April 28, 2022
Knock Knock Farm
Meet Knock Knock Farm in Belgrade. They produce organic elderberries and elderberry bushes (bare root and potted), which are available for pick up directly at the farm. They are open most days by appointment from June to November. When asked why organic production is important, they responded: “At Knock Knock Farm we see organic production as a safeguard for both the health of our customers and the health of our farmland. Our goal is to provide our customers with locally grown berries grown with love and care, and not harmful chemicals!” They added, “We also take the role our farm has in providing critical habitat very seriously. During the summer our elderberry orchard is home to dozens of bird and amphibian species and hundreds of non-pest insect species. They are as important to us as our crop, and we balance our needs as a farm with their needs for a safe and diverse habitat. We actively work toward supporting our crop harvest and the health of our plants in ways that will do as little harm as possible to the living systems around them. Organic production is at the heart of that process!”
Follow them on Facebook.
Photo courtesy of Knock Knock Farm
April 14, 2022
Snakeroot Organic Farm
Meet Snakeroot Organic Farm in Pittsfield. Tom Roberts and Lois Labbe cultivate 5 acres of mixed vegetables, fruits, perennials and herbs for sale through local farmers’ markets, including the Downtown Waterville Farmers’ Market, Orono Farmers’ Market and Pittsfield Farmers’ Market. Their produce is also available through Central Maine FarmDrop and the farm’s online store, as well as directly from the farm in Pittsfield. When asked why organic production is important, Roberts responded: “As I tell my customers when they ask questions like that, ‘We eat this stuff ourselves, so we don’t want to poison it!’ And whenever the discussion is open to going deeper, I mention that it is important to build up the soil’s organic matter and biome so that the plants we grow are healthier and the people who eat from those plants will be healthier, too. And then there’s the aspects of reducing carbon footprint through carbon capture, developing a complex and healthy eco-community around our farm, supporting local labor instead of labor-killing petrochemicals, and because I am helping to build an alternative to the exploitative and destructive mainstream U.S. food system. Discussions sometimes go on from there, depending upon the person’s level of interest.”
Follow them on Facebook.
Catie Joyce-Bulay photo
March 30, 2022
Triple Chick Farm
Meet Triple Chick Farm in Town Hill. Anna and Adam Perkins cultivate certified organic vegetables for their on-site farm stand on Rt. 102 in Town Hill as well as several restaurants. When asked why organic production is important, they responded: “While we have not had experiences growing conventional produce, we feel organic production lends to what we value in a farm system and culture. In our 2 1/2 acres of row crop space, surrounding fields, woods, a brook, a creek, and family home, we appreciate the mostly human-scale work that keeps us healthy, active, and physically close to the land, the work we do, and the people we feed.” Anna came to farming in 2011 through MOFGA’s Apprenticeship Program. She said, “This program is especially valuable to me in retrospect, as I am not sure how I would have found this work otherwise. MOFGA has continued to provide educational programs (Farmer to Farmer and workshops) and resources through our time farming that have kept us engaged in our learning and connecting to other farmers.” They added, “We found this farm management situation through a retired MOFGA staff member. Also, we look forward to utilizing the programming available to farms — especially if we can persist into the Maine Farm Resilience Program. The skills and resources farmers have shared that they have gained through MFRP seem bolstering and encouraging for what we hope to learn as we progress and grow.”
Follow them on Instagram @triplechickfarm.
Photo courtesy of Triple Chick Farm
February 24, 2022
Meet Living Nutz. They offer certified organic sprouted and raw nuts and seeds to provide their customers with healthy and delicious options that are full of flavor and nutritional integrity. Their products can be found in health food stores across Maine, as well as on their website. When asked why organic production is important, they responded: “Here at Living Nutz, our number one goal is to provide healthy, delicious, and nutritious products for our customers. Part of this process involves ensuring the nuts and other ingredients we use are of the highest quality, without harmful pesticides or other farming methods. In addition, none of our products are pasteurized, so all of their amazing nutrients remain intact and ready for our customers to enjoy.”
Photo courtesy of Living Nutz
February 24, 2022
Atlantic Sea Farms
Meet Atlantic Sea Farms in Biddeford. Atlantic Sea Farms is a women-run company that partners with local fishing communities to cultivate sustainable kelp. You can find their kelp products, including fermented seaweed salad and kelp smoothie cubes, at Hannaford, Whole Foods and local co-ops in Maine. When asked why organic production is important, they responded: “Our existing customers are deeply concerned with where their food is produced and how it is raised. MOFGA is well known for its role in the organic farming movement and the USDA Organic seal is recognized across the industry. The organic stamp by MOFGA signals to customers that they can trust their food and its sourcing — and feel good about feeding it to their families.”
Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sea Farms
February 9, 2022
Orange Circle Farm
Meet Jeff Benton of Orange Circle Farm in Berwick. Orange Circle Farm is a solar-powered, no-till farm that produces MOFGA-certified organic vegetables for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program serving the communities of Berwick, Durham, Stratham and Kittery. CSA shares are available on the farm’s website. “We value providing our CSA members with a weekly supply of fresh ingredients to use in their home-cooked meals,” said Benton. When asked why organic production is important, he responded: “We believe that organic growing practices are the best way to ensure that these soils can support our community now and well into the future.” The farm property has a conservation easement associated with it so it has strong potential to be actively farmed for generations to come.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Benton
January 25, 2022
Meet Mary Perry of Winterberry Farm in Belgrade. Winterberry Farm is a 40-acre certified- organic farm utilizing horses and oxen for working their gardens, mowing their fields and twitching their logs. Perry has owned and operated Winterberry Farm for 22 years while homeschooling and raising her three children: Kenya, 26, Gil, 21, and Sage, 16. The farm produces cut flowers, vegetables, Christmas trees, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and fruit trees on 5 acres, and grows produce in four high tunnels year round. Their products are available through a four-season CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program as well as through their farm stand, which is open daily year round, and their website. Perry said, “No way could I have even imagined doing this without MOFGA. I learned to buy, plant and grow seeds, I learned how to harvest, sell and eat our vegetables, I learned how to twitch logs and heat our home and germination rooms with wood from MOFGA and meeting the coolest folks ever. I learned to contra dance and raise my kids with Friday night contras. My kids are MOFGA kids through and through — all have volunteered, all have participated in the fair. And all have sold at the YEZ [Youth Enterprise Zone] Tent. Sage is selling her Hawaiian shaved ice and homemade juices she makes from the farm’s honey and fruit. Gil has demonstrated with his team of oxen at the fair, and Kenya made packages of herbs and dried items from her solar dehydrator to sell at the fair. Now I go to the fair in my ‘52 Ford and sell our dried flowers and crowns. MOFGA has given us the tools we needed to survive on this farm, and the friends to share it all with and to lean on when the growing was rough.”
Sage and Mary Perry of Winterberry Farm. Photo courtesy of Winterberry Farm
January 12, 2022
Maine Cap N’ Stem
Meet Maine Cap N’ Stem Mushroom Co. in Gardiner. As a mycological company at the beginning of the supply chain, their gourmet mushroom cultures, spawn and substrate products travel worldwide to help hundreds of farms to grow fresh mushrooms for their communities. So whether it’s Boston, San Francisco, Australia, Italy, Brazil or anywhere in between, if fresh mushrooms are being sold, there is a good chance the products that are being used to cultivate gourmet fungal varieties originated with Maine Cap N’ Stem. You can shop online at capnstem.com. When asked why organic production is important, they responded: “Being certified organic opens up the doors to global conversations with food producers dedicated to transparency and interested in the health of their customer base for generations to come. Becoming certified organic is a winning strategy in our minds and a growing number of farms in the world at large aim to be certified within their first year of production which is encouraging from such a specialized cash crops perspective.” They added, “Quite a few years back we offered a workshop through MOFGA which was very helpful at the time. Folks came out to our facility and we walked them through the cultivation process with our products and today three of those farms are still successfully growing mushrooms using our products and systems!”
Follow them on Instagram @mainecapnstemco and look for the MOFGA certified organic logo where you shop.
Photo courtesy of Maine Cap N’ Stem
December 17, 2021
Meet Noelle and Nick of Nomad Pasta in Belfast. Nomad Pasta produces organic, small-batch pasta. You can find their slow-dried pasta at the United Farmers Market of Maine in Belfast and at retail locations throughout the Northeast (see their website for more information). When asked why organic production is important, they responded: “One important thing to remember about organic certification is that it ensures the integrity of the product from start to finish, from growing practices to production protocols to cleaning procedures. When you buy organic, you can feel confident that the best practices have been used at every step, and that there has been no contamination with chemicals or non-organic ingredients. We believe organic ingredients and practices protect not only our own health, but the health of our farmers, ecosystems, and the planet in general.” They added, “The annual MOFGA inspection (while somewhat daunting!) helps us think through our systems and processes, and inevitably helps us find things we have missed in our planning. We’re hugely grateful to MOFGA for their help and guidance, from the very beginning.”
