OUR STORY A beautiful snowy view

Winter Hill Farm is located about 5 miles northwest of Freeport Village. The farmstead is located on a picturesque hilltop, surrounded by 55 acres of gently rolling pasture and mixed forest. The farm is made up of about 25 acres of open pasture and 30 acres of mixed woodlot. The farmhouse sits on the highest point along with 2 barns, a milking parlor, and a farmstead creamery. Though the farm has a rural homestead feel, there is easy access to Portland, Freeport, and Brunswick, which keeps us from feeling too isolated out here on the farm.


Winter Hill Farm was started nearly a decade ago by Jim Stampone and his wife Kate LeRoyer. It was their dedication to the Randall Lineback breed which led them to build the small dairy and creamery that we have here at Winter Hill. Jim and Kate decided to retire from milking cows in 2011. Upon their retirement, Winter Hill was purchased by two families dedicated to the preservation of farmland in the midcoast area. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Freeport Conservation Trust, Winter Hill Farm is now permanently protected with an agricultural easement. 


Today Winter Hill is managed by Steve Burger and Sarah Wiederkehr, who live in the farm homestead with their two children, Isaac and Calla, and their dogs Jasper and Cully. There are also full and part time employees- without their hard work this farm could not run!

 

MEET THE TEAM

 

Photo by Claire HoustonSteve Burger

Steve grew up in rural northeast Missouri, where his favorite childhood activity was to follow his grandfather and uncles through their workdays on a large hog, cattle and grain producing farm. From a young age he appreciated the hard work that farming requires, and valued the idea that such work produces the food that every person relies on. While studying English in college, Steve took a part-time job on a small farm that grew organic produce for local restaurants and farmer’s markets. This introduction to a different way of farming- a way of farming that embraced ecological sustainability and connected directly with consumers was a wake-up call. Since that first experience on a small organic farm in northern Illinois, Steve has grown produce in New Hampshire, fruit in Colorado, taught children about food and agriculture in California, and for six years prior to his arrival at Winter Hill Farm, managed livestock operations at Hidden Villa Ranch in Los Altos Hills, California. Few things excite Steve more than a springtime field with a beautiful stand of grass!

Sarah Wiederkehr  

Sarah moved to Maine as a teenager, but left for college a few short years later. After receiving a BS in Horticulture and Agronomy from the University of New Hampshire, she took a bus to California. Having only experienced the farms of New England, Sarah wanted to see and learn about farming in the Central Valley- the vegetable, fruit and nut basket of the US. Sarah worked for the USDA as a researcher in walnut orchards as well as a technician in a soil biogeochemistry lab before deciding to pursue degrees from the University of California, Davis, in International Agricultural Development and Integrated Pest Management. In her 4th year of graduate studies, Sarah started a small diversified CSA and educational farm just outside of Davis. After three years of farming that land, Sarah purchased some goats from a guy named Steve Burger. Shortly thereafter, Sarah took a job managing the 11 acre urban education farm, Full Circle in Sunnyvale, CA, to be closer to Steve. After their marriage in 2008, Sarah accepted a job at Stanford University as the school's first ‘farm educator’, managing a small farm and teaching courses in sustainable food systems and organic farming. It was a tough job to leave, but Sarah is thrilled to be back in Maine and close to her family after 13 years away. Sarah’s first love has always been plants, but she also enjoys raising poultry, experimenting with cheese making, managing the farmers' markets, and helping out with all the administrative aspects of the farm.

The rest of the team

Calla, the youngest farmer

Isaac can teach you about safety!

 

Isaac is our resident chicken wrangler, and loves to ‘help’ his dad with chores in the barns. Calla is our resident dairy fiend. She loves her raw milk and cheese, as well as coloring on the walls in the barn. Oh, and 'driving' the tractor. Both kids love being farm kids, and we think they are getting a pretty decent education just by living here. 

 

We also have two barn cats- Lola and Casper. If you visit the farm you will likely see them lounging in the upstairs window/door of the barn. They try to stay out of the way of the dogs, Cully and Jasper.