About the Farm
Over the last 14 years, Broadturn Farm has gone from a vacant piece of farmland at the end of a traditional farming lineage to a revitalized community-centered organic farm with a novel approach to tenancy and ownership.
John Bliss and Stacy Brenner cultivate more than 12 acres: five in flowers. and the rest in produce and cover crops. The farm's other 100 open acres are suitable for pasture and hay relative to the slope and drainage. The rest of the property is wooded.
In 2004, the Scarborough Land Trust purchased and forever preserved the 434 acre Meserve Farm. In the fall of 2006, John Bliss and Stacy Brenner became tenants at the Farm, which they renamed Broadturn Farm. In 2010, the Land Trust and John and Stacy signed a unique 30-year lease. This is a grand experiment in farmland preservation and the development of a viable farm business.
John and Stacy have written, presented and consulted on the topic of modern farmland tenancy. Please be in contact if their expertise might be useful.
We (John Bliss and Stacy Brenner) share the work of running the farm and raising two daughters, Emma (24) and Flora (13). We both grew up in the suburbs of large cities, with no direct relationship to agriculture and started farming together in 2002.
We are middle-aged, at times cynical, hardworking and always delighted to have a good laugh with friends and co-workers. Good food is a high priority for us, as is travel and plenty of time to binge on TV in the winter during a snowstorm. Access to real food, a strong need for connection to sustenance, and the potential to connect the verdant world with social justice is what urged us to put our hands to the earth.
While the desire to raise food was easy to intellectualize, the flower farming is a hobby gone wild. We both have a love for making and growing, thus flower farming and flower design work is like an extension of the challenges of food production melded with the art of design. Every bucket of blooms still makes us giddy. The first bunch of tulips, the perfect peony and the dahlia with just the right shade of blush bring such joy. And, much like the first meal we had as a family with all farm produced food, the first big wedding we did with all farm grown and foraged goods made our hearts sing. We are truly honored to put food on people's tables and flowers in their arms.
We wholeheartedly embrace an open farm policy. Being here at Broadturn Farm is a gift, a real blessing, and we are open to sharing that with our community. There are trails to explore and fields to examine and there is always something going on with the livestock, from cud-chewing to a mama hen trailed by her 6 chicks. And, if all that proves unexciting, the barn cats are sure to bring smile.
If you come by and you see us puttering around, please say hello and let us know if you have any questions. We're almost always busy in the season, but never to busy to share a moment with a visitor. There are no regularly scheduled tours, but don't let that keep you from stopping by.
Alaena has always been fascinated by the wonders of the natural world and equally terrified of the human race's role in accelerating climate change. Six years ago she decided to leave her non-profit job in NYC to learn how to farm in Maine. She found a home at Broadturn and never left! She see's herself as the nanny of the flowers on the farm... tending to them from tiny seeds until they are sent into the hands of customers. Once they are out in the world, there is nothing she can do but hope that everyone appreciates their beauty as much as she does.
Angela joined the Broadturn Farm team in 2016 and is the lead floral consultant for all things wedding and event related at the farm. She delights in building client relationships and takes pride in her special work as a liaison between families and some of life’s most momentous celebrations. Her past experience in the restaurant, catering and photography industries, combined with the inspired floral design work created alongside her team on the farm, bring together her love for high energy, beauty filled events.
Megan holds a Fine Arts degree from the Maine College of Art and an Art Education degree from the University of Southern Maine, and she leads the education crew here at Broadturn. She fully embraces the work of farm-based education, creating curriculum that combines her love of teaching with her passion for art, the great outdoors, and good food -- fresh from the farm, fields and woods. When she's not teaching, you can expect to see her foraging in the woods, knitting, fermenting veggies, playing her ukulele or walking a goat!