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Celebrating National Farmers’ Market Week!

Join us this Saturday at the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Saturday Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm to celebrate National Farmers’ Market Week! Now in its 23rd year, National Farmers Market Week is an annual celebration that highlights the vital role farmers markets play in the nation’s food system. Amidst global change, it is now more important than ever to showcase the importance of farmers markets in our communities.

A key aspect of our mission as an organization is supporting local agriculture and commitment to strengthening our local food system. The BTLT Saturday Market plays an integral part in building community relationships around food and supporting our local agriculture, aquaculture, bakers, makers, and producers!

Be sure to stop by the BTLT info booth to enter our raffle or pick up a new scavenger hunt for the kiddos! We will be raffling off some fun prizes including BTLT merch, vouchers to spend at the Market, and tickets to the Common Ground Fair. To enter the raffle, simply head to the BTLT booth to have a photo taken of the goodies you got at the Market, and fill out a raffle ticket.

Plus, we are very excited that our incredible Market poster artist, Addy Wagner will be popping up on Saturday to sell some of her awesome prints. Be sure to stop by her tent to see her work!

Why celebrate National Farmers Market Week?* 

  • Farmers Markets are key for community food access. Since 2017, farmers market and direct marketing farmer redemptions of SNAP benefits have increased by 162 percent.
  • Farmers markets are the future of local food. Farmers markets are business incubators for young farmers; they provide one of the only low-barrier entry points for new farmers, ranchers, and food entrepreneurs allowing them to start small and test new products.
  • Farmers markets fuel local economies. In 2020, approximately 78% of farms selling directly to customers sold all of their directly marketed food within a 100-mile radius of the farm.
  • Farmers markets support conservation, connection and education. Research indicates that by facilitating farmer to consumer interactions, farmers markets shift both purchasing habits of consumers and the growing practices of farmers, leading to the adoption of more sustainable practices.

*Statistics from Farmers Market Coalition 

Be sure to thank all your favorite farmers, makers, and bakers this week for being a part of this incredible farmers market and our local food community! There is a tremendous amount of work that goes into making this Farmers’ Market happen. We thank our vendors, shoppers, volunteers, and BTLT members for their support! Want to learn more about supporting your local farmers’ markets? Check out this blog post.

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Saturday Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday at Crystal Spring Farm from 8:30am-12:30pm from May through October. 

We’re Hiring: Seasonal Agricultural Program Coordinator

BTLT is looking for a new team member to manage on-the-ground operations of our Saturday Farmers’ Market and Tom Settlemire Community Garden. This is a part time, seasonal position, running from March to November.  The right candidate will be a people person with a dedication to conservation and local food, be able to prioritize diverse, demanding tasks, and have demonstrated experience in both gardening and oversight of events or programs. 

 About BTLT and its agricultural programs: 

The BrunswickTopsham Land Trust (BTLT) offers the Saturday Farmers’ Market and Tom Settlemire Community Garden (TSCG) at Crystal Spring Farm, our signature 321-acre property on Pleasant Hill Road in Brunswick, as part of our wider mission, which includes conserving and protecting our region’s natural resources, and supporting local agriculture and fisheries now and for generations to come. It is our goal to support and develop the local natural resource-based economy to keep farmland, forests, and fisheries open, working, and productive, and to make strides toward providing significantly more of our community’s food needs through local production.   

The Saturday Farmers’ Market commonly sees several thousand visitors on a busy summer weekend, hosts over thirty diverse vendors, and has kept millions of dollars in the local food economy. TSCG has eighty community plots, offers educational and volunteer experiences for local groups and youth, provides growing space for youth empowerment groups, and includes the Common Good Garden: a partnership to grow food for Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program (MCHPP). Both programs also provide important gathering places to enrich the lives of people in our region through community building, resilience education, connection to the natural world, and fun.  

 About the role: 

The Agricultural Programs Coordinator will be a part time, seasonal employee to oversee on-the-ground implementation of the Saturday Farmers Market and Tom Settlemire Community Garden programs, as well as play a lead role in the administration and communications for these programs. The Coordinator will supervise the daily operations of the Market and TSCG plots and grounds. This will include being on site at the Market weekly from May to October from 7am to 1pm, and at TSCG on a regular schedule. This person will oversee, coordinate, and nurture volunteers, support events, implement program goals in partnerships with other BTLT staff, and generally be the face of the Land Trust at these important programs. 

 The right candidate will be a people person with a dedication to conservation and local food, be able to prioritize diverse, demanding tasks, and have demonstrated experience in both gardening and oversight of events or programs. Familiarity with the southern Midcoast and BTLT is a plus.  

The position runs from late March through November at an average of 15-20 hours per week (hours may be more in spring and less in the mid-summer and late fall). The ideal candidate would plan to return each spring. Year-round employment is possible for the right person and based on grant funding and project opportunities. 

 Skills Required: 

  • Ability to work with diverse groups of people. 
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to resolve conflict. 
  • Physical ability to undertake various gardening and market set up tasks. 
  • Knowledge of organic vegetable growing and soil, pest, and disease management. 
  • Experience overseeing programs, large events, and/or community engagement efforts.
  • Proficient in Mailchimp, Microsoft 365 programs, Zoom, social media, and email. 
  • Basic “handyperson” skills for minor repairs and upkeep of infrastructure.
  • Ability to organize, motivate, and nurture volunteers.
  • Organized and detail oriented. 

