New Leaf Farm is on the corner of Davis Road and Chesley Hill Road in Durham, near Runaround Pond (map located here).
In 2023, this cornerstone of the Maine organic farming movement will be placed under a conservation easement, to be held by Royal River Conservation Trust. RRCT has partnered with Maine Farmland Trust, and we are working with Dave and Chris Colson to acquire a 74-acre agricultural conservation easement. The conservation easement will keep New Leaf Farm farmed in perpetuity, thanks in part to generous funds by the Land for Maine’s Future program, RRCT’s Land Acquisition Fund, and the Maine Farmland Trust.
Dave and Chris ran New Leaf as one of the first commercial organic farms in Maine, from 1983 until 2014 when the land stopped being farmed commercially. Dave and Chris’s vision is for the next generation to commercially farm the land, providing organic, nutritious food for local communities while caring for the soil, water, and other natural resources and habitat values. The 74-acre conservation easement will join more than 375 existing acres of conserved land near Runaround Pond (thus soon more than 450 acres), an important conservation and ecological area identified in RRCT’s 2022 Conservation Plan.
For almost as long as Dave and Chris farmed his land, Dave was an invaluable member of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. You can read a short article about his time at MOFGA here.