OCC Visits Turner Farm – North Haven, Maine

Brian and I had a fantastic sail on a reach from Camden into the Fox Island Thorofare. We sailed all the way into Kent Cove, North Haven and dropped the hook among the OCC boats that were slowly filling the cove. Once we’d all settled the group reconvened for cocktails aboard the rafted boats s/v Caduceus, s/v Anastasia, and s/v Sweet Dreams.

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Brian and I have had lovely views of Turner Farm from Rode Trip on many occasions while passing through the Fox Island Thorofare. On this day we’d have the opportunity to tour the farm with the OCC.

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Just how many dinghies can fit on that haul out line?

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Turner Farm is MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association) certified for their produce, flowers, poultry, and eggs. Turner Farm also farms pasture raised beef and pork and operates a creamery specializing in pasture raised goat cheeses. Turner Farm contributes to the North Haven Community School Lunch Program (the smallest public school in Maine with 70 K-12 students). The farm also supplies produce, meat, eggs, and flowers to the Nebo Lodge, a Bed & Breakfast on North Haven. Turner Farm has an extensive history on North Haven.

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The farm stand is bustling during busy summer months; July/August Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am-1pm. Farm products may also be found on neighboring Vinalhaven at the Farmers Market and at Island Spirits or on the mainland at the Wine Seller in Rockland. Arrive early to get goat cheese, it sells out fast!

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Farm managers, James and Brenna, took the OCC’ers on a fabulous tour of the farm. Brian and I were in James’ group; he did an excellent job of showing us the inter-workings of the farm and sharing future projects. James brings lots of energy and creativity to his work.

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These greenhouses are movable; they can be relocated over the beds throughout the season as crops are begun and continue to progress. The greenhouses aid in crop rotation and sprouting.

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Turner Farm recently installed three permanent greenhouses that will enable them to produce late summer crops earlier in the spring. These greenhouses will be heated by a wood-fired furnace fed with spruce lumber that has been cut on the property.

Tamworth Pigs; they look cute now, but after living a luxurious life roaming their wooded pastures these pigs will be hearty and delicious!

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Oberhasli Goats; their milk produces chèvre and other goat cheeses at Turner Farm Creamery.

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Jersey Cows; soon to add to the creamery.

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Thanks to Turner Farm for a fabulous day!

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Skipping Across the Bays

We have not done much sightseeing in Maine and there are two reasons for that. First, we’ve been scooting between Penobscot Bay and Mount Desert Island for mini-vacations with our family and friends. Second, FOG! There isn’t much to see when fog consumes the coastline. It seems each time we are on the move we travel in fog and rain with the wind on our nose. Not ideal conditions, but that social calendar beckons us forth. Each time upon arriving, however, we’ve been blessed with dry, warm days.  We’re thrilled that our family and friends can enjoy their time off with us in good weather.

From Rockland we traveled to Union River where we’d spend our next mini-vacation. It rained all morning the day we started out and we forced ourselves into the cockpit to make some tracks later that afternoon. Our first stop along the way was Carver Cove, Vinalhaven. We’d not anchored here previously and thought it good protection from a southwest wind. We began our sail with a reefed main and stay sail across Penobscot Bay, adding the genoa to the mix just prior to entering the Fox Island Thorofare (a thorofare is a passage between two islands; this marked channel runs between Vinalhavel and North Haven Islands).

We sailed into Carver Cove, which is HUGE, and tacked past several boats anchored there. We tucked all the way into the cove near the nine-foot spot, and could have gone farther! There was a large, lovely home just across from us on the shoreline with a long dock extending into the cove. We received some entertainment from the inhabitants of this house. At sunset, as the flag came down the flagpole the song Retreat was ceremoniously blasted across the cove via loudspeakers. Then at sunrise, a time of day Brian and I haven’t observed for at least two months, as the flag rose the song Reveille ceremoniously blasted us out of bed.

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From Carver Cove, Vinalhaven we motored across East Penobscot Bay and into the Deer Isle Thorofare. It was cold and raining. In the thorofare we dodged lobster pots, lobster boats, and islands as we navigated the foggy, narrow passage.

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Through the thorofare we entered Jerico Bay and were able to raise the main sail. Once again we found ourselves anchoring at Mackerel Cove, Swan’s Island for the night. We were eager to get the stove lighted in the cabin to dry ourselves and our gear from the dreary day.

Ahhh…the next morning warmth and sunshine greeted us in the cockpit! Maine mus know that our friends have arrived. We set sail out of Mackerel Cove, Swan’s Island and had a beautiful reach up into Blue Hill Bay. Finally, smooth sailing and a clear view! (Mount Desert Island in the distance.)IMG_5807