Nezinscot Farm
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Name:               Gregg and Gloria Varney

                          Nezinscot Farm

Location:         284 Turner Center Road

                          Turner, Maine  04282



Store Hours:     Mon.-Wed. closed

                           Thur. & Fri. 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.

                           Sat. & Sun.  8 a.m. - 5p.m.

Products and Services:

-organic dairy

-highly-diversified farm advocating organic

and biodynamics practices

-store and cafe

-La Boulangerie - bakery

-La Fromagerie - cheese shop

-La Charcuterie - meat

-fiber shop

-antiques and gifts

-Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

-cows, pigs, sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens,

ducks, donkeys, rabbits, horses, geese

-herbs and vegetables

-retreats, workshops, special events 

-online store

-intern program

What Makes Nezinscot Farm So Unique?

You know that expression - “they have all their ducks in a row” when someone is referring to people who seem to have everything in order.  Well, Gregg and Gloria Varney certainly appear to have pulled everything together with the establishment of one of the most highly-diversified and progressive farms in the state of Maine.

All of the five Varney children participate in

helping out with the array of farm chores at

Nezinscot Farm.  In addition to the many large gardens that require tending and harvesting, there is a significant population of animals who reside on the farm.  There are pigs, chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, rabbits, donkeys, geese, and horses. The dairy herd ranges from 90 to 125 cows. 

In 1994, Gregg and Gloria led the way in the dairy world in Maine by becoming the first dairy in the state to be certified as organic.

They are proud that their cows are given no antibiotics or growth hormones and that their animals are raised in a humane environment and treated homeopathically.  The Varneys are part of a farmer-owned cooperative and they have sold their milk to Organic Valley since 1997.

Unique Maine Farms created eleven webpages on just some of the offerings of Nezinscot Farm. Because there are so many undertakings taking place at this family farm in Turner, it was quite challenging to document everything that goes on. If it is time-consuming to portray all the activities on a website, one can just imagine all the time and effort involved in actually carrying out all the activities with which the Varneys are involved!

At La Boulangerie (their bakery) there is a selection of seventeen kinds of Farm breads that are made in the traditional style.  Most of their breads are suitable for vegan diets.  Other items on the menu from the bakery include a variety of doughnuts, muffins, cookies, scones, pastries, and bagels.  There are also cinnamon rolls, cakes, cupcakes, pies, whoopie pies, and quiche.  There is a welcoming cafe adjacent to their bakery with family-style seating where diners can enjoy the homemade baked goods and salads, soups, full breakfast and luncheon

with burgers, etc.

The Varneys’ farm store offers a wide selection of hand crafted cheeses and dairy products produced in their well-equipped Fromagerie.  All of their hard cheeses are made with raw milk and they include such varieties as Glorianna, Nezinscot, GregGarian, Jack & Will, Guyere, and Griswold.  Their line of soft cheeses includes LaVache and LaVache Blends, Chevre and Chevre Blends, Pepper Jack La-Vache, Boursin, Feta, Squeeky Curds, Cottage Cheese, Mozarella, Smoked Mozzarella and Burrata.  Also available are Gloria’s Yogurt, Sour Cream and Creme Fraiche.

Nezinscot Farm also operates a Charcuterie that specializes in high quality meats that are sold by individual cuts or by a side.  Several factors contribute towards the exceptional quality of the farm’s meat.  The animals’ diet at the Varneys’ farm consists of farm-grown feed that is certified organic.  There is access to green food for the animals from their pasturage from May to November.  The Varneys own 250 acres and lease 550 additional acres.  They grow the organic corn and hay and silage that is needed to feed to their animals during the winter months. Nezinscot Farm sells beef, veal, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, goose, duck, rabbit, and goat meat.

Nezinscot Farm’s wool and fiber shop is located upstairs above the farm store and cafe. There is a selection of yarn from their flock of Cormo and Sheltans sheep, and goats. The Linsey-Woolsey Line that they carry offers blankets and throws. There are spinning and weavings supplies and many handmade items. On this same floor there is a selection of many fine antiques. 

In the loft above the second floor there is an area for overnight accommodations, and

a space for rent, quiet reading, and herbal and farm consultations.  There is also a music center where jams, retreats, and private parties can take place.  Music is important to the Varneys and Gloria is skilled in playing the fiddle and harmonica.

A large medicinal garden is located at the farm.  The herbs that are grown by the Varneys are hand-crafted and sold in their store as tinctures, remedies, bitters, teas, digestives, and homeopathics.

The variety and amount of professionally produced products that fill the shelves, coolers, and displays at the Varneys’ Farm Store is mind-boggling.  There are homemade pickles and relishes, jams, jellies, pancake and chocolate chip cookie mixes, sauces, and an assortment of canned and dehydrated vegetables.  Various grocery items such as eggs, butter, organic pastas and bulk baking products are offered. 

The Varneys have demonstrated a willingness to carry products for people who are interested in specialized, often difficult-to-find foods.  There are products that are gluten free and sugar substitutes.  Certified Organic Fair Trade coffees and teas are carried and a large portion of the foods are intentionally offered because of their suitability for individuals on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Nezinscot Farm’s commitment of supporting local sustainable farming is very clear.  One of their dairy barns is painted with messages such as “Who’s Your Farmer?” and “Where Does Your Food Come From?”  Another of the messages on the barn states “Nezinscot Farm - Where The Animals Feed the People.”  This same slogan and accompanying art work is found on tee shirts that they sell in their farm store. 

A large sign supporting biodynamics is posted on a wall out in the field at the farm.  The Varneys are proponents of the practices of biodynamics farming. They work to include spiritual, ethical, and ecological principles at their farm. It is their belief that everything is connected at their farm.

The focus on connectedness in biodynamics extends outward from the farm to involving a sense of community.  The Varneys sponsor a year-round CSA Community Supported Agriculture program where participants purchase farm shares upfront so that the contributions can be used for the farm to plan for their future crops and farm operations. They also offer Work Share Options where work is exchanged for credit at the Farm Store.

A commitment to the community is reflected at the Nezinscot Farm in many ways.  Both Gregg and Gloria focus on community efforts by volunteering on various boards and participating in farming-related organizations.

The Varneys invite individuals and groups to participate in retreats and workshops at their farm.  There provide internship opportunities. They host a Homesteading and Life Skills School, health and wellness counseling, and “Days at the Farm” for children from 7 to 11.  Family dinners can be planned with a two-day notice.  Other offerings for the community include traditional English tea parties, pizza party barn dances, four-course gourmet dinners, and gatherings with local musicians.

It would seem by now that visitors to this webpage most probably would agree that

Gregg and Gloria Varney are operating an exceptionally diversified farm.  Their energy

seems boundless and their genuine passion for highlighting the importance of supporting local farmers is certainly worthy of admiration.

The Varneys are looking into developing a slaughterhouse and butcher shop, a grain mill

and grain storage facility, and increasing their

food storage capabilities.  To many individuals, starting any one of these projects might seem to be a daunting undertaking.  However, with the passion, determination, energy, and commitment to sustainable agriculture that Gregg and Gloria Varney have already demonstrated, there is no doubt they will accomplish all of their goals and then some.

As time passes, it will be interesting to update this profile on Nezinscot Farm.  It appears that Unique Maine Farms will need to set aside quite a bit of time for any future updates because it’s a real challenge documenting a family farm like Nezinscot Farm that continues to expands its diverse offerings and achieve so many results and notable accomplishments in such a short period of time.