Chewonki is accepting applications for their Farm Apprentice position beginning in January 2020!
Chewonki is a school, camp, and environmental education organization based in Wiscasset, Maine, that inspires transformative growth, teaches appreciation and stewardship of the natural world, and challenges people to build thriving, sustainable communities throughout their lives. Chewonki is a 501(c) non-profit organization.
The Farm Apprentice is a year-long position that aids in all aspects of Chewonki’s small, diversified farm, including livestock, pasture, and diversified vegetable production and integrates Chewonki students and participants into all production systems. For a complete position description and application instructions, please visit the Chewonki Employment Opportunities page. Applications are due November 17th, 2019.
Please see https://farm.chewonki.org/ for more information about Chewonki’s Farm and Food System.
Position Title: Farm Apprentice
Employment Category: F-A
Reports to: Farm Manager
Schedule (hours and weeks): Full-time January 13, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Benefits Eligible: LC3 health insurance
Taught by scything legend (and neighbour farmer) Jim Kovaleski and Carol Bryan of Scythe Supply. You will learn to manage fencerows, roads, paths, lawns, orchards – all without motor noise! Find the optimal physics, the romance of the swing, and learn some small tricks for sharpening and blade maintenance. (If you are coming from away, plan to arrive the evening of June 14th)
Jim Kovalesky has been a nomadic farmer for the last eight years, spending spring and summer farming in Downeast Maine, growing food for the local farmers market and Eat Local Eastport Co-op. In early fall Jim has traveled south bringing an abundance of Maine grown produce to Florida and Freedom House Farm, where he grows veggies and subtropical fruit through the winter. In Florida, Jim is an Urban farmer growing in two front yards, about 1/2 acre of land in downtown New Port Richey. From this land he supplies a farmers market, a buyers club and Wrights Natural Market the local health food store, with Fresh organic produce through the winter.
He grows food in both places using hand tools and concentrate large volumes of organic matter in no-till garden beds making a living for himself producing nutrient dense tasty food for friends, neighbors, and patrons.
Jim is very excited about a practice he calls “Grass Fed Vegetables.” In this system he uses a scythe to mow 7 acres of meadow hay and concentrate that onto 1/2 acre of garden beds as a thick layer of feeding mulch for the micro-herd populating the rich soil. In the in the last 7 years using this system he has not watered or fertilized and has weeded very little while increasing both the amount of food coming from the land he tends and the vitality of the land itself. This system relies heavily on the the European style scythe, which he says is the best hand tool that he has ever used.
2018 finds Jim moving his Maine farming efforts to Pembroke on the homestead known as Hopes Haven, situated next to Smithereen Farm, the Greenhorns new adventure Downeast. He plans to offer scythe instruction through the summer of 2018 and for many years to come with the tool he loves and sees as a gateway to regenerative small scale organic farming
No purchase of Scythe is required, but all equipment will be available for sale. The daylong course costs $20 for downeasters/$40 from away and includes camping, picnic lunch, use of outdoor kitchen.
Rachel Alexandrou has been a regular contributor to Greenhorns New Farmers Almanac over the years. Her stunning work will be shown in a solo art show on April 13th in Portland Maine at Oxbow Brewery’s Gallery 49. Rachel’s current work focuses on concepts of decay, plant matter and herbarium specimens. 20% of the proceeds of the show will be kindly donated by Rachel to two land trust in the area, the Damariscotta River Association and Midcoast Conservancy.
This message is sent on behalf of Tim Glidden, President at Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Dear Maine Land Trusts,
Last night, Governor LePage delivered his final State of the State address. As we expected, right out of the gate he blamed land trusts for Maine’s rising property taxes. He relied upon many statistics to make his case. Unfortunately, much of what he said was inaccurate and out of context.
The Governor’s comments continue to ignore the many benefits of conservation land to Maine people and our state’s economy. These land trust conserved lands include more than 2.1 million acres of productive forestland, 36,000 acres of active farmland, and more than 60 access sites for commercial fisherman. Land trusts also provide public access to sportsmen on more than 90% of all their conserved lands and thousands of miles of trails for hiking, skiing, mountain biking, ATV riding, and snowmobiling.
In addition, contrary to the Governor’s depiction, land trusts are working in partnership with municipalities, community leaders, and businesses all around the state to complete conservation projects to improve the lives of Maine people and visitors. This is why land conservation and efforts like the Land for Maine’s Future program continue to enjoy should broad, bipartisan support.
