Anyone who visits Blue Tin Farm (always call ahead) will instantly notice the soothing karma of happy animals. You very well may be greeted, as you enter the driveway, by two enormous Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs, Rosie and Charlie. Believe it or not, this breed of pig was so diminished in number that they were considered critically endangered. This lucky couple, often found reclining in cool, soft earth, is far from endangered. They are wonderfully docile and curious and friendly. The breed is recovering here in the U.S. and in Great Britain. In 1995, The Kelmscot Farm Foundation of Lincolnville, Maine, organized the importation of 20 Gloucestershire piglets to reestablish the purebred population in America. Blue Tin Farm has helped to support their come back.
Even Jack the cat, who roams the farm, may flop down at your feet and request rubs. It is a small indication of the pleasant atmosphere provided for the many inhabitants of the farm.
Crystal has been coming to Maine for 42 years. Her great-grandparents built a cottage on Southport in the 1930s and the family visited every year. Crystal comes by her love of animals honestly. She was a certified veterinary technician and ran a veterinary referral surgical facility in Massachusetts before moving here. So not only does she care deeply for her flock, she has substantial knowledge and skills. Lucky critters.
Crystal mentioned more than once, during our family visit on father’s day, her deep concern for the health and happiness of her animals. She made no bones about how dedicated she is to humane care. We saw this first hand as we entered the baby Nigerian Dwarf Dairy goat area of the farm. Crystal only had to share her voice with us in a normal tone to initiate a deluge of the cutest little herd we had ever seen. From out of their residence, from in the trees, from out of the woods, they rushed to visit. The animals love her. “Blaaaaaa. Blaaaaa. Hold me, rub my belly or my ears, feed me, let me chew on your buttons.” We all melted. Some of the babies are for sale now. Crystal told us they are sold for pets, to homesteaders and to other dairies. She makes cheese, and soaps from her milking herd of around a dozen adults.
I could go on forever about Crystal and the farm. The Araucanas chickens lay blue eggs, the birds sing, the geese honk and Crystal's supportive family supports. There is much to do, and frankly, I’m not sure how she does it.
If you want to visit, please do make an appointment. Crystal has very little free time. She is an amazing bundle of energy and an inspiring individual. Please check out the farm website at www.bluetinfarm.com
The goat photographed with Crystal is named Ruby.