checked in with the couple and recorded a podcast for Forever Farms. Their conservation easement was finally closed, they renamed the property Dooryard Farm, and are now certified organic. They continue to be excited about farming in the area and maintaining the historical viability of the farm.
Listen to the podcast here: [powerpress]