Meaghan and Ross Nichols are the energetic, hardworking couple who own and operate High Hopes Farm on a beautiful 120ish-acre piece of land in Bristol, just four miles from downtown Damariscotta. The couple purchased the farm earlier this summer, and already have a small, thriving operation with thoughtful plans for continued growth.
Meaghan and Ross both grew up in the area, and didn’t even consider looking at other farms because they knew they wanted to stay in their community.
“We chose to farm here because for years we had seen the farm, and it didn’t seem very active. This is our home town and I wanted to see this farm come back to life again,” says Ross.
When the couple bought the farm, MFT purchased an easement on the property, lowering the cost for the young farmers, and ensuring that High Hopes will remain available for farming for future generations. Young farmers like these two aren’t just feeding their neighbors; they’re helping to build a strong foundation for the local economy, stewarding the environment, and creating greater food security in their community.
“This farm provides an awesome habitat for all of my animals to thrive,” Meaghan says. “We have open fields, ponds, and woods. The location is also key; being right on the Bristol Road gives us an opportunity to sell our products via our farm stand, and avoid the craziness of packing up for farmers’ markets or other deliveries.”
She also loves that their location gives customers a chance to see the hard work they’ve put into the farm, and to see their happy and healthy animals. Meaghan and Ross raise lambs, pigs, goats, turkeys, chickens and ducks for meat. Their animals are meticulously cared for and raised in natural settings, with lots of space to roam, fresh air, clean bedding, and even homemade sourdough bread scraps, thanks to Meaghan’s mom.