Songbird Farm
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Name:               Songbird Farm


Address:           Johanna Davis

                          Adam Nordell

                          209 Sandy River Road

                          Starks, Maine  04911


Email:               songbird.farm@yahoo.com


Phone:               207-380-1171


Products and Services:


-dry goods CSA

-cornmeal

-heirloom dry beans

-certified organic vegetables

-carrots

-beets

-sweet potatoes

-peppers

-brussel sprouts

-whole wheat flour

-wholesale to restaurants

-wholesale to consumer buying clubs

-wholesale to natural food stores

-wholesale to specialty food stores


What Makes Songbird Farm Unique?


Johanna Davis and Adam Nordell of Songbird Farm recently completed a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to purchase a small stone mill to grind their heirloom corn into cornmeal and their heritage wheat into flour. While they focused a great deal of energy on obtaining the stone mill, Johanna and Adam are certainly not your “run-of-the-mill” farmers!  They are young, creative, and energetic individuals who are fully aware of how important it is to find a niche to succeed in the farming world.


If you have visited the Common Ground Fair in the past two years, you may have noticed either Adam or Johanna pedaling on a bicycle-powered corn mill.  Their demonstration of how corn could be ground through the use of foot power drew a lot of visitors to their booth.  Like Johanna and Adam, there were many booths at the fair that were selling beautiful organic certified vegetables. Songbird Farm stood apart from these other booths with their additional selection of unique dry goods produced from crops grown at their farm.


Songbird Farm is the first farm in Maine to offer shares in a Dry Goods CSA.  The shares included heritage red fife wheat flour, emmer, buckwheat flour, Abenaki Flint cornmeal, dry beans, and oats.  Shareholders had the option of purchasing half-shares or full-shares.  Their Hopi Blue Cornmeal and Abenaki Flint Corn, although in existence hundreds of years ago,  are new additions to the local farm scene in Maine.


A respect for heirloom varieties has become a major focus at Songbird Farm.  Both Adam and Johanna worked on several farms before leasing the ten acres of farmland from Jay Robinson of Sweet Land Farm in Starks in 2011. Adam hailed from the mountains of Montana and he learned quite a bit about heirloom corn varieties from Dave Christensen of the Seed We Need project in Big Timber, Montana. Johanna grew up in mid-coast Maine and also brought a lot of farming experience to the partnership.  She acquired many skills from working on several different Maine farms and on a farm in the state of Washington.


After receiving mentoring from various individuals, Johanna and Adam knew that they would carry out organic practices. At their farm, they have incorporated the use of cover crops, composting, and crop rotation. Johanna and Adam are extremely grateful for their involvement in  MOFGA’s Journeyperson program. They participated in all of MOFGA’s educational classes and events and found the resources that MOGFA offers to be invaluable.  Besides the workshops and reading materials, MOFGA sent specialists to the farm to offer guidance.


Songbird Farm is also very grateful to Jay Robinson of Sweet Land Farm in Starks.  He has been a great supporter of their work.  He grows his crops organically and also operates Rote Farm in South Bristol.  Adam and Johanna feel fortunate that he agreed to lease some of his prime farmland to Songbird Farm. They explained that the land along the Sandy River, where their farm is located, possesses some of the best agricultural soil.  Water can be drawn to irrigate the fields from the oxbow formation in the adjacent section of the river.


Songbird Farm operates three hoop houses in which they grow their peppers and spinach in the spring.  They were very fortunate because they won one of the greenhouses from the raffle that was conducted by Johnny’s Selected Seeds.  In addition to raising a large variety of organic vegetables, they specialize in growing some unique heirloom and traditional bean varieties such as Jacob’s Cattle Beans, Calypso Beans, and Vermont Cranberry Beans.


On the day that Unique Maine Farms visited Songbird Farm, Adam and Johanna were husking the corn that they picked by hand. 

It was being stored in the corn crib that they had built themselves.  They recently purchased an antique mechanized corn picker and husker from Pennsylvania. 


Johanna and Adam expressed their gratitude to the town of Starks for allowing them to use the community kitchen in the old school to process the corn and to prepare their canned goods.  Songbird Farm sells an assortment of pickles, relishes, and condiments from the vegetables grown on their farm.


Individuals interested in purchasing Songbird Farm’s products can find them for sale at Rising Tide Community Market in Damariscotta, the Belfast Co-op Store in Belfast, Barrels Community Market in Waterville,  and Sheepscot General Store in
Whitefield.    They sell their products to Crown ‘O Maine Cooperative and The Pickup Cafe and CSA, Saltwater Farm, and Hootenanny Bakery.  Restaurants, natural food stores,  and consumer buying clubs also purchase items on a wholesale basis from Songbird Farm.


How fortuitous that Johanna and Adam met in Maine six years ago.  They each bring a great deal of knowledge and experience to the partnership.  Their love for farming is equally matched by their love for music.  In the off-season, they travel throughout the country playing the fiddle and guitar and banjo as the duo Sassafras Stomp.  Their music is high-energy and as described on their Sassafras Stomp website, it “builds a rich, dynamic contradance sound marked by driving foot percussion and sweet harmony vocals.”  Their winter/early spring concert schedule that is posted on their Sassafras Stomp website illustrates the popular following that has developed for their music throughout the country.  At some performances, Putnam Smith, a mandolin and banjo player, joins in to help out with the contradances and the Appalachian old-time music that is performed.


With their love for lively and lyrical music, it certainly seems appropriate that Johanna and Adam’s farm would be named “Songbird Farm.”  According to some scientists, songbirds evolved millions of years ago before spreading around the world.  They are prized for the pleasant sounds that they emit.  Johanna and Adam’s involvement in collaborative musical performances also brings much enjoyment.  Their respect for heirloom and traditional varieties of corn and beans fits in well with the beautiful image of some of the songbirds that grace our Maine farms and natural surroundings with their rich sounds and impressive long-lasting presence.