EDUCATION AND LEARNING | FOOD | HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Beech Hill Farm tour

Posted July 11, 2013, at 7:57 a.m.
Last modified July 11, 2013, at 11:48 a.m.

Thursday, July 18, 2013 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Location: Beech Hill Farm, Beech Hill Road, Mount Desert, Maine

MOUNT DESERT, ME—On Thursday, July 18, the public is invited to visit College of the Atlantic’s Beech Hill Farm for a special tour, complete with refreshments.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, beginning at the farm stand with introductions by COA faculty staff, alumni, and students who will speak about the college’s Sustainable Food Systems program and the connection of the farm to the island. As visitors tour fields green with produce from artichokes to zucchini, they will hear about the advanced composting efforts launched by COA students, the farm’s heritage apple project, and also the raising of poultry, sheep, and pigs. Additionally, visitors will learn about the college’s far-reaching Share the Harvest program, making fresh, local, organic produce available to all.

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COA’s 73-acre Beech Hill Farm is a working, sustainable organic farm that provides fresh vegetables to the COA campus, as well as some produce to restaurants and local public schools, including Mount Desert Elementary School. That school was the only public school in Maine to win a Gold of Distinction designation from U.S. Department of Agriculture for the quality of its school food program. Through these efforts and Share the Harvest, Beech Hill Farm achieves its threefold goal of local and sustainable food production, education, and good land stewardship.

The farm, donated to the college in 1999 by COA alumni Barbarina and Aaron Heyerdahl, also serves as a sustainable energy demonstration site. Over the past few years COA classes have worked on a variety of projects that model options available to homes, farms, and businesses seeking to move towards more sustainable practices. These include renewable energy production, conservation, and efficiency monitoring measures, thanks to a grant from Efficiency Maine Trust.

Located at 171 Beech Hill Rd, the farm is reached from Route 102 in Somesville. Heading towards Southwest Harbor, turn right onto Pretty Marsh Road at the blinking yellow light next to the fire station. Proceed to Beech Hill Road (less than 1/4 a mile on your left). Following signs to the farm, in approximately 1.5 miles, the greenhouses and fencing will be visible.

For more information about the farm, and the farm stand, which is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., call 244-5204 or e-mail: BeechHillFarm@coa.edu. For more about the July 18 farm tour contact Kim Childs at kchilds@coa.edu or 207- 801-5625.

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit www.coa.edu.

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FARM TOUR: Thursday, July 18 at 10 a.m.: Talk and Tour at College of the Atlantic’s Beech Hill Farm. Hear the latest news from COA’s farming and food systems. Beech Hill Road, Mt. Desert, ME. kchilds@coa.edu or 207- 801-5625. www.coa.edu.