The Morris Farm in Wiscasset is offering farmland and facilities for lease to support the efforts of a beginning farmer. The lease arrangement will allow a farmer to operate a completely independent farm, which may have its own name. The lease includes at least 5 acres (more, if desired) of land and use of a barn, drip irrigation, small greenhouse, two hoop houses (25x25 and 25x10), outbuildings (including a 75-chicken coop), a tractor, various equipment, a walk-in cooler, and a variety of other supports to the on-site farmer. For the past three years, 3 acres have been used for pasture, which has been managed with rotational grazing, fertilized and mowed regularly, and just over a 1/2 acre has been used to grow certified organic vegetables. The cropland was prepped last fall with cow/chicken manure and raised beds were made to help with spring drainage. There is a farm store on the premises as well, which will sell farm products, if desired. The farmer will have the option of living on the farm, in the original farmhouse. The Morris Farm is close to schools, a community center, a trail system, and - not too far away - downtown Wiscasset. The previous farmer will be moving her farm to western Maine, but is willing to help transition the new farmer onto the land.
The Morris Farm Trust is a 24-year old non-profit educational organization that offers educational programs (on site and in schools) and operates as a demonstration farm on 50 acres in the town of Wiscasset. Our mission is to promote sustainable agriculture and stewardship of the earth while enhancing food security in the midcoast area. Along with leasing the farm described here, we also host a school garden, a master gardener garden which grows for food pantries, a community garden, a small solar farm, and groups of children for camps and tours. Another local farmer uses some of the fields to pasture beef cows and grow hay.
The farmhouse was built in the 1820s, has oil heat (separate furnace for farm house), a wood stove (predominant heat source), 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, living room, large kitchen, and a washer and dryer. It can be rented furnished, as desired. The house is located adjacent to the lobby of the farm's office and learning center and the barn. The 3-floor barn has shared space on the main floor, a bottom floor with animal stalls, a greenhouse, and a shop (shared by the Morris Farm Trust). Hay storage on 3rd floor is available.
The farm will be purchasing a new tractor this spring. It will have a bucket and a brush hog is available. A troy built tiller needs some TLC but has worked recently. A variety of hand tools are available in the workshop.
The Morris Farm does not require the farmer to have an organic certification. We do require that the crop land be kept certifiable.