Forever Farms

foreverfarms_logo_finalIn November I joined the Androscoggin Land Trust.  This month we are putting together our spring 2017 newsletter.  I’m writing an article about agricultural conservation easements – a legal tool that farmers can use to protect their farmland from development.

My article features a farm in Lisbon, and so I recently visited the property to speak with the husband and wife team that tends 170 acres of farmland.  (The article will be out later this month.)

While waiting for the farmer to emerge from the barn, I snapped a few photos.

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Given my irrational level of fear on seeing this rooster, I vaguely recalled an incident from my childhood in which I had a bad run in with a rooster.  I kept my distance.

An orange barn cat kept winding around my legs, and a half dozen energetic barn birds flew into my wheel hub.  Apparently they quickly determined that my tire was nothing special because they left within a minute.

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I’m pretty certain this horse was sweet on me, and I sorely regretting not having a secret stash of carrots.

 

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This goofball below had an ear decorated with hay.

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Sure, we just celebrated Maine Maple Sunday.  (Despite the cold spring, sugarhouses around the state were up and running and sweet syrup was bubbling.)  But mark you calendars now for Open Farm Day on July 23, 2017.  As explained by Maine’s Agricultural Resource Development Division within the Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Conservation, “Maine’s Open Farm Day is an annual family adventure in which farms throughout all 16 counties open their gates to offer the public an opportunity to learn about the business of agriculture.  Open Farm Day gives families the chance to visit local farms throughout the state.”  http://www.maine.gov/dacf/ard/market_promotion/open_farm_day

Now, the particular farm I visited is not in fact a “Forever Farm.”  As explained by Maine Farmland Trust, designating a farm as a ‘”Forever Farm” is a way to celebrate the growing success of farmland protection efforts in Maine.   “Forever Farm” signs are installed on farmland in Maine that has been preserved through agricultural easements.  While there are many farms that are protected with conservation easements (like the farm I visited), not all are designated as Forever Farms.  The goal of Forever Farms is to celebrate the partnerships between landowners and land trusts (like the Androscoggin Land Trust!) that have led to the growing success of farmland protection in Maine.

Perhaps you’d like to get involved in your local land trust?  Here’s a list, compliments of the Maine Land Trust Network (http://www.mltn.org):

 

 

 

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