Introducing the Maine Farms Podcast! Our first two series focus on the timely topics of Farm Succession, and the intersection of Farming and Climate Change. The podcast explores both of these issues through candid conversations with Maine farmers. We’ll release new episode weekly — stay tuned for the latest!
FARM SUCCESSION SERIES
EPISODE #1: The first episode of the Farm Succession Podcast series features Jo Barrett, a farmer who found a way to transfer her farm to the next generation of farmers. For many years, Jo and her late husband operated King Hill Farm in Penobscot, Maine. When unexpected health issues made it impossible to keep farming, Jo found a younger couple willing to take on the farm, and together they puzzled out how to transfer the operation. In this episode, Jo shares the ups and downs of her journey with succession planning and why she is grateful she started thinking about it early.
EPISODE #3: Tune in to hear how the Sherburne family navigated the succession of their dairy farm business in Dexter, ME. In this episode, Fred and Carol Sherburne discuss tough family conversations and decisions they made to ensure that their farm would continue to be a farm.
EPISODE #2: For years, Dave and Chris Colson and their family ran New Leaf Farm in Durham, an organic vegetable and hay farm in Durham. The farm provided salad greens and other vegetables to Southern Maine chefs and markets. But as the Colsons have gotten older, and their children have moved away, Dave and Chris have scaled down the operation to subsistence farming. Listen in to hear how they’re thinking about the future of their farm, and why they’re not quite ready to make a big change.
CLIMATE CHANGE SERIES
EPISODE #1: Ben Whalen and Melissa Law of Bumbleroot Organic Farm, a small certified organic farm located in Windham. Together with their business partners Abby and Jeff, the couple grows a wide variety of vegetables, flowers, and herbs for Southern Maine markets. When they were ready to start their farm they relocated from Colorado to Maine for many reasons, a major one being access to water for farming. In Maine, they still employ some of the farming practices they learned out West to conserve water and extend the growing season. They are now finishing their fifth season on the farm, and have continued to learn more and more about farming in a changing climate.
EPISODE #3: Gail Van Wart is a fourth generation farmer in Dedham, ME. The land that is now home to Peaked Mountain Farm was bought by her great grandfather in 1868. She has seen many changes in the land and the wild blueberries that grow there throughout her lifetime. More recently, the long, wet springs have impacted the the blueberries, as well as the number of wildflowers and pollinating insects in the fields. Gail and her husband try to track the effects of climate change and also try to mitigate some of the impacts with methods such as beekeeping.
EPISODE #2: Over the past ten years, Joe and Laura Grady of Two Coves Farm have witnessed many weather changes on their saltwater farm in Harpswell. The Gradys raise pastured livestock for meat and poultry, and grow some produce on 100 acres of protected farmland. In this episode, the farmers discuss how they feel livestock operations like theirs have been less directly impacted by climate change thus far. However, they have observed related changes, like coastal erosion, and are thinking about what that might mean for the future of their farm.