MOFGA Journeypersons

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.

2022 First-Year Journeypersons

Meet our current first-year MOFGA Journeypersons
head shot of two smiling farmers

Folklore Farm

Daniel Cunningham and Lizzie Meier

farmer kneeling with black sheep

Meadowsweet Farm

Eliot Van Peski

farmer smiling with flowers in backgrounf

Tiny Roots Farm

Becky Deering

head shot of two smiling farmers

Top Blossom Farm

Sydney Gross and Timothy Hourihan

Slow Rise Farm

Slow Rise Farm

Katherine Mahaffey

two farmers smiling in front of a bike rack

Wild Few Herb Farm

Nicole Hecker and Zoë Swidock

Farmer smiling in a herd of sheep.

Verdure Farm

Heidi Duncombe

farmer in flower crown smiling holding a bouquet in front of farm stand

Little Red Flower Truck

Molly Friedland and Caleb Hawkins

farmer smiling sitting in front of barn.

Birch Bog Farm LLC

Tracyn Thayer

Two farmers smiling with child in woods

JessiWayne Farm

Jessi and Wayne Chmielewski

Farmer in straw hat holding lettuce.

Foxfire Farm

Marc Cavatorta

2021 Second-Year Journeypersons

Meet our current second-year MOFGA Journeypersons
Riverside Farm JPs 85 KB

Riverside Farm

Winslow and Laura Robinson

Sweet Pea's Farm 261x287

Sweet Pea's Farm

Samuel Roberson

Running Wild Farm 66 KB

Running Wild Farm

Kate and Brian Ray

Lehman's Acres 82 KB

Lehman's Acre

Tess Schwengler

Seven Moon Farm 81 KB

Seven Moon Farm

Rachel Chapman

Libella Flowers original

Libella Flowers

Rachel Schissler

Tiny Acres original

Tiny Acres Farm

Erin Donahue and David Andrews

Keepers 19 KB

Keepers

Thalassa Raasch

Wanderwood 93 KB

Wanderwood

Kelsey Gibbs and Matt Silverman

Mystery Farms

Mystery Farms

JP Espinosa

Early Ground Farm 261x287

Early Ground Farm

Hanna and Brandon Lonk

Snowfields Farm 90KB

Snowfields Farm

Emma Lovering

FountainFarm

Fountain Farm

Clark Fountain

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Folklore Farm is a small-scale vegetable farm located in Cherryfield, Maine. Picking up where the previous farmer left off, Daniel Cunningham and Lizzie Meier took over the stewardship of the farm at the beginning of the 2021 growing season. They produce over 40 varieties of vegetables using organic and sustainable farming practices. It is their mission to help strengthen local food systems in Washington County and make nutrient-dense food more accessible in their communities. Their produce is distributed through their local farmers’ market in Milbridge, their CSA, and the Maine Seacoast Mission’s Downeast Campus food pantry. This season, they are looking forward to applying for MOFGA Organic Certification and beginning to host some on-farm gatherings for our CSA and community!

Learn more about Dan and Lizzie by visiting their Facebook.

Eliot Van Peski has been farming and gardening in Waldo County, Maine, since childhood. He is drawn to the work by a visceral urge to help living things thrive, whether they be sheep, soil microbes, trees or people. A background homeschooling and homesteading led to Eliot’s first farm apprenticeship, at age 15, at Villageside Farm in Freedom. He first got to know Meadowsweet Farm a couple years later, in 2015, working with previous farmer Sumner Roberts tending Sumner’s grass-fed beef operation. Two years after that, as Sumner was retiring, the opportunity came for Eliot to purchase the farm and settle in for the long haul.

Today Meadowsweet Farm produces grass-finished lamb, beef and sheepskins. These are marketed year-round at the Belfast Farmers’ Market and also as wholes, halves and quarters direct-to-consumer. Long-term plans for the farm include many acres of silvopasture and tree crops, which may become an important enterprise in their own right as well as complementing the livestock. Another big goal is to begin slaughtering and butchering all of Meadowsweet’s meat on-farm, though there are many regulatory obstacles so it may be a tough one to achieve. Eliot continues to manage the workload alone, full-time, but may soon begin to seek additional labor.

The farm has no social media and very minimal online presence. Eliot would love to hear from you; you can reach him at 207-338-4840 or by email.

