farm for sale – southern maine

posted November 16, 2009

Located in Kennebunk.  60 +/- acres: 30 in woods, 30 fields and cultivated. 5 acres certified organic. 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath passive solar home with oversized two-car garage and other outbuildings.  $599,000 More complete information follows.  Contact Dan Fleishman or Tsipora Berman at (503) 873-0947 or at daysmeadow@hotmail.com for more information.


The farm was operated as a CSA for 2007-2009, farm operator is willing to make customer list available.
Detail on the house: The house was built in 1982.  It is a passive solar home with 2X6 construction and 1 inch of Styrofoam insulation as well.  The house is a 34X36 saltbox with the upper story 24X36.  Full basement.  Most of the basement has a concrete floor except we created a root cellar when the foundation was poured and it has a crushed stone floor.

Three bedrooms and full bath upstairs.  Kitchen, dining room, living room and office downstairs in an open concept floor plan with a half bath.  Maple, birch and fir floors on the lower level, with carpet in the office.  The half bath could have shower (did have a homemade one, used for firewood storage for the past 25 years).  Stone fireplace and 3-flue chimney in living room with thimble in kitchen for woodstove.  10 X 20 greenhouse attached to the house.  There is a 4 ft diameter red cedar hot tub in the greenhouse.

Two wood stoves will come with the house — a cook stove in the kitchen and a box stove in the living room.  We heated primarily with wood.  There is also a propane direct-vent wall heater in the living room.

Kitchen has custom-made ash cabinetry.  A walk-in pantry where the refrigerator is.  Gas drop in range, dishwasher.  All appliances come with the house.

Drilled well installed a few years after construction.  The garage, studio and breezeway were built 1995 or so.  New roof shingles on the house in 2004+/-. New clapboards on the house 2002+/-.

The garage is oversized two car.  The upper level is finished.  It is divided into two rooms and full bath.  The large room is finished with hardwood floors.  The small room has carpet.  The bath has only a shower stall – no tub.  The small room has a loft over the bathroom.

There are four outbuildings: The first is a 10X10 storage shed.  We moved it up to the property before we built the house.  The second is a 10X12 chicken coop.  It is rough sawn pine and over 25 years old.  It may be close to the end of its useful life.  The third is an 8 X 12 shed built in 2000 as a self-serve farm stand.  It is at the end of the driveway, on the road, but is moveable.  Finally there is a pole barn built in the late 1990s.  I can’t recall its dimensions, but it is close to 26X36 or so.  Built with old utility poles; walls on three sides only.

Some more generally about the property: The property is about half woods and half field.  At the far end of the field we sold a 3-acre parcel to a local non-profit astronomy club.  They built an observatory there.  Because it was a bargain sale, there is a reverter provision in their deed, that if that land stops being used as an observatory the land reverts to the owner of the surrounding land.  This parcel is shown as Lot 20 on the diagram below, but the tax map does not show it proper size or location. It does not abut lot 15.

The property has about a half-mile of river frontage on the Kennebunk River and about 1800 feet of frontage on the state highway.  Over the years we cut a whole network of walking and X-country ski trails through the woods.  I cut all of our firewood from the woods.

The soils are a great mix of Elmwood, and Buxton with a little Lyman and Scantic in the bottom lands of the hayfield.  For southern Maine, they are pretty good agricultural soils.  I had an arrangement with a nearby dairy farmer.  He brought me manure in exchange for mowing hay.

The land is actually two different parcels as shown on the portion of the town tax assessor’s map shown below.  Lot 24 is 5 acres with the house on it.  The other, Lot 23, is about 60 acres and is the vacant farmland and woods.

There is a conservation easement on most of Lot 23.  Except for a couple of acres behind the observatory, it is permanently restricted from development.  The easement is held by the Kennebunk Land Trust.

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In 1982 we bought the property with another couple.  The two homes share a driveway.  Our house is about 800 feet off the road, a state highway. The shared driveway is lined by 100+ year old sugar maple trees.  We tapped them and produced our own syrup for 20+ years.

From 1999 to 2005 I established a market garden when I changed jobs and started working only 3 days per week.  I slowly enlarged our gardens to about an acre.  There was a farmers market in downtown Kennebunk that was my largest outlet.  The last few years I had a self-serve honest system road-side stand.  My operation was certified organic for produce, cut flowers, seedlings, and maple syrup.

We moved to Oregon in 2006, and not being sure that the move would work, decided to lease the house and property rather than trying to sell it.  When we moved, we leased the property to a young woman and her business partners.  They have greatly expanded the farming operation and it is their main source of income.  They have about 5 acres in cultivation — all certified organic.  They operate mainly as a Community Supported Agriculture model but also were going to the Portsmouth NH farmers market.  She has indicated a willingness to provide her customer list.  She also erected a hoop house (I don’t know the dimensions but would guess it is about 20 by 50) that might be available to buy from her as well as other equipment.

The public school system has a reputation as a good one.  Kennebunk is a fairly well-to-do and well-educated community and therefore has valued education and been willing to pay for it.  Check out the school district, some of the private schools in the area, town government, and the chamber of commerce for a feel of the place.