New Cape Farm Opening Doors This Weekend | Arts & Culture

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New Cape Farm Opening Doors This Weekend

Fall and frosts have arrived, signaling the end of the season for most local farms.  For a new farm in Cape Elizabeth, however, the arrival of chilly weather means the season is just beginning.  And this year's harvest is the first for the Old Farm Christmas Place on Sawyer Road

Jay Cox began planting balsam fir on his property in 2004 after spending a few years preparing the land for the cultivation of Christmas trees.  Every year since, the Coxes have planted an average of 2,500 tiny transplants, and have meticulously cared for the trees over the past seven years.  Now there are about 1,000 trees from the fist planting that range from six to nine feet in height and are ready for sale on a choose-and-tag or choose-and-cut basis.   The farm will be in full production in 2012 as the new plantings mature; there will be around 2,500 trees available each year after this point.

The Cox's Old Farm Store - located in a 30' X 40' timber-framed barn completed last year - offers custom wreaths, garland, ornaments and decorations.  The variety of goods available at the store was made possible by recent zoning ordinance changes enacted by Cape Elizabeth officials; the town and the Cape Farm Alliance worked for over two years to perfect changes designed to enable and support local agriculture. 

"One of the big things they did was allow us to sell more ancillary goods in our farm stands in support of the overall operation," says Cox.  "This allows vegetable farmers to offer a wider variety of products than could be produced only locally - especially early and late in the season - and it allows me to offer Christmas-related goods in addition to my trees.  It really is necessary today, if small-scale farming is going to survive in today's world of highly-efficient large-scale competition.  I've really got to hand it to the Town: the residents said loudly that they want to preserve local agriculture and the open space and ambiance that it provides; the town asked the farmers what we need to accomplish this and then quickly enacted ordinance changes that truly help to accomplish this goal.  The opening of this farm and farm stand is a testament to the efforts of everyone involved."

The Old Farm Christmas Place and Old Farm Store will be open during November and December.  Wagon rides and refreshments are provided and local delivery and shipping services for all goods are available.  Directions and operating hours for the store and tree selection are available at http://www.oldfarmchristmas.com/ or by phone at 207-799-0096

The Old Farm Christmas Place is located at 1148 Sawyer Road in Cape Elizabeth.  The Farm is also known as the Dyer-Hutchinson farm and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The land has been farmed nearly continuously since the late 1700’s.

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