"Worms are the unsung heroes of our food chain. Their burrows allow oxygen and water to penetrate the soil, they add fertility and prevent flooding."
- Farming Today, BBC Radio
  You are here:  ProgramsJourneypersonsMOFGA Journeypersons 2013   
MOFGA’s Journeyperson Program provides hands-on support, training, and mentorship for people who are serious about pursuing careers in organic farming in Maine. The program is designed for farmers in their first three to five years to further develop the skills they need to farm independently and successfully.


Sonia Acevedo - Hide And Go Peep Farm, Pittsfield

Jonathan Ault and Katharine Harris – Little Bridge Farm, Dresden

Jon came to Maine in the Spring of 2011 following a few-years-long stint in what he'd call the “standard-suburban-middle-class-circuit;” that is, successive post college careers in youth work, retail, and lastly, corporate banking. Seeing the need for a radical change in his own life and wanting to pursue something that he'd always felt he wanted to do but had absolutely no experience in – growing good food – Jon made the decision to leave his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa and cast his lot with Long Meadow Farm in West Gardiner, first as an apprentice and then as the farm's manager in 2012. While still very much a newcomer to farming, Jon is looking forward to the development of his own agricultural skill sets in supporting Long Meadow as he hones in the preliminary make-up of his future farming endeavors, including leveraging his position as a board member for an Augusta-Gardiner area non-profit, The Kennebec Local Food Initiative.

Rachel Bell, Nate Horton, & Ethan Bien – Tide Mill Creamery, Edmunds  
Rachel Bell lives with her husband, Nate, and her three children, Finn, Inez, and Jonah, on the same beloved farm she was raised on. When she is not stirring giant vats of milk, she enjoys romping around pastures with farm animals, growing, fermenting and eating sundry vegetables, writing love poems to the land, and singing and dancing on stage with her band The Milk and Honey Rebellion. Her aspirations include mastering cheeses that do not yet exist (but for which she has already chosen names), writing a book that hovers on that fine edge between fiction and truth, and crossing the continent on horseback (okay, and winning the Brooks Field Day Arm-Wrestling Championship).
Nate Horton grew up on an organic farm in Montville, Maine. He now farms with his wife, Rachel, on her family’s remote and historic saltwater farm. Most mornings, Nate can be found listening to James McMurtry and milking the fifty cows who produce the amazing milk for Tide Mill Creamery. When his hands aren’t busy with udders, Nate enjoys growing (and eating) vegetables (especially potatoes), wrestling pigs, logging with draft horses, studying Buddhist philosophy, splitting wood by hand, and shimmying up birch trees in search of chaga. He once held the title of “Blueberry Pie-Eating Champion of Montville” for three years in a row.
When he’s not in his lab coat hovering over the yogurt incubators like a broody hen, Ethan Bien is a professional translator and an aspiring filmmaker living in the looming shadow of a heap of interview footage that needs to be edited into his first full-length documentary. Can we somehow bring these two fields together? Is there a cheese that guarantees cinematic dreams? Could you use a camembert to fake a moon landing? He also recently completed his first Russian-English translation of a novel.
Max Boudreau & Cassandra Sears – Winslow Farm, Falmouth

Max grew up on Winslow Farm interacting intimately with the land while his family began to rebuild the old farm. By the time he was enrolled at College of the Atlantic, it was clear to him that returning to the farm was his life’s calling. Max has worked on organic farms here in Maine and abroad in places such as England, Ireland, France, Colorado, Arizona, and California.

Cassandra grew up in Maine playing outside and wondering at the marvels of the natural world. Many experiences have led her to pursue a holistic lifestyle and find her passion in the dirt. She has had gardens and worked on farms near and far and is excited to join Max on Winslow Farm for the 2nd year. She is in love with medicinal plants and will be offering an herbal CSA this year.
Dylan Chapman – Brookfield Farm, Cushing

Since moving away from his family's farm in childhood, Dylan has dreamed of returning to the old farm in Cushing, Maine to begin bringing it back into production. After a few years of farming elsewhere in Washington state and in Maine, he returned to Brookfield Farm in early 2012, where he now grows and defends his veggies from deer on an intensively-cropped half acre that is dangerously close to the woods. He hopes to integrate livestock, fruit trees, and long-term rotations of vegetables, grains and beans, and pasture into the farm's ecosystem. And more farm hands! Always more farm hands!