The Governor’s speech included the wild assertion that land trusts are responsible for removing more than $18 billion of land off the municipal tax rolls, resulting in a loss of more than $330 million in property taxes. To the contrary, the $18 billion and $330 million figures he referenced include all tax exempt real estate (land and buildings) owned by the Federal Government, the State of Maine, municipalities, quasi-municipal organizations, churches, and other nonprofits. We estimate the land trust component of this figure to be less than 1% of the total.
For more information and additional statistics about Maine land trusts and their lands, view the report HERE.
What you can do to help
MCHT anticipates that the Governor will be submitting legislation over the next month targeting land trust tax exemption eligibility.
Over the past few weeks, many of you have stepped up to submit opinion pieces to your local newspaper to tell the real story of land conservation in Maine. These have been very helpful. If you have not had a chance to submit something to your local newspaper, it is not too late.
Stay tuned for future updates on this issue. MCHT is working on additional communications strategies and will share with you the legislation once it becomes official.
The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) -fiscal sponsor of the Greenhorns – has launched a search for its next Executive Director. MOFGA’s Board of Directors seeks a dynamic leader and proven manager who shares the organization’s passion for organic agriculture, local food production, a healthy environment, and thriving Maine communities.
Background and Overview
Formed in 1971, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is the oldest and largest state organic organization in the country. MOFGA takes pride in its success in promoting and supporting Maine farmers and a multi-generational agricultural community and has been at the heart of changing Maine’s farm culture. MOFGA’s efforts have resulted in dramatically increasing the popularity of organic local agriculture and healthy living, and its organizational successes and impact have resulted in national and international recognition.
When asked to describe MOFGA, the first response is almost always: “It’s a community.” Today that community includes more than 6,200 memberships, with over 11,000 members, a volunteer corps of more than 2,500, a 20 member board of directors, and a staff of 34. This community is best symbolized by its signature community gathering: the Common Ground Country Fair, which annually attracts more than 63,000 visitors during one weekend in September.
The core work of MOFGA is educating people about how to grow, prepare, and share good organic food. MOFGA’s organic certification program annually reviews the practices of over 500 farms and food processors to help assure the public that food labeled as “certified organic” has been grown according to nationally accepted organic standards. Today, as a result of MOFGA’s support for, and partnership with, farmers in Maine, more than 95,000 acres of farmland in the state is MOFGA certified organic. MOFGA works to grow the market for local organic products and strengthen the economic viability of MOFGA certified producers and local communities.
A more comprehensive description of MOFGA and its many programs and services can be found on the website.
Guided by a recently completed strategic plan, the Executive Director will work with the Board of Directors, MOFGA volunteers and partners, and a talented and experienced staff to lead and grow the organic movement in Maine. MOFGA’s Board is seeking an energetic and trusted leader who can build and nurture essential relationships throughout Maine—a leader who can embrace MOFGA’s culture, honor its grassroots history, and support a highly regarded staff team to achieve ambitious goals for the future.
Organizational priorities to guide the next Executive Director
• Build relationships and strengthen bonds with our members, volunteers and donors, across the state of Maine, while working with the board, staff, and committees to advance the goals of deepening member engagement and building the diversity of our membership.
• Guide and support communication efforts to promote the Maine organic brand, to expand markets for organic products, and bring heightened visibility and recognition to MOFGA.
• Play an active and visible role in ensuring MOFGA’s financial well-being and sustainability while taking a leadership role in annual and capital fundraising efforts.
• Support the staff team, taking steps to empower them in their work, build their capacity, and ensure they have the organizational, technological, and physical infrastructure in place to be successful.
• Partner with the board and staff to advance the strategic plan, bring rigor to the tracking and evaluation of performance, and support the ongoing development of board governance practices.
• Represent MOFGA in Augusta and in Washington D.C, advocating for organic integrity, small farmers, and a healthy, sustainable environment.
To lead MOFGA requires a comprehensive set of skills and abilities. We expect that the successful candidate
will bring the following to MOFGA:
• A passion for our values, our mission, agriculture and the environment
• A “curious mind” and a hunger for learning
• Senior-level leadership experience, including proven ability to manage and support staff and volunteer teams
• Solid writing skills, comfort in public speaking, and being regarded by all as a “good listener”
• A proven “relationship builder” who can also demonstrate hands-on experience with and a readiness to engage in fundraising
• The highest level of recommendations from references, collaborative partners, and peers
In addition to the expectations listed above, preference will be given to candidates who can also
demonstrate the following:
• A deep appreciation for the value and impact of volunteers and a track-record of successfully working with volunteers to achieve shared goals
• Demonstrated ability in developing organizational strategies and carrying them through to completion
• Nonprofit experience, including working in a healthy and productive partnership with a board of directors
• A global vision coupled with relevant policy and advocacy knowledge and experience at the state and federal level
• Hands-on experience with, and or a deep knowledge of, farming, growing, organic practices, and the realities of rural living
• Ability to engage with our varied and diverse community and develop and nurture essential relationships
Comprehensive benefits package and competitive salary commensurate with experience.
