The Morris Farm Trust (MFT) is looking for a farmer to lease a portion of our land for farming. We are a non-profit educational organization that preserves 50 acres of farmland, offers classes and operates as a demonstration farm. A portion of the farmland (usually about 5 acres) is leased as an independent operation and may have its own name. The trust provides a variety of supports to the on-site farmer.
The lease would begin January 1, 2020. The fields were put to bed in the fall and a farmer will be able to begin farming in the 2020 season A soil test completed in the fall of 2018 indicated that the soil was in very good shape and did not need any amendment, not even lime. We have barn, greenhouse and hoop house space that is part of the lease, plus appropriate outbuildings for chickens and equipment. A three-bedroom farmhouse on the premises is also available to rent.
Typically, we lease to a beginning farmer, though other arrangements are possible. The Morris Farm is within the town of Wiscasset and convenient to a number of farmer’s markets in the midcoast area, including a new Farmer’s Market in Wiscasset and a new Winter Market at the Morris Farm. We also have a farm store on the premises, where the farmer can sell products grown and raised on the farm.
Our previous farmer, a beginning farmer, was a MOFGA journeyperson. She grew flowers and herbs at the Morris Farm and blueberries at another location. The Morris Farm does not require that our leasee obtain an organic certification, though we do require that nothing be done to the land to prevent future certification.
In addition to growing crops, our previous farmer kept chickens. Potential farmers who either bring livestock to the farm, or agree to help care for livestock supplied by the nonprofit, will receive preference in the selection process. Poultry, rabbits, goats, sheep, and pigs would be welcome, as well as a cow for personal use. The barn and other structures can accommodate small numbers of animals. The farmer must be willing to allow the children’s education program to include supervised interaction with livestock. In addition, preference will be given to farmers growing a variety of crops that demonstrate the role local farms play in contributing to the nutritional health of communities. The Morris Farm is very willing to work with the leasee to develop a farming plan that includes crops and animals and works for everyone.
The Land: 5 acres is available for lease. Of these, 3 acres are in pasture that has been managed with rotational grazing, fertilized, and mowed regularly. For the past 3 years, just over a 1/2 acre has been used to grow flowers and herbs. Compost, lime and organic matter (cover crops) have been added over the last several years to improve the clay soil. There is room to expand areas used for crops. Water is from a well and there is some drip irrigation equipment available. There are two hoop houses (25' x 25' and 25' x 10') available. The larger one is shared with the local high school. Multiple people/groups share MFT land: master gardeners, community gardeners, a dairy farmer, school groups, and farm camps. Relationships are outlined in the farmer’s lease.
Infrastructure: The barn has three levels and the space is shared with the nonprofit. There is room for hay on the top floor and there is a workshop in the basement. There are also animal stalls in the basement where cows/chickens/goats/pigs have been raised and spend winters. There is a walk-in cooler that complies with organic certification. There is a small greenhouse attached within the barn. The light isn't great and supplemental light is suggested. This is also shared space with other MFT groups. There is an attached farm store, which could be a great place to sell farm products. There is a nice 75-bird chicken coop available, which could be a great coop for overwintering birds. It will need new skids if the farmer plans to move it around for rotational grazing.
Equipment: The farmer has the use of a two-year-old tractor that has a bucket, bush hog, and tilling and mower attachments. A troy built tiller that needs some TLC, but currently works, is also available. There are a variety of hand tools available in the workshop. The farmer may use a Department of Agriculture certified commercial kitchen, located in our Learning Center, for food processing.
Farmhouse: There is the option of living on the farm. The house is a typical old farmhouse with lots of character and 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. It is a separate living space but is attached to the communal Learning Center. The farmer would also have the option to share the farmhouse. There is a washer and dryer and it is heated with wood or oil. The house comes furnished.
"The information herein is believed to be accurate, but not warranted and should be verified by the buyer."
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- Follows Practices
- Dairy (Cows)
- Row Crops
- Short-term Lease (1-5 yrs)
- Long-term Lease (5+yrs)
- Milking Facilities
- Other Housing