Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) has a new leader to help advance the future of farming…
Bumbleroot Organic Farm is a small MOFGA certified organic farm currently located in Buxton, Maine. The two couples behind the farm, Melissa + Ben and Jeff + Abby, grow vegetables, flowers, and herbs, and sell their produce at the Portland Farmers’ Market, the Saco Farmers’ Market, the Kittery Community Market, and through a CSA. This past May, the four farmers purchased a former dairy farm in Windham through MFT’s Buy/Protect/Sell program. The easement placed on the property made the land more affordable for the oncoming farmers, and ensures that the land will be forever available for farming. The farmers plan to move to their new land this fall.
The two couples met while farming in Colorado but wanted to move East to be close to their families. They chose Maine because of its vibrant food and farming culture, and for the strong support network for beginning farmers in this state.
“We have been so impressed with MOFGA’s programs for beginning farmers (we are participating in the Journeyperson Program and took the new farmers’ business development course this winter) and by Maine Farmland Trust’s commitment to connecting young farmers with farmland in Maine.” -Melissa
They began looking for land in Maine in 2013, and knew they wanted to be close to the Portland markets, and to Allagash Brewing, where Abby has a off-farm career. They kept an eye on Maine Farmlink, and through that program, found the land in Buxton that they currently lease. There, they’ve grown a thriving operation, thanks in no small part to generous neighbors that have been willing to let them lease additional land. But still the farmers continued to look for a larger and more permanent farm property, where they could grow their business and cultivate a more diverse, holistic farm.
“When the Weeks Farm in Windham first appeared on Farmlink in early 2015, we toured the farm, met the Weeks family, and fell in love with the property, but it was too far out of our price range. When Maine Farmland Trust announced that they would be purchasing it and reducing the price through an easement, we were thrilled. It is a dream come true for us to be moving to such a beautiful piece of land, with a wonderful history of family farming, and so close to Portland! We feel like we won the lottery.” -Melissa
“Since we aren’t living there just yet we are still in the very beginning stages of learning about the land and creating a relationship with it. Our plan is to take a year to observe the natural patterns of the space, and work together (and with our Journeyperson mentors at Apple Creek Farm) to form a plan for transitioning and slowly growing our business and our families on the land.” -Melissa