Beech Hill Farm beet plugs sprout in the propagation greenhouse and await planting outside.Beech Hill Farm beet plugs sprout in the propagation greenhouse and await planting outside. Credit: Piper Curtin

“It’s just so exciting to have fresh greens at the moment after having a winter of surviving on squash and sweet potato,” said Beech Hill Farm co-manager Anna Davis.

Davis stood in the doorway of a long greenhouse filled with fresh spinach and kale
that was seeded in October. After spending the winter months protected under row
covers, the greens have produced bountiful leaves that are harvested twice a week and sent off to the FarmDrop CSA (community-supported agriculture) program, College of the Atlantic, and stores like A&B Naturals and Sawyer’s Market.

Davis was accompanied in the greenhouse by Assistant Manager Tara Allen, who was cleaning up the crop, plucking away dead and unwanted leaves. This will be Allen’s fifth season as assistant manager of the farm.

The farm is owned by COA, Allen’s alma mater. After graduation, Allen managed a small farm in Florida before returning to Mount Desert Island and Beech Hill. “I like feeling connected to my food – seeing where it comes from and where it goes,” Allen said.

Davis and co-manager David Levison have been at Beech Hill for 10 seasons. While they originally had no connection to COA, Davis says they have grown to love the school and community.

“I just feel like it’s this extraordinary resource that we’ve been given to work here,” Davis said. “And it feels like an amazing way to kind of give back to the community and being able to provide local and sustainably grown food is so cool.”