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Stewardship: End Of Summer Reflections From The Fields

Stewardship: End of Summer Reflections from the Fields

April Costa is on MFT’s Stewardship team, and monitors farm easements in Somerset, Waldo, Piscataquis, Aroostook, Knox counties.

We are nearing the end of summer in Maine, a time of year that’s so busy it can feel like a scramble, especially on farms. Farmers are busy harvesting the full spectrum of peak season produce, putting up feed for livestock, and preparing ground for the winter. August and September are hectic, exhausting and wistful at once.  I wanted to share with you some of my favorite scenes from the many farm visits I make each year. MFT’s Land Stewards visit a total of 239 farms that MFT has protected with agricultural conservation easements in order to check in with the farmers and answer any questions they might have.  We also make sure that their plans for the farm align with their conservation easement.  This ongoing relationship with each farm and farmer is how we hold up our promise to protect farmland forever.

This year our monitoring visits have been a little different than usual due to Covid-19, but we are still getting out all over the state to visit protected farms and meet with farmers from Oxford County to Aroostook, and everywhere in between.

A few of my favorite scenes from a summer of monitoring visits:

Top photo: Fields in late summer.  As land stewards, one of the elements that we brave this time of year is the intense heat and sun, but I love how fields become fragrant and start to turn golden brown as summer draws on.

Row 1: Horses, any and all (left); Logging machinery.  Many of the farms that MFT protects also encompass large acreages of working forestland.  It is not uncommon that farmers will actively manage the forest as part of their business (middle); Farmland and mountains.  That’s the Bigelow Range in the background! (right).

Row 2: Colorful blueberry fields. It’s the height of blueberry season in Maine! (left); Lots of fruit on Maine low bush blueberries (middle); Farm dogs come in all shapes and sizes! (right).

Row 3: Tidy fields with bright bands of color.  This photograph is from a vegetable farm in Bowdoinham (left); Sides of old barns.  There are many historic barns still standing around Maine (middle).

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