WINDHAM — Entering its fifth year, Bumbleroot Organic Farm is not only a successful farm that sells organic flowers, vegetables and herbs, it is also “trying to focus on practices that will make this farm and our community a more resilient place in the face of climate change.”
The four co-owners of the farm – Ben Whalen, Melissa Law and Jeff and Abby Fisher – met in Colorado and then moved to Maine to start Bumbleroot.
The mission of the 90-acres farm on Highland Cliff Road is “to connect people with the land and food that sustains them,” Law said.
From the beginning, the farm has aimed to implement sustainable farming practices.
“We just feel, especially as young farmers, that the future of our business depends on implementing resilient practices that will help us mitigate the impacts (of climate change),” Law said.
“In agriculture, we are able to sequester carbon in the soils, so that can help contribute to this goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We do that through the use of cover crops, leaving land fallow and taking it out of production to give it a break, rotating different crops throughout our fields,” she said.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree chose the farm as the location for a recent press conference about supporting farmers in the fight against climate change. Law had built a relationship with Pingree through her multiple visits to Washington D.C. as a member of the Southern Maine chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition.
Law said the event went well: “We were glad to welcome her. There were a lot of really amazing people who are working for climate change and who understand the role that agriculture has to play in mitigating climate change, and so it was great to have so many people here to talk about that.”
On April 30, Law was also invited to the State House to give her perspective as a farmer as Gov. Janet Mills introduced a bill to create a Maine Climate Council.
Climate change is an issue that is near and dear to Law’s heart.
“As farmers, our livelihood literally depends on the weather. We’re already noticing changing weather patterns. We have a lot of high tunnels and greenhouses on the farm, and that’s really to protect our crops and our profitability in the face of extreme weather events,” she said.
However, Law said the impacts of climate change are more far-reaching than agriculture, so she is glad that the issue has become more well-known.
“It’s not just for agriculture, it’s for the whole state, and every sector of Maine’s economy will be affected by climate change. It’s just really important to start talking about it,” she said.
The farm has a CSA program, attends three farmer’s markets a week and sells produce to 20 restaurants throughout Portland.
This year, Bumbleroot is growing strawberries for the first time and has three plant sales occurring on May 12, 19 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The farm is located at 196 Highland Cliff Road in Windham.
Jane Vaughan can be reached at 780-9103 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melissa Law and Ben Whalen were married in the Bumbleroot barn, and the owners plan to soon market it as a wedding venue.
Melissa Law and her partners grow a variety of vegetables, flowers and herbs at Bumbleroot Organic Farm in Windham.
Melissa Law and farm dog Bowie on Bumbleroot’s 90 acres of land.
The farm is located at 196 Highland Cliff Road in Windham.