Milkweed Farm
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Name:          Milkweed Farm

Address:     Michael and Lucretia Woodruff

                    Milkweed Farm

                    63 Gott Lane

                    Brunswick, Maine  04011

Phone:         207-725-4554



Products and Services:

-organic vegetables, greens, berries





-herbs and herbal products



-CSA Spring and Fall shares

-Medicinal CSA shares


-Common Garden

Why is Milkweed Farm Unique?

Back in the 1970‘s, Jim Underwood Crockett hosted a television series called “Crockett’s Victory Garden.”  He often visited farms with incredibly beautiful gardens.  His program was well-received at the time.  The gardens that Michael and Lucretia Woodruff tend and all that is taking place at Milkweed Farm would

certainly qualify for a spot on a modern-day

television show that profiles exemplary organic farms.

Michael and Lucretia Woodruff have been involved with a self-sufficient lifestyle for many years.  They lived on a large piece of land in Phippsburg, Maine, where they built their own home and ran a small farm.  They both have a background in leading outdoor trips in Maine, out west and internationally.

The Woodruffs were able to purchase the farm on Gott Lane in Brunswick seven years ago. They were looking for land with better soil and they also were interested in being closer to Brunswick and Bowdoin College, where Michael is employed as the Director of the Outing Club.

The Woodruffs have seven acres of pasture and gardens and three acres of woods.  They live off the grid in a solar-powered home.  They designed and built their beautiful house and barn.

When Michael and Lucretia started a family, they knew that they wish to feed their children wholesome food.  Their farm serves as a model for sustainable farming practices.  They have incorporated rotational grazing, companion planting, and cover crops in their organic farm operation.  As proponents of biodynamic farming, they believe in planting and farming with the biodynamic planting calendar.

An assortment of pasture-raised animals can be found at Milkweed Farm.  The Woodruffs raise pigs, chickens for meat and eggs, and turkeys. Buttercup is their milk cow and her calf is Rosebud.  Two Great Pyrenees reside on the farm to help with predator control.

No hormones or antibiotics are used at Milkweed Farm in the raising of their pastured animals.   The animals assist with pest management and providing fertilizer for the soil.  Seaweed is used to add nutrients to the soil.

Over forty varieties of organic vegetables and many organic flowers are grown on the farm.  Some of the produce is sold to El Camino Restaurant.  The pork raised at Milkweed Farm is sold to Rosemont Market.

During 2014, Milkweed Farm grew food for eighty families in their CSA and included a Spring and Fall Share to their offerings.  Their CSA season operates for eighteen weeks from late May through the end of September.  The CSA share includes a weekly box of vegetables that can be picked up at the farm on Tuesday or Friday.  There is an optional weekly egg share that can be added to the CSA program and members can have priority access to meat products that are raised on the farm.  Deposits are taken online for the various CSA programs that also include turkey and hog share options.

The Woodruffs raise a variety of organic herbs and herbal products including salves, remedies, oils, syrups, tinctures, and soaps. They are one of the first farms to offer a Medicinal Herb CSA program.  Through learning about the preparation and use of medicinal herbs from well-known healers, traditional texts, and their intuition, the Woodruffs harvest wild herbs and grow several varieties of cultivated herbs.

Some of the herbs with which the Woodruffs focus include St. John’s wort, mullein, plantain, comfrey, clover, calendula, thyme, and yarrrow.  The culinary herbs that are grown at the farm include basil, thyme, sage, oregano, garlic, onions, mint, rosemary, and French tarragon.

Milkweed Farm offers three different types of Medicinal Herb Shares:  the Standard Share, Family Share, and the Just for Mothers Share.

The cost of the Medicinal Share is $100 and includes attendance at one of three herbal preparation classes offered by Lucretia during the growing season.

The Woodruffs have demonstrated a strong interest in involving the participation of the community at their farm.  They offer the Common Garden program where families or individuals agree to work four hours in the garden each week.  In this working CSA program there is a modest cash investment to cover the cost of seeds and tools.  Regular work days are scheduled for some of the larger projects on the farm.  Often potluck dinners are planned at the end of the work day.  Last year fifteen area families participated in the community workshare program at Milkweed Farm.

According to their profile on the Eat Maine Foods! website, in addition to community gardens, the Woodruffs have an interest in farmland protection, health and nutrition, hunger and local foods access, farm to restaurant, local foods marketing and distribution, food coops, and GM-free seeds and genetics.

Sharing their knowledge and experiences with apprentices has been a tradition at Milkweed Farm for several years.  The apprentice season lasts from April through November.  Housing in a 12‘x16’ platform tent is provided with a propane cook stove, bed, table, and chairs.  Some food from the garden and a stipend are

offered.  The apprentices have access to borrowing books from the Woodruffs’ well-stocked library of many books on farming.

Apprentices at Milkweed Farm learn various skills such as seeding, soil block making, tractor driving, weeding, irrigation, and the daily feeding and watering of animals.  They participate in such activities as planting the seedlings in the greenhouse; slaughtering the poultry; transplanting; harvesting; erecting fencing; cutting firewood; making yogurt and cheese; canning; fermenting; working in the orchard; and harvesting medicinal herbs.  They also help out in the store and with childcare when needed.  The Woodruffs have four children - Finnegan, Seamus, Daire, and Maeve.

Apprentices who sign on at Milkweed Farm have the opportunity to experience a farm that embraces a holistic approach.  With the incorporation of biodynamic principles, the Woodruffs seem to well understand how everything on the farm is related and how each animal and crop serves a function to help towards self-sufficiency.  The pigs provide pork, but also are instrumental in clearing the land.  The cow provides compost which is made into compost tea. The milk from the cow is used for the cheese and the yogurt.  Excess milk is fed to the animals.

Milkweed Farm received its name because the land was filled with milkweed plants and the many Monarch butterflies that are attracted to the plant.  Carl Linnaeus, who was known for his work with the classification of plants,

named the milkweed genus after Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, because of the many folk-medicinal uses for the milkweed plants.  What a fitting name that Michael and Lucretia chose to name their farm as they are one of the only farms in Maine offering three types of shares for a medicinal herb CSA program.  It is also interesting to note that the Woodruff’s family name just happens to coincide with the woodruff herb - a sweetly scented plant with many uses!

With their medicinal herb and vegetable CSA programs, their commitment to being off the grid; their Common Garden workshare program, and their incorporation of organic and biodynamic practices, Milkweed Farm has earned quite a reputation as a showpiece of a successful diversified farm. 

It is heartwarming to see how Michael and Lucretia’s four children help around the farm.  Their gardens are exceptionally neat, well-labeled and well-weeded.  If Jim Crockett and the original Victory Garden television show were still in existence, it’s a safe bet that there would be great interest in profiling all that the Woodruff family has accomplished at their outstanding organic farm in Brunswick.