Michael Dennett & Ryan Fahey – Crescent Run Farm, Bremen

In addition to being farmers, Michael teaches 6th and 7th grade Science at Thomaston Grammar School and Ryan is the state coordinator of the Maine School Garden Network. They worked very hard to start the Thomaston Farmers’ Market this winter and will enjoy watching it grow in the years to come. The couple raises an acre of vegetables, a flock of Icelandic sheep, broilers, heritage hogs, and laying chickens. The livestock function as tools, creating biodiversity and fertility, and enhancing the character of our farm. They are excited to be mentored by Alice and Rufus Percy of Treble Ridge Farm as they expand their hog enterprise and begin farrowing their own piglets. They plan to have pork certified organic for the 2014 growing season as they expand a herd of Large Black/Red Wattle pigs.

Noah Fralich – Norumbega Cidery LLC, New Gloucester

A Maine native, Noah Fralich left the state for college to major in Environmental Studies and German Studies at Connecticut College. The latter led him after graduation to Germany for a Fulbright scholarship and then a graduate degree in Environmental Economics. He never lost his interest in and passion for environmental issues, but, over the course of his studies, felt increasingly disconnected from them. After completing graduate school he decided to return to the Pine Tree State to try to put to use in the most concrete way possible all that he had learned throughout all of his schooling. This decision to become a practitioner of environmental stewardship and not just a policy wonk manifested itself as a passion for the agriculture, history, tradition and art of apples and cider in New England. Now back in his hometown, New Gloucester, he is embarking on establishing a new apple orchard and cidery. Understanding the long term nature of this endeavor, he has a 'day job' as an online language instructor for English and German, working primarily with South Americans and Europeans. This provides a great way to get out into the world from the comfort of his apartment, but he nevertheless tries to get out of doors whenever he can to get his hands dirty on the farm.
Glenon Friedmann – Bar Harbor Community Farm, Bar Harbor

Glenon has always loved life best when she is outside getting dirty doing one thing or another. She grew up in Alaska where everybody in the neighborhood grew long carrots and big cabbages. In her twenties she took a dive into biodynamic agriculture through a training program in California. She came to the east coast to attend College of the Atlantic. While she raised her family she kept her hand in farming with various jobs, including work at Beech Hill Farm and Morning Glory Farm in Vermont. Now, with her children grown, she is ready to pursue her farming passion full-time. This is her third season farming on a leased 2-acre field in Bar Harbor. This year she is expanding her CSA to 30 members and will grow for wholesale markets on Mount Desert Island.
William Giordano – Valley of the Stars Farm, Brooksville

Bill lives at Valley of the Stars Farm in Brooksville where he grows tree crops and small grains. He became interested in agriculture via a background in permaculture design. His interest in grain comes from a never ending need for straw mulch, combined with his experience using Maine flours as a baker. He has been fascinated with diverse grain and tree crop systems since studying farming practices of southern Italy, where diversified systems have supported villages for many centuries. He is a graduate student in the Intermedia Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Maine where his thesis "edible landscapes as public art" involves the design and creation of high-traffic edible forest gardens for public benefit in Lewiston, Orono and Portland. He is a musician and a baker at Tinder Hearth Bakery, Valley of the Stars' sister business, and runs regional music production studio in the less busy season.
Eliza Greenman – Three Streams Collective, Montville

Eliza Greenman is an apple farmer and permaculture designer, whose mission is to figure out how to turn her two passions  (apples and permaculture) into a commercially viable farm-scale venture. She is currently property manager for the Three Streams Collective which serves as a space for her to experiment, offer workshops, and design the landscape into something that is perennial, edible, and ecologically responsible.

