Agriculture in Maine

Tatiana Vanaria

Cornfield, Witter Farm, Orono, Maine.

The sustainable community in Maine pertains to creating connections and unifying people to the natural world. It’s fairly simple to get lost in the busy lives of our new up and go culture, and staying aware of the environmental elements that are substantially given to us can be quite difficult. Farmers in Maine must be profoundly thorough to make the environment resourceful. Yet concurrently they must work to keep it conserved and protected.

I traveled throughout the local area of Penobscot County to many diverse farms and residential homes. I attempted to capture the residents’ livelihoods to share and spread the fulfillment of backyard agriculture. The farmers and residents showcased their capabilities, driven by their strong passion and love for agriculture. These hardworking folks coexist and understand the hardships of what this career or hobby can bring. They share their successes and appreciate the work of other farmers through events such as Farmer to Farmer Conferences and the Bangor Harvest Festival. Through their lifelong hobbies and careers, these farmers strengthen Maine communities.

Arguably, the best part about documenting agriculture in Maine is learning how the farms help their communities in various ways. I witnessed children, young adults, older adults, and even elders working with the livestock and crops on their land. Some had humble houses on modest plots of land, while others had an abundance of space. No matter the size or the quantity of animals and crops, these hardworking farmers all had the aspiration to help their communities and support sustainable and healthy lifestyles.

A rooster from the Snyders, Old Town, Maine. The Snyders care for over eighty chickens and one turkey. They are free range, allowing the backyard pets to live a very happy life due to their social nature and natural foraging skills. Erin Snyder, a senior in high school, has been rescuing and taking care of chickens that have been abandoned or injured. She houses chickens with missing feet, twisted feet, and even twisted necks.


Lauren, an Icelandic Sheep from Coldstream Icelandic Sheep Farm, Enfield, Maine. Cheri Magnuson raises her sheep for fleece and fiber flocks. Icelandic sheep can also be milked, producing milk which is very rich and makes excellent cheese.


The new greenhouse at The Village Farm and Garden. The Village Farm and Garden is a business that is run by a husband and wife on five acres of land. They care for goats, chickens, ducks, pigs, and their greenhouse crops. They grow and sell 3,000 chickens a year for meat and also have chickens and ducks for laying eggs.


(Left to right) Pumpkin Spice, Oreo and fellow pigs from Souder Station Farm, Winterport, Maine. Randy Canaar takes great pride in caring for his pigs, whether he is raising them as pets or for meat. Randy does not raise a particular breed of pig; he describes his pigs as mixes or mutts. He wants to ensure that his pigs are friendly, good listeners, produce good meat, hardy to the cold, and have maternal instincts for breeding purposes.


Yukon, a hen from Taylor’s flock, Maine. Taylor has just started out and has a goal to sell fresh eggs in her community. She has five hens to whom she gives lots of love and attention. Taylor takes great pride in her chickens and is looking forward to springtime when she will hatch more.


A rescued drake from Anna JJ’s flock, Bangor, Maine. Anna has three roosters, three ducks, and four hens. She hatches her own chickens and rescues her ducks. Anna gives her chickens and ducks plenty of room to roam around in their pens. Due to predators, Anna can no longer free range them. Anna collects the eggs which her poultry and waterfowl lay, and she maintains an organic and sustainable lifestyle.


An Icelandic sheep from Witter Farm, Orono, Maine. Witter Farm is a place where college students can participate in research in animal science and sustainable agriculture. Witter Farm is a dairy farm that also does research on sheep and equine practices.


A rooster from Anna JJ’s flock, Bangor, Maine.


The stand at Foxgreen Farm, North Howland, Maine. Here neighbors, friends, and other visitors can purchase goods at reasonable prices. Tom DeCoste is the manager of Foxgreen Farm. He grows delicious crops in abundant fields and greenhouses. He produces meats by raising his own poultry, waterfowl, and pigs. DeCoste is also building his very own farm-to-table restaurant.


A thank you to Souder Station Farm, Foxgreen Farm, Coldstream Icelandic Sheep Farm, the Snyders, Anna JJ, The Village Farm and Garden, Taylor, and Witter Farm. Your actions have helped more people than you know. Your communities thank you.