Roaring Brook Nurseries: A delightful experience

By Dave Sargent
Freelance Writer

It’s an exciting season for the owners of Roaring Brook Nurseries in Wales.
A new retail farm and garden market building is opening up beside the beautiful Route 126 fields. The new store and attached greenhouses will highlight locally-grown quality produce as well as plants and supplies for home vegetable and flower gardens.
It’s one of the first steps in an expanded agri-tourism direction for Jim and Kristen Glazier, the second-generation owners of the 50 year old family farm.
As Jim describes it in horticultural terms, “We’re branching out again, and we’re also going back to our roots.”
“We want to offer a rural experience,” Kristen added.
Their vision is to develop a family destination where entertainment and education will be as much a part of the experience as market purchases.
Tractor rides and walking trails on the 150-acre property are in the planning stages. There could be educational tours for schools at some point.
The spring, summer and fall seasons offer all kinds of opportunities for events. A petting zoo would be one of the additions.
Another major project for the future will be an autumn pumpkin patch area where kids will find all kinds of fun and games.
Jim and Kristen have spent a lot of time traveling to similar agri-tourism businesses throughout the northeast. They hope to incorporate many new features into the Roaring Brook Nurseries experience.
Kristen noted that people have “a whole new enthusiasm about quality foods.” She said she notices a “green wave” of renewed interest in small home gardens and canning of home harvests.
Jim remarked that many men are among the top chefs seen on television culinary arts programs, so men are becoming more and more involved in cooking and nutrition.
They also commented that there is increased interest in buying locally-grown produce in this time of economic challenge.
Of course, spring brings a surge of business for plant sales to gardeners.
The opening of the new retail building wraps up a lot of work through the winter when Jim and Operations Manager Lew Robichau constructed the fully-computerized greenhouse wings on each side of the store. The computer controls temperature and watering so personnel can give full attention to customers.
They drew on a number of local businesses and craftsmen for help with the project. The attention to fine woodworking details can be seen throughout the building.
In addition to the store’s items, pick-your-own strawberries will be available on the property this year, and there will be PYO blueberries, raspberries and cut flowers next year.
Also new for the 2009 season is the construction of a nine bin aggregate holding facility. Mulches, stones, compost, loam, gravel and wood chips are among the materials available for pick up or delivery.
The Glaziers said the expansion will mean they will be adding to their work force. Daughter Lindsay and son Jared keep busy with the family business and the Glaziers said they think there’s a good chance the enterprise will continue into the third generation.
In 1956, Jim’s father (Jim Glazier, Sr.) held the position of research assistant in the Pomology Department at the University of Massachusetts. Glazier foresaw the need to supply young fruit trees to local orchardists, so he began propagating several varieties of apples in the backyard of his Leverett, MA farmhouse.
He gave his fledging nursery the name Roaring Brook Nurseries after the brook which ran through the side of his property.
In 1977, Roaring Brook Nurseries relocated to the Maine town of Wales where Jim Glazier, Sr., and his wife Dorothy expanded production on the 100-plus acres of rich farmland.
In 1992, Jim Glazier, Jr., and his wife Kristen became the second generation owners of Roaring Brook Nurseries, Inc., a well-established wholesale business that emphasized fruit trees and ornamental trees for landscaping.
They constructed a five-acre state-of-the-art wholesale yard facility with a fully-computerized irrigation system using underground piping and an overhead watering system. The irrigation system has a Dosatron fertilizer injector system that maintains a daily slow release.
That was just one of the innovations that are examples of the Glaziers’ acumen for pinpointing a regional need.
The Glaziers look forward to their latest expansion and welcome the opportunity to serve the local community with their landscaping and gardening needs.
Roaring Brook Nurseries at 639 Gardiner Road, Route 126, Wales, can be reached by calling 207-375-4884, or check out their Web site at
639 Gardiner Rd., Route 126 ? Wales, Maine ? 375-4884