In 1916, Edward Young began Benson Farm with one of the first herds of registered Holstein dairy cows in the state with a commitment to raising healthy crops to support healthy cows that produce healthy milk. Over the years and generations, the farm diversified into compost production, bringing together byproducts from farms, seafood processing, and the lumber industry. The core of the company has remained the same: a firm belief that the quality of the soil is intricately connected to the health of our families and communities.
Composting is nature’s way of returning nutrients to the land in a natural and powerful recycling process and plays an important role in improving the sustainability of our communities. Finding beneficial uses for byproducts from Maine’s foundational industries gives our state’s companies an alternative to harmful waste management practices.
The “secret ingredient” in Benson Farm’s signature Surf n Turf blend comes from
Maine’s famous lobster industries. The shells of crustaceans are high in a powerful protein called chitin whose antimicrobial properties have been identified as an organic source of reducing pests and disease in crops.
Benson Farm is actively involved in supporting community agriculture efforts throughout the state, providing compost at cost to several non-profit organizations aimed at reducing food insecurity, as well as community gardens in local towns and educational gardens at schools.
In addition, Benson Farm works with Marine Mammals of Maine to help investigate threats to whales, seals, and other marine mammals in the state. Most notably, Benson Farm composted a 43 foot endangered whale carcass in 2016 to allow scientists to better understand the factors that led to its death and advocate for policy changes to support the threatened population. Read the full article here.
The carcass of an endangered right whale found floating off Boothbay Harbor sits Sunday in a tractor-trailer that transported it from the Portland waterfront to Benson Farm in Gorham, creating a bit of an overnight spectacle in the streets along the way. Photos courtesy Benson Farm in Gorham
Benson Farm offers two products:
- Surf n Turf Compost is a rich blend of primarily oceanic residuals and cow manure, fully composted to a dark, odorless dirt with flecks of shell.
- Super Soil Blend is a loam blended with Surf n’ Turf and screened for a uniform product, perfect for starting any new gardening project.
Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) for use on certified organic gardens.