The Irresistible Fleet of Bicycles

Pembroke Farm & Horse Fair

The Pembroke Farm and Horse Fair takes place on August 26th & 27th this year. First started in 1841 funds raised this year will be used to restore the historic track and upgrade the grounds. Greenhorns will be there pressing apples all weekend. Tucka B will be doing a bee demo at the fair on the morning of the 26th before her Natural Beekeeping workshop on Smithereen Farm.

Come and join us and bring your apples to have them pressed! There will also be judging of Vegetables, Jams & Jellies, Crafts for Sale, Music, Quilts, Food, Trotter & Pacer Demonstrations, Games for Children and much much more.

Admission is $3 – kids under 12 go free. Check out the full schedule HERE


temple-wilton community farm in new hampshire are seeking an apprentice!

posted August 22, 2018

temple-wilton
credit: temple-wilton community farm

Temple-Wilton Community Farm is seeking a vegetable and/or cheese apprentice for the months of September and October, 2018. There is space for two candidates but it is possible the right person could split time between both operations if so interested. Besides the many hours dedicated to training, you will be provided with a bedroom in a beautiful apartment with other farm workers, access to all foods produced by the farm, WiFi, and a stipend of $500/ month.

About the Temple-Wilton Community farm:
The Temple-Wilton Community Farm was formed during the winter of 1985/1986 and is the oldest continuously operating CSA in the United States. They produce a full range of vegetables for our CSA members, including many storage vegetables that take them through the winter and into the following spring. They also provide milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs and meat for our members and sell surplus to the public. In addition they buy in a number of other items which are also for sale to the public in our farm store. In 2016 they became a Member Owned Cooperative. See twcfarm.com for more information.
Here is what they have to say about the apprenticeships on offer:
Vegetable Apprenticeship
As the planting phase of our season has come to a close, work with vegetables will center around cultivating and harvesting a diversity of crops with special emphasis on harvesting our storage crops to last us through the winter– carrots, parsnips, beets, potatoes, endive, celeriac, turnips, radishes, rutabaga, etc. Other tasks will include regular setup of our farm store, clearing and laying the fields to rest in cover crops, making compost with crop residues, making and spraying biodynamic preparations, and planting garlic to be overwintered.
The rhythm of the work is determined entirely by the needs of the many different crops that we grow, so our schedules must be very flexible. In general, the work day will be from 7am to 12:30pm and 2pm until 5-6pm depending on what tasks need to be completed. Sundays are generally off but there are some exceptions, especially during the big harvest season when we all need to be fully available to meet the needs of the farm.
As a member of the vegetable crew you would be working with head gardener Jacob Holubeck and two other apprentices. Depending on how the season unfolds there may be opportunities to continue on as well. If you enjoy fall in New England and productive work outdoors, this may be the opportunity you have been waiting for!
If you are interested in applying for the work in the vegetable fields please contact Jacob Holubeck at jaholubeck@gmail.com, or call him at 603-831-1213.
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Cheese Apprenticeship
Abbot Hill Creamery offers a practical training in cheese making. What you learn will depend mostly on what you wish to learn and are capable of. There is also space to do your own projects, such as making or developing a new cheese.
Necessary Qualities of a Cheese Apprentice:
  • Loves cheese!
  • Sincere interest in learning how to make and sell cheese
  • Hard working
  • Pays meticulous attention to detail and order
  • Gives attention to cleanliness and takes joy in cleaning (70% of cheese making is washing things)
  • Always tries to give their best
  • Ability to work alone and take on responsibilities
Computer skills are welcome as well as a willingness to do some chores on the farm. A love for animals is much appreciated.
What you will learn:
  • How to make many different kinds of cheese including (but not limited to) Gouda, Alpine Style, Quark, Blue Cheese, Camembert, Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Feta
  • How to make yoghurt
  • Cave Management (washing, brining, flipping, and overall age management of cheese)
  • Selling cheese
If you are interested in making cheese with their small and diverse creamery, please contact their friendly cheese maker Benjamin at bjonas.meier@gmail.com

August 17th-25th Greenhorns Presents: Sail Training Camp: Downeast Foxfire with Arista Holden

Greenhorns is pleased to present our first sail training program, a follow up on Maine Sail Freight project, which brought us to Maine! Starting at Liberty Hall in Machiasport and visiting islands, coves, and historic sites while immersing students in the wild coastal ecology of Downeast Maine, this ten day course offers a birch bark crafting workshop, traditional seamanship training and all sorts of naturalist adventure. Yes, you will learn to row and sail aboard the 18th-century Bantry Bay gigs.

