Pearson’s Town Farm began in the summer of 2005. Farmers grow food organically, using permaculture to produce natural, healthy crops. The farm is also used as an educational tool, encouraging students, and the surrounding community to exchange ideas about agriculture and the food system as a whole while recapturing the process of victory gardening.
College: Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Location: Standish, Maine
Size: 12 acres (approximately 522,720 square feet)
Sales and Distribution: Pearson’s Town Farm sells vegetables, herbs, turkey, and even lamb to the chefs at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. The farm also produces a number of CSA boxes for members- mostly made up of faculty and staff – and donates excess summer produce to Catherine’s Cupboard Food Pantry.
Management Structure: The farm is managed by one Farm Manager, hired by the college, with help from students and summer farm interns.
Unique features: Pearson’s Town Farm has a significant level of student involvement. The first students involved in Pearson’s Town Farm were nursing students who helped to deliver baby lambs. Today, students help to raise the turkeys that are eaten on campus at Thanksgiving and are even given an opportunity to slaughter the turkeys themselves.
Students also log work hours on the farm through an ecology course that every undergraduate is required to take. This means that every student at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine spends a minimum of four hours physically involved in the process of growing their food, regardless of their course of study.
Another standout farm feature is its focus on the principles of permaculture and every plant or animal on the farm having at least two purposes. Bright marigolds not only liven up the scenery, but also attract beneficial insects and repel harmful ones. The chickens provide eggs, but also aid in lessening a pesky tick population. By using animals to bolster the nutrient levels in the soil, and composting all kitchen waste on the farm, Pearson’s Town Farm nourishes their soil as a shared resource for future generations.
Learn more at http://pearsonstown.blogspot.com/ or contact farm manager Michial Russell at [email protected]