About the Farm (New)
Production varies by season but we actively cultivate about 9 acres. Flowers are our main crop, but we also grow some organic produce. We dedicate significant space for soil-improving cover crops which improve the soil for our rotation of annuals. We have several hoop-house structures in which we produce early and late crops. The surrounding fields and forest are sometimes gleaned for interesting installation decor, but mostly these spaces inspire us to keep our designs a little wild and unpredictable.
In the spring we have a small group working in the greenhouse and tending the hoop houses. We manage the mulch on our perennials and bulb crops, and gear up for our Mother’s Day target. By then, we have fields prepared for planting but we keep a close eye on the last frost.
By summer our crew grows to about 10 part time or full time folks working in fields on production or harvesting, and in our design studio. Deliveries are made daily, and pick-ups at the farm are steady. Fall does not slow us down, but after the frost much of our production is wrapped up. We still manage harvests from our hardy crops in the field and from inside the hoop houses, but some of the seasonal crew leaves, and we start to clean up the fields before snow and freezing temperatures arrive. Production begins again by late January as we focus on the hoop houses.
Broadturn Farm is located on land leased from the Scarborough Land Trust. The land was purchased in 2004 from the Meserve family, who worked it during the previous century. In the 1920s they had a dairy. In the 1940s they produced squash and beans for local canneries. They joined in on Maine’s poultry boom in the 1970s and maintained a laying flock into the 1980s. Putting up hay and grazing cattle kept the open land working. We still hear stories about the three Meserve brothers living together in the farmhouse during the very hard economic times for small farms throughout the 1980s and 90s.
This land is part of the Stroudwater River Watershed which opens up into the Fore River and Casco Bay. There are two streams feeding into that river on either side of the open fields. There are 300 acres of forest and wetland which filters this water and buffers the flow in seasonal rains. A wetland swale cuts through our 50 acre hay field providing habitat for many species of birds. Sandi's Silver Brook Trail can be found behind the farmstead, off of Hanson Road, and is accessible to visitors year round. The property is also used by hunters, bird watchers, and cross-country skiers. We believe that land should fundamentally be considered a common space with a multiplicity of uses. Anyone is welcome to walk the trails and explore the hayfields.
Broadturn Farm has a 99 year lease with the Scarborough Land Trust. It took us 14 years to sign it, and throughout that time we have learned a lot about land access, farm business, and stewardship. There are many ways to occupy land, and ownership as we understand it is historically a very marginal approach. We are happy to share some of what we have learned, so please reach out if you have questions.