Starts in the afternoon on Friday the 17th, ends the morning of the 25th. Starts and Ends in Machiasport, Maine

44 ̊37’15” N 67 ̊23’03” W

$450 Includes:
Three meals a day with snacks.

Training in:
-Traditional seamanship: rowing, sailing, navigation, knots, tide and weather
-Spoon carving and birch bark containers
-Sustainable firewood lot management
-Island farming
-Leave No Trace camp craft techniques

*Does not Include:
-Getting to/from Machiasport. We will help you connect with other participants to carpool. The nearest International airport and bus station with connections to major US cities is in Bangor.

Group size: 15 people​
Sign up by June 1st.

*Our insurance requires the minimum age to be at least 16 at start of program.
*Scholarships avaliable

Here is sign up spot: https://www.atlanticchallengeusa.com/downeast-foxfire-camp.html


the agrihood

posted August 7, 2018

agrihoods
Image Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Have you heard about agrihoods? The concept has been gaining popularity over the last few years and the term is short for “agricultural neighbourhoods”. Agricultural neighbourhoods is an unusual concept. Agricultural tends to conjure images of rural living, open spaces and sprawling farmland. Neighbourhoods on the other hand bring to mind images of suburbia or urban spaces – densely populated concrete jungles. The idea of an agrihood fuses these two very different concepts into something new and they are being heralded as a creation of millennials.

Reading the recent piece in the World Economic Forum on agrihoods, I couldn’t help but think back to the stories I have heard about wartime London, where public spaces were transformed into allotments to help people grow food for themselves. While this was primarily a government response to wartime food shortages that ceased shortly after the war, it makes for an interesting comparison nonetheless. Humans have been intentionally cultivating and growing food for 12,000, agriculture is the foundation of human civilisation and is something inherent in human nature. In time of hardship we turn away from importing food and grow it for ourselves instead.

Agrihoods, as far as I can tell do not spring from a lack of food or resources, but instead seem to be a creation of young, wealthy people with ample resources. “Agrihoods are designed to appeal to young, active families who love to eat healthy and spend time outdoors — and they’re not off the grid.” They are intentional communities designed to be working and sustainable living spaces. They represent a “confluence of economic profits, environmental good, and social benefit” that appeals to the millennial mindset.

The WE Forum article also makes an interesting comparison between the agrihood of today and the golf course preferred by our predecessors. In fact, in Palm Springs CA, developers are ripping out an 18 hole golf course in order to turn it into a olive grove which will serve as the epicentre for an agrihood called Miarlon.

I am excited about the potential of agrihoods. The more sustainable agriculture that we are practicing close to home the better for a multitude of reasons (not least that no food tastes as good as the food that you have grown and picked yourself). However in reading about these shiny new developments, I cannot help but be concerned that agrihoods may very well become the golf courses of tomorrow. With prices between $300,000 and $700,000 for a house in the Miralon community, only the already wealthy millennials will be able to benefit from this new trend. “Wealthy” is not a term typically used to describe millennials, so I have to wonder, who are these agrihoods being built for? What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Click HERE to read the full article on the World Economic Forum


August 5th Greenhorns & Jim Cornish Present: Blueberry Wine Workshop

Join us on August 5th from noon until 4:00 pm for our Blueberry Wine making workshop with Jim Cornish. Participants are required to bring 15 pounds of blueberries (you can pick your own blueberries in our blueberry commons the morning of the workshop) and a potato masher the day of the workshop in addition to 12 pounds of sugar five teaspoons of lemon juice and five teaspoons of yeast to add on the third day after the workshop. The wine yield will be approx. 5 1/2 gallons. After the workshop spend an evening with Jim listening to and singing along to live Folk and Americana music that we all know and love sprinkled with a few original songs.

