Originally published in Castine Patriot, August 1, 2019
The Farmhouse opens in support of animal rescue
Supporting Peace Ridge Sanctuary
by Anne Berleant
A sanctuary that provides a safe, permanent home for abused and neglected farm animals will benefit from The Farmhouse, a new thrift store Penobscot residents Ann and Andrew Sterling opened at 919 Southern Bay Road.
Peace Ridge Sanctuary, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit founded in 2001, which moved from 15 acres on Back Ridge Road to 800 acres in Brooks in 2016, is home to over 300 chickens, pigs, donkeys, horses, cows, sheep, goats and turkeys. It also runs a foster/adoption program for dogs and rabbits.
“The store means a great deal for the future of the shelter,” sanctuary founder Daniella Tessier said. “It’s a really big opportunity because we operate our animal shelter and sanctuary in a climate where there is much more need for our services than monetary support.”
The sanctuary is funded through grants and individual contributions, with volunteers donating hours of time every week.
The Sterlings were contributors to Peace Ridge Sanctuary and visited after its move to Brooks.
“The first thing we saw was two donkeys,” Ann Sterling said, as she rearranged items in The Farmhouse, which opened without fanfare July 6. “Andrew and I have been rescuing donkeys [in Aruba] for years.”
Using The Ark’s Blue Hill thrift store, which supports The Ark pet shelter in Cherryfield, as a model, the Sterlings purchased the old Penobscot farmhouse and renovated it as a store, removing kitchen equipment and installing a downstairs bathroom. Ann then began culling items from their home to stock the shelves to jumpstart donations.
“This has been my way of downsizing,” she laughed.
The Farmhouse offers fine second-hand goods and gifts, from glassware and knick-knacks to more valuable items like antiques, hand-sewn quilts and, currently, a Papa New Guinea wood-carved statue.
Though only open for a few days, The Farmhouse has already made quite a few sales, Ann Sterling said. “And donations are starting to roll in.”
The Farmhouse is open Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. “Quality” donations, apart from clothing, are welcome during open hours, Sterling said, and she is looking for more volunteers.
“It’s a beautiful little country store in a special nook by the Bagaduce river,” Tessier said. “We really hope that the community will check [it] out.”