“Martha” a ‘Bender’ written by Executive Director, Sarah Robinson
"Who is that?" or "What is that?" are common questions we hear from visitors and PCSWCD staff continue to answer, "That's Martha.” After she traveled to Maine Farmland Trust in Belfast and her last post at Checkerberry Farm in Parkman, "Martha" was ready to join PCSWCD for passerby and visitors of the Law Farm located on Lee Cemetery Rd. just outside of downtown Dover-Foxcroft. As you drive by the gently sloped hills and maybe a sheep or two, you will notice the beautiful sight of "Martha,"a metal sculpture that was created in collaboration with Bruce Towl, Merrilee Schoen from Aeons by Design (and Community Food Service Coordinator at PRFC) , Peter Crockett of Argyle Iron Works and Fred Patterson from Troy Industrials. The 7-foot tall sculpture is part of a multimedia exhibit, ‘In the Interval Between Snowflakes- raising organic fruits and vegetables on a rural Maine farm.’ “The exhibit’s intent is to help those of us who may not for many reasons- raise our own food, appreciate and- in a sense- honor the hard, tiring, dusty at times, muddy and occasionally dangerous work farmers and farm crews engage in bending to raise food for many of us,” explains Bruce Towl. “Martha” is one of the ‘Benders,’ a way to honor and celebrate farms, farmers and farm hands raising organic fruit and vegetables in the state’s short growing season. She was welcomed to her new home at the Law Farm in the fall of 2019 and remains today with the hopes viewers will take a moment to reflect and appreciate where food comes from as they observe the sculpture that is positioned between the American Chestnut germplasm and the rotationally grazed fields.
The Law Farm is public property that is owned and operated by PCSWCD and maintained by the dedicated staff, board members and volunteers for the community to enjoy. Anyone is welcome to visit the Law Farm to appreciate its unique characteristics and biodiversity. The Law Farm is a wonderful place to take a walk in the woods, enjoy a picnic, learn about permaculture, the wide variety of native tree and plant species, snowshoe, cross country ski, bird and wildlife watch, bring youth groups for outdoor nature experiences and much more. The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District’s mission is to be leaders in agriculture and forestry by providing education and technical assistance to promote the conservation of natural resources on which we depend.