(Also see From a run out
hayfield to a prosperous organic farm in ten easy years. and Our Farm's History)
Snakeroot Organic Farm started in 1995 when Tom and Lois moved from Dixmont, where they had been farming together for five years. We moved onto a run out hayfield in an opening in the woods, and immediately began to improve the soil with cover crops and compost.
Today we grow a wide variety of mixed vegetables, fruit and culinary herbs on 5 acres of gardens. We have a heated 2,600 sq.ft. greenhouse and 4820 sq.ft. in five unheated greenhouses where we grow seedlings for planting and for sale at market. During the winter months the greenhouses are planted with spinach, beet greens, radishes, lettuce, spicy greens, turnips, and carrots for harvest starting in April before the field crops are ready. Then we transplant tomato and cucumbers in the greenhouse for early harvest of those crops
In 2000 we began tapping maple trees in our sugarbush, and currently set about 400 taps to make our own maple syrup.
Our major crops are tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, leeks, shallots, garlic, lettuce, cucumbers, summer & winter squash, basil, celery, green beans, parsley, beet greens, spinach and onions, but we also have many more minor crops. We also grow rhubarb, raspberries, grapes, pears and apples.
We have found it useful to dehydrate many of our crops, and during the season you may find dried basil, dill, oregano, sage, tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, carrots, and more, including our specialty: cherry tomato raisins!
Although we grow some of our own garden seeds, most of our seeds are from Johnny's Selected Seeds in Albion, FEDCO Seeds in Clinton and High Mowing Seeds in Wolcott, VT. We believe in supporting small local businesses that offer good value. After all, we are asking our customers to buy their veggies from a small local business, too!
Every year we sponsor a guided tour of our farm, in
conjunction with MOFGA's Daytripping Guide. It is usually on the second Sunday in July,
from noon to 5pm. Bring your walking shoes, your camera and your gardening questions.
Where we sell
We sell almost all of our garden produce at four farmers markets, although
occasionally folks also come by the farm to shop.
In 1994 we helped start the Orono Farmers
Market. We attend Orono Market from 8am - 1pm on Saturdays from April to November and
Tuesday afternoons from 2 - 5:30 from late June to October.
In 1997 we started the Pittsfield
Farmers Market. We sell at the Pittsfield Market on Monday and Thursday afternoons
from 2 - 6pm from early May thru late October.
In 1999, we were charter members of the Unity Farmers Market, where we attend Saturday mornings from 9am -
1pm. from early May to mid November.
In 2007 we became charter members of the Downtown Waterville Farmers' Market, and we attend that market every Thurdsay
afternoon from 2-6pm from late April to mid November.
We also offer a CSA Plan (Community
Supported Agriculture) where shoppers can buy a $100 share by April 1 and can then shop
for $130 worth of produce from our stands or at our farm all season. This gives us some
operating funds at the start of the season before market sales begin.
We produce a series of brochures explaining some of our crops and practices, and
offering information for cooks and gardeners.
Lupines. We grow blooming lupines in pots which we bring to market in June,
and offer lupine seeds which we offer all yearlong.
Garlic. This is a crop we offer in many forms, from garlic grass in May and June,
scapes in June and July, and bulbs in August thru November. We also sell garlic for
planting and sell garlic bulbils for planting or sprouting.
Tansy, Lovage and Yarrow. These three ornamental herbs are perennials that can
provide your home with beauty, teas, dried flowers, herbal first aid and insect
protection for your garden.
Our Tomatoes. This brochure describes many of the tomatoes we grow for harvest
and also offer for sale as seedlings. It explains the differences in tomato types to
help the gardener decide what to plant.
Get Real, Get Organic. This is a list of reasons you should consider buying
organic, pointing out what some of the problems with conventional produce.
Aloe. Aloe vera is a plant that is easy to grow, although we find many people
kill it through simple ignorance of what the plant needs. Aloe, the burn plant, is a
medicine cabinet in a pot, and every kitchen should have one.
Rhubarb. This brochure we did for the Maine Dept of Agriculture because there
wasn't one. It includes recipes and nutritional info. Every summer begins with Rhubarb.
In 2009 we added three new brochures on New England Long Pie Pumpkin, Sunchokes, and
Celery & Celeriac.
Leaves and Grass Clippings: We encourage folks to bring us their yard wastes
we can use in our compost piles and mulching.
We also have a web site on the internet. You can see pictures of the farm and
our setup at farmers markets, and see a list of everything we grow. Our web address is
April: Spicy Greens, lettuce, radishes, spinach from our greenhousess plus spring dug sunchokes and
parsnips and overwintered carrots, celeriac, and rutabagas.
May: Carrots, beet greens, spinach, radishes, turnips, lettuce, rhubarb,
asparagus, scallions, parsley, vegetable and herb seedlings, perennials, house
June: Carrots, beets greens, spinach, lettuce, radishes, rhubarb, scallions,
vegetable and herb seedlings, giant tomato plants, perennials, blooming lupines, garlic
scapes, cilantro, dill, peas, chard, broccoli
July: Garlic bulbs & scapes, cukes, carrots, beet greens, lettuce,
radishes, scallions, tomatoes, zucchini & summer squash, basil, dill, cilantro,
picklers, snow peas, chard, celery, potatoes, green and wax beans, broccoli, kale,
August: Tomatoes, cukes, picklers, summer squash & zucchini, beet greens,
snow peas, lettuce, chard, celery, garlic, potatoes, green and wax beans, broccoli,
basil, dill, cilantro, peppers, radishes, onions, kale, oregano, thyme, peppermint,
rosemary, horseradish, sage
Sept: Tomatoes, canners, cukes, picklers, summer squash & zucchini, winter
squash, onions, leeks, kale, chard, celery, garlic, lettuce, potatoes, green and wax
beans, broccoli, spinach, snow peas, basil, dill, cilantro, peppers, gobo, napa,
radishes, scallions, beets, carrots, rutabaga, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary,
Oct: Winter squash, potatoes, tomatoes, kale, broccoli, leeks, onions,
rutabagas, chard, celery, garlic, lettuce, spinach, dill, cilantro, sunchokes, gobo,
napa, scallions, carrots, beets, parsnips, oregano, thyme, rosemary, horseradish
Nov: Winter squash, potatoes, onions, rutabagas, leeks, kale, garlic, spinach,
gobo, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, beets, parsnips, sunchokes, horseradish