SEASONS AND THURSTON FAMILY FARM ACTIVITIES
Different seasons of the year bring different activities on the farm. While we cannot guarantee weather, we can estimate the following happenings on the farm by season:
June, July & August
We refer to this time of year as “Hay Season”. It is also “Produce Season”. Visitors to The Farmhouse during this time of year will find tractors, mowers and balers in action as we cut and bale thousands of bales of hay per year in 2-3 rounds. Additionally, the greenhouse and surrounding gardens will be in the phases between growing and bursting with produce, sold at the “Farm Store”. Trails throughout the farm and surrounding area provide a beautiful oasis for quiet solitude, walks with family or friends, mountain biking, or trail running. Mother Nature is out in all her glory, as is wildlife and, admittedly, a good selection of black flies. Waterfalls, ponds, small and large mountain hikes beckon!
Late Autumn/Early Winter
November & December
The weather at this time of the year is cool but pleasant. Snow can begin accumulating anytime between mid November and December, but most often “real” amounts of snow don’t build up until January. While there is no hunting on Thurston Family Farm property, November does mark the beginning of Hunting Season and the local woods offer hunting to many hobbyists, except on Sundays. There are many hunting guides in the area for visitors interested in hunting deer, bear, turkey and more.
Spring (Kind of.)
March, April & May
Spring can mean different things to different people. In some areas, it means tulips, budding trees, warm days. Those are things we have…in June. Spring, at the farm, means two things: Maple Syrup production, or “Sap Season”, as well as so much mud that we affectionately call this time of the year “Mud Season”. As charming as that may sound, it actually is a beautiful time of the year. By late February/beginning of March, when the region experiences the magical “cool nights and warm days”, the maple trees first tell of us of spring by gushing with sap. We capture this sap through sap lines on roughly 1,500 trees, collect large amounts of the sap, and boil it down at the Sap House. We currently use a wood-fired evaporator to boil down hundreds of gallons of sap and turn it into bottled syrup for customers. We also host Maine Maple Sunday at Thurston Family Farm, which is a day when Sap Houses across Maine open their doors to the public. The day includes horse drawn wagon rides, maple syrup on homemade ice cream, and many educational activities about the process of making syrup.
Depending on the winter, March is often full of all winter activities. April can begin with snow but it usually signals the true end of winter. Some planting and work in the fields begins in April, preparations for summer, and April can be a beautiful time for hiking as the mud has often dried and plants and trees are starting to bloom, and brooks are gushing with the last snow melting off from the mountains. May is warmer, more pleasant, and happily, the return of green meadows, trees and spring flowers blooming.
September & October
“September = Stunning”. October too! These months are typically beautiful as the cool nights and warm days usher in the turning of autumn leaves. The whole farm becomes so scenic and colorful, you question if you are in a real place or not! In addition to the changing trees, the gardens are bountiful during this time of year. The barns are full of hay, the farm store full of produce, and the black flies and mosquitoes depart. The weeks between the beginning of September and third week of October are often some of the most beautiful weeks of the year. Thurston Family Farm has also run a corn maze during September and October, and on select weekend days, the Farm offers tractor rides and corn maze adventure to local families and farmhouse guests for $5-7 per person.
January – mid/late March
The snow brought by winter months provides many activities on the farm and in the surrounding area:
- Cross Country Skiing can be accessed on many snowmobile trails right on Farm property and beyond.
- Downhill Skiing is easily accessed in the area – many ski resorts and family friendly mountains are between 20 minutes and an hour away, including Black Mountain of Maine and Sunday River.
- Snowmobiling – a major snowmobiling trail runs right by The Farmhouse and through Thurston Family Farm property. Snowmobiling is popular in the area and local organizations do a great job of keeping the trails open and in terrific shape throughout the season.
- Snowshoeing/Winter Hiking – for those who enjoy the beauty of snowshoeing and winter hiking, there is no lack of place, on Farm property and off, to enjoy these hobbies.
While rural settings do not offer a lot for the consumer, they do offer something of deep value: an honest setting. Nothing is trying to be anything. All you see is just what is. There is a peace and authenticity in that type of place that allows for, I believe, an authenticity within us to come forth. If that is what you yearn or value, your stay is sure to be a positive and fulfilling experience.
Whatever the season, time feels slower at The Farmhouse and determined by the will of natural forces, not a clock. Visitors who are ready for a change in pace, adventure, solitude or to simply break bread with friends or family against a beautiful backdrop, will enjoy their stay at The Farmhouse.