The Morris Farm
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Name:           The Morris Farm

Location:       156 Gardiner Road

                       Wiscasset, Maine  04578

Phone:            207-882-4080



What Makes The Morris Farm So Unique?

The influence that one individual can have on others by simply going about life working hard, maintaining a farm, and being kind to others can prove to bring about rather dramatic results. The Morris Farm in Wiscasset is a good example of how the kind and welcoming ways of Forrest Morris over the years resulted in the formation of a land trust that has evolved into a thriving working farm and educational center.

When the Morris Farm went up for sale in 1994, many area residents could not bear the thought of the farm becoming a victim of development. For many residents, there were memories of working on Forrest’s farm in their younger days and also recollections of the cart and buggy rides that he provided for area children. Fifty acres of Forrest’s farm were concentrated in pasture and farmland and ten acres were composed of woodlands. The land was considered just too important to be divided and developed. People rallied behind the idea of organizing a farm trust to preserve Forrest’s land. The dream of saving the land came to fruition in June of 1995, when the Morris Farm Trust was able to purchase the farm.

Over the years since its inception, the farm had farmers live on-site, grow crops, pasture livestock, and assist with education and events. For the past few years, the farm had been home to farmers, Alan and Candee Macqueen. They operated a small Holstein dairy operation, raised Clydesdale horses, laying hens, rabbits, turkeys, and goats, and operated an incredibly active 4-H club. In the summer of 2014, Alan passed away unexpectedly. In the wake of that tragic event, Candee decided to sell her animals and move off of the farm to be with family.

After a winter that saw the barn empty, the farm began to bring back livestock, adding goats, sheep, chickens and pigs to the mix.  The Morris Farm Store was reopened and now offers produce and products sourced entirely from farms and producers in Maine, much of it being organically-produced. Fields were planted with organic garlic and veggies and flowers to supply the store and be given as gifts to members. The Board also identified food security as a new focus for the future and hired a full-time AmeriCorps VISTA member to work with the Program Coordinator and the Board to design and implement a plan for reaching out to community members in need.

The Morris Farm would score high on any evaluation conducted in regard to reaching out to the community. Many area students benefit from visiting the Morris Farm on field trips. The Wiscasset Primary School, directly across the street from the farm, enjoys a school garden at the Farm. A Farm-to-School educator, funded by the farm, works with students to prepare beds, plant, weed, harvest, and incorporate their produce into lunches. A private business, Farm Camp, has operated an eco-camp for young children, each July and August, offering environmental and agricultural adventures and enrichment.

The Morris Farm hosts a number of popular “Signature Events.” These include a  community Thanksgiving potluck, the annual May Plant Sale, Tour de Farms, an autumn auction, a Johnny Appleseed Dinner, and a harvest festival. The Morris Farm University of Maine Gardener Volunteers, the Margaret Ellis Community Gardens, and the Morris Farm Primary School Garden all grow food for the hungry that they donate to local food pantries. Students at Wiscasset Primary School grow a winter squash mix, carrots, and potatoes for Thanksgiving food baskets. The farm’s new focus on food security in Lincoln County will enable opportunities to help those in need. 

Many volunteers step forward to help with daily needs and special events at the Morris Farm.  Each year Bowdoin College sends students to the farm for a teambuilding overnight trip in which they assist with projects. In 2014, they moved earth and built bridges on the farm’s trail network. Students from the Deckhouse School also pitch in regularly, mowing lawns, mucking out stalls, preparing fields for planting, and repairing farm machinery.

A Backyard Farmer program has offered various farm-related workshops at Morris Farm including such topics as Using Compost as a Soil Amendment and Fall Additive; Think First, Spray Last: Homeowner Pesticide Awareness; the Morris Farm Book Club; a screening of the documentary Food Inc.; Green Homes 101; Backyard Poultry Demonstration; Canning and Preserving; An Intro to Meat Birds; and Kitchen Garden Design.

The atmosphere at the Morris Farm is inviting and laid-back. Visitors are welcome on the property seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. There are no admission fees. An interpretative trail is located in the wooded land that connects to the Wiscasset Town Trails. Hikers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers enjoy the trails that go through the beautiful pine forest that is situated on the land.

Morris Farm became a Maine Farmland Trust Forever Farm in September of 2011.  Farms that showcase a “Forever Farm” sign indicate that the farm was preserved through an agricultural easement and that the land will be forever available for farming. There is a feeling that not only will the Morris Farm forever remain a farm, but it will also forever focus on educating and including the entire community in its mission to promote the values of sustainable agriculture and stewardship of the earth.

Scenes Around
Morris FarmScenes_Around_Morris.html
Photos from John Affleck of Morris FarmPhotos_Courtesy_of_Morris_Farm.html