About the Farm
A PASSION FOR FARMING
In the August, 2005 edition of the publication "Growing for Market", Richard Rudolph, in Standish, ME—having started farming after retiring from a thirty two year career as a professor--said:
"I had a real need to do something with my hands as well as my head. There is something very concrete and specific about farming. Compared to teaching - where you never really know who you've reached, I know that I got three bushels of green beans."
After having been a software engineer for nearly a decade, I too needed to find something where I could continue to challenge my mind yet find a creative outlet using my hands. Farming (especially small scale and organic) fulfills those needs. There are constant mental challenges facing a farmer such as: marketing, crop planning, inter-crop relationships, interpersonal relationships, breeding, seed preservation, chemistry, engineering and so on. In fact, the more I've learned about farming, the more I see it as a large set of interrelated problem-solving tasks--that are emotional, physical, mental and spiritual.
After having spent three months in The Farm School Practical Training Program, I began an apprenticeship at Sunrise Acres in Cumberland, ME during the 2006 season. While at Sunrise Acres, the apprenticeship turned in to an unofficial journeyman program during a major mid-season change in the farm operations. During 2006, Sunrise Acres had a 175 member CSA on four acres of cultivated land, 300 broilers, 100 turkeys, 22 hogs (including 1 boar for breeding), 500 hens and roughly 100 sheep. The diversity of the farm exposed me to many aspects of vegetable production, grazing and pasture maintenance as well as egg production.
The 2007 growing season was a time for me to focus on intensive and small-scale vegetable production. I was an assistant grower with Gretta Anderson on a farm in Belmont, MA that is just over one acre. There we operated a 50 member CSA, weekly farmers market and some small amounts of direct wholesale to restaurants and retail outlets. In addition to working on Gretta’s farm, I worked on several other farms in Massachusetts throughout the season. In the fall of 2007, I worked with Lisa Turner at Laughing Stock farm in Freeport, ME. Working with her exposed me to commercial greenhouse operations as well refined my understanding of restaurant wholesaling.
My diversified experiences across a variety of farming systems in both Massachusetts and here in Maine have provided me with a practical and solid foundation for my own farm. I am excited to have returned to Maine and be a part of a great cultural shift towards local and sustainable foods.