About the Farm

We build soil, health, and community.

 

About the Farmers

We are a multi-generational family, living and farming together at Daisychain Farm.  Daisy and Angus Beal are raising their kids here with the help of Angus’ parents, Jean and Jon Beal, as well as Jean’s sister, Sally Bennett.  Just down the road are Daisy’s parents, Scott and Cathy Kemper. All contribute to raising kids and food!

 

What We Grow

 

We grow certified organic Strawberries, Raspberries, Apples, and Eggs (plus a few pears, plums, peaches, and pumpkins).  We are primarily a You-Pick farm, which means you get to be a part of this bucolic piece of coastal Maine.   

 

How We Grow

Our mission is to help people in Maine eat more delicious, nutrient-dense food, grown in Maine, for the long-term.  To that end, we pull carbon out of the air and store it in soil, where it belongs.

How?

Soil.

We are bringing idle land into production and building soil. We grow a diversity of plants, we till very rarely (strawberries) or not at all (raspberries, apples). We keep the soil covered with living plants or mulch.  We plant cover-crops and green manures-plants that naturally pull Nitrogen and Carbon out of the air and into our soil. We find waste streams of quality materials like chipped up trees and animal manure.  Then we compost them and add them to our fields. That compost starts a virtuous cycle whereby thriving plants feed the soil food web. All this adds organic matter to our ground-meaning literally more life in the soil!  More earthworms, tiny creatures, and microbes in the soil means healthier plants and more food-not just this year-but for many decades into the future. Oh yeah, and we don’t knock it all out by spraying persistent synthetic pesticides on your food or the soil.

 

Holistic Organic Fruit.

Our systems go beyond organic standards; they are regenerative-improving the agroecology every year.  We focus on building plant health with plenty of good soil and water, plus bio-diversity to avoid overwhelming pest outbreaks from the microscopic level up through the orchard companion plants, birds and voles.  Our soils are mineral balanced and full of life-not soluble fertilizers. Nutrient dense means flavor dense. Yum!

 

Pastured Organic Eggs.

We raise a multi-breed flock of hens in free-ranging rotation on pasture. Our chickens are free to be chickens; they thrive on on their natural omnivorous diet of green grass, wild insects and organic grain from our own region.  Our food system, soil and water quality depend on supporting conservation agriculture everywhere possible and we are proud to support organic grain farmers. When the snow piles up, our chickens live in a roomy, sunny hoophouse on deep-bedding and get plenty of organic veggie scraps, like winter squash and even hay from our fields.

 

Relationships.

Building a farm is more than setting up farm roads, an irrigation system, and an equipment collection.  It’s building site specific methods, skill sets and connections in the community. We can farm only because of our relationships with those who eat our fruit and eggs and the other farmers with whom we collaborate.  

The ecological community is just as important as the human one.  We aim to work with nature by encouraging beneficial critters-from wasps (which hunt apple pest caterpillars) to birds (which hunt voles) and of course our valuable native pollinators.  We keep flowers blooming all season long to feed our beneficial insects. We make bee houses for nesting, kestrel, blue bird and bat houses. We preserve habitat like standing dead trees and work to improve the health of our forest.

 

Forest and Stream Management.

We own and steward 44 acres of forest in the Little River watershed.  We are committed to improving the health of the forest and water quality of the streams here.  We have a professional forest management plan that structures our goals for wildlife habitat, tree health improvement, biodiversity enhancement and control of invasive species.  Our forest is part of our working landscape but it is also a refuge for wildlife and a carbon sink. A forest this size and type absorbs approximately 55,000lbs of carbon/year.  We work to improve the quality of habitat for trout and other fish, myriad birds, beavers, deer, coyotes, bobcats, bald eagles, hawks, herons, snowshoe hares and more.

 

Upon this handful of soil our survival depends.  Husband it, and it will grow our food, our fuel, and our shelter and surround us with beauty.  Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it.

-Vedas, sanskrit scripture, 1500 BC