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.

2021 First Year Journeypersons

Meet our current first-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

2020 Second Year Journeypersons

Meet our current second-year MOFGA Journeypersons

Black Earth Forest Farm

Matt Kovarik and Shannon Lora

Darthia Farm

Shepsi Eaton

Goranson Farm

Goran and Carl Johanson

Little Flower Farm

Katrina and Ryan Willette

Phil’s Farm

Phil Cuddeback

Rainbow Farm

Noah and Lorelei Cimeno

Seek-No-Further Farmstead

Angela Baglione and Lisa Kalan

Sparkplug Farm

John Wright and Sara Hodges

SweetLand Farm

Matthew & Amy Dow

Swell Farm

Tracy Pavan

Graduates

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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.

Matt and Shannon farm together under Black Earth Forest Farm, raising pasture-raised waterfowl and perennial tree crops in midcoast Maine. Farming with regenerative permaculture principles, Black Earth aims to work with their land base to create vibrantly healthy flora & fauna while leaving a positive impact on the land. Shannon and Matt both graduated from college with degrees in biology, giving influence to their farming practices. They aim to place animals in their preferred environments, allowing them to display their innate behaviors and help to manage the farm’s ecosystem. Black Earth plans to continue expanding perennial tree crop production while eventually expanding into sheep and log grown mushroom production. See what Matt & Shannon are up to on Instagram, Facebook and the farm’s website.
Shepsi grew up on Long Island, New York, and after getting a bachelor’s degree in music composition from Princeton, he had his first experiences with farming on the east end of Long Island. It was there that he got a start with vegetable farming, marketing produce and working with draft horses. In 2015, after hitting a wall with trying to pursue a life of farming there, he moved to Maine with his partner, Liz, and their 3-year-old daughter, Harbor, and newborn son, Cedar. They spent a year in Monroe, while Shepsi worked at North Branch Farm. From there they connected with Bill and Cynthia Thayer and began to form a partnership with them, moving to Darthia Farm in early 2016. Through a well-guided and mutually well-intentioned transition process, Shepsi and Liz now own and operate Darthia Farm with Cynthia. At Darthia Farm, Shepsi raises veggies and small fruits, sheep for fiber and meat, chickens for eggs and meat, and ducks for eggs and meat. He works with three Haflinger draft horses in the gardens, hayfields and woods, and in the neighborhood year round. Website
Originally from Maryland, Erin moved to New England in 2009 to fulfill an Americorps position at Plowshare Farm in Greenfield, New Hampshire. There she fell in love with agriculture. Erin stayed on for a second Americorps year, and accepted a full time position following her service. During this time she also enrolled in and completed the one year biodynamic agriculture training in Springfield, New York. In 2014 she secured a field manager position at Stonecipher Farm in Bowdoinham and participated in the MOFGA apprenticeship program. In 2016, Erin and her partner, Michael, were able to purchase a somewhat dilapidated, but beautiful, 47 acre property in Hiram, Maine. Over the past three seasons they have worked to improve the buildings, land and infrastructure. In 2019 Erin and Mike renovated a portion of their antique post and beam barn for retail and workshop space. They currently grow organic cut flowers and vegetables to sell in their on-site farm store, at local restaurants, retail stores and a natural food store. In 2020 they are focusing heavily on fresh cut and dried flower production for retail, wholesale and events. Website
Brothers, Goran and Carl have worked, played, and bombed around the fields of Goranson Farm from day one. They are the third generation to work the river bottom land they call home. You will find Goran in the shop, on one of his grandfather’s tractors, or at the Bath, Boothbay or Portland farmers’ market. Carl’s favorite days include seeding cover crop with the farm’s three draft horses, cultivating corn and potatoes with a team, and draft-powered low-impact management of neighboring wood lots. They are united in their deep feeling of responsibility to the land and the local community that has supported their families farm through the generations.
The Little Flower Farm in Surry, Maine is a labor of love for Katrina and Ryan Willette. They like to say that flower farming started as a happy accident in 2018 when Katrina and the couple’s daughter decided to pick flowers from the family’s garden and sold them at the side of the road. The response from customers and neighbors was enthusiastic and encouraging. The Willettes, both originally from Maine, spent more than 10 years in Chicago; Katrina worked with animals in the city’s zoological societies while Ryan worked for large financial institutions. Looking to return home to be closer to family, they left the hustle and bustle of the windy city for the calm and quiet of downeast Maine. As the name implies, the farm is primarily fresh cut flowers, however they do have a small flock of misfit chickens and geese to round out the farm. The entire farm operates on a cozy two acres. The Willettes lovingly referred to their property as the little flower farm and thus a simple farm was born. They are eager to participate in the Journeyperson program and are excited to be a part of the MOFGA family. Katrina and Ryan are looking forward to continuing to learn while providing fresh eggs, flowers and other products to their community.
