Despite an unusually wet growing season, Twin Villages Foodbank Farm has been bringing in full and heavy harvests. According to Farm Manager Sara Cawthon, there have been some weeks when the farm has harvested as much as 2,500 pounds of food.
Located at Coastal Rivers Salt Bay Farm in Damariscotta, Twin Villages Foodbank Farm grows and distributes healthy food for donation throughout Lincoln County. The farm serves food pantries in Boothbay, Damariscotta/Newcastle, Jefferson, New Harbor, Waldoboro, Whitefield, and Wiscasset. It also supports youth food programs including FARMS at the Y; several weekend school backpack programs; and share tables at libraries, the CLC YMCA, and the LincolnHealth campus.
“Given the very wet season, we’ve been pleasantly surprised with how well the crops are growing,” Sara said. “We did lose some lettuce heads and cabbage to mold early on, but you lose something every year, and we always plant extra. Most crops are thriving, and we’ve been bringing in enormous onions, lettuce, cabbage, squash, and more.”
For TVFF, community partnerships are key to managing the great volume of harvests. For example, the farm plants close to 12,000 onions every season, many of which need to be dried in warm hoop houses so they will stay fresh in storage well into the winter months. For several years now, Damariscotta Hardware has offered the use of their hoop houses for this purpose. Many of the cured onions will end up in Thanksgiving Baskets distributed by Lincoln County food pantries later this fall.
“We couldn’t cure this many onions without the use of Damariscotta Hardware’s hoop houses. They make it very convenient for us – they even keep an eye on the onions and lower and raise the hoop house sides based on the weather, to keep them dry but not too hot,” Sara explained.
TVFF operates in close partnership with Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust. Coastal Rivers donates use of three acres of prime farmland at Salt Bay Farm, hosts the farm’s food storage hub at Round Top Farm and provides administrative, fundraising and communications support.
Coastal Rivers is a non-profit, member-supported, nationally accredited land trust caring for the lands and waters of the Damariscotta-Pemaquid Region by conserving special places, protecting water quality, creating trails and public access, and deepening connections to nature through education programs. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit coastalrivers.org.