Meet The Ripley Farmers of 2017
Gene & Mary Margaret Ripley (farmer owners), Sara Moody (farm worker), and Carmen Allen (assistant manager)
The story of your local farmers
Our farm's beginning is not your usual, "my dad's dad's dad started this farm in 19..." Ripley Farm was born in 2009 out of of a young couple's love for farming, veggies of all kinds, and serving the local community...
When Mary Margaret traveled from her home in Austin, Texas to attend Bates College in Lewiston, she had no idea that there she would meet and one day marry a Maine native determined to become an organic farmer! In 2004, Gene left Bates College for the daily dirt, seeking farmer training on Maine farms. Gene's dedication paid off and in 2009 the couple set down roots into some beautiful farmland in Dover-Foxcroft.
After several years of hard work, Ripley Farm is well known today for our picture-perfect produce, the most beautiful displays at farmers market, and a wildly popular Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share program in rural Piscataquis County. Owners Gene and Mary Margaret Ripley sustainably manage Ripley Farm's five acres of MOFGA Certified Organic vegetables, situated on a 38 acre tract of land that is surrounded by fields, woods and distant hills to the north. In 2015, Carmen Allen joined our team as our first ever Assistant Farmer. Together we cultivate over 50 kinds of vegetables, flowers, perennials, and herbs, which we sell primarily through our 120+ member summer CSA, our 35 member Winter CSA, and wholesale accounts.
We place a special emphasis on growing, delivering, and eating the best quality vegetables and would love for you to join our farm family as a customer and friend. Year after year, we take pride in delighting our Summer and Winter CSA members with the freshest, cleanest, and best tasting produce ever!
Our vegetables taste so much better
Did you know that most tomatoes sold at grocery stores are grown 1000+ miles away, harvested green, and ripened with ethylene gas? No way at our farm!
At Ripley Farm we handle your produce with the greatest of care from the moment of harvest until it reaches your hands. That is why our locally grown, organic vegetables taste so much better than those from the grocery store. Whether you are a CSA member, place vegetable pre-orders with us, or visit our farmers market booth in Orono, your vegetables are harvested fresh, carefully washed and refrigerated so that they reach your table in perfect condition. Our customers appreciate that Ripley Farm's produce tastes fresher and lasts much longer than those from the grocery store!
Ripley Farm is MOFGA Certified Organic
At Ripley Farm we believe that everyone deserves healthy food! That is why we have partnerned with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) who reviews and approves the organic production practices of over 400 farms statewide. We are proud to have our farm inspected on a yearly basis by MOFGA to ensure our compliance with the organic standards. Our partnership with MFOGA guarantees that we do not use toxic chemicals to grow your food, and that we DO use natural soil building techniques to raise superior quality produce for our customers.
Also, check out this recent article and a MPBN radio piece about Ripley Farm:
- On MPBN's Maine Things Considered "In Maine, More Hipsters Choosing Life on the Farm"
- In the Bangor Daily News "Late growing season doesn't faze Dover-Foxcroft farmers"
Farmer Gene: Farmer Owner. Can build and repair almost anything, enjoys running the tractor, and manages the harvests. In addition to farming, Gene loves timberframing, animal tracking, cooking, and being a dad!
Farmer Mary Margaret: Farmer Owner. After years as the fastest harvester at Ripley Farm, veggie wash up queen, and founder of the PYO gardens, Mary Margaret now helps manage behind the scenes while raising a baby. In addition to farming, Mary Margaret loves fermenting, teaching classes, sunshine, blue skies, swimming, and being a mom!
Farmer Carmen: Assistant Manager since 2015. In addition to being an indispensible "Jill of all trades" around the farm, Carmen stepped up in 2016 to be in charge of seedling production and washing the harvests. In addition to farming, Carmen loves hiking with her dog, Nora, reading, goats, and building websites! (Read more of Carmen's story in this blog.)
Farmer Sara: Farm Worker in 2016. New this year, Sara has taken to harvesting like a champ, bunching carrots and salad turnips like she's been doing it for years. She enjoys camping with her family, gardening with her kids, and is a creative cook in the kitchen, contributing lots of great recipe ideas for the weekly CSA newsletters. Welcome Sara! (Read more of Sara's story in this blog.)