CRYSTAL SPRING FARM – for all of us

By Emily Swan

This morning I enjoyed a fabulous hour of cross-country skiing on the extensive trail system the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust maintains at Crystal Spring Farm.  As I swooshed along the smooth ski track, I contemplated the many ways that Crystal Spring Farm nourishes and serves our community.

First of all, there is myself and the countless other skiers, hikers and snowshoers who enjoy these trails in the winter, and in every season of the year.

Then there are those who benefit from the Tom Settlemire Community Garden, located on the Crystal Spring Farm North property (accessed by car off Maurice Drive) and maintained by the Land Trust and many, many volunteers.  The food grown here nourishes not only those who garden these plots, but also clients of the Mid-Coast Hunger Prevention Program, which typically receives some 2,500 pounds of produce annually from the Community Garden’s Common Good plot.

For those seeking quiet contemplation, there is the Labyrinth-in-the-Woods, a joint project of the Land Trust and First Parish Church that is open year round for any and all seeking quiet contemplation and spiritual solace.

My ski this morning took me past the bee hives, maintained by local beekeeper Ken Faulkner.   When spring comes, these bees will find nectar in the crops grown on the adjacent field by farmer Seth Kroek, and the crops, in turn, will benefit from pollination provided by the bees.

Seth’s farm is not the only one that benefits from Crystal Spring Farm.  The Farmers Market held there from May to November provides a living for dozens of local farmers and immeasurably enriches the lives and bodies of the thousands of people who shop there every year.  Low-income people also benefit from the market, which through efforts of the Land Trust in partnership with Access Health, accepts EBT cards (food stamps).

Although I had the Crystal Spring Farm trails to myself this morning, I know that I am far from the only person who benefits from this invaluable community resource.