This position reports directly to the Board of Directors. The successful candidate can expect a formal review after six months as well as an annual review.
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and résumé to Starboard Leadership Consulting at the
following address email@example.com. The cover letter and résumé should contain detailed
information concerning work experience, past successes, leadership experience and qualifications. Please
be prepared to provide contact information for professional references upon request.
Paper copies may be sent to
Lisa Belyea, Starboard Leadership Consulting,
84 Harlow St.,
Bangor, ME 04401,
Electronic submission of materials is preferred.
No phone inquiries, please.
Review of applications will begin on March 28, 2018.
MOFGA also has job openings in expanding program and administration areas. Currently posted positions include: Organic Crops and Conservation Specialist; Low Impact Forestry Coordinator; and Development Coordinator.
A wonderful and cozy home in Pembroke, Maine is available to rent for a number of weeks during the Summer of 2018. If you are hoping to attend one of our exciting upcoming events or just want to soak up the atmosphere in Downeast Maine and explore the new home of the Greenhorns this is the perfect place to stay.
These are the dates that are still available (as of 2.23.18).
– May 19th-26th
– May 26th – June 2nd
– June 2nd – 9th
– July 7th – 14th
– July 14th – 21st
– July 21st – 28th (especially relevant to anybody attending“Halls away Downeast” – A bus-tour of historic halls from Ellsworth to Eastport, Maine which takes place on July 21st and 22nd!)
– July 28th – August 2nd
The restored 1840s homestead has 450 feet of frontage on the Pennamaquan Estuary of Cobscook Bay, 10 acres of open fields, and over 40 acres of forest that include a well-marked set of hiking trails. The house is also fully equipped and can sleep eight to ten persons. Finally, the homestead is situated on the Leighton Point Road between The Reversing Hall (Greenhorns HQ) and Smithereen Farm.
For more information and photographs please contact Catherine Adelman at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greenhorns, has just turned 10, and has moved to Pembroke ME. Here, we will continue our publishing and cultural work for a national audience, as well as developing locally-oriented educational events including a ‘naturalist adventure’ summer camp series that supports the entry of young people into sustainable agriculture. Come from near, come from far – scholarships available.
We will house our offices and 8,000 volume agricultural library in the beautifully wood-panelled Odd Fellows Hall, built by the George Washington Lodge of Odd Fellows in 1896, which we have re-christened the ‘Reversing Hall’ after the Reversing Falls, which gave the Passamaquoddy name to Cobscook Bay. The Hall is protected by a Maine Preservation easement – we will seek grants to restore the hall. Our headquarters will also house the equipment of cultural production – our painting, fabric and props studio, our tool-shop, radio podcast and audio-visual editing equipment. We look forward to local, regional and intergalactic collaborations and collaborators, beginning with a workshop series in 2018.
Here is the Schedule for 2018 so far!
February 25th 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Cobscook Community Learning Centre, MOFGA and C.J Walke Present:
At the Cobscook Community Learning Centre
The first part of the The 7th Pruning and Downeast Scionwood Exchange/Grafting Demonstration Events features a pruning demonstration with C.J Walke from MOFGA. C.J. began working for MOFGA in 2006 as Landscape Coordinator for the Common Ground Education Center in Unity, and has held various roles within the organization since then. In his part-time role as Orchard Educator, C.J. works with farmers and gardeners to build orchard health and promote biological diversity among fruit trees.
Pruning requires only a few tools, and the techniques are simple and fun to learn. If you are already an experienced grafter or orchardist, please come and share your knowledge with the group. The workshop will begin indoors with some basic information about pruning as well as information tailored to meet the interests of the group. The remainder of the day will be spent outdoors working on several trees on site to get some hands-on experience with pruning.
Register online HERE
March 18th 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Cobscook Community Learning Centre, MOFGA and C.J. Walke present:
Downeast Scionwood Exchange and Grafting Demonstration.
At the Cobscook Community Learning Centre.
Grafting is the uniting of two different tree or shrub varieties or stocks together in order to create a more desirable fruit. All named apples, such as Gala (a fairly new variety) and Wolf River (a variety from Wisconsin developed around 1875), were developed through grafting. In Maine, grafting is done later in the spring – April to May – when the tree’s sap run is more established. At the Scionwood Exchange, you will be, also doing bench grafting which is done on rootstock indoors and then planted out later in the spring. Rootstock will be provided.