 Duties: 

Garden Oversight: 

  • Work with Program Manager to assure all plots are assigned and paid for and complete all processing and data entry. 
  • Communicate with plotholders (primarily through Mailchimp) throughout the season on garden tips, pest issues, volunteer needs, and other alerts.  
  • Facilitate relationships with program partners such as the Merrymeeting Gleaners, MCHPP, Brunswick High School Dragons’ Farm Garden, New Mainers, and Mawita’nej First Nation Youth Group. 
  • Collaborate with seasonal education staff on youth summer programming. 
  • Work with volunteer program leaders to manage garden programs such as the Plant Sale, Plant Sale Gardens, and the Common Good Garden. 
  • Coordinate and implement spring plotholder orientations, and garden mentor program. 
  • Ensure that TSCG is opened and closeddown for the season in April and November respectively.  
  • Assist in scheduling, planning, and overseeing TSCG events and workdays that occur during the growing season. 
  • Oversee volunteer oversight of tasks such as mowing, turning compost, orchard maintenance, perennial gardens, etc. 
  • Oversee maintenance of all structures and infrastructure including shed, raised beds, kiosks, tools, water system, etc. 

 Market Management:

  • Be a welcoming face at the Saturday market, acting as an ambassador for Land Trust in all matters, including helping to staff BTLT info and membership booth at market, communicating effectively with vendors, welcoming market patrons, and referring questions about market policy and Land Trust matters to appropriate Land Trust staff and Board members. 
  • Attend all markets to ensure vendors comply with market expectations and troubleshoot problems when they arise. 
  • Collect certification of insurance, vendor fees, verify requisite licenses, and complete all processing and data entry. Layout the market site.
  • Work with parking staff to complete market site preseason set up and end of season breakdown, as well as weekly site set up and breakdown. 
  • Coordinate and manage SNAP/ Maine Harvest Bucks program, including finding and overseeing volunteers. 
  • Basic maintenance of site, such as ensuring the area is free of trash. 
  • Monitor how the market is listed on other sites and with other organizations. 
  • When appropriate, work with the Development team to plan for and implement the sale and marketing of fundraisers as may arise.  
  • Provide weekly reports on market conditions such as weather, number of attendees, vendors not in attendance. 
  • Create a final market report at the end of each market season.  

General:

  • Write blog posts and social media as appropriate to showcase programs. 
  • Take photos to document programs. 
  • Work with BTLT staff on events, program development, and other outreach as requested. 

 Compensation and Benefits: 

This part time position includes competitive salary (based on experience)paid vacation and sick time, and a flexible work schedule (aside from Saturday mornings), ability to work outside in a beautiful setting and from home, opportunity to engage with diverse members of the local community, and the chance to develop initiatives and programs based on interest. 

How to Apply: 

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to apply@btlt.org. Please use “Agricultural Programs Coordinator” as the subject line of your email. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as they are received, with a deadline of February 10, 2021. 

About Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust:  

BTLT is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to steward the cherished landscapes and rich natural resources of our communities, to connect people to nature by providing recreational opportunities and other engaging community activities, and to support local agriculture and fisheries, now and for generations to come. We were founded in 1985 and have grown over the past 35 years into a robust organization that holds over 2,500 acres in conservation, provides diverse programming, and works closely with an array of community partners to enhance the environmental vibrancy and health of our region.  We have approximately 1,000 members including a vibrant business membership. We have five part to fulltime staff, a board of directors of nearly 20, and dozens of active committee members. Learn more about our mission and programs at www.btlt.org 

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other legally protected factors. We actively encourage community members with diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and ways of life to consider working with us. 

New England Food System Innovation Challenge

The New England Food System Innovation Challenge took place earlier this month at St. Joseph’s College in Standish with ten teams participating from Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. BTLT has been a supporter since the start 4 years ago and was represented by Tom Settlemire, BTLT board member and past president, who is co-chair of the event.

This weekend full of ideas and energy fits with BTLT’s efforts to support Maine agriculture and reduce food insecurity. The three-day event is designed as a workshop-contest for college teams and members of the public who have ideas about new products, processes, or programs that would in some way bring more local food to market, strengthen our food economy, or help reduce food insecurity. The workshops bring lawyers, market specialists, grocery store owners, and more to hear proposals and give advice or suggestions to each presenter.

Congratulations to the winners:
Enterprise Teams
Dirigo Food Safety – $5,000
Haul, Inc – $2,500
Pasture Pops – 6 Hours of Legal Services from BCM Environmental & Land Law and 3 month membership in Fork Food Lab.
Eve & Mathieu Oat Milk – 6 Hours of Brand & Marketing consulting from Garrand Moehlenkamp and 3 month membership in Fork Food Lab.
Fresh Start Food Gardens – 6 Hours of Business Development Consulting from The Sustainability Lab

College Teams
Unity College – $2,000
College of the Atlantic – $500
University of Southern Maine – 6 Hours of Business Development Consulting from The Sustainability Lab
open to enterprise and college teams with idea stage and very early stage enterprises that would improve the production, aggregation, distribution and processing of locally produced food and harvested seafood.

For a recent article on the New England Food System Innovation Challenge by the Press Herald, click here!

Collaboratory Drop-In

We're sorry, but all tickets sales have ended because the event is expired.

  • December 6, 2018
    1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join us at the Curtis Memorial Library to enjoy the Local Bounty Collaboratory. Drop in to our office hours where we’ll answer questions about the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Crystal Spring Farm. Local Bounty celebrates the importance of local food to our community: its historic impact, its continued need, and our access hurdles. Come join (more…)

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