ROCKPORT — Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), a statewide land conservation organization, welcomes two new staff to its preserves in Rockport, Aldermere Farm at 20 Russell Avenue and Erickson Fields at 164 West Street.
Kathleen Williams started the 8-month MOFGA Farm Apprenticeship at Erickson Fields on March 21. During the growing season she will help manage MCHT’s Teen Ag Crew raising produce for hunger relief agencies. Last year, Williams spent her summer and fall on a farm in Pennsylvania learning about Shetland sheep, small-scale wool processing, and maintaining U-pick blueberry and Asian Pear orchards. She also led family farm classes and volunteer days and was intrigued by the ways a farm can fit into a community.
“I believe small farms should be a fixture in every community,” said Williams. “I'm excited to involve kids and adults in the special, empowering task of growing food.”
Calder Gladstone stepped into his role as MCHT’s Farm Program Coordinator on March 14. He will support programming and developing curriculum at Aldermere Farm and Erickson Fields.
During his college career, Gladstone split his time between chemistry, ecology, and education, and graduated with a degree in Environmental Education. Before coming to Aldermere Farm, he worked for farms and educational institutions, including running a several hundred hog operation at a college in North Carolina and an educational ag program at a nature center in Connecticut.
A native to Dover Foxcroft, Gladstone said he has always felt a pull to the Midcoast and is excited for the opportunity to do meaningful work in this region, according to MCHT, in a news release.
“I believe strongly in fostering the curiosity, work ethic and knowledge needed to thrive out in the world,” said Gladstone. “I have experienced so many kids gain these skills by working, playing, and learning through the lens of agriculture, and there are few better (or more beautiful) places to do that than Aldermere Farm.”
More information about Maine Coast Heritage Trust and its community programs at Aldermere Farm and Erickson Fields can be found online at aldermere.org.