UNION—A new Midcoast Farmers Union site at the former Coastal Blueberry Services facility at 61 Common Road is now open to farmers to set up pop-up retail markets and to use the space for storage and/or other functions.
The Midcoast Farmers Alliance (MFA) was formed by farmers in 2015 with the support of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, which operates Aldermere Farm and Erickson Fields, two working educational farms in the Midcoast.
The goal of MFA is to increase the shared supports available to farmers in the area. MFA was formed by farmers in 2015 with the support of Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Maine Farmland Trust partnered with the MFA and MCHT to establish the Midcoast Farmers Union site by purchasing the property in 2022, with the intention to facilitate its resale to the MFA as the Midcoast Farmers Union site grows.
On July 18, the Midcoast Farmers Alliance and Maine Coast Heritage Trust held an open house for farmers and the community as a way to see the space and generate ideas about how the space could benefit the farming community.
Emily Gherman-Lad, assistant director of Engagement for Maine Farmland Trust, estimated about 35-40 farmers and members of the community showed up to the event.
“It was great to meet so many farmers and community members who came to see the space and share their ideas on its potential,” said Adam Bishop, Maine Farmland Trust’s Director of Farmland Protection and Farmland Access.
Next Pop-Up Farmer’s Market
Saturday, July 29, 2023
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Frostfire Farms will be selling:
⋅ Free range eggs
⋅ Wild greens
⋅ Snap peas
⋅ Raw sheep’s wool
⋅ Wool dryer balls
⋅ Wildflower/herb wreaths
Brodis Blueberries will be selling fresh blueberries.
Maine Farmland Trust felt it was really important to give the facility, with its history of supporting agriculture, a new life.
“The space is going to be used for pop-up farmer’s markets throughout the season,” said Carly Williams, project coordinator of Midcoast Farmers Alliance. “We have an herbalist market planned for October, and we’re hoping to have a Harvest Fest in the fall. Another idea that came out of the open house was to hold an evening farmer’s market for people who have daytime jobs. We’re hoping to use the space to support farmers and agriculture in the Midcoast and these markets seem like a great place to start.”
In a news release from Maine Coast Heritage Trust, other possibilities have been laid out: “Farmers can set up the pop-up markets on their own schedule or combine efforts with other farmers to host markets at the same time. The site also offers storage space for farmers to keep excess dry goods or equipment safe and secure.”
“At Maine Farmland Trust, we are really excited to see how the Midcoast Farmers Alliance and Maine Coast Heritage Trust are developing this space to meet the needs of farmers in this community,” said Bishop. “When this former wild blueberry processing facility went up for sale last year, we all saw the opportunity that its buildings and infrastructure could offer to area farms. MFT is thrilled to have brought our land transfer experience to this partnership by purchasing the facility, with the plan to resell it to the MFA as they continue to develop and grow.”
For more history and background about the space, visit: “Open house to allow farmers, community to check out new Midcoast Farmers Union site”
To learn more about the space and how to get involved, contact Aaron Englander at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-236-2739.
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com