Beech Hill Farm
College of the Atlantic
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Name:           Beech Hill Farm

                      College of the Atlantic

Address:       Beech Hill Farm

                      171 Beech Hill Road

                      Mount Desert, Maine 04660

Phone:           207-244-5204




Open June through October:

Tuesday through Saturday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Products & Services:

-farm stand

-organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs

-cut flowers

-orchard with heirloom apple trees


-CSA program

-Share the Harvest program

-wholesale to public schools, food pantries,

  local restaurants, A&B Naturals in Bar Harbor,

  and Sawyer’s Market in Southwest Harbor

-carries selection of local breads, pastries,

meats, cheeses, and preserves

What Makes Beech Hill Farm Unique?

It should come as no surprise that Beech Hill

Farm is a very unique farm with a highly-developed environmentally-conscious philosophy.  The farm is a project of the College of the Atlantic,  (COA), a school in Bar Harbor with a long-standing commitment to the environment. While COA has developed an international reputation for its sole undergraduate degree in  human ecology, the progressive technology and developments at Beech Hill Farm have rightfully garnered a great deal of attention, as well.

When you enter the Beech Hill Farm property

there are several energy-saving features that are

immediately apparent.  There are two separate solar arrays at the farm. Attached to the farmhouse is a battery-charging station for the electric-powered van that shuttles individuals back and forth from the farm to the college.  A wind turbine is set in middle of one of the fields.  A wood-pellet boiler was installed in the new greenhouse and an air-to-air heat pump was installed in the farmhouse to supplement two propane heaters and a wood stove.  The interest in saving energy at Beech Hill Farm mirrors similar practices that have been introduced at the COA campus in Bar Harbor.

The ties that have been formed between Beech Hill Farm and the College of the Atlantic (COA) run very deep.  The farm was originally owned and operated for ten years by two College of the Atlantic alumni, Barbarina Heyerdahl (’98) and Aaron Heyerdahl (’97).  The Heyerdahls’ incredible generosity of donating this seventy-three acre farm to the College of the Atlantic in 1999, has resulted in impacting the lives of many students, faculty, alumni, and community members.  The majority of the farm workers at Beech Hill Farm are COA students or alumni.  Tess Faller, the current Farm Manager at Beech Hill Farm, is a COA graduate.

The value of community involvement in Beech Hill Farm has been integral to the operation of the farm since its inception.  With the assistance of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Heyerdahls arranged for a conservation easement to be placed on the farm property.  They wished to see that the open land that was part of the farm on Beech Hill Road would always be able to be enjoyed by the public and that agricultural pursuits could continue without the threat of development.

Community members and other farmers are welcome to visit and learn from the organic and

environmental practices that have been introduced at Beech Hill Farm.  There is an “open-book” policy in place where interested individuals can learn all about the financial aspects of the farm and the technological and production features that have been put in place. Beech Hill Farm has several established wholesale accounts. Their produce is enjoyed by local public schools, food pantries, and restaurants.  Beech Hill Farm is a true extension of the College of the Atlantic since the farm works to serve as an educational resource and a source of food for the dining services at the college.  Waste from the dining services is composted for use at the farm and for the gardens on campus.

A vibrant CSA program has been in existence at Beech Hill Farm.  There are several different options in the CSA program that include a Full Season Share for $420 that includes twenty weeks of vegetables, herbs, flowers, etc. from the end of June to the beginning of November.  A Summer Share for ten weeks (from the end of June to the end of August) is offered for $210.  A Fall Share is also available for $210 for ten weeks from the beginning of September through the beginning of November.

There is a Work/Trade Share program at Beech Hill Farm that enables individuals to work on Wednesday mornings at the farm from 9 to 11 a.m. to receive a reduced Summer Share at $160.  This bartering option illustrates an awareness by the farm that being able to afford fresh, organic food can be a financial challenge for some individuals.  A sensitivity to those in need is carried over to the Beech Hill Farm’s Share the Harvest program.  This program enables individuals of limited income to access fresh produce through vouchers which can be redeemed at the Beech Hill Farm Stand.  The Farm Stand also accepts WIC vouchers, EBT, and Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program vouchers.  Food from the gardens is donated to the Bar Harbor Food Pantry in the summer. Individuals from income-eligible households can enter a lottery for a $50 food voucher from the Beech Hill Farm Stand.

It is no wonder that the Beech Hill Farm Stand does a thriving business.  In addition to the wide selection of over one hundred organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers, raised on the six acres of gardens, the farm store sells products from many local vendors including goat cheese, pork and beef, poultry, jams, breads, coffee, chocolates, baked goods, maple syrup, and honey.

Working towards sustainability is paramount to

the College of the Atlantic.  Beech Hill Farm offers students and staff many opportunities to

support sustainable undertakings.  There are individual studies, group studies, work-study programs, volunteer positions, and internships that take place at Beech Hill Farm.  A partnership with the College’s Dining Services has been established.  The organic local fruit and vegetables from the Farm are incorporated in COA’s menu as much as possible.

COA has partnered with many sustainable organizations including Healthy Acadia, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Maine Farmland Trust, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and New England Farmers Union.  They have developed sustainable food relationships with Conners Emerson Elementary School, the Mt. Desert Elementary School, and the Island Institute.

Beech Hill Farm has proven to be an excellent resource in the College of the Atlantic’s Sustainable Food System Program.  Studies at the farm have been inter-disciplinary. Various classes such as political science, ecology, botany, history, business, anthropology, chemistry, etc. have benefitted from the work taking place at the farm.   Topics such as agriculture education, conservation, food business, wind and solar technology, food security, ecology, fermentation, food justice, and alternative farming methods have been introduced.

The COA students and staff have had the opportunity to access several unique agricultural undertakings because the Heyerdahls’ stepped forward in 1999, and donated their farm.  Hands-on learning is taking place and the Heyerdahls’ wish that the community be active participants in the farm has been honored.  Beech Hill Farm has illustrated the immense value of incorporating a farm program in a college curriculum.

Farm StandBeech_Hill_Farmstand.html
the FarmBeech_Hill_Around_the_Farm.html
In the
Sustainability & Energy

Tess Faller is the Farm Manager at Beech Hill Farm

From Beech Hill FarmBeech_Hill_Photos_from_the_Farm.html