Archive for category: Blog

85 years of the Bisson Farm

Credit: John Patriquin/Staff Photographer with the Portland Press Herald

Credit: John Patriquin/Staff Photographer with the Portland Press Herald

We were so excited to see this article!

85 years of the Bisson Farm

If you appreciate farmland that is nice to look at and productive, you might be familiar with the area where the Bissons raise their 400 or more head of beef cattle and dairy cows on 500 acres in Topsham.

Go local food!

Sunday’s Press Herald featured the Bisson farm in a wonderful article about this successful farming family. Be sure to check it out!

Your new bridge on the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Trails!


Gary Fogg, the Land Trust’s volunteer extraordinaire, led a small team of volunteers to design and build a new bridge at the entrance of the Land Trust’s Cathance River trail in Head of Tide Park. Made from local materials the bridge spans about 13 feet across a small stream and totals 32 feet with the stone ramps.

New additions like this are part of the progress being made as part of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s campaign for Brunswick Topsham, a 3 year, $7 million campaign that has already raised $5.8 million to build community in your town.

The final push of the campaign will happen over the next 4 months as we ask the community to join in membership to support the programs and trails that help make this such a great place to live.

If you see Gary, Wayne Whitney, Cheri Brunault, or our own Caroline Eliot, and Wilder Nicholson, be sure to say thanks for all of their hard work! It’s a beautiful addition to yet another great getaway in Mid-coast Maine.

If you haven’t been on the bridge yet, head over to, download a map for the Cathance River trail, and get out on a trail this week.

You can support the trail work that helps make this such a great community to live in by being a member of the Land Trust. Be a part of the team at:

Are you interested in working on our stewardship team? Contact Caroline by leaving a message at

Sucess! – Taking Root Plant Sale


To everyone that joined the Land Trust at the Community Garden’s Taking Root Plant Sale last Saturday: Thank you!

Your efforts resulted in almost $4,000 for the Tom Settlemire Community Garden. This is $1,000 more than last year, and a tremendous support.

Now make those plants grow!

As summer itself takes root, there’s a lot to do at the garden, and programs like this are why the Land Trust is in such a historic transformation right now.

As part of our Building Community Campaign, you have helped us grow funds for new programs ranging from guided hikes, to local food programs, to educational programs in your children’s classrooms and on our conserved lands.

It’s a tremendous time to be involved. If you’re not a member of the Land Trust, consider joining today or

You might even win the Kayak that builds community!

Our kids need more nature

Survey of parents worldwide: Kids aren’t spending enough time out of doors, and it is incredibly important to their development.
Playing at the new bridge on the Land Trust trails at Cathance River

TNC notes that “82% of parents view spending time in nature as “very important” to their child’s development”.

In the first global study of its kind, The Nature Conservancy conducted a survey of parents in the US, Brazil, Hong Kong, France, and China in the first global survey on how much time kids spend outside, and the importance of that nature time that parents place on that nature connection.

In addition, they cite a number of studies that directly tie the time spent outside in nature with better health and improvement in the classroom.

Kids need nature, and Maine is no different.

That is why the members of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust have been placing such a high priority on building our community through new event programs, science in the classroom programs, internships, youth work days, and more recently, a Young Explorers program.

Your current capital campaign is helping us build new programs, develop new trails, and broaden our focus to include the things that you as members continue to say are important in our community.

See the full info graphic at: a great info graphic by The Nature Conservancy based on their survey here:

And if you’re not a member of the Land Trust, consider joining at, or better yet,

Playing at the new bridge on the Land Trust trails at Cathance RiverYoung members of the Land Trust at a recent 2014 eventEnjoying a Land Trust event at the Tom Settlemire Community Garden

Land Trust Educational Programs

Credit: Alex Lear, the Forecaster

The Forecaster included a very nice segment on our Young Green Thumbs educational program for ages 4 and older.

On May 7th some of your children attended the first session in our free after school series, Young Green Thumbs. It advocates local food and the protection of farmland, as well as connects kids with our natural world. This series is made possible by the Land Trust’s Local Farm Local Food program, in conjunction with Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust has been in a trans-formative campaign that will culminate later this year. Our focus is broadening to include many community building programs, and our members are the ones making it all possible.

See more about the importance of the work you make possible by watching the video below.

Read the full Forecaster article here:

Zu Bakery – One of 40 vendors at the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Farmers’ Market this year

Portland Press Herald:

Has anyone realized what time of year it is?

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Farmers’ Market opens for the season this Saturday at Crystal Spring Farm, the landmark property you helped us conserve. We can’t wait to share the list of amazing vendors this year (stay tuned, this week!).