Please bring scion wood from your favorite trees to share with others and dress appropriately to be outside. For more information about when and how to collect scionwood, click here
Click HERE to register online.
June 10th, 2018
GPS for Beginners.
At Reversing Hall, Pembroke, Maine
Our teacher is Markley Boyer, conservationist and adventurer and we will be learning how to use digital mapping, remote sensing, large-scale print-outs and plain old drafting paper to create working farm management plans. We’ll use great software to access different layers of information (soils, tax maps, etc). The resulting maps/farm plans can be used for grazing management, organic certification, trail-making, agroforestry, monitoring seaweed harvests and other aquatic users, and includes multi-layered data about weather, wildlife and other phenomenology.
We will work with a variety of tools, comparing best uses. From Open Source: Farmier, Gaiamaps, Pasturemap, Prospect, maybe even a tiny bit of googlemaps. We have a few lender-laptops for those who need, if you have a laptop please bring it. Class size is limited, scholarships available. $40 to register: email@example.com
June 15th, 2018
Greenhorns and Scythe Supply present:
One day short-course in Scything
At Smithereen Farm
Taught by scything legend (and neighbor farmer) Jim Kovaleski and Carol Bryan of Scythe Supply. You will learn to manage fencerows, roads, paths, lawns, orchards – all without motor noise! Find the optimal physics, the romance of the swing, and learn some small tricks for sharpening and blade maintenance. (If you are coming from away, plan to arrive the evening of June 14th)
No purchase of Scythe is required, but all equipment will be available for sale. The daylong course costs $100 and includes camping, picnic lunch, use of outdoor kitchen.
June 16th – 17th, 2018
Greenhorns, Appleseed Permaculture and Owl + Bear Tree service presents:
Trail building theory and practice workshop
Brannan Buehner of Owl and Bear Tree services,
Connor Stedman of Appleseed Permaculture,
Deirdre Whitehead, Maine Coast Heritage Trust land steward
All animals and all empires understand the power of the trail – but do you? We’ll cover siting and planning, tool-use, wet-area materials, underbrush and trail-edge management. Reading slope, topography, landform– what does the land want? How can we design a sensuous slalom, with just enough intervention and design? We’ll do some wildlife trailing and tracking, noticing how animals use the landscape, where do they congregate, over-winter, nestle-down. How does this relate to our own goals, for hunting, for under-story herbalism, for siting our pathways across the forest?
Join 3 experienced trail-makers as we cover theory, tools, practices and implementation in a very beautiful Maine forest. We’ll create some trail earthworks (swales, drainages, water-bars, brush-piles and brush-gabions) that prevent erosive decline of the trail-way, and discuss remediation for old lumber roads. The techniques of trail-making can build skills relevant on self-willed as well as domesticated landscapes, today’s meadows are yesterday’s woodlands. From here, we can begin drawing the forest-habitat back out into the meadows with agroforestry planning. YES! We will actually make trails through a beautiful forest on a salt-water farm in Downeast Maine and you will gain serious confidence to make better trails in whatever forested landscapes you call home. (June 15 afternoon/evening arrival)
$250 for the two day course, includes all meals. Scholarships available, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to do this cool Sea Kayaking course we heard about, that could be fun too – as a combo It takes place from June 9-16, 2018.
Greenhorns and Maine Seaweed Exchange present:
Wild + Cultivated algae: Seaweed Workshop #1
This will include:
– A full day session with Sarah Redmond and special guest teachers which will feature:
– Presentations and Slideshows at the Reversing Hall, field study on the shore.
– Orientation to the Inter-tidal, marine biology
– Introduction to wildcrafting and farming edible seaweeds
– Look at the history of seaweed aquaculture around the world.
– Looking at the potential for seaweed aquaculture in Maine: opportunities and risks
– Introduction to the work of Elinor Ostrom on the Commons, and principles of community resource management
– Introduction to species, ecology, ethics, equipment, siting considerations, seasonality, harvest, processing.
– We’ll discuss bio-safety protocols, look at seaweed health and disease management strategies.
– We will talk about local economy, political ecology and learning our lessons from fisheries history in Maine.
– We’ll discuss what kind of policy is needed create a Maine seaweed sector inviting to young, conservation-minded mariculturists
– We’ll evaluate wild and cultivated products, discuss best practices and market potential
– We will have plenty of time for discussion.
Farm lunch provided $200/Scholarships available email@example.com to RSVP
Friends of Liberty Hall and Greenhorns present:
“Halls away Downeast” – A bus-tour of historic halls from Ellsworth to Eastport, Maine
This course is perfect for people over 60 years old, no strenuous physical activity required!
