Turkey Hill Farm
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Name:              Turkey Hill Farm


Location:         120 Old Ocean House Road

                          Cape Elizabeth, Maine


Phone:              207-799-5402


Products and Services:


-home of Cultivating Community programs

-home of Farm Camp at Turkey Hill Farm

-orchard of David Buchanan

-home of Twilight Dinners

-gardens of Hagos Tsadik


Directions:


from the Casco Bay Bridge in Portland

 

After crossing the bridge, get into the right lane and turn right onto Rte. 77 S at the second set of lights (the “Pizza Joint” will be on your right).

 

Follow Rte. 77 for 4.3 miles, through Cape Elizabeth town center, until you come to the second entrance to Old Ocean House Road (this road makes a U intersecting twice with Rte. 77). Turn left.

 

Turkey Hill Farm is #120 Old Ocean House Rd, the 3rd driveway on the right. The mailbox is on the left and is labeled THF. There is also a small Swiss chalet on the left, across the street from our driveway.

 

What Makes Turkey Hill Farm So Unique?


Due to the generosity of Peter Eastman and his son,

John, the Turkey Hill Farm in Cape Elizabeth has become an unbelievable community resource for people of all ages and backgrounds.  Anyone who

has visited the farm soon realizes that there is a

feeling that a small “global village” has been established on the farm.  There is a distinct energy present at the Turkey Hill Farm and a feeling of welcome.


If you drop in during a weekday in the summer you will see many young children enjoying their time at the Farm Camp that takes place.  Some children at the camp might be tending the garden, or feeding the chickens, exploring the frog pond, visiting the pigs or

the alpacas, or enjoying some time in the barn where

there is a library and a craft area.  Peter commented that the Farm Camp “is a great hands-on program where campers can expect to get dirty!”


David Buchanan from Origins Fruit Nursery has a greenhouse and a plant business on the property. His

offerings include unusual and rare varieties of pears, apples, peaches, plums, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.  He also provides consultation on edible landscaping. Hagos Tsadik from Ethiopia has been farming at Turkey Hill Farm

since 2007.  He has been harvesting many different

grains and vegetables.  This year he planted Tuff

(Ethiopian Grain), strawberries, peaches, plums,

potatoes, and other crops.  He reported that they

are “beautiful and productive.”  Two different bee keepers have also set up hives on opposite sides of the property. 


On Thursday evenings in the summer visitors arrive

from all over southern Maine to support the Twilight

Dinners that take place at the picnic tables under the large oak tree in the center of the property.  Proceeds from the Twilight Dinners benefit Cultivating Community.  The three-course dinners are prepared by a series of celebrity chefs from southern Maine.  It is

a BYOB event and tickets for the dinners are $30 and can only be purchased online.


Cultivating Community is a non-profit organization that works with refugees and immigrants to strengthen

communities by growing food, preparing youth leaders and new farmers, and promoting social and environmental justice.  Youth Growers from the Cultivating Community program work in the gardens at Turkey Hill Farm a few days a week.  They learn to cook various foods and raise food for low-income seniors.


It probably would be quite surprising for Laurence

and Emma Eastman to see all that is taking place at Turkey Hill Farm these days.  They had purchased the

farm in the early 1920’s. They named the farm because turkeys came up the hill each day to feed on the land and then went back from wherever they came each night.


There is a striking parallel to the visiting turkeys because it appears that many people are navigating towards Turkey Hill Farm each day. Although some individuals did visit the farm in the 1930’s when Mrs. Eastman opened her tea room in the barn, there never would have been as many people enjoying the farm back then as there are today. 


Laurence and Emma Eastman raised one son, Peter,

who is now eighty-five years of age.  Because of the

generosity of Peter and his son, John, the Turkey Hill

Farm property is alive with an incredible diversity of

people, programs, special events, and agricultural enterprises.


Peter Eastman has some challenges walking long

distances but he has managed to navigate the property

on his John Deere lawnmower.  He visits the farm

almost every day and enjoys checking out all the activities.  An old canvas bag is secured to the back of his lawnmower.  It contains several tools that he uses in making repairs on the property.  Homer, a poodle-mix dog belonging to one of his friends, often accompanies him to the farm for the day.


When asked how he felt about all the happenings taking place at Turkey Hill Farm, Peter chuckled

and responded that he often felt like the character

of General Halftrack, the frustrated commander of

Camp Swampy in the Beetle Bailey comic strip.  He

compared himself to General Halftrack for always

having a dazed look on his face and asking “Now What?”


Peter and John Eastman had the desire to make

sure that the twenty-three acres of Turkey Hill Farm would never be developed.  They worked with the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust to guarantee this with the

establishment of a conservation easement.  Peter is

presently involved in philosophical discussions about having the Land Trust become possible administrators of the property in the future.


Peter and John should be credited for their amazing generosity.  Not only have they welcomed all different groups of people on their property, they have allowed

the farming to take place at no cost.  They have also assumed all the expenses for taxes and liability insurance.


If you have the opportunity to spend some time with Peter Eastman you immediately notice his keen wit.  He seems to have a clever response to every question and an opinion on just about everything!  He has a great way with words. Perhaps his gift for language originates from his many years as a technical writer.


Peter has experienced a great deal in his eighty-five years.  Because of his generosity and the generosity of his son, John, a “global village” of campers, environmentalists, farmers, teachers, chefs, dinner guests, Youth Growers, and plants and animals are flourishing at Turkey Hill Farm in Cape Elizabeth.



Peter Eastman, and his son John,  have generously welcomed Cultivating Community, a Farm Camp, an organic fruit grower, an Ethiopian farmer, and many visitors to Turkey Hill Farm in Cape Elizabeth.

Sarah Marshall from Cultivating Community is the Farm Supervisor at Turkey Hill Farm.

Volunteers from Merrowvista Summer Camp in Tuftonboro, New Hampshire, help to weed the garden.