the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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another model for financing farm starts

Kristopher Flack from 2015 New Farmers Almanac

Kristopher Flack from 2015 New Farmers Almanac

Let’s talk about money folks.

How do we go about starting farms? Some of the main barriers new farmers face are access to training, access to land, access to funding. We’ve definitely noticed that in the last 10 years there has certainly been an increase in training opportunities, from more farms offering better employment, institutions offering curriculum around sustainable ag, and organizations, with as similar mandate to ours, helping connect budding agrarians.

But land access and funding remain serious challenges. While farmers continue to create novel approaches to financing their operations (CSA’s, community borrowing) we clearly need more recognition and support from the financial industry to help get new farms off the ground. Continue reading


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sassafras stomp tour dates!

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Remember Adam and Johanna, the sweet song birds of Songbird Farm in Unity, ME? Good. Just to keep you abreast of their happenings: you can catch Adam’s interview on the Greenhorns Radio here, order his CD here, and see him and Johanna live at the following shows!

Fri. Oct 21st.  Contradance in Brooklyn, NY
Sat.  Oct. 22nd.  CDNY Contradance.  Manhattan, NY.
Sun. Oct 23rd.  House Concert, Brooklyn, NY (email newrootmusic@gmail.com for more info)
The songbirds also report: “We’re heading out on a longer tour in late November, with shows in Kentucky, Indiana, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Montana.  More of these dates are contradances, though we’re hoping to add a number of concerts to the tour to promote the songs and stories on Walk These Fields.  For more information see: www.sassafrasstomp.com/schedule and to book them: song.bird farm@yahoo.com


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famers! this music was literally made for you.

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Remember those song birds up in Maine that we wrote about a few weeks ago? (To refresh your memory: they play magical folk tunes with lyrics that will make any farmer smile, cry, and chuckle. We recommend them most for tapping your toes and stirring pots of chili after long crisp days of fall harvest.)

Well, we’re excited to announce that those far from the dreamy lands of Maine can still get their hands on the music. Adam Nordell’s new songs and CD are now available for preview, download, and even physical purchase on CD Baby!


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maine’s dreamiest dirtiest songbirds

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Mainers should take note that they have three opportunities this weekend to see the talented and charming Adam Nordell and Johanna Davis, partners and farmers of Songbird Farm in Unity, ME. To celebrate the release of Adam’s most recent album, Maine Farmland Trust is hosting a mini concert series:  Deering Grange in Portland on August 25; The Hub in Unity on August 26; and Halcyon Grange in Blue Hill on August 27.

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Nordell and Davis are small grain and mixed vegetables farmers by day and summer and traveling musicians by night and winter. They bring a banjo, guitar, and a fiddle to the stage with boot-stomping energy to dances, concerts, and workshops around New England. The latest CD is something of a musical meditation on agrarian life, and I’ll bet you 10 ears of fresh-picked sweet corn that Nordell’s description will resonate with all you small-scale veggie farmers out there:

“You might think of this as a slow-song movement: I’ll get the seed of a song while I’m doing field work, maybe cultivating beets. Something like ”The red dirt shows in the space between the rows.  That grass will grow back, we’ll be back at it with our hoes.” I’ll get stuck on those two lines for a long time.  But then I’ll be hoeing an identical row of beets two years later, and out of nowhere, that lyric will come rushing back, followed by the rest of the song.    It will have accumulated all of these  images from the farm  and our travels, and maybe – hopefully – it will have something broader to say.”

Listen to some of their music, here!


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maine dairy: eight generations and counting

Meet Your Farmer – Tide Mill Farm from Pull-Start Pictures on Vimeo, featuring Aaron Bell and Carly DelSignore and their four children. Aaron is the 8th generation of the Bell family that has lived on Tide Mill Farm, where they now raise chickens, pigs, dairy cows, and beef, along with two acres of mixed vegetables. They are also featured in the critically-acclaimed documentary Betting the Farma film about a milk marketing-coop they formed with other Maine dairy farmers.

Word on the street is that they’re hiring for their apprentice program too! Learn more about that here.


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these border collies melt my stoneheart

This short documentary out of the UMaine Extension office may appear jut to be another movie about sheep, but don’t be fooled; it’s actually the most heartwarming dog movie since Homeward Bound! (Or, we should say, at least for agricultural geeks…) Featuring: Doreen and John Simmons, Gwen, and Bea of Stoneheart Farm in South Paris, Maine.