Eliza, a native of Poquoson Virginia, has a family heirloom apple called the Dula Beauty, which was created by her great great great Grandfather in Western North Carolina. She successfully found and grafted this apple tree and plans to make it a mainstay in her work/experimentation.
Sean Hagan – Left Field Farm, Bowdoinham

Sean grew up in San Francisco far away from any idea of farming as an occupation. He didn't stumble upon how awesome farming was until after college when on a whim he traveled to Hawaii and WWOOFed on a farm. He soon realized that growing food had a greater tangible impact on the community than any of the other work he was doing. He moved to Sacramento where he apprenticed and later became manager at Soil Born Farms, staying long enough to learn how to grow food really well in the climate of central California. So logically he left for the Pacific Northwest. A season managing a farm in British Columbia became the stepping stone to come east and realize what he long had a gut feeling about - that Maine was where it was at. So to speak. While working the 2012 season at Six River Farm in Bowdoinham, Sean found a few acres to lease nearby. 2013 will be the first full season for Left Field Farm, which, depending on which direction you're facing, is the field to the left. He'll be growing mixed vegetables and berries and adding a flock of fowl in the near future. He also runs a small letterpress printing studio out of his house with two other farmer/artist types.
Brittany Hopkins – Wise Acres Farm, Kenduskeag

Before setting her sights on a career in organic farming, Brittany Hopkins had a long flirtation with plants, farming and food, including many years of hanging out at Maine agricultural fairs as a kid, showing dairy goats through 4-H, and a stint volunteering in an urban garden while living in New Jersey after college. Starting in 2009, she spent three wonderful seasons learning how to grow and market vegetables as an apprentice, farm worker and/or resident gardener at Peacemeal Farm, Parker Family Farm, and Fisher Farm in central Maine. In the fall of 2011, Brittany and her partner, Joy Trueworthy, purchased a home on 40+ acres of fields and forest in Kenduskeag, where they are launching the second incarnation of Wise Acres Farm (previously the name of Brittany’s parents’ dairy goat herd and homestead). In 2013, Brittany is bringing mixed vegetables and herbs to the Bangor and Ellsworth Farmers’ Markets, getting to know her new high tunnel, and applying for organic certification through MOFGA. She hopes to expand production in future years to serve local wholesale customers, incorporating small fruits and season extension practices.
Geoff Johnson – Alice Farm, Alexander
Geoff is farming old potato fields in Washington County. This year will be Alice Farm's first in production, with plans for veggies, herbs, flowers, berries and eggs. Raised in Massachusetts, Geoff came to farming – and to Maine – after ten years involved in environmental policy and technology. He is grateful for encountering a fine example of productive veggie operations while wwoofing at Black Fox Farm in Montville, for a warm welcome to Downeast Maine from neighbors and local farmers, and for the opportunity to spend most of the still-winter to almost-winter months outdoors. He looks forward to contributing fresh food to the Sunrise County community.
Elizabeth Koltai – Buckwheat Blossom Farm, Wiscasset

Lizzy moved to Maine to pursue her interest in farming row crops with draft horses, and quickly realized she was here to stay. She has been farming full time since 2007, mostly in California. While there, she started and managed a small veggie CSA for a former calf ranch in the Chino dairy-lands. In 2012 Lizzy came to Buckwheat Blossom Farm. This year she will be managing their vegetable production and looking towards building her own horse (or mule) powered veggie farm. As a producer, she is also interested in food justice and working to expand access to fresh vegetables.
Katheryn Langelier – Herbal Revolution, Lincolnville

Kathi fell in love with farming as a young girl while growing up around the beautiful farms in Turner Maine. As a young adult her passion for food and farming education grew as she pursued work on farms in Maine, Vermont and California. She had the opportunity to run the farm to forest program at Tanglewood 4-H Camp for a summer in Lincolnville Maine and farm camp at Merck Forest and Farm Land Center in Vermont. In her late teens, Kathi picked up a couple of books written by Maine herbalists, Gail Faith Edwards and Deb Soule and from there her passion to pursue herbal medicine began. Since then she has spent much of her time studying, growing and ethically wild gathering herbs. Herbal Revolution was created in 2009 so that she could spend more time working with plants and serving her area as a community herbalist providing high quality, hand crafted herbal preparations. Kathi is also a gardener/ landscaper, stone/ brick mason and a licensed massage therapist.
Abby Lydon & Jeffrey Knox – Woodsholm Farm, Newcastle

