SOUTH GARDINER — Dorian Pillsbury’s day at the farm ran the gamut: He fed goats, mooed at a cow and kissed turkey poults, bouncing back quickly after a fall on a slightly electrified fence.

It all held the overall-clad 22-month-old’s attention for two hours on Sunday morning at Butting Heads Farm on Costello Road.

“He’s obsessed with farm animals,” said his mother, Lisa Liberatore, of Gardiner.

Butting Heads Farm opened as part of Open Farm Day for the first time Sunday. The annual, statewide promotion is in its 25th year, giving the public the opportunity to learn about agriculture. This year, close to 90 farms participated, according to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

The farm, in this rural part of Gardiner, is situated on two sides of the road around owner Jackie Frost’s home, which was built in 1790 and has been in her family since the Great Depression. Her family has farmed the property for just four years, growing it slowly since then.

Frost, also an education technician in Hallowell-based Regional School Unit 2, raises pigs and chickens for customers, also keeping a dairy goat herd whose milk she makes soap from. She said passers-by are always welcome at the farm if she’s around, but Open Farm Day is the “the day, I guess, when people think it’s OK.”

“We do craft shows, but you can’t see what we do,” Frost said. “Some people sell goat milk soap, but it’s the poor stuff. We milk twice a day. It’s the real deal.”

The animals, she said, are the real draw on Open Farm Day. But 19-month-old Fintan LaPointe was more interested in the trucks and tractors around the farm, looking neutrally at a goat pen.

Still, Keely Heidtman and Greg LaPointe, of Hallowell, took him to nearly all the pens to try to expose him to the animals. The parents came to Maine from Boston before they had Fintan, saying the farms here embody why they came: An improved quality of life.

“It was the whole point of us moving up here,” LaPointe said.

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

[email protected]

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme


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