Follow them on Instagram @nomadpastaco and look for the MOFGA certified organic logo where you shop.
Photo courtesy of Nomad Pasta
December 9, 2021
Meet Johanna Burdet and Jarret Haiss of Moodytown Gardens in Palmyra. Moodytown Gardens produces MOFGA-certified organic vegetables, flowers and hay, and also raises grass-fed beef and pastured pork. Their products are seasonally available at the Skowhegan Farmers’ Market, the Belgrade Lakes Market and at their farm stand. They also sell their farm products to Uncle Dean’s in Waterville, The Maine Beer Shed in Kingfield, and The Maine Meal, Ginny’s Natural Corner and The Miller’s Table in Skowhegan. Burdet said that they work to make their food available to the people in their community. “We participate in the Maine Senior FarmShare program, accept WIC, offer Maine Harvest Bucks for our CSA, and accept EBT/SNAP. We also work with the Good Shepherd Food Bank each year and provide our local food pantries with fresh local produce during the summer and fall. We try to make our food accessible to all.” When asked why organic production is important to the farm, Burdet said, “Growing organically is really the only way we know how to farm. Both of our backgrounds in farming have been exclusively organic and we both were raised on small farms that also grew this way. It is important to us that we are bettering the land that we are producing on. We also want to be growing food that we are proud of and feel good eating ourselves.” She says of MOFGA: “The MOFGA apprenticeship program has brought several really amazing people to our farm. We have enjoyed being a part of their journey to realize if they want to farm and hope that we are helping to form the next generation of Maine farmers. We were also journeypeople and found that it connected us to the larger Maine organic farmer community which has been very helpful over the years. We have also just begun the Maine Farm Resilience Program and are excited to get help in making long term goals for our farm.”
Follow them on Instagram and Facebook @moodytowngardens and look for the MOFGA certified organic logo where you shop.
Photo courtesy of Moodytown Gardens
November 3, 2021
Birch Bog Farm
Meet Tracyn and Steve of Birch Bog Farm in Albany Township. Birch Bog Farm produces MOFGA-certified organic cranberries. The fruit is seasonally available at their farm, through the farm’s website, at the Greenwood and Bethel farmers’ markets, and at select retailers throughout Maine and New Hampshire. When asked why local, organic production is important to the farm, Tracyn replied, “I’ve always been drawn to organic practices, and produce, and have always made big efforts to purchase all I can afford that is organic. As I have learned more and more about commercial and conventional practices (especially as a new farm owner), I have also learned how, as humans, we cannot afford not to purchase and consume (certified) organic foods.” Tracyn says of MOFGA, “As a beginner farmer, MOFGA has been a wonderful resource for figuring out how to continue and improve upon our certification, the requirements, opportunities, etc. I am interested in the Journeyperson program, Farmer to Farmer, and have done several of the Zoom workshops. I hope now that we almost have a season behind us, I will be more poised to use the breadth of information available. I love the connections I’ve made just through searching the guide of producers.” She adds, “If someone were to ask me a year ago if I wanted to be (or saw myself) as an organic cranberry farmer (or any kind of farmer), to answer honestly I’d have to say ‘no.’ However, one thing I’ve learned over the last 6 months since we’ve ‘bought the farm’ is that the community of farmers in Maine (especially organic farmers) is so collaborative and we have run into very little ‘competitive’ folks (if any). I have reached out to many many people and can’t think of any who have not replied or offered help. It’s been so wonderful thus far. I would also say, as a 52-year-old woman, that one can become a farmer anytime, there just has to be passion, the skills will come over time. I have loved so much the learning and community and discovery of other small, like-minded farms and folks.” Follow them on Instagram and Facebook @birchbogfarm and look for the MOFGA certified organic logo where you shop.
Photo by Kelsey Kobik
October 14, 2021
Meet Melissa Shea of Mountain Farm in New Vineyard. Mountain Farm produces a wide variety of MOFGA-certified organic vegetables, fruits, culinary and medicinal herbs, flowers and hops. This year fall fruit crops will be available through the farm’s Facebook page and Instagram pages. When asked why local, organic production is important to the farm Shea replied, “Food creates a personal connection for the community and being the resource that people turn to is a satisfying endeavor to me.” Shea was also recently licensed by the State of Maine to prepare Invasive Plant Control Practice Plans. The plan includes identification of invasive species as well as a multi-year approach to managing the infestation.
