January 5, 2021
3 years ago, Dawn and Gary Verrill purchased what used to be referred to as the “Governors 400 Acres” in Gorham. Their plans for Bull & Oak Farm are just getting rolling and their intention is to work in the niche market of alfalfa to supply local horse and goat farms.
When the Verrill’s bought the property, it was run down and overgrown. They spent a lot of time clearing trees and digging stumps to create more farmland. “I’ve had the help of some wonderful friends, including Wally Stevens, a 4th generation farmer.” The land is home to an original 1790 farmhouse and barn, and Gary has been repairing both.
Not only have the Verrill’s been hard at work renovating, restoring and preparing the farmland, Gary and Dawn also own and operate Nature’s Design Landscape. The business takes care of commercial properties from Augusta to Massachusetts, and they haven’t missed a beat since the start of the pandemic.
Gary said, “When covid first struck, everyone kicked into neutral and was unsure of what to do and how to do it. Once we were able to come up with a game plan and figure out how we could continue to operate, we’ve had a very busy, good year, and we’re so grateful.” The Verrill's attribute some of their successful year to the diversity of their business as they maintain grocery stores and hospitals.
While maintaining both businesses has been manageable, ultimately Gary and Dawn plan to have their son take over the landscaping business so Gary’s sole focus can be on the farm.
When reflecting on the year, Gary broached that while it certainly presented challenges, the most rewarding thing for him and Dawn was to be able to give end of year bonuses to the staff.
Thank you, Bull & Oak Farm and Nature’s Design Landscape, for being the #HeartAndSoulOfTheCommunity. For more Heart and Soul stories, please visit our website sbsavings.bank/heart-and-soul/