By Lily McVetty, Summer Intern
This week I had the pleasure of working with a volunteer trail monitor, Sue Pinette. At a 121-acre property in Topsham, currently referred to as Tardiff, we constructed a bog bridge and began blazing a new trail. I was introduced to Tardiff during the scouting phase. Just two months later, the property’s old logging roads have been mapped for a cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trail network, a loop trail—with several crushed stone and wooden bridges—has been developed and blazed, and the parking area is under preparation for official signage. It has been neat to witness the property’s progress and to have participated in each step.
On Tuesday and Thursday, I assisted the Tom Settlemire Community Garden Coordinator, Lisa Martin, and three frequent volunteers: Dev, Claudia, and Hope. We completed a diverse set of tasks from weeding, removing pests, aerating compost, and harvesting produce—cucumbers (round and yellow!), peas, onions, carrots, and peppers. It was wonderful to learn about uncommon vegetable types, planting and harvesting dos-and-don’ts, composting methods and vertical farming experiments. As our landscapes and seascapes continue to change, it will be critical for the agriculture industry to consider alternative farming practices. I enjoyed discussing the role that conservation plays in bringing about more sustainable systems. Within two days and with the help from volunteers, Lisa delivered 242.5 pounds of produce to Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program!
Our volunteers are incredible. Without them, a lot of the work BTLT does would not be possible.