A love of food and farming brought Abby Lydon and Jeffrey Knox together to pursue a livelihood sown on their leased land in Newcastle. To grow nutrient dense vegetables and medicinal herbs, Woodsholm Farm was birthed under the mantra; “food as medicine.” Abby and Jeff believe in the vital, life-giving force of whole foods and herbs, and understand them to comprise the roots of personal and planetary health and wellness.
Over the past number of years, Abby has been a wwoofer in New Zealand, an Ecology teacher, a farmhand at Lalibela and Eldertide Farm, a medicine-maker at Maine Medicinals, a Wellness Buyer at the local natural foods store, and a private gardener and landscaper. She now adds farmer to the list. Believing medicinal herbs to be essential to health and wholeness, she hopes to add breadth and depth to her knowledge of growing and processing these plant allies.
Jeffrey fell in love with vegetables while working in the produce sections of various natural food stores in southern Maine. When given an opportunity to try his hand at growing vegetables, he jumped at it. He worked and learned for three years at Lalibela Farm and has since worked with a few other local growers. His vision is to feed his family and produce and share the healthiest, most vital food and medicine with his community.
In 2012, they attended their first market, the Bristol Area Farmers’ Market and began selling locally to Rising Tide Community Market, Island Grocery, and the Walpole Barn. For the 2013 season, they have added a small credit share CSA and will also be attending the Damariscotta Farmers’ Market. When not in their field, Abby and Jeff can be found enjoying the fruits of their harvest, lacto-fermenting, foraging, dancing to live music, reading, and spending time with family, friends, and dog.
Angela & Ben Mackie – Mackie Family Farm, Unity

Angela and Ben are the new farmers-in-residence at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity. Angela grew up near the tip of the lower peninsula of Michigan. She began working at a local farm, Blackbird Gardens, in high school and spent a year in Brazil, including several months at Iracambi, a farm and reforestation center in the Atlantic Rainforest. After a couple years at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina, Angela transfered to Sterling College in Vermont where she met Ben. Ben grew up in the only state with which Maine shares a border and has always enjoyed his time in Vacationland. He became romanticized with agriculture in northern California and learned the realities and pleasures of farming through jobs, internships, and his studies in the Sustainable Agriculture program at Sterling College. Since graduating, Angela and Ben have worked on and managed farms in Vermont, New Jersey, and most recently Napa, California where Ben was working on a farm & vineyard, and Angela was pursuing an interest in butchery & charcuterie at The Fatted Calf Charcuterie. They are thrilled to be back in New England and putting down roots in Maine. Mackie Family Farm will be producing pasture-raised meats, medicinal and culinary herbs, and vegetables in its first year at MOFGA.
Daniel MacPhee & Corinne Wesh, Palermo

Daniel and Corinne are starting up a farm in Palermo with the help of their two kids, Bennett and Annah. Since acquiring the place in late 2012, they have been busy building infrastructure and establishing perennial and tree crops while chipping away at an ever-growing list of repairs. Currently, they produce nursery stock and seeds, as well as small fruits, grains, and mixed vegetables. En route to central Maine, they farmed urban and suburban sites in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Graham Mallory and Emily Stone – Pastures of Plenty, Jackson

Graham Mallory was born in Eliot, Me. He did not grow up around farms but in 2008 he apprenticed at a diversified farm and found his calling. Since then he has devoted himself to studying the art and science of agriculture. Graham is particularly fascinated by how farmers create and manage ecosystems that are self-enhancing and benefit the larger biotic and social communities in myriad ways. Now based in Waldo County, 2012 is his first year developing such an ecosystem.

