ROCKPORT — Aldermere Farm, in Rockport, will open its doors and barnyard on Saturday, May 6, introducing 12 new members of its beloved Belted Galloway herd and showing progress on a dual-purpose barn, visitor center, and series of substantial renovations both at the farm and at nearby Erickson Fields preserves.
Calf Unveiling Day will be Saturday, May 6, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Aldermere Farm, 20 Russell Ave, Rockport.
Staff and volunteers will open the doors to the public at 10 a.m. Visitors will get behind-the-scenes tours of the barnyard and have the opportunity to meet the twelve Belted Galloway calves born this spring as well as the 4-H members and volunteers who care for the herd. MCHT staff and volunteers will share information about youth agriculture programs offered each year at Aldermere Farm and nearby Erickson Fields Preserve.
-Demonstrations by the Aldermere Achievers 4-H Club with their show cattle
-Live acoustic music performed by The Rusty Hinges
-Grilled Aldermere burgers
-Stone Fox Farm Creamery's homemade ice cream
-The Uproot Pie Company's woodfire pizza
Admission is free. For more information call 207-236-2739.
Farmers are invited to set up a table or pen and display their information and goods for sale. Community Supported Agricultural farms are also encouraged to participate. Space is limited. Reserve your space here.
Aldermere Farm, established in 1800, is home to the oldest continuously operated herd of Belted Galloway in the United States and has had a multi-generational impact on Midcoast Maine. The farm has been a landmark Maine Coast Heritage Trust preserve since 1999, hosts over 2,000 visitors per year, and last year donated over 1,000 pounds of beef to local food pantries, according to MCHT, in a news release.
Nearby Erickson Fields grows nearly 23,000 pounds of fresh produce for food pantries, public-school lunches, share tables and free farm stands in the Midcoast area.
During Calf Unveiling Day, attendees will receive a progress report on a $3.8M campaign for critical new infrastructure and equipment at Aldermere Farm and Erickson Fields preserves. Currently, $2.3M has been raised and MCHT has set a December 31, 2023, deadline to meet its fundraising goal.
Aldermere Farm is undergoing a major renovation to accommodate the Belted Galloway herd while improving accessibility to the public. Included are a dual-purpose barn and visitor center with an accessible vestibule, grain room, washroom, storage areas, office, and a balcony, providing a top-down view of the working barn below.
Erickson Fields has already added a new open-air barn to house equipment that will be used for programing, gardening, and food distribution as the farm continues to engage in education and food security for members of the Midcoast community.
Learn more about the campaign’s infrastructure and equipment updates at mcht.org/moo.
“This historic campaign is making way for a safer, more accessible farm and enabling us to serve the Midcoast community for decades to come,” said Heidi Baker, Farm Preserve Director of Aldermere Farm and Erickson Fields, in the release. “Because of the generosity of so many donors, we are now more than halfway toward our goal.”
At the event, attendees will have the chance to view construction of the new barn and visitor center.
“This new structure will increase operational safety and efficiency for staff, support youth programs, serve as a demonstration facility for other farmers, and allow us to welcome more visitors to learn about the farm and MCHT’s coastwide work,” said Baker.
“Sustainable farming is a core part of the work being supported today by land trusts across Maine,” said Kate Stookey, MCHT President and CEO. “Our crew at Aldermere thoughtfully manage the pastures to enhance soil health and its capacity to store carbon. Through regenerative farming practices, they’re increasing carbon sequestration, water infiltration and retention, and maintenance of species and habitat diversity, it’s extremely different from what you see happening in the industrial food system.”