Workers clear weeds from a field of asparagus plants at Maxwell’s Farm. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Joel Bamford collects strawberries as Cano Rodriguez, left, picks at Maxwell’s Farm fields. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Bill and Lois Bamford took over operations of Maxwell’s Farm from Lois’ father Ken Maxwell when he retired. These days, the operation is mostly U-pick strawberries. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Neither the Bamfords nor the Rodriguezes know how Ken Maxwell came to recruit labor from Patillas, a town in southeastern Puerto Rico that is well off the beaten path. But since then, over almost 60 years, Rodriguez nephews, cousins, grandchildren and in-laws have worked at the farm alongside Maxwells and Bamfords. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Cano Rodriguez is reflected in a truck’s side mirror while talking to Bill Bamford before heading out to work Maxwell’s Farm’s fields following lunch on Thursday. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Gerardo Rodriguez works a field on Two Lights Road. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Pedro Nieves, 73, of Gorham, came to Maxwell’s Farm as a 16-year-old with not a word of English. A year or two after he arrived in Cape Elizabeth, Nieves recruited his lifelong friend Ismael, initiating, as it turned out, the enduring Rodriguez-Maxwell Farm connection. Nieves eventually married a Maine girl and remains an integral part of the farm family, visiting weekly come summertime. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Cano and Nilda Rodriguez with their daughter, Any, at their living quarters at Maxwell’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth. Any, who is studying to get a college degree in nursing, is spending her seventh summer working on the farm. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Since the 1960’s, families from Patillas, Puerto Rico, have been an intricate part of Maxwell farm operations, leaving their homes and families in Puerto Rico to work at the farm in Cape Elizabeth during the summer. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Joel Bamford collects the picked strawberries. He and his sister Joy are the ninth generation of Maxwells farming in Cape Elizabeth. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Upstairs at the bunkhouse, Esthefany Rodriguez, and her father Cano hold up a flag of Puerto Rico that has been signed by Puerto Rican workers each summer at Maxwell’s Farm for the last 20 or so years. The flag, as well as the flag of Patillas, normally hang on the wall in the bunkhouse living room, perhaps bringing home a little closer each summer.

Each summer for the last seven years, just after the end of the strawberry harvest when members of the Rodriguez family begin to head back to Puerto Rico, Pedro Nieves comes to the farm one morning and spends the day roasting a local pig for the annual goodbye party. Derek Davis/Saff Photographer

Gerardo Rodriguez, center, laughs with Pedro Nieves of Gorham while cutting a roasted pig at the end of the 2021 season party. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Gerardo Rodriguez, center, laughs with Joy Bamford at the end of the season party at Maxwell’s Farm on July 18, 2021. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Any Rodriguez tastes a roasted pig at the end of the season party in 2021. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

The signature dish at the end of the season party is the salty, succulent roast pig. Plates are also heaped with cornbread, casseroles, rice and beans, three-bean salad, blueberry pie and cupcakes. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

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