Emily Stone grew up in Portsmouth, N.H. She and Graham have established a grazing business called Pastures of Plenty, which leases idle land from local landowners and converts it into productive grassland that provides grassfed beef and lamb as well as woodland pork to Maine families. In 2013 they purchased the former Great Farm in Jackson, Maine, and set to work reclaiming farmland from forest. Emily is eager to facilitate the land's transformation back to productive pasture with closely managed grazing by their beef cattle, pigs, Clun Forest sheep and laying ducks.


Michael McCoy & Kiley Randall – Black Fox Farm, Montville

Kiley and Michael met while working on a large CSA in western Massachusetts. In 2010 they decided to move to Maine and pursue starting a farm of their own. This year they will be growing mixed vegetables and herbs on a new farm in Montville. They will focus on heirloom and open pollinated varieties. When they aren't farming you can find them swimming in the ocean or hanging out with their awesome cat Morgan.
Kimberlee Michel – Blue Cloud Farm, Walpole

After working on farms in Maryland and New York state, Kim moved to Maine in March 2006 to apprentice on King Hill Farm in Penobscot. Since 2007, she's been working, living, and gardening in Lincoln County. In 2010 she had the opportunity to manage an established local business growing and selling cut flowers, from starting flower seedlings to arranging and marketing bouquets. Last year, she grew a subsistence vegetable garden on rented land in South Bristol. In 2012, Kim is excited to grow flowers on that same land to start her own cut flowers business, Blue Cloud Farm. She will sell fresh cut flowers in the Damariscotta area. This year Kim also looks forward to eating vegetables grown in a corner of her garden, starting a flock of laying hens, creating garden space at her home in Walpole, and spending time on the Damariscotta River. She has been a member of the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee since 2006, and on the MOFGA Board since 2008.
Sean Murphy – Fisher Farm, Winterport
Maisie Newell & Eric Dayan, Montville
Sarah Oliver – Even Keel Farm, Pemaquid

After a childhood of frequent moves around the country, Sarah is ready to put down roots. She quit her desk job in DC in 2008 to work on a vegetable farm in Maryland, and has since discovered that she much prefers jobs that change with the seasons. She moved up to Maine in 2009 to apprentice at the Carpenter's Boat Shop in Pemaquid. She then went on to work and learn at Appleton Creamery and Peacemeal Farm. The supportive community at the boat shop drew her back to Pemaquid in 2012. The vegetable garden is currently about a third of an acre, and Sarah plans to feed the boat shop apprentices and staff as well as sell at the Bristol area farmers market and make contacts with local businesses. Some days, she misses having a smart and experienced boss to tell her what to do, but usually she welcomes the challenge of working for herself.
Dominic Pascarelli & Kelsey Herrington – Two Farmers Farm, Durham

Two Farmers Farm cultivates organic produce in Durham, Maine. They specialize in winter-harvested leafy greens and other fresh winter produce, and offer flavorful, healthy, beautifully fresh food year round. Kelsey and Dominic both grew up in rural communities – Kelsey on Vashon Island, Washington, and Dominic in Durham, Maine. They met at Clark University and decided to farm full-time after graduate school - completing apprenticeships in animal husbandry and vegetable production in Vermont and New York. Wanting to remain close to family, they returned to Maine and established Two Farmers Farm in Fall 2011.
LaVonne Rhodes, Bowdoinham  
Ivelisse Rivera – Darthia Farm, Gouldsboro

Ivelisse began farming as an apprentice at King’s Hill Farm in Mineral Point, WI in 2011. Drawn by Maine’s vanguard role in the establishment of local food economies and the fierce beauty of the Downeast coastal landscape, she joined Bill and Cynthia Thayer at Darthia Farm in 2012 as their gardens manager. She currently grows 3/4 of an acre in vegetables and flowers, which the farm distributes through a small CSA, a farm stand and the Winter Harbor Farmer’s Market. Aware that farming is a dynamic endeavor, and that the lessons it offers are endless, she hopes to grow her farming skills within the context of the systems that Darthia Farm has developed over the years, as well as explore ways to incorporate permaculture design principles.
Ben Rooney – Wild Folk Farm, Benton