Tiny Roots Farm is a MOFGA-certified mixed vegetable and microgreen farm in Litchfield, Maine. Working on ½-acre, they use no-till, bio-intensive practices with a focus on soil health. They are going into their third year and participate in two Southern Maine farmers’ markets, wholesale accounts, offer a CSA, and have a self-serve farm stand on the farm.

Learn more about Tiny Roots Farm by visiting their Facebook.

Timothy Hourihan and Sydney Gross farm together as Top Blossom Farm, where they live off-grid in a 30-foot yurt, nestled on a hilltop in Dresden, Maine. Founded in 2018, their mission as farmers and homesteaders revolves around prioritizing the health of our soils, animals and plants on the farm and community, in addition to maintaining a flourishing, balanced ecosystem, and minimizing their carbon footprint. Timothy and Sydney sustainably grow and cut flowers and orchard crops, while also raising a flock of Jacob’s sheep, geese and chickens. Stop by and say “hi” at their farm stand right off of Route 27!

Find out more about Top Blossom Farm on Instagram. 

Katie Mahaffey and Nathan Dore manage 19 acres of certified-organic wild blueberries in Pittston. In 2020, they started producing “slow fruits,” small-batch dried fruit snacks using 100% Maine grown fruit.    

Find out more about Slow Rise Farm on their website.

Wild Few is a small medicinal herb farm located in Arundel, Maine, that seeks to connect herbalists with quality dried plant material from just down the road. Zoë and Nicole have chosen over 20 varieties of herbs to cultivate on their 1/2 acre their first season and are looking forward to learning what this new piece of land loves to grow! You can find their dried herbs at New Morning Health Food Stores, Meetinghouse Farm, and various farm stands in Southern Maine.

Follow along with Zoë and Nicole on Instagram. 

Their farm occupies land stolen from Penobscot Nation, to which Sy’s partner and their children belong. They hope that their tenure here will mark this land’s return into close relationship with Penobscot people, who have stewarded it since time immemorial.

Wild plants are the basis of their farm ecosystem. They are raising sheep, dairy goats and laying hens, planting new and stewarding existing fruits, nuts, and medicinal plants, and establishing coppice and pollards in the woods.

On leased fields in Monmouth, the Katahdin sheep of Verdure Farm graze and forage their way through an intensive rotational grazing system. Heidi has been working with livestock throughout central Maine for the past five years and is embarking on her first season operating independently. She is committed to using management practices that increase soil fertility, enhance biodiversity and supplement the farm’s ecosystem, all the while producing happy and healthy lambs. On any given day, you can find Heidi moving fence lines and chatting with her ovine coworkers.

Learn more about Heidi on Instagram.

The Little Red Flower Truck is a flower farm and floral design business located on the coast of Wabanaki Confederacy land (in so-called Ellsworth, Maine.) Their mission is to use sustainable and regenerative farming practices to produce quality flowers and floral products to serve the greater Downeast and Acadia region. They grow specialty cut-flowers three seasons a year and sell to local florists, cater to custom events and weddings and offer weekly summer CSA flower shares. Together they converted a ’93 Toyota pick-up into a mobile design studio/delivery vehicle/pop-up flower shop. Why flowers?! Flowers are food for our souls, hearts and minds. Flowers spread joy and promote healing. Giving someone (or yourself!) flowers acknowledges their worth and says “you deserve joy, you deserve beauty, you are loved!” Flowers nourish and diversify our ecosystems and feed our pollinators, who hold the key to our food security.

Keep up with the Little Red Flower Truck on Instagram.

Birch Bog Farm LLC was established in March of 2021.The farm is owned outright and sits on 16 acres in total. It was formerly the Woodward Organic Cranberry Farm, established in 1996. Birch Bog Farm is a majority woman-owned (Tracyn Thayer) family-run business that produces MOFGA-certified dry-harvested organic cranberries (certified since 2002) on 2 acres of irrigated bog in Albany Township, Maine. There are  small raised-bed gardens, bees and chickens on the property which are not certified organic, but are cared for using organic practices. Free-range humans of various ages, a pair of dogs and a pair of cats also call the farm home.

Find out more about Birch Bog Farm on their website.

JessiWayne Farm is a small diversified family farm in West Newfield, Maine, focused on salad mix and cut flower production for farmers’ markets, restaurants, independently owned grocery stores, and a small CSA. 

