July 14, 2021
Meet the Lassen family of Intervale Farm in Cherryfield, Maine. Intervale Farm produces MOFGA-certified organic wild blueberries. They sell both fresh and frozen berries as well as a fruit spread at their farmstand in Cherryfield, at the Milbridge Shop N’ Save and the Winter Harbor and Southwest Harbor farmers’ markets. When asked why they grow organically they responded, “Growing without pesticides makes sense to us because we live, work, and have been raising our family next to the field. We are lucky to have loyal customers that stick with us year after year. Climate change is the largest challenge ahead.” In addition to blueberries Jenny Lassen, with the support of MOFGA’s Journeyperson Program and her mentor Karen Volckhausen, added a small cut flower business to the farm.
For more information, check their website.
Photo courtesy of Intervale Farm
July 1, 2021
Meet Nautical Farms in Machias, Maine! Nautical Farms produces MOFGA-certified sea vegetables for the kitchen, as well as home and body products, in a small cove off of Roque Island. When asked why they grow organically, seaweed farmers Morgan-Lea Fogg and Jake Patryn responded, “We started Nautical Farms because we wanted to contribute to a clean, sustainable economy and keep Maine’s working waterfront alive and thriving. Making sure our production practices are organic is an important part of furthering our mission.” They added that, “Working with the MOGFA team to ensure our practices and processes are organic and safe was easy! We’ve appreciated the guidance while going through the process.” You can find their handcrafted food and bath products online and at several small gift shops throughout Maine and across the country.
For more information, check their website.
Photo courtesy of Nautical Farms.
You can also find the farm on Instagram and Facebook @nauticalfarms.
June 3, 2021
Meet the folks from Carding Brook Farm in Brooklin, Maine! Officially started in 1990, the land hosts an old saltwater farm that has been in the family for decades. They produce MOFGA-certified organic vegetables during the growing season and, in winter, they build timber frames with logs from their woodlot. Over the years they have fine-tuned their marketing scheme to include a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, an on-site farmstand, a local farmers’ market and wholesale to a few restaurants and specialty food outlets. When asked why they grow organically, Jen said, “There was no question we would farm organically. We both had backgrounds in environmentalism and had seen the damage caused by … using poisons and poor practices.” With their sons, Nolan and Walker, Jon and Jen are working on a collaboration with Threadbare Theatre to trial an outdoor theater season this summer! “The best thing about farming is that every year is different,” said Jen.
Photo by Ann Cutting – Left to Right: Jon, Jennifer, Walker and Nolan
May 19, 2021
Meet Smithereen Farm in Pembroke, Maine! The farm is certified organic by MOFGA and protected by conservation easements put in place by Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and the farmhouse was kindly fixed up by Maine Farmland Trust. Severine Fleming of Smithereen Farm says that they are beneficiaries of these amazing organizations that have worked together to make Maine the state with the greatest amount of young farmers per capita in the nation. The farm harvests, dries and processes wild-growing seaweed, herbs, flowers and mushrooms (certified organic). They produce many value-added organic products like tinctures, dried seaweed and dried herbs. You can find these products and much more at the Blue Hill Co-op, Whole Life Natural Market, Random Harvest Market and in the Smithereen Farm webshop. Fleming says, “We are delighted to eat from a highly charged ecological food commons shared with many wild creatures — whales, moose, coyotes, foxes, grouse, bobcats and owls.” The farm is fertilized with seaweed they harvest from Cobscook Bay.
May 5, 2021
Meet Helios Horsepower Farm in Guilford, Maine! Helios Horsepower Farm grows MOFGA-certified organic vegetables with the help of their draft horses, Annie and Billy. Their organic produce is available at their farmstand in Guilford and through the online Maine Highlands Farmers’ Market. Through Mainers Feeding Mainers of the Good Shepherd Food Bank, their produce is available to all at local food pantries. When asked why organic production is important to the farm, Lizzy explained, “Vegetables that grow in healthy soils taste awesome because they contain far more of the nutrients our bodies need. Living soils are also regenerative, so soil tended today will be able to feed our grandkids. Using organic and scale appropriate methods, we can grow an amazing amount of food on just a few acres.” Lizzy also says, “Feed the soil and let the soil feed the crops!”
