Ask any of the farmers at the Stonington Farmers Market and they’ll tell you: Farming is hard work. But it’s also a labor of love. When it comes time to retire, farmers often hate the thought of their carefully tended fields, orchards and buildings turned into a McMansion and a lawn.
That’s the dilemma faced by Leslie Cummins and Tim Seabrook. You’ve seen them selling peaches, vinegar and cider at the Stonington Farmers Market. If you were smart, you bought some.
The Bangor Daily News interviewed Leslie and Tim earlier this week in a story titled, “Maine farmers ready to retire wrestle with succession planning.”
Leslie Cummins and Tim Seabrook own Five-Star Nursery and Orchard in Brooklin, but they are considering selling the farm where they grow apples, pears and make apple cider. They would like to sell their land to someone who would continue using it as a farm instead of developing the property.
According to the newspaper,
It’s evident that Cummins and Seabrook have poured their hearts and souls into this venture, a source of deep pride and connection to their community on the Blue Hill Peninsula. But at 70 and 69, respectively, they’re ready to step back from the hard work of their daily routines and explore the possibilities of retirement.
“We are really ready to do the next part of our lives,” Cummins said. Already, they’ve bought a small house in town, close to friends, services and amenities. Now, they’re trying to find an appropriate buyer for the farm. And it’s not easy.
“Who do we want to sell it to, some rich dude from New York?” Seabrook asked. “We’d probably lose everything we’ve built here.”
The newspaper reports a New Hampshire not-for-profit called Land For Good is helping farmers like Leslie and Tim find other farmers to buy their land.
Read the whole story here.