Learn more about JessiWayne Farm on their website, Facebook or Instagram.

Foxfire Farm is a small-scale diversified farm in Palermo, Maine, committed to growing healthy and nutritious food for the surrounding community. They grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for wholesale and farmers’ markets using organic and regenerative practices.

Winslow and Laura Robinson own and operate Riverside Farm: an organic low-till farm and apiary, with two locations featuring mixed veggies, honey, eggs, and mushrooms (North Yarmouth) and grass-fed beef cattle (Freeport). They are committed to making farming easier to do through applied research, creating, or modifying tools to make delicious foods more abundant. Being a mission-driven farm, their dedication to food security is cornerstone to how they operate, as they seek to meet the nutrient needs of the communities they serve.

Learn more about Laura and Winslow Robinson by visiting their Instagram, and the farm’s website.

Sweet Pea’s Farm, located in Bar Harbor Maine, is a diversified vegetable and cut flower farm. The farm produces naturally grown vegetables, eggs, and cut flowers to supply the communities through direct sales, from Bar Harbor/MDI to Bangor, and all towns in between. The farm’s primary goal is to bridge the gap of hunger insecurity by providing food to the community through farmers markets and a mobile vegetable stand.

My name is Samuel Roberson. I’m a disabled military veteran with a wonderful family. My wife and daughters are a part of the farm, including our youngest who has special needs. We relocated to Maine by way of Phoenix, Arizona some 4 years ago. I’ve been farming for the last 2 years in Hermon, Maine where I’ve learned a lot. This last year, 2020, was a year of resilience; where I learned a lot about myself and my style of farming. Sweet Pea’s Farm was presented to me in October 2020. I’ve been given the opportunity to restore this once profitable farm back to its luster. My goal is to learn everything that I can about farming; from crop planning to making a profit, and everything in between. Black lives matter.

Learn more about Sweet Pea’s Farm here.

Kate and Brian Ray own and operate Running Wild Farm in New Portland, Maine. The farm is a work in progress, restoring what was once there and embracing new systems in regenerative agriculture through modern rotational grazing and foraging practices. They believe in using local feed and source whey from a local cheesery and grains from Maine sources. They are working towards zero waste systems and have opened The Maine Beer Shed in Kingfield, Maine to share the message of their goals and dreams for local food and beverage systems.

Learn more about Kate and Brian Ray by visiting their farm’s website.

Jenn Brown brings her deep love of plants, their wisdom, and their capacity to heal to her work at Willow Moon Ventures and small flower farm in Morrill, Maine. Though Jenn has been growing food, medicine, perennials, and flowers for decades, in 2018 she bought a small flower cooler located at the indoor Saturday market in Belfast and opened a floral business specializing in custom design. That summer she began shifting her focus from gardener to flower farming: organically growing and wildcrafting her materials when seasonally available and buying from other local growers as much as possible. Flowers are present for our most tender moments. In joining the Journeyperson program, Jenn hopes to intensify her growing practices to produce quality flowers and foliage while increasing soil health with sustainable, organic, and regenerative methods.

Learn more about Jenn Brown by visiting her Instagram.

Lehman’s Acre is a small organic veggie farm owned and operated by Tess Schwengler. Tucked into the shores of Merrymeeting Bay, the farm is focused on leafy greens and herbs. In 2016, Tess made the move from Minnesota to Maine and was drawn to the strong roots of local, organic agriculture. Following several years at Left Field Farm, this marks the first year of independent production on leased land. Lehman’s Acre is committed to the connection to the community, land, and nourishing food.

Learn more about Tess Schwengler by visiting their Instagram.

Seven Moon Farm is an organic veggie operation growing on one acre of rented land in Montville, Maine. After about five years of apprenticing and working on small farms in Maine, Rachel has taken the plunge and decided to start a farm of her own. The majority of produce grown on the farm will be channeled into local wholesale markets, with a farmers’ market debut planned for 2022. This year you are likely to find her shoulder high in peas, trying to figure out how to be her own field, marketing, pack shed, and wholesale manager!

Learn more about Rachel Chapman by visiting the farm’s  Instagram.

Libella Flowers is a beautiful little family run farm tucked into the woods of Corinna Maine. We grow cut flowers for Market, Special Events, Florists and have a Pick-Your-Own Field.

Learn more about Rachel Schissler and Libella Flowers by visiting their Facebook.

