Here’s how it all started.
In the spring of 2015, seasoned farmers Megan Taft and Sara Cawthon approached Steven Hufnagel, Executive Director of Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust – formerly Damariscotta River Association – with a dream.
Megan and Sara had visited the Ecumenical Food Pantry and talked with other regional partners about the need for increasing the availability and quality of fresh foods at Lincoln County food pantries. It was clear that while effort was made to provide families with fresh produce, additional work was needed to meet the demand. Sara and Meg had the passion and the know-how to grow these foods – all they needed was the space to make it happen.
A well-established, nationally accredited land trust, Coastal Rivers was prepared to donate use of its fertile fields, as well as provide administrative support for the farm. For Coastal Rivers, cultivating the fields at Salt Bay Farm honors the history of the farm by returning some of the land to active farmland, while significantly increasing access to fresh, local produce for families in neighboring communities. In Steven’s words, “The opportunity to reestablish crop production at the farm is a powerful reminder that the health of our lands, water and people are closely linked.”
Coastal Rivers donates the use of its fertile farmland and storage space at Darrows Barn, serves as fiscal sponsor for the farm, and provides administrative support.
With enthusiastic support from the community, Sara and Meg’s dream has become a reality. In 2018, our third growing season, the farm produced nearly 30,000 pounds of produce on two acres of land using organic practices. Moreover, we’ve completed our food storage hub with walk-in cooler space, established a new school garden, and started work on a hoophouse for the 2019 season.
Meet our world-class farmers
Sara has been growing small-scale vegetables for over ten years, in the Midwest and New England. Sara has a wide range of agricultural experiences that include working for small and large CSA vegetable and livestock farms, growing up around large-scale commodity farming, and working for several non-profit farming programs. She holds a Master of Science degree from Antioch University in Environmental Studies, with a focus on agriculture, and has most recently served as the Organic Garden Manager at Bowdoin College.
Megan is the co-founder of Twin Villages Foodbank Farm. Along with her partner Sara, she has previously owned and operated Seed by Seed Farm and supported the start-up of an immigrant growers cooperative in Madison, Wisconsin. She has an M.Ed in Diversity and Social Justice from the University of Massachusetts, with a focus on food access and security. She is particularly interested in working with communities to build the awareness, knowledge and skills necessary to create lasting change within community food systems. Megan is the Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for Good Shepherd Food Bank and also leads the development efforts for the farm.
Assistant Farm Manager
Amanda has years of farming experience growing vegetables for CSA and restaurant markets, and most recently working with medicinal herbs. She has worked as a Community Health Worker with Maine’s migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Amanda is also a Master Food Preserver and enjoys “trying to catch summer’s sunshine and its bounty in jars.”
And how about our great partners at Coastal Rivers?
From the left, Coastal Rivers and farm staff include Steven Hufnagel, Sara Cawthon, Sarah Gladu, Deb Suchar, Jesse Ferreira, Jim Grenier, Darryn Kaymen, Kaitlyn Gardner, and Hannah McGhee. Not pictured: Megan Taft or Angela DesVeaux.
We have a close partner in Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust. Our farm is located in the fields at Coastal Rivers’ Great Salt Bay Farm. Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust (formerly Damariscotta River Association or DRA) also serves as fiscal sponsor and provides valuable administrative support and storage space for the farm.
Officially, Coastal Rivers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, membership supported, community based, nationally accredited land trust and conservation organization with more than 1,800 members conserving more than 3,000 acres of the region’s most significant lands for public benefit.
Unofficially, Coastal Rivers has an awesome board, staff, and supporters who have been amazingly supportive of the farm.
You can become a part of Twin Villages Foodbank Farm and feed a family in your community by donating today!