When he’s not lobstering, Jodie Jordan, 72, has also been farming most of his life. He works his family’s Alewive’s Brook Farm in Cape Elizabeth, along with his daughter, Caitlin Jordan Harriman, 40. Harriman is also president of the Portland Farmers’ Market, which opened for the season in Deering Oaks on Saturday. 

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in farming over the years?

Jordan: Nowadays we only put about a third of the stuff on the truck when we go to the farmers markets, compared to what it used to be. There’s so many other people selling at farmers markets now.

Harriman: There are so many more markets today, so we sell less at market. We used to put almost 200 heads of lettuce on the truck going to market one day, 10 years ago. Now you might put 60 heads on there. People have many more options (for farmers markets) so the dollars are spread out more.

Have the tools and machinery changed much?

Jordan: We still have plenty of the old equipment and hand tools around here. They still work if you take care of them.


Harriman: We do more with tractors and planting. We’ve had to expand the variety of vegetables. Back when Jodie started, it was primarily lettuce and cabbage. Now, we grow 157 different varieties of vegetables.

Caitlin Jordan Harriman irrigating her family’s farm in Cape Elizabeth. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

What is your favorite vegetable to eat? And how do you like it prepared?

Jordan: Carrots. But not in a sauce or anything.

Harriman: He doesn’t like them seasoned, just boiled or steamed. Often, he just pulls them out of the ground, wipes them on his pants, and eats them all day long.

What do you like best about farming?

Harriman: Planting a teeny, tiny seed and watching it grow into something you can eat. You grow something small as a green bean or big as a pumpkin. They all start from the same place.

What is the toughest thing about farming in Maine?

Both: The weather.

Harriman: We’re fortunate here in Cape Elizabeth, we have a pretty long growing season compared to some in Maine, but the weather is definitely what you worry about. Is it gonna rain all year, and you can’t do anything about it? Or is there going to be a drought, and you have to hope you get some water?

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