New Leaf Farm

New Leaf Farm is on the corner of Davis Road and Chesley Hill Road in Durham, near Runaround Pond (parcel map here).

In 2023, this cornerstone of the Maine organic farming movement was placed under a “forever farm” conservation easement held by Royal River Conservation Trust. RRCT partnered with Maine Farmland Trust to acquire the 75-acre agricultural conservation easement. The conservation easement will keep New Leaf Farm as farmland in perpetuity, thanks in part to generous funds by RRCT donors, Land for Maine’s Future program, and the Maine Farmland Trust. With its gently sloping, agriculturally productive soils and its position over two significant freshwater aquifers, the property encompasses some of Maine‚Äôs best farmland and ecologically significant habitat.

New Leaf was one of the first commercial organic farms in Maine, from 1983 until 2014 when the land stopped being farmed commercially. Dave and Chris Colson’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 75-acre conservation easement is part of a total of 450 acres of conserved land near Runaround Pond, an important conservation and ecological area identified in RRCT’s 2022 Conservation Plan.

For almost as long as Dave and Chris Colson farmed their land, Dave was an invaluable member of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. You can read a short article about Dave’s time at MOFGA here.