Holden farm invites the community in for dinner series

Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 5:16 PM EDT
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HOLDEN, Maine (WABI) - Over the past few years, a couple in Holden has been hard at work breathing new life into a historic farm.

It’s not just animals, flowers, and vegetables they nurture and grow on their land. It’s community, too.

“Whether it’s the pastured pork or the vegetables, it’s kind of the culmination of everything that we’re doing all in one meal,” said Andrew Toothacker of Hart Farm.

Like everything Andrew and Becky Toothacker do at Hart Farm in Holden, their multi-course dinner series has grown from the ground up.

“The supper series kind of grew out of our love for cooking for other people and introducing, reintroducing, people to Maine cuisine. Andrew is really great at cooking and loves to do it, and I love hosting people. So, it has really been a great blend of everything that we like to do,” said Becky, Hart Farm co-owner.

With a background that includes fine dining as well a stint training in France, Andrew brought all that experience to Maine in 2020. He and his wife bought the then-dormant property and are making it their mission to be good stewards of the land.

“I think oftentimes Andrew and I have to pinch ourselves because we ended up in a beautiful property and a beautiful community,” Becky said. “We feel like our community members, our neighbors, really love what we’re doing and encourage us to do more of it, so we’re going for it!”

The Toothackers partner with other local producers, including Squirrels & Stuff Farm in Montville, to bring their supper series to life.

“The rest of the ingredients are sourced from farms in Maine that we’re just inspired by. [Great Hopes Farm] has some of the best butter that I’ve ever had, and so we kind of go out of our way to feature that. Misty Brook Farm as some of the best cream I’ve ever tasted in my life, so we go way out of our way to feature some of that,” Andrew said.

If guests like what they see - or taste - from the supper, the hope is they’ll sign up for Hart Farm’s farm share program.

“It’s just the perfect way to get people introduced to what we’re producing and then kind of draw people into our CSA, which is the backbone of what we do and the revitalization of the farm,” Andrew said. “We’ve been able to grow every year because these dinners have drawn in people a lot.”

“The CSA is our bread and butter. We grow vegetables, and raise pork, and grow flowers and sell those through our CSA program. People pay at the beginning of the season, and then, they come on a weekly basis and pick up their flowers, veggies, meat,” said Becky.

Hart Farm’s next Summer Supper is already sold out, but there is availability for events in September and November. Visit hartfarmmaine.com for tickets and more information.