CAPE ELIZABETH – Spring may be arriving late this year, but the ramp-up to the growing season has already begun at the Alewive’s Brook Farm in Cape Elizabeth, where the hope is that a new farm stand with a certified kitchen will be built soon.

Owned by a branch of the Jordan family, day-to-day operations at the nearly 60-year-old farm now fall to Caitlin Jordan, who is also a member of the Town Council.

It was Jordan’s idea to rebuild the farm stand and add a kitchen where she could make things like salsa, pickles and jam, cook lobster on site and make baked goods like apple pie and zucchini bread.

She is the third generation of the Jordans to live and work at the farm and said her goal is to ensure the farm survives and prospers for the next generation.

A new, larger and fully insulated farm stand has been a goal of Jordan’s father, Jodie Jordan, for the past 10 years, at least, according to Caitlin Jordan. But due mostly to the expense, the project has never been done.

Caitlin Jordan attempted a Kickstarter online fundraising campaign last year, but when that failed, she turned to the time-honored tradition of shared labor and has now gotten several area businesses to donate their time and equipment. Those businesses include Murray and Sons, Glenn Barry Masonry, Bowdler Electric Inc. and Royal Construction, Jordan said.

Now the farm needs the approval of the Planning Board, which won’t come until May 22, at the earliest, according to Jordan.

She met with the Planning Board last week and is encouraged by the board’s support for the project, as well as its willingness to help her keep the costs down and not require her to hire an architect or other professionals, which would cost extra money.

“The whole idea,” Jordan said, “is to get this done as simply as possible.”

She added that the family has gotten “lots of help from a lot of different people” in order to ensure the new farm stand gets up and running, including the Inn by the Sea, where the Jordans sell their produce, as well as the lobster Caitlin’s father and brothers catch.

On May 16, the Sea Glass restaurant at the Inn by the Sea will host a dinner and silent auction fundraiser for the farm, entitled Wine for a Cause. The auction begins at 5:30 p.m., and the dinner, which is $85 per person, begins at 7 p.m.

In addition to the dinner and auction, Jordan said, all the proceeds from this year’s sale of community-supported agriculture farm shares will also go toward the project. Jordan said the family would also like to build a new herb greenhouse.

Jordan said she’s thankful for the support that the community has shown in purchasing farm shares to support the construction. She said the sale of shares has quadrupled from last year.

According to the farm’s website, “with the purchase of a $100 (farm share), supporters will receive $110 to spend at the farm throughout the 2014 growing season. It is our goal to sign up 200 people.”

The Alewive’s Brook Farm consists of about 90 acres, with about 20 acres in production. Much of the farm is sandwiched between Old Ocean House Road and Route 77, with productive acreage also located across Route 77 from the main farm.

Jordan’s grandfather, Alvin Jordan, purchased the farm in 1957. He was originally in the wholesale business, selling produce such as cabbage, lettuce and squash to Hannaford and other large grocers. In the late 1970s, the family turned to a retail-based business and in 1980 opened a farm stand.

The family farm is now fully diversified. In addition to selling fresh grown vegetables, the Jordans also sell lobsters, clams and crabs, along with poultry and fresh-laid eggs. The family also tries to keep abreast of trends, and recently began growing things like kale and garlic to meet the demands of its customer base.

Walking down the farm road with her 15-month-old nephew in her arms and another nephew and niece running ahead, Caitlin Jordan said everything she’s doing now is for them.

“I want future generations to have the farm. It’s important to preserve this way of life.”

A CLOSER LOOK

The Alewive’s Brook Farm in Cape Elizabeth plans to build a new farm stand and greenhouse and is seeking the help of the community for fundraising.

The money from all farm shares purchased this year will go toward construction, as will proceeds from the Wine for a Cause dinner hosted by the Sea Glass restaurant at the Inn By The Sea on May 16.

Go to www.alewivesbrookfarm.com for more information about the farm-stand project and how to help.

Caitlin Jordan and her nephew, Bennett Rideout, at the family-owned Alewive’s Brook Farm in Cape Elizabeth. For nearly 60 years the Alewive’s Brook Farm in Cape Elizabeth has been family-owned and operated.  


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