SMM Meeting Minutes – September 15, 2016

A glorious Fall day provided the backdrop for our last regular gathering of the year (amazing!) though Bonnie also announced our November 10th daylong event which is now open for registration. Please check our recent newsletter or web site for more details and sign up early since space is limited and we typically sell out!

In noting seasonal shifts and fullness, Bonnie shared an excerpt from an article in Taproot Magazine by Beth Schiller of Dandelion Farm, who describes the need to balance internal personal rhythms with the seasonal demands of farming. Beth wrote: “How we hold ourselves. How we witness, feel, and adapt to the natural energy around us. How we both preserve our true nature and intentions in a squash-and-gourd-tunnelbusy season, and also put away the fruits of our labors. All of these things can be uplifted by the awareness that we grow in a natural system, bigger than ourselves.”

Bonnie connected these reflections to our SMM work this summer which has focused on helping businesses continue to meet needs for funding and technical assistance. One of these businesses, Crown o’ Maine, will be featured as a case study on “how to scale up without selling out” on distinctive qualities of its form and function as a worker-owned cooperative. We will hear varied perspectives in the dialogue, from Founder and principals, individual and institutional investors and mentors as well as from a successful cooperative business in Boston.

Our gathering will also feature Deborah Frieze, from Boston Impact Initiative in Boston, describing the importance of interpersonal relationships in local investment choices. Interactive opportunities for participants will be provided in afternoon conversations about new business structures, impact investing, investment clubs and crowdfunding for equity, loans and grants.

Patti Hamilton of Barred Owl Catering will create a fabulous lunch to add to everyone’s enjoyment of the day! We look forward to sharing this special event with you!

Focus Group/Shellfish in Maine’s New Food Economy:   Dick Clime/CEI, Tim Sheehan/Gulf of Maine, Inc. – facilitators

Main Presenters:

Tim Sheehan/Gulf of Maine Inc

Washington County, Maine is a uniquely fascinating place. The ocean and coastline are rich with unrivaled beauty. And the bounty that lies within it provides opportunity for the people of the region to make a living doing what they know and love.clam

There are good people here. Hard working people who want nothing more than to make a decent living and provide for their families.

We believe that working together we can help shape the economic future of Washington County and the people in it.


That’s why we do what we do – every day. Doing what we can to help provide information, tools and resources to those who choose to earn a living from the sea.

Gulf of Maine Presentation

Tim Sheehan/Gulf of Maine Inc
Telephone: (207) 726-4620

Jenn Legnini/Turtle Rock Farm

Turtle Rock Farm makes seasonal preserves from Maine fruits and vegetables. turtle-rock-farmpickled-peppersAlthough  considered a specialty food, we also believe it is an accessible and necessary product for nourishing our year-round, local diet.  Our primary goal is to preserve for the winter months by minimally processing fruits and vegetables at peak season. We source other ingredients locally like maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, herbs and spices. We work hard to offer Co-packing opportunity for farms to develop value-added products without huge overhead.

Turtle Rock Farm Presentation

Jenn Legnini/Turtle Rock Farm
Telephone: 207-522-6276

Richard Hodges/ReTreeUS

ReTreeUS is a nonprofit project that seeks to connect people to sustainable practices by providing educational orchard programs around the state.  retree-plantingRichard Hodges, Program Manager presented on the purpose, impact and future growth of this exciting program that seeks to inspire generations of healthy environmental stewards.

RetreeUS Presentation

Richard Hodges/ReTreeUS
Telephone:   (207) 319-4937

Ben Slayton & Penny Jordan/The Farm Stand

After 2 years of working together to start up The Farm Stand, image002a local food market featuring fresh seasonal produce and a full meat counter, co-owners Penny Jordan and Ben Slayton have learned many lessons together. Chief among these lessons is to listen to what their customers are saying. As The Farm Stand emerges from the start up phase, Penny and Ben are plotting a course that will significantly expand the prepared foods aspect of their business.

The Farmstand Presentation

Ben Slayton & Penny Jordan/The Farm Stand
Phone: (207) 805-1481


Leslie Forstadt/Supporting Relationships for Farm Success
Healthy personal relationships are very important for farm viability. UMaine Cooperative Extension is starting a project to train ag service providers to learn ways to recognize and help farmers with any communication needs that arise. A survey will be forthcoming as will a website for more information about how to get involved as an ag service provider or a farmer.

Shawn Menard/Gardiner Food Co-op
The Gardiner Food Co-op & Cafe fully renovated its space at 269 Water Street from January-May 2015 with May 31st, 2015 as its official first day of business. We experienced many challenges during our first 4-6 months but learned and adapted along the way.  We have since made many significant improvements and are in a strong place to be a core downtown Gardiner business for years to come. Our membership, sales, and reputation continue to grow every week.

Pat Pinto/Kiva Advisor
Patricia Pinto shared an overview of a new social enterprise she established here in Maine in August – Collective Commitments. This organization will initially serve as a Kiva Loan Advisor helping entrepreneurs in Maine & Vermont to access 0% interest crowd funded loans up to $10,000. These loans are targeted to help individuals who might normally have difficulties accessing capital.

Jennifer Puser Brennan/GPCOG & USDA Rural Development REAP grant
The Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) is funded by USDA Rural Development to provide education, outreach and free one-on-one technical assistance related to its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP provides competitive grants and guaranteed loans to install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses. Contact us today to learn more and/or schedule a technical assistance appointment:  207-774-9891 or

Register now for the
Slow Money Maine November 10, 2016 Daylong gathering:
8:30am – 3:30pm 
Thursday November 10,  2016

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