We’ve written about the Maine Rice Project before, it is a non-profit with a mission to get more people to grow and eat sustainably grown rice and grain throughout Maine. It is the brainchild of Ben and Asher of Wild Folk Farm in Benton, who have shown successfully that rice can be grown in Maine and that there is a strong market for it. Their original small experimental paddy was 2/3 of an acre but demand has outstripped supply and they are looking for new sites to help them expand their project. The grant that they received form Maine Technology Institute has allowed them the financial flexibility to do just this but they still need land!
“A good site for a paddy will have clay soil, an uphill pond with good capacity, a slight slope for water management and be identified in the United States Department of Agriculture’s plant hardiness map as in Zone 4b or warmer. For farmers who can and want to grow rice on their farms, Rooney and others from the Maine Rice Project will work with them to design and build paddy systems based on individual site characteristics. Some of the knowledge of how to build paddies on Maine farms came from his own years of trial and error at Wild Folk Farm, where rice growing began somewhat experimentally.”
If you have land that meets the requirements of the project that you would be interested in leasing, get in touch with Ben by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bangor Daily News has recently published an article about the project, check it out here!