Eureka Farms was established in 2010, the year Seth and Hollis Edwards purchased it. After a lengthy search for a piece of land we found 185 acres in the town of Palmyra, known as the old Tibbetts place. It encompasses everything we were looking for such as a good agricultural base, plenty of forest, a good stand of maple trees for our maple syrup operation, and unlimited opportunity for us to be creative with what we do here. Since its inception Eureka Farms has seen many improvements, and there are many more exciting things scheduled for the future. Here is a glimpse of what happens at the farm throughout the four seasons of the year.
At Eureka Farms spring comes early. We start tapping our maple trees on President`s day weekend in preparation of maple syrup season. The sap starts to flow around the first of March and can last as long as 6 weeks.
When maple syrup season is over we turn our attention to our bees and begin getting them ready for summer. There is always plenty to do getting our bees ready and even more to do keeping the bears out of our bee yard. The first of May we start feeding the bees sugar and water to make sure they will have plenty of food until the nectars start to flow. Feeding them early also gets the queen started laying eggs which means we will have lots of bees when it is time for them to harvest the nectar. We continue to check our hives throughout the summer and we take our honey off the first part of September. Then we give them sugar and water again so they can have plenty of food to make it through the winter.
Spring and summer are always busy around the farm. Maintenance is on-going doing a myriad of tasks. This includes pruning and fertilizing apple trees, grooming and tilling fields, picking rocks, sawing wood and filling the woodsheds, mowing the lawns and orchards, and getting gardens and feed plots planted.
Fall is the time to start getting things ready for winter. Summer projects are wrapping up and plans are under way for the upcoming maple syrup season. Clean up of the fields, planting winter rye in some of our feed plots, gardens getting cleaned up, lime and manure on the gardens orchards, and feed plots, and getting equipment put away are all a part of our fall projects. We consider ourselves stewards of the land, consequently part of our overall theme is doing what we can to help sustain wildlife. Getting ready for winter means getting feeders placed in our fields for wildlife. The winter rye is feed for the deer both in the fall and also in the spring. During the winter when we are grooming our maple grove, any cedar that is taken out is left on the ground as feed for the deer. Then we harvest the wood after the deer have eaten the tops.
Once the ground is frozen it is time to think about working in our maple grove until it is time to tap the maple trees again. We make various roads that allow us access to more maple trees each year. Taking out cull trees that hinder the growth of our maples is our goal. We take logs from some of this wood and have it sawed into lumber for use around the farm. The remainder of this wood is what we use for firewood.
This is a brief description of what keeps us busy here at the farm. There is plenty more that goes on around the farm but we hope this gives you a picture of who we are and what we do. And we also try to spend some time where it all began, Pleasant Pond in Island Falls, Maine.
We realize that Eureka Farms is a rather unique name. Here is why we chose it. William Edwards, grandfather to Hollis and great grandfather to Seth had a potato brokerage business in Island Falls many years ago. Keith Edwards, father to Hollis and grandfather to Seth, along with his brothers continued that business for many years. The business was called W.F. Edwards & sons, and they took great pride in promoting their own brand of Maine potatoes. That was known as EUREKA brand, Maine potatoes. Although we have drifted away from the potato business and a little farther south, it is our desire to keep the legacy of W.F Edwards & sons, EUREKA brand Maine potatoes, alive by choosing it as the name for our farm.