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.
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.