Farm History & How We Grow

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Teltane Farm has been growing increasingly high quality crops since 1979 in Monroe Maine. Starting with market gardens that delivered fresh 2-3 times a week to restaurants and storefronts in Waldo County and occasionally as far as Hancock and Penobscot counties. Some herb and vegetable crops were dried and shipped as far as New York City and Hawaii.

In 1982 the farm started to develop a nursery business, growing fruit trees, vine fruits, nut trees, perennial plants and numerous ornamentals.

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Custom grafted trees were a specialty for us. Eventually wholesaling to Fedco Trees, part of the Fedco Seeds Group of worker owned businesses.. We developed our own catalog and sold independently for some years and then shifted the nursery business slowly over to a developing orchard that now produces several hundred bushels of apples, pears, stone fruits, kiwis and berries. Under the tree canopy grows a wide selection of medicinal perennial herbs, many of them rare adaptogens.

The farm is transforming itself into a mature orchard with open plots and 2 larger annual crop fields to service a growing seed garlic business, now sold mostly on our website, www.teltanefarm.com . The farm also serves increasingly as a trial ground for field training interns and journey persons in many levels and methods of agriculture, gardening and horticulture.

Classes and workshops have become very popular for groups or individuals coming to see what can be done on a small farm to grow exceptional tree, grain, vegetable and medicinal crops of all kinds. The focus is always to meet and exceed the parameters of organic practices and standards, which we see as a starting place needing increased focus on methods and nutrition to maintain optimum soil, plant, animal and human health.

Although we no longer seek organic certification, we like to give our produce and fruit customers, students and consulting clients the open book, so they can decide for themselves.

Working and consulting abroad in other parts of the US, and countries overseas, has given great insight on how crops can be grown better with more nutritionally focused productivity by fine tuning methods and inputs for building soil reserves and simultaneous crop intensification.

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The economic and politically unstable times we live in have effected local and country wide systems enough, that farmers, gardeners seek changes in practice and consumers who don’t even grow their own food, are interested in the whole picture. Food shoppers are increasingly purchasing from farmers markets, farmer-owned CSA’s and have become gardeners and farmers themselves. The most direct field to table path is best.

The focus of innovative farming methods and our services goes beyond soil and crop nutrition. We need to rethink and retool how we control our food and medicine supply at home, taking matters back into our own hands. Downsizing and upgrading the quality of smaller diversified farms rather than chase too distant markets in a competition fashion. Although this goes against the grain of “ business growth”, it is what can be sustained in difficult times when resources are less available.

The need to come up with solutions for small-scale grain production, especially in a less stable climate. Considerations of home food processing have gone way beyond canning and freezing. Root cellaring, pickling and fermenting are more appropriate in many cases.

Homebuilt coolers rigged with energy saving systems, solar and wood fired food dehydration units made at home, non-electric water pumping and season extension are all a part of the focus to transition our society towards a friendlier, more cooperative phase.

Our work is aimed at standards of excellence by design rather than by label. Every year soils and crops are evaluated both by multiple testing methods, the response of quality conscious customers, crop reliability in increasing extremes of weather and resistance to diseases and insect pressure. The soil is amended using complex recipes of minerals and biological enhancement products, minimizing tillage and cover crpping. Field crops are further fortified with nutritional drenches and foliar sprays, feeding and supporting the plants above and below.

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Opening up the farm abundance directly to the customer without a middleman makes us all winners. It creates a stronger community and localizes the economy.

Using the models of community supported agriculture (CSA) and online farmers market (OFM), we invite you to be a participant, more than just a shopper.

~ Teltane Farm and friends