Celebrating 40 years of land conservation, Scarborough Land Trust held its annual Fresh from the Farm dinner on Sept. 11 at Broadturn Farm in Scarborough.

“This is a great place, made more so by our tenants, farmers John Bliss and Stacy Brenner,” said Rick Shinay, Scarborough Land Trust board president, gazing out at the picturesque farm situated on 434 acres and its beautifully restored buildings.

“We purchased this farm in 2004, and they came along in 2006. We entered into a long-term lease with them, and we work very closely together. People are here tonight to say thanks to them.”

Over 200 guests mingled outside near the rustic barns and large white party tent, sipping celebratory cocktails and gushing over the gorgeous floral arrangements, which were put together with the help of the Scarborough Garden Club.

“The pig for the roast is from the farm,” said Brenner, who is well-known for her abundant flower gardens at the farm. “The flowers on the tables, the food, it’s all from the farm. It’s a fabulous night out in Scarborough.”

Steffi Cox, executive director of Project G.R.A.C.E. attended with Project G.R.A.C.E. board member Bert Follansbee and her husband, Mark; Sunny Townsend of Scott and Sunny Townsend Keller Williams Realty; and Jean-Marie Caterina, a Scarborough resident. Land trust members Tim Fahey and Lucy and Bill LaCasse also attended.

“We’re here to support preserving open space in a town that’s growing rapidly,” said Bill LaCasse, who lives in Scarborough with his wife. “For the land, the animals and the people.”

Situated in the bucolic countryside of West Scarborough, Broadturn Farm is just far enough off the beaten path for visitors to find relief and feel transported. An organic farm with a strong reach into the community, its supporters are ardent.

“The land trust is very important to us,” explained Townsend. “It’s an asset to our community, and we are very happy to support it.”

Patrick O’Reilly, board member of the land trust and proprietor of O’Reilly’s Cure, attended with his wife, Susan; Scarborough Town Manager Tom Hall attended with his wife, Kerry; and lead sponsor Eddie Woodin chatted with board members Betts Armstrong and Dawn Piccolo, event chair.

“The land trust encourages people to come out, enjoy nature and breathe in the air,” said Woodin, a longtime supporter.

“We don’t ask anyone for money at this event,” said Piccolo, who mingled seamlessly with guests while assuring the event’s success. “It’s a nice way to thank the community. This is the gift. When you contribute to the land trust, these are the treasures we get to enjoy together.”

Margaret Logan is a freelance writer who lives in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

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