Rivard Farm is located at 110 Blanchard Rd, Springvale, Maine The farm has been in the Rivard Family since 1926, when the land was purchased by Henri Rivard. Henri Rivard ran the farm as a dairy until 1948, at which time, Gerard Rivard and Urban Rivard (two of Henri’s sons) purchased the farm from their father upon their father’s retirement. The Rivard brothers converted the dairy farm into a poultry farm. Urban moved on to to other interests in the 1950’s and Gerard bought out his share of the farm to obtain full ownership. In the 1960’s Gerard converted the farm to a pick-your-own strawberry operation after several small crops of strawberries planted for his daughters to earn supplemental income for college proved successful. From the 1960’s to the 1980’s Gerard produced strawberries (on 9 acres) for his customers to pick. In the 1980’s he added 3 acres of commercial high-bush blueberries, and the strawberries were phased out of operation in the 1990’s. In 2008 Gerard began offering approximately ½ acre of raspberries for picking, and he is added more raspberry plants in 2012 due to the success and interest in raspberries from his customers. The farm has continuously provided a variety of farm vegetables for personal enjoyment as well as firewood for personal use. He has leased land for planting and harvesting of organic hay for several decades to his neighbors next door who run the Noon Family Sheep Farm.
The Rivard Farm property is significant, both locally and regionally, as the long-term pick-your-own operation has contributed to the health and character of the local community. Many loyal customers visit Rivard Farm from mid-July through early September to pick berries every year, and the experience is a source of enjoyment for families and people of all ages. The Rivard Farm also supports satellite farm stands by offering volume picking for those vendors to retail at their own stands, and berries are also offered at local farmers markets. The farm is a popular tourist attraction for residents of Maine and out-of-state tourists. The Mousam Way Trail abuts the southern property line, and Gerard has offered fishing privileges at his 2-acre irrigation pond on a case-by-case basis.
Gerard had the help of his 8 children to assist in the farming duties from the 1950’s through 1989, when the youngest child left the farm to pursue other interests. Since that time Gerard has been running the farm with the help of his wife Theresa, and at age 85 and 87 they are finally considering retirement. Through the interests of his children, Rivard Farm recently received a grant to write a business plan for the farm from the Maine Department of Agriculture. The family is currently investigating in expanding the crop base, to provide a wider variety of produce for both pick-your-own customers and to supplement the offerings at local farmers markets. We are interested in hearing about what types of fruits and vegetables you would be interested in, so please share your thoughts with us as we look to expand!
Reminder: The Center for Disease Control recommends eating up to 3 cups of fruit daily!