April 21, 2021
Meet Wise Acres Farm in Kenduskeag, Maine! Wise Acres Farm grows certified organic vegetables and berries. They love bringing their customers the best of what the season has to offer. The farm sells their produce through farmers’ markets in Ellsworth and Bangor, as well as through a CSA for the Bangor/Brewer/Kenduskeag area. When asked why organic production is important to them, Brittany Hopkins explained, “Organic production guides us to pay careful attention to the health of the people we feed and the soil in which our food grows. We are proud to have MOFGA Certification Services independently verify and certify our organic practices.” The farm values organic principles and practices that promote soil health and nutritious food, including extensive cover-cropping and crop rotation.
April 8, 2021
Our featured producer this week is Dig Deep Farm in South China, Maine. Dig Deep Farm produces MOFGA-certified organic pea shoots, microgreens, and specialty salad mix, among other organic vegetables. They love to trial new varieties of vegetables – particularly purple ones. You can purchase their produce at farmers’ markets in Augusta, Hallowell, Skowhegan, Islesboro and through the DayBreak Growers Alliance. They also offer year-round CSAs. Dalziel Lewis of Dig Deep Farm says that “being MOFGA-certified organic helps us become better farmers.” The principles and practices of organic production that the farm values most are soil health and social responsibility.
March 24, 2021
Meet Emily Springer of Meeting House Herb Farm in Scarborough, Maine. Meeting House Herb Farm is a MOFGA certified organic and biodynamic herb farm and growers’ collaborative. Emily said, “Our mission is to create a collective online marketplace to connect local herbalists with locally grown herbs.” When asked why organic production was important to the farm, Emily explained, “We feel a strong stewardship of this old farmstead we are looking after. We are creating a sanctuary for people, pollinators and creatures in the suburban Portland area – being organic is critical to this mission. Finally, we love soil – deep, rich, healthy, life-giving soil. Being an organic farmer means building that soil every year.” Meeting House Herb Farm values stewardship of the land and soil as the way to grow nutritionally dense vibrant food and herbs for their community.
March 11, 2021
Meet Gryffon Ridge Spice Merchants of Litchfield, Maine! Gryffon Ridge is a MOFGA certified organic spice merchant that sells herbs, spices, culinary blends and gourmet salts at many retail locations throughout New England (listed on their website) as well as across the U.S. through their online store. Their spice blends are all crafted in Maine, and they have an array of products for every kitchen. Christine from Gryffon Ridge says that organic production is important to them because it assures the safest product for their customers from a local, reliable source.
February 27, 2021
Meet the folks from Three Sisters Farm in South Berwick, Maine. Three Sisters Farm is a small MOFGA certified organic family farm focused on long-term soil health and sustainable growing methods. Maggie O’Brien says, “We never compromise quality, but we believe in making organic food affordable.” They sell their tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, broccolini, salad greens and other MOFGA certified produce through their CSA and seasonal farmstand, and to local restaurants. When asked why organic production is important to them, they answered: “We care about the health of our children and our community and hope to contribute to a more sustainable local food system.” The organic principles and practices that they value most are “building organic matter and soil fertility using continuous cover cropping and crop rotation techniques.”
Find Three Sisters Farm on Facebook and Instagram @threesistersfarmsobo.
February 12, 2021
Meet Laura Neale of Black Kettle Farm in Lyman, Maine. The farm is woman-owned and has been staffed mostly by women over the last 13 years. Black Kettle Farm transitioned to organic production from a conventional corn farm. Laura says it is now “a diverse, sometimes chaotic, field of a huge range of vegetables and herbs, all at different stages, that are constantly changing and shifting to reflect the season.” It is host to bees, frogs, worms and birds, Laura continues. Black Kettle Farm sells their products through an 18-week CSA with pick-ups in Lyman, Portland and Kittery, through the Maine Senior FarmShare program, and to restaurants from Kittery to Portland. When asked why organic production is important to her, Laura explained, “I feel like it is not just about the production of safe food for consumers, but also about how the farm interacts with the natural world as a whole.” We asked Laura what organic principles and practices she most values and she responded, “I value the farm inspection that happens during the growing season after plans and certification paperwork have been submitted. I think that it is so important to meet in-person, walk around the farm, show records and receipts, and talk about the operation.” Photo courtesy of Laura Neale.
Meet Sara Faull and Genio Burtin of Mandala Farm in Gouldsboro, Maine. They, their children and Burtin’s parents maintain 2.5 acres of MOFGA-certified organic vegetables and diverse livestock enterprises. They sell their vegetables to restaurants and retail stores on Mount Desert Island and through their CSA, self-serve farm stand and the Winter Harbor Farmers’ Market. They farm primarily using Fjords, which haul in crops, spread manure, plant cover crops, move firewood and carry maple sap. See Sonja Heyck-Merlin’s article about Mandala Farm in the fall issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.