This workshop costs $50, which includes step by step instructions, a fermenting bucket, an air lock and a corker. Email office@greenhorns.org now to register


new blog: top regenerative agriculture videos

posted August 1, 2018

Friend of the Greenhorns Ethan Soloviev has just relaunched his new blog after a 10 year hiatus from writing. His new blog will focus on regenerative agriculture regenerative business and life! We are so happy to welcome him back to the writing world and are very excited for his upcoming guest post for the Greenhorns blog! In anticipation, we are sharing his recent post “Top Regenerative Agriculture Videos”.

Ethan spoke to twenty thousand people and asked them for their top 3 videos that they would show someone to introduce them to regenerative agriculture. Out of all of the responses that he received, he has compiled 2 categories, each containing 3 videos. The first category is “Start Here” containing videos that are 20 minutes or less long. The second category is “Go Deeper” and contains 3 videos that are an hour or more long.

Check out Ethan’s original post to see his methodology, comments and selected videos HERE. We have included one of the “Start Here” videos Life in Syntrophy above. “Life in Syntropy” a short film, released in 2015 by Agenda Gotsch. It was made specially to be presented at COP21 – Paris. It compiles some of the most remarkable experiences in Syntropic Agriculture including interviews with those intimately involved in life in syntrophy.


Blueberry Camp!

blueberry camp flyer
Blueberry Camp!

Arrange to camp at Smithereen Farm to harvest your own blueberries and make your own jam in our beautiful new timber-frame kitchen. DIY Blueberry Commons. Bring your own tent, jars and sugar, come explore the beautiful Cobscook Region on a low impact family holiday! You can enjoy the Greenhorns Agricultural Library and our little improvised tourist office at the 1901 Odd Fellows Hall, go hiking, biking, kayaking, exploring New Brunswick and etc! I made a little tourist page on the website: www.smithereenfarm.com

– Buy your provisions locally at Whole Life Machias, Machias Marketplace, Eat Local Eastport, Lubec and Eastport Farmers Markets and at the Tide Mill Farm farm stand! Washington County is far away, but this landscape is wealthy in wild foods, and utterly worth the trip up. “Drive like a champ, eat like a king.”

$50/ night includes, tent platform, use of the timber-frame kitchen + stove, composting toilet, hot shower bathhouse, and all-access to the blueberry commons.

Come check out our Blueberry Wine making workshop on August 5th, we have just reduced the price to $20!

blueberry wine


solar farm in oregon tackling fossil fuel dependence and colony loss

posted July 26, 2018

solar apiary
credit: SolarCulture

SolarCulture (a PineGate Renewables project), is an initiative developed to enhance environmental stewardship, promote sustainable agriculture, and collaborate with the community to support research with a goal of encouraging smarter solar through science. They have just recently opened a solar apiary in Jackson County, Oregon. The project is two pronged, it aims to tackle both our fossil fuel dependance as well as our rapidly declining numbers of bees.

After examining the site’s seed mix, vegetation management plan, and early growth of native flowers and grasses, John Jacob of Old Sol Apiaries determined the site would offer safe refuge for his 48 hives of honey bees.

“In 2016/17, Oregon beekeepers reported losing nearly one-third of all honey bee colonies statewide,” said Jacob. “The pollinator-friendly solar sites Pine Gate Renewables is developing can play an important role in helping address the population crisis among our managed and native pollinators.”

Data from the UK shows that pollinator-friendly solar arrays result in increased abundance of bees and other insects, which can provide important pollination and pest management services to crops. “Examining the Potential for Agricultural Benefits from Pollinator Habitat at Solar Facilities in the United States,” a recent peer-reviewed study published in Environmental Science & Technology, identified more than 16,000 acres of pollinator dependent crops in proximity of 204 megawatts of solar arrays throughout Oregon.

