BTLT in the News, “Grant helps Crystal Spring Farm switch business model, zeroes in on carrots, blueberries”
BYHANNAH LACLAIRETIMES RECORD
The growing season for carrots and blueberries might be over, as evidenced by the snowflakes falling on farmer Seth Kroeck’s shoulders Wednesday morning, but there’s still plenty of work ahead for the owners of Crystal Spring Farm as they move forward with plans to break into the wholesale business this fall and winter.
Kroeck and Maura Bannon, managers of Brunswick’s Crystal Spring Farm, are recipients of a$250,000 USDA Value Added Producer grantthat, when matched, will help the farm process, market and distribute organic carrots and blueberry products to local retailers.
The 320-acre organic farm is owned by the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. Seth Kroeck has a 50-year lease on 115 acres of agricultural land and farm buildings along with a separate lease from a local family for 72 acres of wild blueberries. Kroeck and Bannon have been growing organic carrots since 2004 and organic blueberries since 2014.
Over the past decade, Crystal Spring became the largest Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in Maine, according to a news release. In 2018, they grew over 160 varieties of vegetables and served over 600 members from the Midcoast to Portland.
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