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The Farm

Orange Circle Farm is a CSA vegetable and flower farm located in Berwick, ME.  The farm exists on 70 acres of land placed under an agricultural conservation easement in 2017 by Maine Farmland Trust. The farm was purchased by Jeff and Erin in 2017 with production beginning in 2018.

In 2014, Jeff started Orange Circle Farm on leased land in Stratham, NH after several years working on other Seacoast farms.

The farm serves the communities of Stratham, Portsmouth, Kittery and Berwick with a CSA program through the peak growing season (June-November).

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The Farmers

Jeff Benton has been growing vegetables on the Seacoast since 2010.

He enjoys the constant challenge of growing the diverse array of crops required by the CSA and greatly values serving his local community with fresh ingredients for their home kitchen.

Favorite crops to grow: onions and carrots

Favorite crop to eat: potatoes

Favorite field activity: pruning tomatoes

Secret skill: Master Food Preserver

Favorite color: orange

Erin Ehlers has been involved with the local food movement since 2005. She was a founding member of Seacoast Eat Local while working as a cheesemaker on two local dairy farms. She is the owner of Yoga on the Hill in Kittery.

In 2018, Erin started growing flowers on the farm and is excited to be offering a Flower CSA this year!

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The Methods

All vegetables produce on Orange Circle Farm are grown without using any types of herbicides, fungicides or pesticides, even OMRI listed products.  Instead, we focus on pest and disease prevention through holistic practices that include careful attention to soil health, cover crops, composting, crop rotations, row covers, mindful irrigation and crop diversity.

We will be applying for organic certification for our vegetables in 2020.  Since our land was previously farmed conventionally, we must go through a three-year transition period before becoming “certified organic".  

Our barn (which includes our walk-in cooler and irrigation well) is powered by an off-grid solar array.

We're always looking for local sources of organic matter to add back to our soil (manure, compost, fall leaves, wood chips, etc.)  Be sure to let us know if you have or know of a source for these types of materials.

If  you ever have questions about what goes (or doesn't go) into growing your vegetables, please don't hesitate to ask your farmer!

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The Orange Circle

It's difficult for me to pinpoint my attraction to agriculture.  Yes, it includes things like being outside on a nice day, working with my hands, learning more about the natural world and providing my community with nutritious food.  But to me the attraction is deeper than those things.  It's that feeling at the end of a long day that you can barely remember the beginning of, standing in the middle of the garden and soaking it all in.  The orange circle on the horizon serves as a reminder and a symbol of those special moments.      -Farmer Jeff

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