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About Ol’ Ways Farm

Ol’ Ways Farm: the WWOOF Description

We are set way back in the Maine woods, a mile from the nearest paved road. We’re located halfway between Moosehead Lake and the Maine coast; three miles from the Kennebec River; 45 miles north of the state capital, Augusta; 45 mins from Sugarloaf USA; and within reach of all the other attractions of Western Maine.

We have an 1840s Cape style farmhouse set among 130 acres of woodland, pasture, and gardens. Scott is an experienced organic dairy farmer, however we’ve started from scratch to make our own little piece of heaven. Our cultures have melded, since Scott is a Mainah, and Gemma is a true English rose! Add to this Gemma’s profession as an archaeologist and anthropologist, and our joint love of art, history, and an old way of life, and you have what we call “monastery thinking”: a self-contained piece of the world in which – eventually! – we’d love to be able to be self-supporting. Come visit us, and expect a taste of drawing, painting, pottery, brewing, cheese making, wattle and daubing, mortise and tenon-ing, and goodness knows what else we have up our sleeves! Although we really want to focus on art in our lifestyle, please bear in mind that this is a working farm, and farming takes a huge amount of time and effort; we only get to do our art when the animals, crops and woods are tended fully. We are renovating the farmhouse in keeping with its original look, so if you’d like, help us with homemade paint, horsehair plaster, traditional carpentry, and furniture making. We do plenty of farming: we have a few Jersey milk cows and two oxen; pigs; chickens; a vegetable garden; and an acre of berries, all with the associated chores – milking, haying, fencing, cleaning, planting, weeding, harvesting. We produce mainly for ourselves, family, friends, and friends of friends, which provides a significant market in itself, but sometimes have excess to sell. We also farm the woods, which involves cutting lumber, picking out dead or dying trees for firewood, and ‘tipping’ fir fronds for Christmas wreaths – all which involve tending and preserving the woods for future use as well as the requirements of today. Right now we run a mix of old and new equipment, with two old 1950s tractors and a modern Kubota for the ‘hard’ work, but we intend to work towards getting horses and oxen back to working the woods for us, as Scott used to do back in the day.

After a year of WWOOF and 40 WWOOFers later, this is what we’ve learned: we’ve had a huge amount of artistic people come, and they fit here really well. This has become a second home and sanctuary for numerous WWOOFers, away from the struggles of their other, everyday life. We are very committed to our WWOOFers as unique people, and they have become very loyal to this place. So, the kind of people we’re looking for are the kind of people that become family. This isn’t the kind of farm where the farmer is an employer and the WWOOFer an employee; but then again, it only works if we all pull together and work hard. Farming is tough, smelly, sweaty, and monotonous!! But we do like to have fun, too – bring your high heels and best dress or shirt – although we’re a farm, we do like to dress for dinner! We are gay friendly, open minded, and love unique people. We live here with two teenage boys, a horse, cows, pigs, chickens, geese, dogs, cats, rabbits, and fish, so come and meet the family!

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