Ben was born in suburbia Chicago, where the grass grows as high as a chipmunk’s eye. After graduating from Colby College, he has spent the past few growing seasons in Maine. Three years ago, he apprenticed at Old Ackley Farm in Blue Hill. Two seasons back he worked for Cultivating Community, juggling between food production and education/outreach. In the off-seasons he spent some time out west, and then helped a farming NGO in Zimbabwe, before realizing that trying to leave Maine was futile. He currently manages Wild (or Wil’) Folk Farm in Benton Maine and lives and works in partnership with a handful of like-minded folk. The farm is coming out of a few years of dormancy. This season they will focus on growing infrastructure and establishing good soil and systems with the hope of more commercial production next season. Ben is interested in linking some of the bridges between permaculture and small scale agriculture, as well as education and outreach. By the end of the season the farm plans to have two working high tunnels, over two acres in annual/perennial production, chickens and goats and sheep to manage the pasture and pervasive weeds. There will also be a small rice production this season with plans of expansion and commercial operation in the next few years. Wil’ Folk Farm plans to be  cooperatively managed and an communal living space of experimentation and creation.
Katie Savalchak – Sacred Bough Farm, Hancock

Katie grew up living and traveling overseas due to her father's employment, but ended up in Maine for college and decided it felt like a good place to call home. She has been setting roots in the Downeast region for the past 8 years, working on various farms ranging from vegetable operations to goat dairies to permaculture nurseries. She is incredibly excited about morphing from homestead gardener to full-time flower farmer. This season, she'll be growing over 50 varieties of specialty cut flowers on 1/4 acre of leased land, using organic and biodynamic practices. When she's not in the garden, Katie enjoys hiking, animal tracking, and home herbalism.
John and Kate Seaver – Up-Beet Farm, Porter

John and Kate are beginning their farming dreams in Porter Village, Maine. They are excited to be in their second season of operating a market garden together. They are working towards producing a sustainable 2 acres of organic and biointensive heirloom veggies. Both are inspired by permaculture, biodynamic and nutrient density principles. They are hoping to stay open-minded as stewards of food and the earth and to continue to see agriculture as an artistic and joyful endeavor. Both John and Kate are very interested in nutrition and community health and also share a great love for reggae music.
Matthew Woods Sidar, Thorndike  
Emily Skrobis and John Paul Rietz – Super Chilly Farm, Palermo

Originally from the Midwest (Wisconsin and Ohio, respectively), Emily and John Paul have worked on several farms in the Northeast. Seeking a more diversified farming experience, they moved to Maine in 2010 to apprentice with John Bunker and Cammy Watts at Super Chilly Farm in Palermo. There, they got their start growing and eating all kinds of apples, and became interested in woodworking. This led them to apprenticeships in furniture-making and wooden boat-building at The Carpenter's Boat Shop in Pemaquid.

They are returning to Super Chilly Farm for the 2013 season to join in on homesteading activities and to assist in managing the Out on a Limb Heritage Apple CSA, which distributes historical and unusual varieties of apples to shareholders in Portland and the mid-coast area. They will spend this year figuring out how best to strike a balance between that and their other pursuits, which include nursery crops, value-added apple products, and fine woodworking.
Andy Smith – Elderflower Farm, Linconville

Andy escaped the chocolate bubble of Hershey, Pennsylvania in 2007 to attend Colby College in Waterville, Maine. There he studied biology and became interested in ecological agriculture. After working to start the school's organic garden program in his freshman year, Andy apprenticed on the Village Farm in Freedom during the next two summers. While milking the farm's grumpy cow, Lucy, this self described "plant guy" fell in love with cows. During the fall of 2010, Andy finished his degree at Colby and and began managing Elderflower Farm in Lincolnville, Maine.
Marina Steller & Stowell Watters – Rippling Waters Farm, Standish

