Chris Cabot of Maine Farmland Trust, left, Margaret Marean and her nephew, Jeff Davis, celebrate Sunset Farm in Standish becoming a Forever Farm. Contributed / Maine Farmland Trust

A Standish farm that has been operating since at least 1800 will be preserved indefinitely as a Maine Farmland Trust Forever Farm.

The 91-acre Sunset Farm is stewarded by Margaret Marean, the fourth generations of Mareans to operate it. Her nephew Jeff Davis and his wife Rosana live in the old farmhouse and she resides in a ranch house down the road.

“The farm has been going for four generations, and then was passed onto my husband and then my son. I lost my husband and my son, and it was my feeling that they would want to preserve this farm,” Marean said.

Margaret Marean of Sunset Farm in Standish said she knows her late husband and son would have wanted her to protect the farm from development. Contributed / Maine Farmland Trust

Her son, Bradley Marean, died in 2021, predeceased by his father Erlon Marean, whose family had run the farm before him.

Marean said that donating the property to the nonprofit Maine Farmland Trust was a way for her to ensure that the land be protected for years to come and maintained as farmland.

“A forever farm protects it from being developed in the future,” she said. “We have a lot of developments here in Standish.”


“It’s a beautiful piece of property,” she said. “Farms are kind of scarce around here.”

Only 3.6% of Maine’s remaining farmland is permanently protected, yet Maine’s 1.3 million acres of farmland represent more than a third of New England’s total farmland, according to Maine Farmland Trust.

“The only way you can protect this stuff is to own it,” Marean said.

She also owns other rural properties in Maine, and said she is often pressured to sell them.

Chris Cabot, assistant director of Farmland Protections at Maine Farmland Trust, said preparing the easement took about a year of discussions after Marean approached him.

“Southern Maine is losing a lot of its farmlands, so to maintain farms indefinitely and support farmers benefits our entire state,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do to protect farmland in southern Maine especially.”


When the Farmland Trust protects a property, its landowners continue to be responsible for upkeep and farming, with some added requirements to ensure that the use of the land is maintained within the conditions of the easement.

“We do annual monitoring to make sure that the easement terms are complied with, and support farmers with any business planning needs,” Cabot said.

More information about Maine Farmland Trust can be found at


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