Special thanks to Herbert Crosby for creating this video.
The mission of Green Gem Holistic Healing Oasis is to cultivate healthy lifestyles by providing easy access to diverse health practices, holistic learning opportunities, and community involvement.
An added benefit of our Green Gem mission is to restore, enhance and forever protect this Olmsted-designed farm and gardens. Learn more about The Olmstead Legacy here.
“Food as Medicine”: Farms, Gardens, and Foraging in the 1800 and 1900s were considered common knowledge for healing resources. As demonstrated in the “Doctor’s Case” exhibit at the Bangor Historical Society, tinctures were the medicine of the era. Essential Oils, Herbs, Tea and natural remedies were prescribed; with NO complicated list of side-effects!
In 1911, Dr. Col. William C. Peters and wife Adah Stewart Bryant had two servants who likely tended the Olmsted Farm and Garden which included an extensive vegetable and flower garden, apple orchard, grapevines and asparagus beds for nearly 30 years. Subsequent residents made alterations to the plans according to their hobbies and interest.
In the 1940-50’s Mr. Knowles relocated the original garden site. In its place he built, a Warming Hut and the first outdoor Men’s Hockey Rink, home of the Tarratine Terriers and practice rink for UMaine Hockey enthusiasts in the 1950’s. The garden was relocated near the front driveway where a Garden Shed to delight any gardener was built. Raspberry bushes and extensive vegetables were planted and Mrs. Knowles delighted in working the garden herself, according to Clifford Eames, who helped tend the garden when visiting his fiancée, Barbara Knowles.
Park, Forest, Farm & Garden, Historic House plus the rich Culture make this entire campus a Green Gem. In addition to the Olmsted landscape, an Urban Old Forest with Champion White Pine trees extends back towards Mount Hope Ave where nature trails proposed by Bangor Land Trust and Bangor Beautiful, can link Cascade Park, Saxl Park, Mount Hope Cemetery and beyond. A “Peters Farm” once stood on the parcel adjacent to Bangor Humane Society with apple orchard and grapevines and the Historic 1911 Dr. William C. Peters House (National Register of Historic Places – “Historic Residential Architecture of Bangor” in 1996). The list of owners including 3 doctors (Dr. Peters, Dr. Beech and Dr. Clough) and 2 retailers (Freese and Knowles of Rines clothing) all add unprecedented historical, cultural and preservation worthiness to the 20 acre campus in its entirety.
A Healthier Lifestyles focus in Farm to Table and home gardens for sustainability is the catalyst for cultivating today’s programs. Green Gem Farm and Garden Club is creating a holistic, multi-generational approach by collaborating with UMaine Cooperative Extension, Maine Discovery Museum and Good Shephard Food Bank to offer experiential STEM curriculum combined with a service and philanthropy component. The success of this Pilot Project will later extend to public schools, additional universities and elderly communities ~ closing the loop on a healthy multi-generation, socio-economic community.
Olmsted parks are our health clubs and art studios, our outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, and family retreats. Green Gem is a historic living museum example of Farm to Table. The Farm and Garden enhance Greater Bangor Region’s quality of life, attract international tourism, create healthy jobs at a “great place to work” and attract a diverse population while serving the needs of our highest risk community.
Without attention and support, the value of this great asset will decline and once again disappear from memory. It takes hard work, funding, and community interest to preserve this resource. Olmsted Park Conservancy leads the movement to enhance and restore these resources, and invites the community to realize its stake in the future of our Greater Bangor Region Olmsted Park and Olmsted Farm & Garden.