Stowe and Marina are young farmers born and raised in York County, currently working at Rippling Waters Organic Farm in Standish, ME. Together since 2001, both – through years of wearing shoes that didn’t seem to fit quite right – have found an explosive and deeply shared love of farming, community building and permaculture design systems. Marina graduated High School in Maine and took off to the sandy coasts of Hawaii to study the environment at Hawaii Pacific. Stowe also flew from Maine, to the freezing city of Burlington, Vt., to study journalism at UVM (although summary reports strongly suggest that he spent much more time skiing than studying). Reunited after college, Stowe took a job as a reporter and Marina worked with intellectually handicapped clients, but still something was missing. All around them, their world seemed to be falling apart; there was great ferment from the revolutionary tone of the Obama campaign and its opponents to the debates surrounding food labeling, security, access and sustainability to social upheaval worldwide. They felt they were to awakening to a fractured country. So, with very little warning and perhaps less funding, they took off across the country as WWOOFers in 2009, not so much to explore farming but just to get out and to meet people, to find something they were missing. What they found at an herb farm in Pennsylvania and a large organic farm in Colorado and a ranch growing fresh food in the middle of the Mojave Desert was members of their own generation, befuddled by their stifling and unhealthy social, political, and economic state, going back to the land. They were hooked; and have since returned to pursue this opportunity to start a small organic farm in Limington on Stowe's family property. They want to provide greater food security to the town we live in and add our voice to this extremely important movement while sustaining themselves and the soil. This will be their second year with Rippling Waters.
Mark Stonehill & Miriam Goler – North Branch Farm, Monroe

Mark and Miriam grew up in New York City, and met attending high school in lower Manhattan. Their first toe-dip into the farming world was in Montevideo, Minnesota, at Easy Bean Farm. After graduating from Macalester College and Cornell University, Mark and Miriam worked in urban agriculture and food justice in New York City. In 2011 they apprenticed at Quail Hill Farm, a pick-your-own CSA farm in Amagansett, Long Island. They moved to Maine in 2012 to work at Mandala Farm, a diversified horse-powered farm in Gouldsboro. After a season of teamster-training there, they’ll be continuing their education at North Branch Farm, in Monroe, where they’ll help operate a fall-winter CSA, small dairy and fruit tree nursery. They plan to start a small-scale, horse-powered vegetable CSA of their own.
Jonathan Strieff – 3 Level Farm, South China
Jon originally grew up in a crowded small town along the Connecticut shoreline. A lifelong environmentalist, outdoorsman, and foodie, sustainable agriculture offered him a way to pursue his passions without compromising his values. As a student, he spent four years volunteering at the Hampshire College Farm Center in Hadley, MA and working summers as a field hand at other farms around the state. In 2010, he moved to Oregon to apprentice at 47th Avenue Farm, an urban CSA serving the Portland Metro area. After two years in the Pacific Northwest, Jon spent the winter of 2012 visiting farms from Florida to Kentucky, before making his way back to Connecticut. There, he helped a friend grow one-acre of mixed vegetables, attend a weekly farmers market, deliver to several wholesale accounts, and manage a small CSA subscription. Jon came to 3 Level Farm at the end of 2012 and immediately fell in love with the place. This season, he will oversee vegetable production at the farm, allowing his mentor farmer to devote more attention towards his goat dairy. After so many years of traveling, Jon is excited about the idea of staying put for a while. Besides farming, Jon loves music, writing, and riding his bicycle.
BrennaMae Thomas-Googins & Brandon McKenney – Patch Farm, Parsonfield

BrennaMae hails from Minnesota, while Brandon’s roots are here in Maine. After meeting in Massachusetts, they decided to flip that M upside down and try a state that started with a W, finding themselves in Washington. As BrennaMae finished an agricultural degree at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, they worked on Sunbreak Farm, on a 1 acre mixed-veg operation with a modest CSA program and multiple wholeshare accounts. With the farming scene in the Olympia area getting a little cramped, they made the decision to move back to Maine, but not before taking advantage of the Southern Hemisphere to shirk winter and spend four months WWOOF’ing around New Zealand. In 2012 they moved back to Parsonsfield, Brandon’s hometown. With a year of farming in Maine soils under their belt, they’re diving into a leased 2 acre field at a nearby apple orchard, hoping to have their own CSA program running by the 2014 season under the name, Patch Farm.
Leigh Tillman – Leigh’s Greens, West Falmouth

