Harris Farm
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Name:          Harris Farm

Location:    280 Buzzell Road

                     Dayton, Maine 04005

Phone:         207-499-2678

Website:     www.harrisfarm.com

Email:        harrisfarmmaine@gmail.com

Products and Services:

-glass-bottled milk

-grass-fed beef and veal

-whole wheat flour

-seasonal vegetables

-cross-country skiing

-farm store

-pick-your-own pumpkins

-CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

-maple syrup

-Harris Farm Store Hours:

-July - October:  daily 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

-November-June:  11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

What Makes Harris Farm So Unique?

If you are old enough to remember the delivery of milk in glass bottles by the milk man, then you probably can fondly recall how great it was to know that the milk was fresh and from a local source.  For those who are too young to know anything about this, families kept a metal milk box at their door and the milk man filled the box with the milk and shaved ice. This practice of delivering the milk in glass bottles virtually disappeared across America when milk started being sold in plastic containers in the small neighborhood markets and grocery stores.

The Harris Farm in Dayton has been a proponent of having their milk sold in glass bottles since 1996.  Unbelievably, arrangements can made to have fresh Harris Farm milk delivered to your door just like it happened many years ago. (Contact  Todd Nutting to find out about the home delivery coastal route from Saco to Kittery of Harris Farm milk (207-985-7768).

While many milk enthusiasts swear that the milk tastes significantly better in glass bottles, the bottom line is that glass bottles are re-usable and definitely a plus from an ecological perspective. Harris Farm offers a large variety of milk in glass bottles including skim, 2%, whole, chocolate, coffee, strawberry, blueberry, orange, vanilla, and banana.  Several customers who are lactose intolerant find that they can drink the raw milk that Harris Farm offers.

Jake Harris, the nineteen-year-old son of Clint and Rachel Harris, kindly shared some information about the cows and beef cattle that are raised at Harris Farm.  He is a freshman at the University of New Hampshire majoring in Integrated Agricultural Management.  He takes a variety of farm-related courses and is focusing on the dairy and cattle selections.  He participated in the York County 4-H Beef Club and is especially interested in cows, hay, and grains.  He explained that the Harris Farm Dairy is unique in that after the calves are weaned from their mothers that, unlike most other farms in Maine, they can access milk from nurse cows.  The Harris Farm dairy cows graze naturally on grass and are fed hay and grass silage during the winter.

The Harris Family has been in the forefront of many progressive developments at their farm.  They have grown wheat for the past several years. It is ground into wheat flour at the Aurora Mill in Aroostook County. Not too many farmers in southern Maine are growing wheat and barley like the Harris family.  The barley is a new addition to their farm.  Some of it is being shipped out of state to Massachusetts to be malted.  Local brewers in Maine have expressed an interest in it.

In 1988, the Harris family decided to establish a Cross Country Ski Center.  There is a system of groomed cross-country ski trails on their 500-acre dairy and tree farm that is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. when snow conditions allow.  The forty kilometers of trails meander through open fields and sheltered forests.  Trail maps are available and there are trails that are for easy, intermediate, and difficult ski levels.

When Unique Maine Farms visited Harris Farm this past March, it was quite a surprise to see

the large number of cross country skiers who navigate to the farm to go skiing.  Jake explained that on a busy day there can be as many as 250 cross country skiers.  There is a lodge with a warm welcoming common room with a wood stove, a spacious sunroom, restrooms, and an outside deck from where you can view skiers in three different directions.  There is also a well-equipped rental shop where skis, shoes, and poles are available to rent as well as snowshoes and children’s sleds.  There are homemade refreshments available for purchase on the weekends or individuals can bring their own snacks and lunches.  Private and group lessons are available with reservations.  Mitch, the seventeen-year-old son of Clint and Rachel Harris, is very involved with competitive cross country skiing and is a member of the Portland Nordic Ski team.

The Harris Farm is well-known for its sweet corn. They have been marketing corn since the early 1950’s.  They plant over twenty varieties of Sugar Enhanced and Super Sweet on twenty-five acres to have a constant supply from mid-July through mid-October.  They hand-pick it several times throughout the day to ensure freshness.

The Harris family also grows a large variety of vegetables.  Tomatoes fill their greenhouses and in the fall families and individuals flock to the pick-your-own pumpkin patch.  They sponsor a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program where farm shares can be purchased for $100 before April 30, that will provide an  individual with a $110 balance to be used at the farm or the Saco Farmers’ Market throughout the year on glass-bottled milk, grass-fed beef, seasonal veggies and corn, butter, eggs, or whole wheat flour.

Harris Farm also participates in the WIC program, the Senior Farmshare Program, and Plant-A-Row for the Hungry.  Clint Harris is the President of the York County Farm Bureau and is active in the York County Farmers’ Network and the Maine Grass Farmers’ Network.  In 2003, Harris Farm received the Governor’s Award for Tourism Excellence.  In 1984, they received the Green Pastures Award, and in 1987, they were recognized with the Maine Conservation Farm Award.  They manage their forested lands as part of the American Tree Farm System.

The Harris Family welcomes visitors to their farm.  On Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24, 2013, from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Harris Farm will celebrate Maine Maple Weekend.  There is an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast in their large sunroom, horse-drawn sleigh rides, homemade donuts, and Sugar House demonstrations.  Maple syrup and maple kettle corn are available for sale.  Keith and Angela Harris run the maple syrup operation and they sell maple syrup in several size containers including half-pint, pint, quart, half-gallon containers.

Harris Farm hosts school tours for kindergarten, first grade, and pre-school children in May.

On Sunday, July 28, 2013, Harris Farm will host “Lunch on the Land” for Open Farm Day.  It includes a buffet style picnic lunch featuring Harris Farm corn, hamburgers, veggie platters, homemade pies, and their own glass-bottled milk. Proceeds benefit the Goodwins Mills United Methodist Church.

John Harris began farming the land on Buzzell Road in Dayton in the 1940’s.  Three generations who have come after him remain actively involved in farming the same land.  Harris Farm has demonstrated a deep commitment to their local community.  They have become a highly-diversified farm that has become well-known for their glass-bottled milk, grain production, and cross country skiing.  They serve as a great example of how families can pool their resources and labor and work together for the common good of the entire family and their local community.

Bill and Dixie Harris

Rachel Harris at the Saco Farmers’ Market


Clint Harris