A Budding Westport Island Artist Touts Farms
When 8-year old Mara Abbott put crayons to paper to create a t-shirt design for Focus on Agriculture in Rural Maine Schools (FARMS), she had lots of “farm inspiration” to draw on. There was a time when much of the land on Westport Island was farmland. Produce, poultry and berries were grown for residents as well as ferried by boat to Southport and other islands off Boothbay Harbor. Although that’s not true today, farms are still integral to the Island character.
FARMS sponsored its first annual T-shirt design contest this year. Entries were sought in the newspaper, and students from at least five schools submitted design artwork. The winner for grades k-6…was our own hometown hero, Mara Abbott!
Where did Mara find her inspiration? One thing she thought about were past visits to the Squire Tarbox Farm — the Island’s oldest farm — where she saw chickens and pigs. Her inspiration began with thoughts of visiting the farm and her favorite farm animals: rabbits, cats, horses and chickens. She thought about her parents’ garden and and other local gardens where tomatoes, carrots, lettuce and corn are grown. And, she thought about what her school’s FARM Coordinator, Abby Plummer, always talks about: recycling and eating fresh food grown on neighborhood farms.
The FARM program at WPS (Wiscasset Primary School) is about how to integrate farming and eating well into early education. Children learn how to grow food organically, eat nutritiously and support local farms and economies. When asked about her response to Mara’s t-shirt design, “FARM Abby” said “We love it!!!! It really captures the mission of FARMS.”
To support Westport Island farmers — from May to October — visit the Tarbox Farm on Fridays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; or visit the Boothbay Farmers Market on Thursday mornings or the Bath Farmers Market on Saturday mornings to buy produce from the Tarbox Farm or microgreens from Westport’s Judy Hughes at MicroMainea.