Leigh grows vegetables on land in West Falmouth where there is an eclectic band of farms a bike ride away from Portland where she lives. She likes farming small, getting to really know her CSA members and restaurant chefs, and participating in the community that naturally forms around growing food. Her CSA is mostly vegetables while also highlighting other Maine flavors from sea salt to elderberry syrup to seaweed all harvested or made by her and her friends.
Aidan Webb – Seaberry Hill Farm, Belfast

Aidan has been at home in Maine since 1996. Always interested in how things work (MacGyver and Mr. Wizard were childhood heroes), he envisioned becoming a mad scientist from a young age. Not convinced that mad scientist was a valid career, Aidan set out informing his future with a BFA degree in ceramics from MECA, certifications in automotive technologies, and various occupations along the way. Although no one pursuit satisfied his curiosity, he gained unique skills from each. He experimented in his small city apartment with aquaponics, renewable energy, plant propagation and grafting, until approached by a friend to be a caretaker/assistant on an organic raspberry farm in New York. With that experience, a clear path opened up to combine all his skills and occupations into one grand experiment: a farm of his own.

He and his wife, Misty, found their 17 acres to start Seaberry Hill Farm in 2011. Misty works at home in website development and spends as much time as she can in all aspects of the farm. They enjoy salvaging materials to use toward their vision of sustainable living and increased efficiency. Aidan is passionate about trees and the challenge of growing strange fruits in Belfast's not always forgiving climate. While taking cues from nature to inform decisions around the farm, he is still moved to exploit microclimates and push the zone limitations with experimental crops like paw paw, fig, and nuts. He also enjoys foraging wild crops and encouraging indigenous species. Along with growing produce for the local market, Aidan makes a tasty hot sauce, home brews fruit wines, beer and cider, and is looking toward hops and mushroom culture as possible future farm products.
Ben Whatley - Whatley Farm, Topsham

Ben farms with his parents Laura and Nick on the home place in Topsham. Following Ben's experience as a MOFGA apprentice at Broadturn Farm in Scarborough, and as a budding market gardener in North Carolina, the family began to farm commercially. Since 2012, the Whatleys have produced MOFGA-certified organic vegetables, mushrooms, seed, nursery stock, and eggs for Maine markets. New for 2013 is the farm's presence at the Midcoast Winter Farmers Market in Topsham and the Crystal Spring Farmers Market in Brunswick, and Ben's classes on farming/homesteading at the Long Branch School in Bowdoinham. Ben hopes to serve his community as a resource for the expansion of homesteading and small-scale farming, while developing his long-term vision for the homestead and neighborhood, near the Cathance River's Head of Tide.
Ryan Wilson and Gina Simmons – Common Wealth Farm, Unity

Ryan and Gina are determined to find a balance between the ecological and economical aspects of agriculture. After both working on vegetable farms for a number of years, they decided that there was more to agriculture than small-scale vegetable farming. Being business minded, they decided to fulfill niches they found empty in agriculture in Maine. This summer, they will raise a few thousand ducks for meat, as well as a variety of other animals for meat and eggs. Their farm operation is purely pasture-based, and they slaughter on farm. In conjunction with their duck business, they sell eggs, bagels, and breads at places such as the Portland Farmer’s Market and the Belfast Co-op. They are committed to the idea that a healthy economy begins with successful small-scale businesses. They believe that food is our common wealth – assuming that no matter your political affiliation – you eat!
Andrew York, Palermo

Andrew lives in Palermo with his wife and two children on thirty acres of farmland. After spending nearly 20 years with a commercialized foodservice corporation Andy felt a strong desire to leave the industrialized food machine and grow healthy food in his own backyard. A single season in the dirt at Freedom Farm solidified that desire. Andrew’s immediate focus is learning all aspects of organic farming. He is excited about the journeyperson program as well as all of MOFGA’s resources for inspiration and assistance. He hopes to find this experience enriching both in working the land as well as nourishing a happy, healthy family.
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