by Emily Cheney, Contributing Writer
Martin Woods Farm proudly offers a variety of different activities ranging from trail rides, ducks freely wandering, and a bunny motel. The atmosphere is never less than welcoming and energetic.
This year the farm’s vegetable harvests from the summer and fall will last throughout the year, “I make pickled beets, bread and butter pickles, and piccalilli,” said Sarah Martin, one of the farm’s owners. “We also press apples for cider and harvest sap for maple syrup—those are for sure season-dependent.”
Martin and her husband, Bud Martin, are both professors at UMF. Martin stated that running the farm was a dream of her husband’s, which she adopted as well. “I am energetic and healthy, so the lifestyle fits me,” said Sarah.
Martin Woods Farm has been creating connections with UMF students. Lillian Hunt, a community health major, has spent countless hours working and volunteering for the farm as a beekeeper and helping wherever help is needed. Her connection with the owners makes her feel like she is a part of the family. “It’s a very welcoming and happy place. I always feel welcomed and enjoyed when I’m there,” said Hunt.
The work opportunities that Hunt has experienced at the farm have helped her to figure out her potential future career. “Martin Woods has been a huge part of my life this year,” Hunt said. “I have discovered what I want to do with my life, and I have a safe and happy place I know I can go to when life is stressful or not.”
Hunt has also been able to make connections with the animals, as well. “I have a duck named Patrick who is such a sweetie!” said Hunt. “I really enjoy riding Emma (one of the horses) and the whole herd. The cows are super sweet as well.”
As Martin Woods continues to evolve, Martin sees more growth for the farm in the future. “Word is spreading and everyone who visits loves it,” Martin said. “As for me and the farmer’s markets, I have done them for three years and this was my best year as I learned what sells and how to present and package foods to sell them.”
Martin Woods Farm is located in Starks, ME. “Given that we are in Maine, and rural Maine, most of the people I interact with to sell farm food products are older adults, but as for horse lessons and rides, ALL ages, one through 91 so far!” she said. As business thrives, the Martin family is excited to see how the farm will prosper and to pass down the farm for generations to come.