There is an inherent joy in working with what the earth offers. Today we speak with Stacy Brenner who lives, farms, and flowers at Broadturn Farm in Scarborough. We also discuss the Portland-based Rwanda Bean Company, which returns 50 percent of its profits to coffee farmers in Rwanda, with co-founder Mike Mwenedata
Stacy Brenner lives, farms, and flowers at Broadturn Farm in Scarborough with her husband, John Bliss, and two daughters, Emma, 21, and Flora, 10. They raise cut flowers and organic vegetables, host weddings and operate a summer day camp that focuses on connecting a young community with where nutritious and sustainable food comes from. Stacy’s focus is on the flowers, which she arranges for weddings, special events, corporate accounts, and wholesale customers. She also finds beauty in old wood, rusty metal, and all the fruits of her family’s labor. She’s devoted to understanding and improving farmland preservation, farmland tenancy arrangements, and organic agriculture as an economic driver for the state of Maine. Her she previously worked as a barista, an orchid greenhouse caretaker, a cotton farme,r and a nurse-midwife. She holds a B.S. in agriculture from the University of Arizona, and a B.S.N. and a M.S.N. in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a contributor to Taproot magazine and a newly minted Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association board member. Her best ideas come after coffee and before whiskey. She’s been farming in Maine since 2002.
Mike Mwenedata is the co-founder of Portland-based Rwanda Bean Company with Nick Mazuroski. The company buys coffee beans from coffee farmers in Rwanda and invests 50 percent of its profits back into the communities from which it sources the coffee.