Posted on January 6, 2010 - by

The Food That Feeds Us: Seasons Eatings Farm

Note from the FRESH Team: This is the first of many posts from farmers and food producers around the US who are working hard to change our food system.  We want to share their stories with the FRESH community in hopes of connecting us all a little more and strengthening our collective voice.  This is NOT meant to be an exhaustive resource.  We welcome you to send us your story to share with the FRESH community as well.  Please email Lisa Madison at Lisa@FRESHthemovie.com for more information.”
SeasonsEatingsFarm
Farm Name: Seasons Eatings Farm
Location: Talmadge, ME 04492
Specialty: Four season growing, cold weather greens
Website: http://seasonseatingsfarm.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maine-ME/Seasons-Eatings-Farm/216695871520
How to buy our food: Direct from the farm, area restaurants
Contact: Robin Follette farm@seasonseatingsfarm.com

Seasons Eatings is a four season vegetable farm located in northeastern Maine. We are strong believers in community, small business, local economy, sustainable agriculture and fresh, healthy, locally produced food. Get to know your farmer! Ask questions and learn about the food that nourishes you.

I didn’t always want to be a farmer. I used to get up in the morning, shower, dress in heels and suits, drop Kristin off at day care or school and head to the office. I worked all day then picked Kristin up at day care. We’d either stop at the store for supper from a box or meet Steve at a restaurant. We’d take Kristin home, give her a bath and put her to bed. Repeat five times a week. When Kristin was six Steve was offered a job as a forester for a company 100 miles away. I was ready to escape but could we live without my very nice salary? We ran the numbers. Clothes, gas, take out lunch, poor supper habits, day care…. I’d been working for a net pay of $50 a week. Surely I could earn $50 a week staying home. We packed up and moved to rural Washington county. We had a garden and small greenhouse. My mother taught me how to put food up when I was a kid. I was saving almost $50 a week on the grocery bill.

Taylor was born when Kristin was nine. I wanted to work at home instead of finding a sitter for two kids. Steve’s dad gave Kristin a pony for Christmas when she was ten. We had only two-thirds of an acre of land so we boarded him for a year. When we took in a rescued quarter horse we knew we needed to move. Boarding two horses was expensive. I bought six barred rock chicks and we started looking for land. My life as a farmer was beginning.

We bought a small farmhouse on 45 acres of land when we were in our early 30‘s. I’d traded heels and suits for jeans and boots and loved it! Growing fresh, healthy food for my community and area restaurants is my passion. We’ve raised pigs, cattle, goats, laying and meat chickens, broad breasted white and bronze and Bourbon Red turkeys, and ducks. Almost all have been rare or heritage breeds. I enjoyed the animals but my heart is in the garden. We phased out livestock, kept some of the poultry and made room and time for me to be in the garden.

My market garden varies between one and two acres depending on what I want to do each year. My growing season starts in January when onions and leeks are seeded into flats and continues through seedling sales in the spring, the usual vegetables from spring to fall, and ends in mid December when the sun is too low and the days too cold for growth in the high tunnels. I harvest greens in the high tunnels all winter. Kristin’s 25 now, Taylor’s 16 and Steve’s still a forester. And here I am, a grown woman playing in the soil for a living. Life’s good!

Robin Follette

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    January 6, 2010

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    Regina Grabrovac said:

    I know it is possible too because I used to live this way. Robin, it is even more inspiring from you because you are that much further east AND north. I was farming in Waldo and Hancock county, Maine- the tropics!



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    January 6, 2010

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    christy said:

    Thank you for this simple message of hope. And thank you for being a farmer.



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    January 6, 2010

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    anneliese said:

    Wonderful testimonial, Robin!



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    January 7, 2010

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    John DeWitt said:

    I really admire your efforts. I have had a large garden for years and a few years ago added the high tunnel for four season harvest. Grow/buy/eat local is the way to go.



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    January 7, 2010

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    CeeCee said:

    Hooray Robin! I’m amazed that you can grow anything in the winter as far north as you are. You inspire me to keep at my winter garden here in Zone 8b (Austin, TX)