Green Spark Farm
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Name:         Green Spark Farm

Farm:          Mary Ellen & Austin Chadd

                    Green Spark Farm

                    316 Fowler Road

                    Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Mailing       Austin and Mary Ellen Chadd

Address:      340 Pine Street

                    South Portland, Maine 04106

Phone:        207-799-4784



Products & Services:

-farm stand - Fowler Road - Cape Elizabeth

-MOFGA certified

-rare and heirloom vegetables

-cut flowers

-herb, flower, vegetable seedlings

-medicinal herbs

-Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market - Sat.

-Monument Square Farmers’ Market - Wed.

-CSA program

-wholesale to restaurants - Hugo’s & Miyake

-Jordan Farm Stand

-Rosemont Market

What Makes Green Spark Farm Unique?

Mary Ellen and Austin Chadd shared that “Green Spark Farm” was chosen as the name of their farm because of all the wonders of the vegetable world.  The choice of the word “spark” can take on several meanings, and the energy surrounding the Chadds certainly has vitalized some green happenings on land in Cape Elizabeth that had not been farmed for twenty-five years.

The Chadds are young farmers, but their farm

experiences prior to establishing their farm operation on Fowler Road are varied and most impressive. Mary Ellen was introduced to the production of organic greens and precision hoeing at New Leaf Farm in Durham in 2000. In 2001, she worked as a MOFGA apprentice at two farms.  Her background as a landscape gardener and her studies at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine and her certification as a Master Composter have all contributed to her extensive knowledge of plants.

Austin gained a diverse experience with vegetables, flowers, and livestock while farming in Puyallup, Washington, on his father’s farm.  During his employment as a farmer’s assistant at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, he met Mary Ellen in the Ecological Agriculture course.  She had studied tropical agroecology abroad in Costa Rica and Nicaragua and interned with the Nicaraguan National Farmers’ Union.  Their

combined academic studies and work experiences produced quite an impressive farming portfolio.

After college, Austin and Mary Ellen worked at Kirsop Farm in Tumwater, Washington.  During their employment on the farm, they were introduced to a CSA program and a full-scale organic farming operation that included sales to a farmers’ market and wholesale customers such as restaurants and food cooperatives.  They remain appreciative to Kirsop Farm for all the farming methods and skills that they shared.

Always eager to expand their farming knowledge and experiences, Mary Ellen and Austin enrolled in the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s  Journeyperson program.  They mentored with Mark Fulford of Teltane Farm in Monroe and learned about garlic seed production and soil health.  They furthered their knowledge in organizational management and rotational farming practices with Seth Kroeck of Crystal Spring Farm in Brunswick (whose farm is also profiled in this Unique Maine Farmers’ project).

Austin and Mary Ellen continue to take advantage of the training opportunities offered by the Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Association and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.  Their choice to grow many rare and heirloom vegetables and herbs has set them apart from many farmers at the farmers’ markets.

Organic practices are always a top priority for

the Chadds.  Working with land that had remained fallow in Cape Elizabeth for twenty-five years translated into extra challenges.  Austin and Mary Ellen have added manure, lime, humic acid, alfalfa meal, fishmeal, and worm castings to their soil. They focus on soil health, plant nutrition, beneficial insects, and microbial life. They have added a walk-in cooler, vegetable washing stand, and several greenhouses on the fifteen acres that they lease at the Fowler Road farm.

Green Spark Farm conducts spring seedling

sales on Saturdays in late May through the first of June.  Their organic flower, vegetable, and herb seedlings are sold in six-packs or 21/2” or 4” pots and they are all hardened off.

Austin and Mary Ellen’s love of farming has inspired them to branch out in several directions.  They participate in two Portland farmer’ markets - the Deering Oaks Farmers Market on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to noon and the Farmers Market at Monument Square on Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. They also sell their produce to restaurants such as Hugo’s and Miyake and various stores such as Rosemont Market.

Austin and Mary Ellen built an attractive self-service farm stand on the farmland that they lease on Fowler Road in Cape Elizabeth.  It is open during the growing season from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.  There are farm fresh eggs, a refrigerated display case, and several herbs and vegetables available for sale.

Participants in the Green Spark Farm CSA program can pick up their farm shares at the Fowler Road farm stand or at the farmers’ markets at Deering Oaks or in Monument Square from mid-May through Thanksgiving.  Members who sign up by April 30, receive ten percent in extra credit towards every $100 that they pay.  Additional details about the CSA program can be found at the Green Spark Farm’s website: 

Community has been very important to the Chadds.  They have appreciated the support of the Cape Farm Alliance and have enjoyed working and sharing resources with area farmers.  They share recipes and gardening tips with their customers and encourage feedback. They have created a webpage on their website with information about various local and community farming groups, farming books and texts, and food system documentaries. The Chadds have worked with a local food pantry and have set up a Financial Assistance Fund where individuals can contribute a donation for families in need to receive a farm share.

The Chadds have triggered a great deal of interest in organic farming in the Cape Elizabeth community.  They are young farmers who have become great role models for individuals wishing to revitalize fallow land.  They have encouraged many of their customers to consider growing and consuming rare and heirloom vegetables. 

As the growing season progresses, the Chadds will nurture the seeds that they planted and share their produce and seedlings with customers at various markets and venues throughout Maine.  They have become the conduit which enables some “green sparks” to energize their customers about the many benefits of locally-grown foods.  Their choice of naming their farming operation “Green Spark Farm” has proven to be fitting on several different levels.

Around the FarmGreen_Spark_Around_the_Farm.html