WARREN — Two Warren farms were recognized recently as Forever Farms by Maine Farmland Trust.
Hatchet Cove Farm and Oyster River Farm are two of many farms across the state being recognized as part of a new program launched this summer by the trust. The Forever Farms Program distinguishes farmland that has been preserved successfully through agricultural easements and in these cases, both farms are protected locally by the Georges River Land Trust. Agricultural easements ensure that the land will be available forever for farming.
Signs that read Forever Farm will be installed on farms participating in the program. Through the signage, a new website and events across the state, Maine Farmland Trust seeks to raise public awareness about what farmland already has been preserved, while generating excitement for future farmland preservation.
Maine Farmland Trust is a statewide nonprofit organization that undertakes a variety of programs to protect farmland and support farmers. To date, the trust has helped protect more than 25,000 acres of Maine farmland in 89 communities.
Georges River Land Trust is equally pleased to see this program grow. “Farming is a strong component of the local economy in midcoast Maine and we are pleased to have conserved 1,126 acres of farmland in the Georges River watershed. It is great to give credit to these farmers and to raise public awareness through the Forever Farms Program,” said Annette Naegel, conservation program manager for the Land Trust.
There are more than 50 farms in the program. More than 200 farms are protected by agricultural easement in Maine.
Hatchet Cove Farm is a MOFGA-certified organic family farm owned by Bill Pluechker and Reba Richardson. “We are pleased Hatchet Cove Farm has been recognized as part of the Forever Farm program. We love any opportunity to connect with our community with healthy, fresh organic vegetables,” she said.
The 57-acre Oyster River Farm was transformed into a winery in 2007 by owners Brian Smith and Allie Willenbrink. Oyster River Winegrowers specializes in aromatic white wines using both organic and biodynamic methods grown on the 3.5 acres of vines.