I’ve been a bit MIA for the past couple of weeks, and I am truly sorry about that. From an incredibly nasty cold and what seemed like a birthday every other day (okay not every other day, but it felt like it; I’ve celebrated 5 birthdays this month), to the Thanksgiving holiday, I’ve barely had time to check my email, let alone check in here. But here I am, finally, after the madness and driving that going home for the holidays entails. There was little traffic and there was still Maine and my parents house that sits just inland enough to be warm and not too windy. And there was a farm. Tide Mill Organic Farm
to be specific.
Tide Mill Farm is a wonderful place where they go carol to the cows and host an autumn ball. My mom has been working at Tide Mill for about three years now and always comes home with stories; a chicken with a crooked beak that was terribly friendly (they named him Crooked Beak and hand fed him) or having “tea-time” to break up one of the long turkey slaughter days. My mom only helped with turkey slaughter this fall, but was there this past spring for a lot of the chicken slaughter, helping with seedlings, and to see newborn piglets.
Tide Mill Organic Farm has been run by the Bell Family for nine generations in Edmunds, Maine. The sixteen-hundred acre farm property sits right on the coast and makes me jealous of the views that the cows get from their pasture.
My mom and I drove the three miles over to Tide Mill on Thanksgiving morning to meet Hailey, the oldest of Carly and Aaron’s children (she’s ten) making ice cream while Carly was putting her turkey in the oven. Carly and I chatted for a bit while my mom and Henry (the youngest at five years old) churned the ice cream and Paige (eight) bounced around creating a face on a red cabbage.
Then my mom brought me around the farm a bit. I met Llary the Llama,
many adorable piglets covered in spots,
and calves of all ages, from newborns (one to three weeks old and soso soft)
to some that were three months old!
They were all so cute, I couldn’t stop taking their pictures!
Tide Mill Organic Farm is a working farm that has been nationally recognized as a Bicentennial Farm. They are also a presence at the Common Ground Country Fair that is hosted in Unity, Maine every year. Tide Mill Farm also provides produce, and coordinates local items from COMOC (Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative), Gardenside Dairy, and Jessica Zanoni’s dairy products, etc. for the local co-ops in the area (which includes Calais, Lubec, and Machias) and their products can be found weekly in health-minded stores from Belfast to Bar Harbor and Calais. They are a great farm and a great presence in Washington County, teaching locals about local farming and sustainability.
Tide Mill farm raises their own pigs, cows, chickens, and turkeys. The farm also grows crops, hosts a small farm stand on Saturdays in the summer, and sells seedlings at the Whiting Village store at the end of May. They sell raw organic milk on the farm and you can buy their milk pasteurized in Maine as part of the Maine’s Own Organic Milk (MOOMilk) project. Also if you are in need of a wreath for your holiday season, why not check theirs out? If you want to learn more about them, check out the website and email them, they’re always willing to answer questions and want to help you learn more about what they do!
A huge thanks to Carly, Aaron, and the rest of the Bell family for letting me come wander and also to my mom for acting as tour guide! It was great to meet the calves, piglets, and Llary; and even better to use the produce in some of our Thanksgiving dishes! I can’t wait to come back next summer and see everything alive and green!
(Bell family photo courtesy of Tide Mill Organic Farm’s own site)