About Little Farm
Little Farm sits on a hill just above Long Lake and the Naples Causeway in the low foothills of the White Mountains of Maine. When we first moved to Naples from Cumberland in 2010, Little Farm was just that; a "little farm" - 24 acres and a shade over one-millionth of the State of Maine. We decided to buy it the day we first saw it. The gorgeous 200-year-old brick cape, 150-year-old post and beam barn, and stone walls twelve feet thick in some places proved too much for us to pass up!
When we decided that we wanted to do something with part of our land, we learned that this part of Maine is nowhere near as fertile as the Midcoast. What we charitably call "soil" is a devilish Pleistocene glacial till - sand, clay, rocks, and boulders left behind by the retreating glaciers of the last Ice Age some 20,000 years ago. Packed rock hard by the weight of those 2.5 mile thick glaciers, our till makes gardening something only the fittest people would consider doing without heavy equipment. We do have a garden though, wrested slowly from the till a small patch at a time. We grow the usual summer vegetables – peas squash, beans, and corn. We also try our hand at the more unusual – fennel, quinoa, eggplant, and heirloom tomatoes.
But we wanted to do something else with our farm, and thought a long while about what that something might be. What we discovered was trees can grow quite well in till; trees like the beeches, oaks, pines, ash, fir, spruce, hemlocks - and the maples - of the northern portion of the Temperate Mixed Forest. Our forest doesn't grow quickly, but it does grow lushly.
That till is also good for wildflowers. We realized that we had over 100 different varieties in our 9 acre field that bloom continually from early spring to late fall: buttercups and daisies followed by clover, wild strawberries and blueberries, and ending with Queen Ann’s lace and goldenrod.
Tree and wildflowers led us to where we are today.
Nancy with a giant sunflower, planted from a single seed