March is sign-up time for low-income seniors who want to participate in the Maine Senior Farm Share Program. You can receive $50 worth of fresh produce throughout the season from a participating farm. (Farmers often have trucks at area farmer’s markets, and you can pick up your produce there.)  To qualify, seniors must be 60 years or age or older (55 for native Americans), be a Maine resident, and not live in the household or be an immediate family member of the farmer.

Maine Senior Farm ShareIncome criteria in 2015 are: Live alone and have an income below $21,59.00 or have a combined incomed (with a spouse) below $29,101. (Both can have a share, but each must sign up.)

The Senior Farm Share program is very popular, and seniors must sign up each year, even if they were with a farmer last year. You can only sign up with one farmer each year.

You are signing an agreement with a farmer to use your entire Farm Share by the date the farmer sets. Only sign up for a FarmShare if you are fairly certain you will be able to use the entire $50 amount. You must let the farmer know if you will not use your entire $50 Farm Share.

Maine Senior Farm Share questions

Things you should consider when signing up with a farmer:

  • Does the farm grow fruits and vegetables that you enjoy?
  • Are you required to go pick up your produce from the farm, or does the farmer deliver to you?
  • If you have to pick up your produce, do you have transportation to get to the farm enough times over the 8-week season to use your full $50 Farm Share?
  • Is the place where you have to pick up your produce close enough to your home?
  • Do you choose what you will receive or does the farmer choose for you? (This will be explained by the farmer and written on the agreement form.)

Different farms participating in the Senior Farm Share program offer different types of fruits and vegetables. You should check with the farmer before signing up to be sure the farm’s offerings will meet your needs. The fruits and vegetables will be available at different times during the growing season. Since the Senior Farm Share program only includes Maine-grown produce, you should realize that you will not receive items such as bananas, oranges, lemons, and other tropical fruits.

Here’s more information and how to find a farm.