  • What: Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm
  • Where: 277 Pleasant Hill Rd
  • When: Saturdays May 3 – Nov 1; 8:30 – 12:30

In the meantime, check out this great piece on one of your vendors: Zu Bakery


Peter Greeno
One of your team members at the Land Trust

P.S. We have great events going on this year. If you haven’t signed up for the twice-monthly events newsletter, head on over to

The 10 Best (and Worst) States to Eat Local

(Photo: Monica Itziar Aya Cuesta/ Getty Images)

(Photo: Monica Itziar Aya Cuesta/ Getty Images)

Ever wonder how Maine ranks on the local food index compared with other states?

It turns out we’re number 2 in the nation.

The annual Locavore Index paints a great story for us in Bowdoin, Brunswick, and Topsham.

Not only do we have nationally recognized chefs, great restaurants, and some of the best farmers markets, but we have a community that cares about the local food that the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and others work so hard to protect.

From conserving local farmland, providing programs to problem solve with local farming families, to helping establish food hubs that make local farming possible, you as members are helping to make it all possible.

(Now let’s beat Vermont…)

Check out the full article by Jason Best at:

Brunswick restauranteer named as one of nation’s top 10 chefs by Food and Wine Magazine

Credit: John Ewing, Portland Press Herald Photographer

Credit: John Ewing, Portland Press Herald Photographer

It’s a proud day for our foodie town!
Food and Wine Magazine just named local chef Cara Stadler, as one of this year’s top 10 chefs in the country.

Cara, 26, owns the Tao Yuan in Brunswick, where the cuisine is guided by fresh ingredients that are available locally.

Those local ingredients and the chefs that bring them to life, like Cara, are part of what we love about living here.

As members you help conserve the local farms that raise the best food being supplied to our amazing local chefs; they, in turn, bring it all to life. Well done.

The Land Trust wishes many, many congratulations to Cara.
Together we’re all growing an amazing place to live.

Read the full article by By Meredith Goad, staff writer at the Portland Press Herald here:

A few images from New Lambs Day

What a perfect day! Thanks to everyone who joined us today at the Land Trust’s Crystal Spring Farm. We had about 300 happy visitors. The weather was beautiful, and we enjoyed the company.

Thanks to Ellen Rodgers and Angela Twitchell who shared a few pictures with us, to Seth and Maura who graciously helped make the event a success, and to the community that made conserving this farm possible! Enjoy…

Credit Ellen Rodgers
Credit Ellen Rodgers
Credit Ellen Rodgers
Credit Ellen RodgersCredit Ellen RodgersCredit Angela TwitchellCredit Ellen Rodgers

Twins at Crystal Spring Farm

Twins! | Crystal Spring Community Farm Twins! | Crystal Spring Community Farm

If you grew up in Brunswick, then you might have fond memories of getting ice cream at Crystal Spring Farm near Brunswick’s border of Freeport.

As members of the Land Trust, you saved that dairy farm from development in 1997.

But it has changed since the old days.

Today it remains under the care of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and serves as home to the Land Trust’s Farmers’ Market and some of Brunswick’s favorite trails.

It is also home to the Crystal Spring Community Farm, a much loved CSA run by Seth Kroeck and his wife Maura.

And it has sheep.

Gone are the days when it was a dairy farm. Today a flock of about 70 Katahdin ewes have replaced the cows.

In February those ewes began lambing with nearly 100 lambs expected.

Among the little ones: two sets of twins.

The nearly 100 lambs need a few weeks with their mothers before this year’s New Lambs Day, but we’re inviting you to come celebrate.

New Lambs Day

The entire community is welcome to come see the baby lambs and their mothers on March 15th between 11am and 1pm.

Bring the kids and the neighbors. It’s free and members and non-members alike are welcome to come.

Find details and RSVP here

The Katahdin Sheep

Co-managing the flock are Seth Kroeck and Tom Settlemire, a long time shepherd in Maine with deep ties to the Land Trust.

The Katahdin sheep breed was developed in Abbot Village, Maine in the 1950s and has grown to be a very popular breed throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The breed is known for having a mix of hair and wool in cold weather that is naturally shed in the spring without the need for shearing.

Ongoing research at Crystal Spring Farm

The flock has been one of the research sites for ongoing work to genetically identify animals that have a natural resistance to two of the most important diseases for sheep worldwide.

This research includes a focus on a parasite infection that invades the hoof. Settlemire, a retired professor of Biology and Chemistry at Bowdoin College along with colleagues at University of Maine, Utah State University, Oregon State University and Ohio State University presented their work recently at the International Plant and Animal Genetic Conference in San Diego.

This level of research work, the production of high quality wool and local food, in combination with great educational opportunities for our kids such as New Lambs day are all reasons why saving these great places is so important.

Support our community

If you aren’t a member of the Land Trust, consider joining today. We’re in the business of building community, and we need your help.