Friday, April 18, 2014
I stopped by Alewive’s Brook Farm in Cape Elizabeth the other day on the way home from an assignment to pick up a couple more jars of their delicious strawberry jam. (I’m addicted, and I buy it for friends and family too.)
I noticed a sign in front of the farm stand announcing that the Jordan family is holding a “barn raiser without the barn.” Post cards by the cash register inside provided more details.
It seems this well known local family, who has been farming in this area since the 1600s, across 13 generations, is using 21st-century methods to make improvements to their farm stand. They’ve launched a fundraising project on kickstarter.com to raise $60,000. The money will be used to rebuild the farm stand and expand it, adding more space for produce and lobsters, an office, and a kitchen where they’ll be able to cook their customers’ lobsters.
The project, which must be funded by its Kickstarter deadline of Oct. 6, so far has 26 backers who have donated $2,120. Backers receive a reward ranging from a simple-but-sincere thank you from the family (for a pledge of $1 or more) to all the vegetables your household can eat during the farm’s growing season for the next five years (for a pledge of $10,000 or more).
The Alewive’s farm stand, which opened in 1979, is currently located in one of two garages on the family’s property. The Jordans want to tear down both garages, pour a new foundation and add a drainage system for the lobster tank.
A new kitchen will allow them to create more value-added products like the popular strawberry jam, and to cook lobsters so their customers don’t have to mess with the mess at home. Cooking lobsters has become almost an essential part of selling lobsters to locals. Just a few years ago, a few places did it for a small extra charge. Now most places offer cooking, usually for free.
To read more about the farm’s project, go to their kickstarter page here.
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.