Aaron Bell and his wife Carly DelSignore founded Tide Mill Organic Farm 15 years ago on the shores of Cobscook Bay in Edmunds in Washington County. With a herd of 60 milking cows, dairy production represents 50 percent of the farm's operations. Chickens, pigs and gardening making up the other half.
The small family farm expanded in 2007 with a major contract for organic milk. Although the marketing has been difficult with a change in the dairy it supplies, Tide Mill is now selling in bulk to Horizon.
Just down the road, Aaron’s cousin Rachel Bell and her husband Nate Horton own and manage Tide Mill Creamery, founded in 2010 on the land that is part of the nine-generation family farm. That operation processes over 150 gallons of milk a week in the winter and 250 in the summer. Organic yogurt and kefir represent 70 percent of the products. The farm is growing, with a herd of 70 goats, several pigs and a cheese "cave."
Coverage of Washington County is supported by a grant from the Eaton Foundation.
This fall, the Frenchboro School studied island history and ecology. As the makeshift social studies and science teacher at the two-student school, I tried to design lessons that would put the kids into the wildness of their island's past.