Severine Fleming, Owner
I’ve dreamed of having my own small farm since we started a permaculture orchard on an abandoned corner of the Pomona College campus in Southern California. Pat Chapman adopted us to come live at her ranch up on the mountain, she like our enthusiasm but decided we needed some proper training! She put me on a Greyhound bus to Ecology Action, in Mendocino to learn Bio-intensive gardening. Those were my first redwoods and that road trip inspired many more — for 15 years I’ve run Greenhorns, making films, radio, guidebooks and multi-media for and about the young farmers movement, and running mixers and events. I also co founded National Young Farmers Coalition, Agrarian Trust and Farm Hack and serve as advisory board member to Savanna Institute and Merwin Conservancy and Schumacher Center for New Economics.
I’m still very much a greenhorn when it comes to farming with so much still to learn, thank goodness for all the mentors and elders! I apprenticed at Camp Joy in Boulder Creek, CA was a trainee at the Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden in Cape Town, South Africa, and finally got a degree in Conservation/ AgroEcology from UC Berkeley. I did my permaculture training with the Bullock brothers on Orcas Island, WA started a luxury farm for the Standard hotel in Staatsburg NY, and created the biodynamic farm plan for a family citrus ranch in Southern California. And I must recommend woofing (www.wwooof-usa.org) and helping out at alp dairies! (www.zalp.ch)
I moved to Downeast Maine for the algae, and the utterly glorious wildness—a historic region of seafarers, of native and settled-in fisherman, of foresters and homesteaders. This landscape hosts a compelling curriculum of commons management and natural-resource governance issues which we explore with our www.seaweedcommons.org project. Cobcook Bay’s 20-foot tides and cold Labrador currents means that micro and macro algae drive a surging marine ecology that attracts schooling fish, whales and migrating birds. Our job is to figure out high-value products to make from what grows plentifully here.
Nature’s larder is vast and as we gear up with dehydration and distillation we’ll be able to capture the essence and preserve the goodness of many more species. If we succeed it will be as a cooperative producing high quality, delicious, irresistible value-added products.
Lydia Lapporte, Office & Seaweed Commons
I followed algae to Maine through the Seaweed Commons project in 2019, and stayed on in the wake of the fall asters to make Smithereen’s value added products and programs. My role here is keeping with the farm office and organizing the blueberry, algae, oyster, artist, and mushroom operations. I studied art and environmental humanities in school and am glad for a place so close to the shore to integrate those learnings. Water delights!
Evangeline Krajewski, Farm Manager
Evangeline grew up in North Central Pennsylvania and now lives in Downeast Maine. She tries her best to keep up with the farm!
Margie Chambers, Land Crew
I moved to Maine in 2012 after living in Austin, Texas for 6 years and travelling around the country on my motorcycle looking for a change in life. I decided I wanted to buy a piece of land in Maine with a friend and we slowly but surely ended up in Washington County, Maine. I have worked various jobs upon living in Maine and feel most satisfied working for Smithereen Farm. Living in Austin, I worked on Tecolote Farm for a season and enjoyed the work very much. Since then, I have had a few years experience gardening on my own land and am learning a lot about growing food in this climate. I met Severine while working seaweed harvesting for Ironbound Island Seaweed Company.
Malcolm Drenttel, Hospitality Coordinator
Malcolm Drenttel is a young farmer, gardener, historian, and editor. He has been working on small farms in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, and Florida since he was 14, most recently completing an apprenticeship at Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett, NY. He does hospitality, communications, policy, and farm tasks for Smithereen. In 2018 he earned his BA in the History of Science from Brown University. When not farming he likes to shoot pool.
Jennifer Eger, Farm Crew
Originally from Texas, I moved from Austin to Vermont in 2012, then on to Maine in 2018, drawn to the ocean and all of the watery aspects of this bioregion. I began farming while living in Texas, and since then I have worked in produce, dairy, livestock and farm-based education. I am inspired by the balance of tangible creativity, generative physicality, and elemental magic that I find when nurturing and learning from plants and animals. I have been raising Icelandic sheep since 2013, and currently graze a small flock utilizing rotational methods focused on pasture and soil regeneration. I am interested in the ways that thoughtful land stewardship can support healthy soils and ecosystems and am encouraged by the resilience that equitable food, land and resource access can create. This season at Smithereen, I look forward to assisting with the gardens, supporting the organizational visioning, and grazing the farm’s pastures and woodlands towards greater fertility.
Lance is a collaborator, a neighbor, a poet, and a land-use planner with a love for all things repurposed and replenished. He has held positions with the International Land Conservation Network, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, City of Grand Junction, City of Fort Collins, Brown University Herbarium, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). This work has spanned urbanism, ecosystem conservation, and botany with a focus on suburban transformation. At Smithereen, Lance spearheads Green Infrastructure programming and supports the farm owner. He hails from sunny Colorado, earned his BA in Urban Studies at Brown University, and is studying his Masters in City and Regional Planning and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Marcus is a writer and worker from New Hampshire. He got his introduction to organic farming at Happy Cat Farm in PA, as a farm hand at a Greek monastery, and through WWOOF. He recently worked as a copywriter at Givewith, where he connected a variety of conservation and social impact nonprofits with funds from and partnerships with businesses. Some of his interests include self-reliant food systems and supply chains, the conservation of grassland steppe ecosystems, rewilding, and the correspondence between natural and artificial systems. He received his BA in 2018 from Brown University and an MA from Dartmouth the following year, where he wrote about architectural philosophy. He is a dedicated fly fisherman and novice hunter. He plans to study law and to one day buy back his grandfather’s old dairy farm.