Beddington Ridge Farm
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Name:         Beddington Ridge Farm

Address:      Ron and Carol Varin

                    1951 Maine 193

                    Beddington, Maine  04622

Phone:         207-638-2664



Products and Services:

-field-grown perennial flowers

-Maine wild blueberries   

-everlasting wreaths

-twig wreaths

-Christmas wreaths

-homemade jams and fruit spreads

-farmers’ markets

-craft shows

-cut flowers

-mail order

What Makes Beddington Farm Unique?

With a year-round population of around fifty individuals, Beddington is the smallest organized town in the state of Maine.  It is situated in a remote area of Downeast Maine where the natural surroundings are quite wild and pristine.  You can drive many miles on Route 193 without noticing any influences of development.  The Beddington Ridge Farm is a delightful property on Route 193 in Beddington and a great destination for people who appreciate perennial flowers, homemade jams, blueberries and everlasting and holiday wreaths.

If you have not had an opportunity to visit Downeast Maine, it is an area that should not be missed.  The various natural habitats play a significant role in the lives of many of the residents.  For as long as people can remember, people in the area have depended on the land and coastal waters for their sustenance and livelihoods.  Clamming, lobstering, fishing, tipping trees for wreaths, and harvesting blueberries still provide seasonal employment for many of the inhabitants.

Ron and Carol Varin are great examples of how their strong connection with the fields and forests has enabled them to successfully farm for a living.  They illustrate the strong seasonal-related economical ties that have been established in the area between farmers and harvesters and the many natural resources.  The Varins are fortunate to be situated amidst highly productive wild blueberry fields.  Gathering wildflowers from the fields and woods, Carol creates one-of-a-kind twig wreaths that are made of materials that she harvests from her surroundings such as sweet fern, birch, willow and blueberry twigs, moss, birch bark, seed pods, and cones.

Carol Varin attended the Rhode Island School of Design and is an artist.  Her artistic and creative talents are very obvious in the stunning everlasting and twig wreaths and bouquets that she designs.  The everlasting flowers, herbs, and ornamental grains that Carol grows retain their color and beauty when air dried.  The Varins sell their dried everlasting wreaths and bouquets at the Brewers Farmers Market in late September and October and at local fall craft shows.  People often contact Carol to request that she create her beautiful and fragrant perennial and wildflower bouquets for special events.

Carol and Ron are avid gardeners who grow and sell an impressive selection of over three hundred varieties of perennial flowers and herbs.  Their perennials are hardy plants that have over-wintered and have been dug with a heavy root system.  They are potted and ready for sale by mid-May.  Besides purchasing plants at the farm, customers can purchase the Varins’ perennials during May, June, and July, at the Winter Harbor Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays; the Machias Valley Farmers’ Market on Fridays; and at the Milbridge Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.

In late July and August, the Varins keep busy with their wild blueberry harvesting.  They moved from the city in Rhode Island to Beddington and harvested their first crop of blueberries in 1980.  They now sell their blueberries to Wyman’s on a wholesale basis.  They offer blueberries for sale in pints, quarts, and pre-ordered ten-pound boxes at the Brewer Farmers’ Market in August.  The blueberry harvest has been a family affair with their daughters and Ron’s mother all helping out.  The blueberries are raked by hand on their farm and then cleaned in a winnowing machine.

The Varins are committed to their town and preserving the strong natural resource economy. Carol served on the Beddington Comprehensive Plan Committee and is the Town Clerk.  Ron has served on the Board of Selectmen for most of the thirty-four years that they have lived in Beddington. The history of Beddington has been associated with logging, tanneries, saw mills, and blueberries. According to the 2006 Comprehensive Plan for Beddington, which can be found online, the town has three fruits native to the area including blueberries, cranberries, and grapes. 

The Beddington Comprehensive Plan discussed how Native Americans burned the blueberries in the spring to help the crop.  They dried blueberries for pemmican which is a high protein food often made with meat and the available ingredients found in the wild such as berries.  During the Civil War blueberries were hand-picked and hand canned and soldered for shipping to the Union Army. Berries were also handpicked for two cents a quart and shipped by schooner in one-quart wooden firkins to Boston.  This trip took two-and-a-half days!

Like many Downeasterners, the Varins make good use of the plants growing on their land.  They have become very creative with using their blueberries, cranberries, and apples. Their value-added products have proven to be a great addition to the items that the Varins sell at Farmers’ Markets.  They presently make several types of jams and preserved items in their state-licensed kitchen including Wild Maine Blueberry Jam, Honey Sweetened Wild Blueberry Jam, Wild Blueberry Fruit Spread - All Fruit Sweetened, Wild Blueberry Strawberry Jam, Wild Blueberry Rhubarb Jam, Wild Bog Cranberry Sauce, Wild Blueberry Cranberry Jam, Apple Butter, and Cranapple Butter.

After several nights of cold temperatures in the 20’s F, Ron and Carol begin harvesting the balsam fir tips of the balsam trees to make holiday wreaths. They make several types of wreaths including the Traditional Christmas Wreath, the Mixed Greens Wreath, and the Maine Woods Wreath.  Customers purchase their wreaths at their farm, by mail order, or at the United Maine Craftsmen Thanksgiving weekend craft show in Brewer.

In the fall the Varins participate in several craft fairs besides the Brewer United Maine Craftsmen Thanksgiving Show.  During the first weekend in November they attend the

United Maine Craftsmen Show at the Bangor Civic Center.  In mid-November they attend the University of Maine Homecoming Craft Fair and the Maine Marketplace in the Field House at the University of Maine at Orono.

If you are unable to get to one of the farmers’

markets or the craft shows in which Ron and Carol Varin participate, you can always contact

them to schedule a visit to their farm.  They may

be a little “off the beaten track” but often some

of the best farms in Downeast Maine require a

little bit of time and travel.  You can be assured that it will be worth the effort when you arrive

home with some of their flowers, berries, jams,

or wreaths.

Jams &