In 2018, Phil made the jump and started Phil’s Farm on leased land in Eliot, Maine. Cultivating just one acre, he and his crew provide veggies for a 75-member CSA, farmers’ market and a few restaurants. Doing what’s right for our environment and our communities is core to the farm and has guided Phil to work toward eliminating single-use plastics from the farm, avoiding the using pesticide sprays, and paying his employees a fair wage. Before starting the farm, Phil apprenticed at Crystal Springs Farm in Brunswick, worked for two urban agriculture startups in Boston and Brooklyn, and helped manage a vegetable farm in Paso Robles, Calif. To this day, each step continues to craft Phil’s vision for his farm and lifelong career in agriculture.
Noah has always had an interest in agriculture. He started Rainbow Farm when he was in elementary school. He named it Rainbow Farm after the diversity on his farm. Noah and Lorelei met when he was leasing land in Bar Harbor. Lorelei has worked and apprenticed on several farms in the past. Before becoming a full-time farmer, she worked as a professional gardener on Mount Desert Island. They moved Rainbow Farm to Stockton Springs in 2017. Rainbow Farm is a pasture-based farm, focusing on egg layers, broilers, turkeys and hogs. They also have a small herd of Scottish Highland cattle. This year they started raising meat rabbits. They also produce mixed vegetables on a small scale. Noah and Lorelei are deeply concerned about the climate crisis. Some ways they are addressing that issue is with the passive solar house they built, and their electric vehicle that allows them to deliver their products without carbon emissions. Rainbow Farm participates in several farmers’ markets including the Blue Hill farmers’ market and the MDI farmers’ markets. Their eggs are also available at about ten retail outlets and restaurants including the Belfast Co-Op and Tradewinds in Blue Hill. They are proud to raise their son, Almanzo, on their farm. Find out what’s new on Rainbow Farm on their website or on Facebook
Seek-No-Further Farmstead is a small, queer-owned farm in Monroe, Maine, owned and operated by Angela Baglione and Lisa Kalan. Founded in 2019, the farm is many years in the making. Angela and Lisa met at Green Mountain College in 2010 where they majored in sustainable agriculture. After college, they worked on farms all over New England, eventually starting and managing a farm in central Massachusetts. They moved to Maine in 2017 after finding a scrappy little homestead in Monroe where they could put down roots. Seek-No-Further Farmstead produces goat milk and yogurt, winter greens, early tulips, eggs, shiitake mushrooms, and (in 2021) PYO strawberries. They can be found on instagram @seek.no.further
Sparkplug Farm was started in 2012 by John Wright and Sara Hodges. The farm operated on leased land on Vinalhaven Island for five years before relocating to Leeds, Maine, in 2017. Sara and John raise 100% grass-fed beef, pork and a small market garden. They manage their herd of Shorthorn/Devon cows through a management-intensive grazing system. The cows get moved once or twice a day during the grazing season and spend their winters eating organic hay. The pigs are fed a diet of organic grain, acorns and organic dairy. They rotate though the woods around the farm and help turn the farm’s compost piles. Sara and John are excited for the opportunity to take part in MOFGA’s Journeyperson program. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook.
Marie Kirven owns and operates Sweet Dreams Lavender Farm located on 50 acres in St. Albans Maine. The Farm has several varieties of lavender. Lavender products are sold at the on site Farm Store, made by hand with love. Beside growing lavender Sweet Dreams Lavender Farm also grows edelweiss, Fredonia grapes and elderberry. We wild harvest, forage and grow cultivated herbs. We are a Permaculture farm. Follow the farm on Facebook @ Maine Lavender or visit www.mainelavenderfarm.com
Matthew & Amy Dow’s dream of owning a small dairy farm in Maine started with 1 Jersey cow in 2010. As their family grew so did the herd. With a contract from Organic Valley they took the plunge and in 2017 they bought a delinquent dairy farm in Matthew’s hometown of Albion. Now the herd has grown, numbering more than fifty cows. Along with running a sawmill and woodworking shop, they have also raised pastured poultry and pigs, and produced maple syrup. In time, SweetLand Farm plans to offer several opportunities for the public a look at a diversified organic farm. Feel free to check them out on Facebook at SweetLand Farm.
Tracey Pavan owns and manages Swell Farm with her husband, Chris Lord. Located just outside of downtown Rockland, Swell Farm grows specialty cut flowers and other unique ornamentals. Using sustainable and organic practices, they lovingly care for close to two acres of prime farmland – thanks to generous neighboring land owners. Growing on up to acre, Swell Farm works with local specialty shops, CSA members, has a Flower Stand at their home location on Old County Road, and works with folks hosting events, celebrating unions, or mourning losses. Tracey and Chris run Swell Farm with the mission of always aiming to be better – learning more about regenerative agricultural practices, donating to local folks/organizations in need, and holding a membership with ‘1% for the Planet.’ Follow along on their journey on Instagram and Facebook, or stop by the Flower stand to say hi. Website