Greenhorns Summer Workshops at Smithereen Farm
Another big year for workshops as we follow along with the curriculum of our home landscape.
Good news, they are all outside for Covid Safety, and we expanded our out-door dining area (Thanks Raivo!), all the better to feed you with. Once again a big focus on wild fish, catching, smoking, gutting, fermenting—but also learning about their habitat and passage. We explore seaweed, the appreciation and ecology, but also talking about regulations, governance and global contexts. Wild salt, wild fruit and wild culinary happenings with badass famous chefs. Apple picking and pressing and fermenting, blueberry barrens, braiding sweetgrass, butchering pig and a week-long yurt building with Mike Iancona of Dickenson's Reach yurts. Historic preservation and citizen science as we confront the “Big Silver” mine that wants to carve open a 100-kilometer seam of metallic ore in our pristine watershed. Our 8,000 book library @ReversingHall is fully shelved and catalogued awaiting your research questions as the gentle maritime breezes waft up to the head of the tide. Come!
We strive to address the topics that present themselves, the skills that are needed, the practical concerns and historical considerations in pursuit of a happy destiny. This is a team sport.
Low Low Tide Adventures; June 26 - 27
Seaweed, clams, and all the rest! Harvesting, drying, recipes, ecology, and natural history adventures in the low low tides. Downeast Maine is famous for our 22 foot tides. And the cold Labrador current creates extraordinary algal abundance. Join Kacie Lopato (She Sells Seaweed), her harvest friend Paba, Severine, and Lydia (Seaweed Commons) for a Full moon time spring tide ! These are the low low lows that let us access the subtidal algae.
We will cover the ecology and biology of the seaweed ecosystem, hand-harvest techniques, regulations, drying, processing and culmination of the wild algae species that abound in our area. Perhaps Jon Levitt will come dig clams with us.
Sauna Yurt Workshop with Mike Iacona; July 11 - 17
Carpenter and Yurt builder Mike Iacona lives in Vermont, and was a friend of Bill Coperthwaite who taught him about yurt building. Mike takes a thoughtful approach to ecological living and materials choice, tuning the design and appropriate systems to the task at hand. Mike ran the highly beloved Greenhorns YurtCamp in 2019. This year he returns to work with us to build a Yurt Sauna.
The 11’ diameter sauna yurt will be made from locally milled wood, following the vernacular Taper-Wall yurt style. We will have a strong focus on the use of hand tools (saws, block planes, axes, drawknives, etc) as well as some limited power tool use where needed.
No prior experience is necessary - simply bring your willingness to learn. We offer this workshop on a sliding scale with a donation of $100 - $350 to our facilitating non profit, Greenhorns. This helps us cover food, teacher travel/ honorarium and material costs. Participants provide their own housing with tents, you can camp at the farm. Each participant will take home a wooden bench.
Maine Wild Blueberry Weekend; August 7 - 8
We are glad to partner with The Wild Blueberry Commission this year to participate in Maine's first ever Wild Blueberry Weekend on August 7-8, 2021. Join us for an open farm weekend to delight in the regional wonder of the lowbush blueberry barrens; warm, blue, and dribbly for the whole family!
We are offering camping, u-pick harvesting, rolling cooking workshops led by Odessa Piper [Saturday: ultimate blueberry pie, Sunday: hand-churned ice cream, tarts and other blueberry treats], convivial family dinners of clam chowder and pizza-oven-charred pizza on Saturday and Sunday evenings, and a film screening of “Voices from the Barrens, Native People, Blueberries and Sovereignty”. Lydia will hold no-cost kid’s programming while the grown-ups learn flaky pie dough tricks. Come camp, pick, eat, watch, and learn.
See the Maine Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Conservation for more information.