Praised by several of the nation’s most prominent entomologists, including MacArthur “Genius” award recipient Dr. Marla Spivak and Presidential Medal of Science recipient Dr. May Berenbaum, pollinator-friendly solar arrays are different than traditional arrays. Pollinator friendly solar sites use low-growing meadows of native flowers and grasses to enrich top soils, capture storm water, and benefit pollinators. All SolarCulture sites meet the specific criteria established by entomologists to qualify as pollinator-friendly.

(more…)


maine rice project still searching for land

posted July 24, 2018

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 wildfolkfarmers@gmail.com

Bangor Daily News has recently published an article about the project, check it out here!


July 21st-22nd Friends of Liberty Hall and Greenhorns present: “Halls away Downeast” – A bus-tour of historic halls from Ellsworth to Eastport, Maine

Join us on July  21-22 as we present a tour of the civic architecture of Downeast Maine in partnership with Friends of Liberty Hall, a newly restored hall in Machiasport Maine. Along with other partners and presenters we will proceed from Ellsworth IOOF across Franklin, Cherryfield, Columbia Falls, Mahiasport, Machias, Dennysville, Pembroke, Perry and Eastport visiting halls, granges, churches, taverns, school houses and other historic or revived community infrastructure along the route with a series of local interpreters. Attendees will learn about the work of the Downeast Salmon Federation and the Tides Institute, with a presentation about local food networks and Grange Hall restoration in Machias, a lecture about fisheries history in Eastport. We will be sleeping overnight at Tide Mill farm, an organic family farm that has been run by the same family for 9 generations! The tour delivers guests door to door all aboard the West bus, all meals and lectures are included.

Washington County

Washington County is host to extraordinary terrestrial and aquatic wealth which formed the the basis of powerful 19th century extraction economies ( lumber, fish). The communities who benefited from these resource based economies in turn used that wealth built outstanding social structures. The beautiful halls are irreplaceable yet endangered relics of this era, and are now part of our legacy to protect, adapt and re-imagine. These halls have such potential! Community efforts to date have kept these halls in good roofs and gutters. However, like small towns around the country Grange-revival and relevance comes from functioning kitchens, microphones, and activities that keep people engaged and sustaining these buildings can be expensive! There are existing grants from Maine Community Foundation, and other sources which can help non-profit and private projects. Renovations often emphasize restoration of kitchens, performance/office/community meeting space, and new uses for old buildings.


Friends of Liberty Hall

Founded in 2006, the Friends of Liberty Hall are dedicated to returning a major historic building to its former glory and making it a focal point for community prosperity through the fostering of activities related to the site’s unique cultural, artistic and environmental history.

Overlooking the site of the first American naval victory of the Revolutionary War, and built as the Town Hall of Machiasport in 1873, Liberty Hall is one of the finest examples of civic architecture in Maine. From the outset, the Friends have been actively working with local people and seasonal residents to raise funds to secure the building. In this way they have facilitated an ongoing, expansive discussion about the future use of Liberty Hall.

Between 2006 and 2008, almost a million dollars was raised through government grants, private funds and individual donations to return a precarious and derelict structure to its former glory. Two phases of a four-phase restoration project have been completed. The remaining tasks include the repair of the rear of the building and the full interior restoration.

Given its location on the edge of the Machias Bay, with its distinctive archaeological, environmental and historical character, and its unmatched size and capacity for meeting and theater space, Liberty Hall is a major resource that promises to benefit not just the immediate surrounding towns but populations across Washington County.

This event is co-sponsored by Cherryfield-Narraguagus Historical Society

Important Info:

Cost: $150 tax deductable donation requested. (Includes all meals, transportation, lectures and accommodations for a 2 day whistle-stop tour)

Location: Meet 8 am at the historical society Northeast Harbor or mid morning in Ellsworth.

RSVP required, limited spaces – email office@greenhorns.org asap to reserve your space now!