Tiny Acres Farm is owned and operated by David Andrews & Erin Donahue. We moved our home-made tiny house from Colorado in 2020 to pursue our dream of sustainable market gardening. We produce mixed vegetables, mushrooms, berries, and raise a flock of laying hens on four acres of MOFGA certified organic farmland in Central Maine. During the 2020 season we sold our produce at the Portland Farmers Market and The Little Cheese Shop at Balfour Farm. Proper land stewardship is at the forefront of decision making on our farm; whether that be striving to eliminate single use plastics, or our attention to soil health. Diversity, quality, and sustainability are cornerstones of our business and growing our off-grid farm has been an exciting step in our journey of achieving a sustainable business and lifestyle.

Learn more about David Andrews and Erin Donahue by visiting their Facebook.

Thalassa Raasch (she/they) is the founder and chief bee tender at Keepers, a non-migratory honey bee business based in the greater Portland, Maine area. Keepers works to celebrate honey bees and to create a community of support so that these pollinators can thrive: they provide honey beehive installation and management, swarm catching and beehive cutouts, beehive tours, honey extraction and bottling, and educational opportunities. Keepers manages beehives for organizations (like the Blaine House), companies (like the Press Hotel/Union Restaurant), and private families from Scarborough up to Augusta. Thalassa’s personal apiaries in South Portland, Portland, and Brunswick make delicious “Little Dude” honey. Thalassa is also proud to serve on the executive board of the Maine State Beekeepers Association.

Learn more about Thalassa Raasch by visiting their Instagram.

Established in 2017, Wanderwood is an organic farm, event, and stays venue in Nobleboro, Maine. Kelsey and Matt are passionate about connecting guests from all backgrounds and comfort levels to their natural surroundings via food and on-farm experiences. They currently grow one acre of mixed produce and flowers and have a small flock of egg-laying chickens. Wanderwood sells produce through their online and in-person farm stand. They also offer farm dinners, cooking classes, workshops, and host celebrations.

To learn more you can find Wanderwood on Instagram, Facebook, or by visiting their website.

Mystery Farms is a Veteran Owned, homestead based farm in Southern Maine. We take pride in bettering our small community, by providing access to organically raised meats and vegetables through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. My name is JP Espinosa, I’m a three war veteran and an ever aspiring farmer. I chose farming as my life-long career, following my military service, because it is the best definition of Service I can provide for my community.

Learn more about JP Espinosa by visiting their Facebook.

Hanna and Brandon met while working on neighboring farms in New York. A dream come true for us both and as a couple, we purchased our farm in 2017. We named it Early Ground Farm because a local farmer called the property “good, early ground because it dries out early in the spring.” Early Ground Farm’s focus is on a pasture-based system, raising poultry and pigs and hopefully a few more critters in the future with some updated infrastructure. We make cold processed soap from our lard. Animals, especially farm animals, have been a passion for Hanna since she was a kid. We grow pumpkins and other fall crops, since raising beautiful pumpkins for families to enjoy together has been Brandon’s passion for many years. In 2019, we purchased the original farmhouse and barn that was associated with our farm land and have started the long and extensive journey of renovating. We are excited to raise our son on our farm as our farm grows.

Learn more about Hanna and Brandon Lonk by visiting their Instagram.

At Snowfields Farm we are dedicated to practicing organic farming methods to sustain and improve the soil for the future. For us, there is no greater reward than being able to share what we grow with others while promoting local, sustainable food production. Our CSA farm shares provide a weekly selection of fresh, seasonal produce and our barn is available to rent for private events allowing direct farm-to-table dining.

Learn more about Emma Lovering by visiting the farm’s  website.

Located in Hancock, Fountain Farm is a bio-intensive farm inspired by permaculture design, regenerative farming practices, and agroforestry. Clark Fountain is taking the century old, defunct dairy farm and now restructuring the land and structures of yesteryear to be productive once again. Our space includes a diversified market garden specializing in MOFGA certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits, and woods farming. We are committed to enhancing the soil fertility and biodiversity in order to remain fruitful and sustainable far into the future. The farm intends on moving fully off-grid, while still providing healthy and affordable food to as many families as possible. We are also home to a small child school, where the idea of growing food is planted at a young age in an attempt to excite, and invoke curiosity around agriculture.

Learn more about Fountain Farm by visiting their Instagram.