Time slots for Household Berry Delight Cooking Workshops:
$20 / workshop slot. Max 10 participants
SATURDAY: Tips, Tricks, and Triumphs in Blueberry pie
SUNDAY: Rolling Blueberry Usage Workshop: perhaps ice cream, perhaps jam
Chokecherries! Foraging with Rachel Alexandrou; August 14 - 16
Join forager and feast-maker Rachel Alexandrou in a weekend workshop on harvesting, processing and cooking with chokecherries (Prunus Virginia). This prolific fruit is currently under utilized in North American cuisine. Together we will prepare a brilliant magenta syrup for pouring over pancakes and other sweets, as well as condiments for pairing with meats and grilled vegetables. We will end the weekend sharing these two meals together and tasting the fruit of our labors. Based on the abundance of the hedgerow, you may be able to take home a jar of syrup or jam. Bring a notebook as foraging walks with Rachel always end up covering the myriad of medicinal and edible wild plants of the moment and their preparations in cooking.
Historic Preservation: Overview, Tactics, and Tour with Jonathon Hall and Les Fossel; August 18 - 19
Historic Preservation can be fun!
Cherishing and repairing the rotting Hall.
Washington County has some of the finest 18th and 19th century architecture on the Atlantic seaboard, much of it imperiled by our cold winters, shrinking population and thin economic base. The civic buildings, churches and halls of Downeast Maine were built during the age of sail, lumber, ship building and early industrial development of our rivers. Now the rivers are being restored, but what about the buildings! We’ve got some wonderful farms in Downeast Maine, though we could use some more— but there is also a critical need for skilled craftspersons and tradespersons in Washington County now that the economy has improved. With the rest of the Atlantic coast increasingly out of reach, this is a place were a person willing to swing a hammer can actually get some equity going! This is the topic of a strategic session on Historic preservation in Downeast Maine with Jonathan Hall of Maine Preservation, Les Fossel of Restoration Resources ( tireless advocate of Historic Preservation and one of Maine’s foremost preservation contractors), and Mike Reddy, Smithereen Farm Carpenter. Join the three of them for a slideshow, walkabout, big talkative lunches, and skill-building hands-on workshop as we contend with the reality all around us, including the 1896 build Odd Fellows hall, "REVERSING HALL" building that is the home of Greenhorns in Maine. We will visit other great buildings talk about triage and approaches, review the existing learning opportunities, and bust out the hammers ourselves.
Rose and Petals with Fatima Durkee and Anna Morton; August 21 - 22
Roses for a Day! Witnessing, harvesting, preparing, anointing, blending and infusing. Mythical and practical explorations. Bring your own basket.
Forests, Florals & Foreshore with Christine Mulhke, Cortney Burns + Abbye Churchill; August 27 - 29
Drying, dyeing and preserving the seasons with chef and cookbook author Cortney Burns (Bar Tartine, “Nourish Me Home”), cookbook author and former Bon Appetit and NYT Magazine food editor Christine Muhlke, and Abbye Churchill, a multidisciplinary artist and author who works with textiles, plants, food and community. Come take classes and cook a dinner as they explore some of the area’s ingredients, from spruce tips and mixed florals to seaweed and vegetable ferments. Smithereen Farm is so lucky to host such power babes in product development for value-added goodies that rhyme with this landscape. It will culminate in a very big meal.
Regenerative Grazing with Willy Reid; September 11 - 29
Biodynamics: Land, Sea, and Stars with Barbara Shinn; September 18 - 19
How do we honor our Earth as she produces nutrient rich food for us? How do we steward open land while guided by wisdom? Join biodynamic practitioner Barbara Shinn as she discusses these topics, explains the lunar planting calendar and reveals the roles of the Nature Spirits that guide our farming and foraging. Both the basic and intricate vision of the biodynamic approach will be discussed along with performing hands-on work during the two day gathering. The moon will be passing through root and flower days making it possible to make the cow horn preparation, applying a finished horn preparation to a field, and then applying the quartz preparation. Building a biodynamic compost pile and the unique method of biodynamic crop rotation will also be presented.
Barbara Shinn has practiced biodynamics for over 20 years and is the co-coordinator of the Maine chapter of the Biodynamic Association.
Whole Hog Butchery with Rob Cushman; October 2 - 19
Much More is Happening!
For a full list of summer events at Smithereen Farm, plus partner and virtual events all year, see our Events Calendar.