Follow them on Instagram and Facebook @mountainfarmmaine and look for the MOFGA certified organic logo where you shop.
Photo courtesy Mountain Farm
September 17, 2021
Tiny Acres Farm
Meet David Andrews and Erin Donahue of Tiny Acres Farm. Tiny Acres Farms produces MOFGA-certified vegetables off-the-grid in Central Maine, and they sell their produce and eggs at the Saturday Portland Farmers’ Market, Sunday Bangor Farmers’ Market, and The Little Cheese Shop at Balfour Farm in Pittsfield on Thursday through Sunday. When asked why they grow organically, they responded, “Before our first crop was ever sown, we knew organic farming and gardening practices were important to us. Food transparency is a big reason why we originally got involved in farming. Investing in fair and certified organic practices from the start just made sense. Being an organic grower, to us, means providing the highest quality food to our community while maintaining proper land stewardship and a small ecological footprint.” They added, “MOFGA has provided us with several invaluable resources! We are fortunate to be participating in the 2021-2023 MOFGA Journeyperson Program; this program comes with the valuable opportunity of mentorship. Hanne Tierney of Cornerstone Farm has been an absolute joy to work with over the past year and has shared her wealth of farming and business knowledge. We are also thankful for past and present journeypersons and the inspiration, know-how, and (more than a few) chuckles they provide on the JP listserv. We are grateful to be a part of the incredible farming community here in Maine and are eagerly looking forward to our next season!”
Follow them on Instagram and Facebook @tinyacresfarmmaineand look for the MOFGA certified organic logo where you shop.
Photo courtesy Hanne Tierney
September 9, 2021
Seven Moon Farm
Meet Rachel Chapman of Seven Moon Farm in Montville. This woman-run farm offers MOFGA-certified organic mixed vegetables through Daybreak Growers Alliance, a multi-farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, as well as at small groceries and cafes, including the Belfast Co-op, Wild Grace Farm Store and Unity Kitchen. Seven Moon Farm will also offer dried flowers and herbs at the Belfast Art Market this fall. When asked why she grows organically, Chapman responded, “I am a first generation farmer and, to be honest, I never considered farming non-organically. Environmental health and regeneration were important to me before I started farming, so those principles have carried over to my agricultural practice. I believe that as farmers, we have a responsibility to both the land, and our communities, to keep toxic chemicals out of our production. We have a responsibility to do our best to care for the land, and the ecosystem within which it resides. It’s part of our end of the bargain, as people who profit off of the land in this way.” She added, “I am part of the 2021 Journeyperson cohort, and I was an apprentice from 2015-2016, and both of those programs have really helped me build the skills, in the field and at my desk, that I needed to get to where I am today.”
Follow them on Instagram @seven.moon.farm and look for the MOFGA certified organic logo where you shop.
Photo courtesy of Rachel Chapman
August 21, 2021
Meet Justin, Harlan and Nell of Ironwood Farm in Albion. This horse-powered farm offers MOFGA-certified organic mixed vegetables at co-ops and small grocery stores across the state — from Blue Hill to Bangor, Norway to Portland, and all the way down to Kittery. Nell says, “We’re committed to farming organically for the health of our family, our community, and the land we steward. For the marsh hawks, and the monarchs. For cedar waxwings, and the brook trout. For our kids, and their kids. When we purchased our farm property it was in rough shape, and it’s our life’s work to leave this place better than we found it — striking a balance between making a living farming, taking gold-standard care of our land and producing beautiful and nutritious food. It’s the ultimate challenge, one that motivates us and keeps up lacing up our boots every morning.”
Follow them on Instagram @ironwoodorganic.
Photo courtesy of Ironwood Farm.
July 28, 2021
Blue Ox Blueberries
Meet Laura Flannery of Blue Ox Blueberries in Hancock. The farm offers MOFGA-certified organic wild blueberries. Laura says, “Having our blueberries certified organic is extremely important to us. There is a huge misconception that all wild blueberries are organic.” She says that they often educate about conventional commercial wild blueberry farming and the importance of buying certified organic. You can find Blue Ox Blueberries at their farmstand in Hancock and via home delivery on Mount Desert Island. They also sell wholesale and to a few institutions. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram
Follow them on Instagram @blueoxblues.
Photo courtesy of Blue Ox Blueberries.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.