Includes all meals, transportation, lectures and accommodations for a 2 day whistle-stop tour including wonderful guest lecturers, farm visits and adventures in historic preservation. This is a program coordinated in partnership with Friends of Liberty Hall, Machiasport, ME, Maine Preservation and Greenhorns – a young farmers group which recently moved to an Odd Fellows Hall in Washington County.
Meet 8 am at the historical society Northeast Harbor or mid morning in Ellsworth, hall to hall (Ruggles House, Cherryfield Historic District, Liberty Hall, Reversing Hall, a couple Granges and fantastic churches too.) Come explore the civic architecture of Washington County, and some of the projects and programs animating these spaces. Attend wonderful lectures and events, sleep overnight on a beautiful saltwater farm, more halls and lectures and return the next afternoon ($350 tax-deductible donation requested)
To sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenhorns and 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 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 email@example.com to RSVP.
August 17th – 26th, 2018
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.
Here is sign up spot: https://www.atlanticchallengeusa.com/downeast-foxfire-camp.html
For details talk to firstname.lastname@example.org, $450 for 10 days, scholarships available.
All of August, 2017
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. For Bookings contact email@example.com
September 7th – 9th
Greenhorns and Eat Local Eastport present:
Shiitake + Chaga Focused: Forest Mycology in the Maine Woodlands And Wildlands
Taught by Radical Mycology author and educator Peter McCoy and Russ Cohen, naturalist, seed-saver, wildcrafting educator.
MUSHROOMS! Besides logging, how can we interact with woodlands in ways that sustain us? MUSHROOMS! This homesteader-oriented program looks at mycological practices and practical considerations for tending the wild, managing the forest commons for multiple human uses as well as for animal + insect users. Downeast Maine is home to over sixty species of edible wild plants, some of which are more nutritious and/or flavorful than their cultivated counterparts. Join Russ Cohen (invited), wild foods enthusiast and author of the book Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten, to explore several Downeast properties and varied habitats to encounter at least two dozen species of edible wild plants. Keys to the identification of each species will be provided, along with info on edible portion(s), season(s) of availability and preparation methods, as well as guidelines on safe and environmentally responsible foraging.
– Wild harvest ethics, discussion of Chaga – life cycle, tincturing and value added.
– Learning about lichens, for natural dye and medicine.
– Using mushrooms to read the forest health.
We’ll have a major focus on Shiitake! The thousand-year old Japanese tradition of growing mushroom logs outdoors in the woods including site selection, methods and doing it ourselves. You’ll learn hands-on how to create a fruiting mini-forest that produced pounds of shiitake mushrooms, on demand! We’ll talk about logging roads, how they fruit and what they can become. We’ll do a few wild forays, learning these woods and identification of best practices. While we’re hitting the mushroom trail, we’ll also visit the fruiting, blooming, rooting wild foods with Russ Cohen, naturalist educator.
3 day program – limited spaces, $250 scholarships available. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP/pre pay
October 13th, 2018
Wild fruit vinega! Making Apple cider vinegar on a homestead scale.
Half day session at the Pembroke Reversing Hall – (Odd Fellows Hall 4 Leighton Point Road, Pembroke ME 04666)
Workshop will include:
– Making apple cider vinegar for your own use. We’ll be Gathering wild + heirloom Apples.
– Tasting varieties and learning how the different flavor profiles impact flavor outcome in cider, generating a ‘data sheet’ on the prolific trees in the area.
– Pressing- best sanitation practices, relevant rules.
– Fermenting- materials provided, space provided, you will end up with your own carboy of vinegar. We will go through value added, fire cider, vinaigrette, herbal vinegar etc.
– Other considerations, labels, sales rules, MOFGA etc.
Course costs sliding scale $50- $100 (includes the glass carboy), scholarships available. For information or to sign up email email@example.com
Thats all thats confirmed – in all likelihood we’ll add a few more details, and some events to the schedule and will keep you all updated as we do!
If you are unable to attend any of our events this year but still wish to donate to help support the Greenhorns please click HERE to donate online or alternatively you can make a check out to our new fiscal sponsor MOFGA (Maine Farmers and Gardeners Association) with Greenhorns in the memo line.
This can be mailed to:
Unity Maine 04988
Join Andy Smith of Smith’s Smokehouse and delve into the basics of charcuterie through a series of four workshops. Learn how to create your own charcuterie goods, and potential business, and then dig deep into a variety of curing processes including bacon, bresaola, beef jerky and more!
Don’t forget to register for this course, there are only 10 spots available. The complete series is $350 for MOFGA members and $400 for non-members. Each course will take place at Smith’s Smokehouse; bring your own lunch.