We have never claimed to be expert farmers. We are constantly humbled, amazed and inspired by others venturing the same path we have so newly chosen. And we are incredibly grateful for every farm and Farmer that has allowed us in; whether it be around their dinner table or working in their fields.
Natasha was born in DFC but moved west at a young age and spent a lot of time in Idaho. Her high school mascot was a Russet (yes, a potato, the elementary was tator tots!). Potato fields were every where; huge fields that go on and on. Pests were managed by airplanes flying over spraying chemical pesticides. Conventional monoculture.
Dustin was born and raised right here in DFC. His first experience on a farm began at pre school age going to Nanny Gail’s Day Care. He remembers picking the chicken eggs, all of the animals and seeing cows being born.
We both worked for Will Bonsall, in Industry Maine, while attending college at UMF. Will is an important player in the seed saving industry. He grows hundreds of varieties of potatoes just to keep that seed alive. He also taught us so much about living off of the land.
After college Dustin went on to work for Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch at Four Season Farm as well as other farms. Natasha volunteered throughout the summer and we both learned a tremendous amount about small scale, organic farming at its finest.
All of our experiences helped to prepare us for starting our own farm but at the same time, there is SO MUCH we are continuing to learn. Below is a small list:
- Learning never stops and it’s constantly evolving
- Building greenhouses
- You don’t need bug spray, you just gotta be tough
- Marketing- packaging, social media, being consistent
- All about chickens and pigs
- Dogs will chase chickens and pigs
- Bunnies love romaine…remaining positive when said bunnies eat 100 baby heads of it…
- Early to bed, early to rise
- Never stop planting
- We have to separate the home from the farm
- Time management
- There will always something not going perfect and you just have to “chin up”.
- Farming has its frustrations but it also has so many upsides- we work for ourselves, we get to be creative the way we want to be, we get to eat some awesome food that tastes even better because we grew it!
So, cheers to everyone that has taught, encouraged and supported us. We aren’t doing this because we think we’ll be rich. We’re in it for our community, so that you can have access to healthy food and know where it came from. We’re doing this so that our future children know what season tomatoes are traditionally available in.
Here are some flash back photos from visits at Four Season Farm:
Below are some pictures from todays harvest for our CSA’s:
This month marks one year from when our field was first bush hogged, and while we know we’ve done a lot in that small amount of time, we’re continuing to soak up all of the knowledge that comes to us everyday. The learning curve here has remained vertical!