Celebrating a new “Forever Farm” in Damariscotta

Brady Hatch, Brendan McQuillen and their family stand in the fields of the newly protected farmland in Damariscotta. Photo courtesy of Blue Horse Photography.

60 acres of farm fields and woods on Route One just northeast of downtown Damariscotta are now permanently protected, thanks to a collaboration between Damariscotta River Association (DRA), Maine Farmland Trust (MFT), Slow Money Maine, The Morris Farm Trust, United States Department of Agriculture and Brady Hatch and Brendan McQuillen of Morning Dew Farm.

“This complicated project has been almost seven years in the making, and it is hard to imagine a better outcome,” said Adam Bishop, Farmland Protection Program Director at MFT.

Your support through DRA helped make this possible.

Maine Farmland Trust, in partnership with DRA, and with generous financial support from many in the local community, purchased this property in 2011 to ensure that the property would remain in agriculture, and remain an important scenic site for the local community. Area residents will remember that prior to the purchase these roadside fields were under consideration as a development site for a Super Walmart.

“I can’t think of a better welcome to Damariscotta than the fields of Morning Dew Farm,” expressed DRA Executive Director Steven Hufnagel. “It speaks of a place that values sustainable economic development, natural resources and the skills and well-being of its people. We at DRA feel grateful to have worked in close partnership with MFT and the many supporters of this project, including many DRA members, who in turn learned about the important work of MFT and together made something wonderful happen.”

Hatch and McQuillen, of Newcastle had been leasing the property from MFT for several years, cultivating a wide variety of vegetables and herbs to supply their customers at the local farmer’s market, farm shares, and at their Midcoast wholesale accounts. The farmers now own the property, which is conserved with a voluntary land protection agreement that will ensure the land always remains available as farmland.

We couldn’t have done this without our members and supporters. Thank you!