Archives: Stories

From Artist to Craftsperson

How The Buckle Farm Streamlined Their Business for Profitability and Improved Their Wellbeing By Jennifer Wilhelm Husband and wife team Jim Buckle and Hannah Hamilton of The Buckle Farm worked “epically long days” to get their business up and running. Five years after starting their farm in Unity, Maine, they found themselves exhausted from twice-weekly

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Small Axe Farm’s Evolution from Homestead to No-Till Farm

Twenty Years of Small-Scale No-Till Production in Northern Vermont By Holli Cederholm Over the past 20 years, Evan Perkins and Heidi Choate of Small Axe Farm have transformed their quarter-acre homestead garden on a south-facing hilltop in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom into a 1-acre market garden grossing over $230,000 in annual sales. In the beginning, the

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Farm and Sea to School Collaborations in Maine

By Tim King Robin Kerber, the Maine Department of Education Farm and Sea to School coordinator, says energy to build on past successes for farm and sea to school relationships has been accelerating the last several years.  One indicator of that, she says, is growing participation in Maine’s Local Foods Fund. In the 2021 school

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Serving Time and Good Food at Mountain View Correctional Facility

By Sonja Heyck-Merlin Photos courtesy of Mark McBrine Monday is pasta night at Mountain View Correctional Facility in Charleston, Maine. And it isn’t SpaghettiOs or canned ravioli. There are two kitchens and two dining halls on the sprawling hilltop campus where on clear days Katahdin can be seen looming in the distance. One facility is

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Sasanoa Brewing: A Toast to Organic and Seasonal Ingredients

By Tim King Tarbox Farm, on Westport Island in Lincoln County, is a diversified vegetable farm that includes 9 acres of cultivated land and 40 acres of woods. It is also home to Maine’s only certified organic brewery. Last season owners Kyle DePietro and Angie Trombley, with help from an intern and some part-time help,

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Family Heirloom Seed Leads to Art Book

By Danielle Walczak In 1898, Enrico Inciardi arrived at Ellis Island from Sicily with nothing but the clothes on his back. Fearing confiscation, he sewed the seeds of his family’s vegetables into his jacket. He was given the name Henry and headed to Chicago where he would propagate his family’s vegetables, including a full-bodied paste

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Passamaquoddy Maple Carries on Tribal Tradition

By Sonja Heyck-Merlin To make apple pie, Vanessa Harnois, an employee at Passamaquoddy Maple headquartered in Jackman, Maine, first soaks the apples for 30 minutes in some very dark maple syrup. After the marinade, she mixes in granulated maple sugar and the rest of the ingredients before sealing them into the crust. “It’s just phenomenal,”

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Creating a Multi-Family Farm at 3 Level Farm

By Tim King  When Kim Patnode and Christopher Hahn came separately to 3 Level Farm in South China 11 years ago, they were acquainted with each other but had no idea what the future would bring. Hahn had just purchased the 143-acre farm, formerly known as French Farm, and imagined it supporting multiple enterprises, more

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Meeting House Herb Growers Collaborative

Bringing More Organic Herbs, and Herb Growers, to Maine By Sonja Heyck-Merlin The 25 members of the Meeting House herb growers collaborative talk enticingly about their plant medicines: whether it’s the sticky, resinous calendula buds or the tufts of crimson bee balm flowers reminiscent of an ‘80s rockstar hairdo. They’re equally passionate about the unassuming

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Morgan Cameron Wins 2022 Common Ground Country Fair Poster Contest

By Holli Cederholm  Morgan Cameron paints animal portraits in oil, and has a special love for horses. As a child, Cameron, now 30, spent her summers and afternoons on her grandparents’ 100-acre farm in Dover-Foxcroft getting to know an array of animals that became inspiration for her artwork, including dogs, cats, cows, rabbits and her

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