Spiller Farm Addresses Hunger and Land Preservation Issues in Maine


| 12/8/2014 9:52:00 AM


Tags: Maine, Spiller Farm, agriculture, Mary Quinn Doyle,

Bill and Anna Spiller

Bill and Anna Spiller were chosen as the very first farmers to be profiled in the Unique Maine Farms' project because of their incredible commitment to address the issue of hunger in Maine. They have consistently followed through with a pledge to donate a large percentage of their crops to those in need. In 2014, they donated over 23,000 pounds of fresh produce to the Maine Harvest for Hunger program. Anna Spiller explained that this was able to materialize because of the generous efforts of several Master Gardener volunteers who came on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help with the harvests.

The Spiller family has been farming in Wells, Maine, since 1894. Their farm encompasses approximately 115 acres. Thirty acres are dedicated to row crops. There are four acres set aside for apples, as well as four acres designated for strawberries. Raspberries can be found on a one-half acre plot. They raise pasture-fed beef animals without the use of hormones or antibiotics.

Like so many farmers in Maine, the Spillers have learned to diversify. In addition to offering a variety of U PICK crops, the Spillers have supported local farmers' markets in Kennebunk and Wells. The Spillers' Farm Store, that is owned by Jim and Jeannine Spiller, carries a large selection of their fresh produce. A belief in the value of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has been embraced by Bill and Anna Spiller. They operate a highly-successful CSA operation. A person who agrees to purchase a CSA share is provided with a very good assortment of fresh berries, fruit, veggies, and apples from the middle of June until the middle of October. The Spillers raise peppers, strawberries, rhubarb, raspberries, blueberries, summer squash, zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, eggplant, lettuce, green and yellow beans, beets, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, chard, butter and sugar corn, silver corn, melons, watermelons, winter squash, pumpkins, and apples.

Good Shepherd Food Bank 

Bill and Anna have a philosophy that giving to others is simply the right thing to do. They have never felt any need to be recognized for their generosity. Bill has even apologized on several occasions explaining that he wishes he could contribute even more to the cause of hunger. They participated in the Senior Farm Share program in the past. In addition to donating an enormous amount of food to those in need, the Spillers grow food for the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

It was most unsettling to learn from Kristen Miale, the President of Good Shepherd Food Bank, that “200,000 Mainers live with food insecurity, which is not having regular access to food to lead a healthy life.”  The Good Shepherd Food Bank has dedicated their efforts to address the critical issue of hunger. The fact that 60,000 children (one of four Maine children) are affected by hunger in Maine is simply unconscionable. In 2010, Good Shepherd Food Bank created the Mainers Feeding Mainers program.  




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