Rippling Waters
Organic Farm
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Name:              Rippling Waters

                         Organic Farm

Location:         55 River Road

                         Steep Falls, Maine 04085

Phone:             207-642-5161



Products and Services:

-Farm store



-Organic and Permaculture Practices

-Senior Farm Share

-Bonny Eagle M.S. Greenhouse

-School Gardens

-Senior Gardens

-Food Pantries

-Farmers’ Markets

-Senior Farm Shares

-FCC Program

What Makes Rippling Waters Organic Farm So Unique?

Rippling Waters Organic Farm is situated on the banks of the Saco River in Steep Falls. The water of the Saco River is prized for its significance in irrigating all the fields on this farm. The constant flow and nourishing quality of the Saco River serves as a great symbol of the underlying operation of this multi-faceted non-profit organic enterprise.

With its crisp, clear water and many tributaries, the Saco River is enjoyed by canoeists, fishermen, campers, and swimmers.  A parallel comparison can be made to Rippling Waters Organic Farm.  Like the Saco River, it too, branches out in several directions and has “ripple effects” throughout schools, the community, young adults, the senior population, and those in need.

Anyone who is fortunate to spend an extended period of time at Rippling Waters

Organic Farm can not help but seem somewhat overwhelmed with all the activities that are taking place.  There are staff, journey people, woofers, volunteers, interns, and apprentices all busying themselves with one task or another.  Opportunities for education, training, and practical experience abound.

Gathering produce and plants to be ready for one farmer’s market each week can sometimes be a daunting task on a farm when there are so many other responsibilities that need tending such as planting, harvesting, weeding, and composting, etc.  The staff at Rippling Waters prepares items for the sale and transportation of their products to not just one, but to five different farmers’ markets each week in Portland, Bridgton, Sebago, and Gorham!

While some workers are gathering farm products for the Rippling Waters Farm Store that is situated on the property, others are packaging items for the CSA distributions, the Senior Farm Share Program, or one of the several food pantries that receive local donations each week.

Underlying everything taking place at
Rippling Waters seems to be a focus on

spreading the philosophy of being concerned for one another and for the land.  The issue of hunger is addressed on a daily basis and over 11,000 pounds of fresh organic vegetables and food are distributed to those in need throughout the local area.  Seniors who qualify have the opportunity to benefit from $50  worth of free vegetables and fruit through the Senior Share program.

Various groups in the community with special needs and talents come to Rippling Waters to volunteer, to learn, and to work directly with the land.  There are volunteers from Waban, Creative Trails, and the University of Southern Maine.

There’s a distinct energy at the Rippling Waters Organic Farm that seems to span

all generations.  While the senior population

is given opportunities to grow vegetables

in their senior housing facilities, they are

also encouraged to volunteer at the farm or take advantage of the Senior Share Program.

Richard Rudolph, the Executive Director,

brings many years experience in organic gardening and the educational field.  Julee

Applegarth, the Farm Manager, shares her strong commitment to organic practices and permaculture.

Individuals of all ages are encouraged to attend the various workshops or participate in the special events at the Farm whether it be the contradance, the Gourmet Garden Crawl, a Kale Fest or one of the Soil to Suppers. A weekly newsletter is emailed and the farm is considering offering permaculture tours in the future.

Journey people who are ready to manage the fields come to Rippling Waters Organic Farm to prepare themselves for running their own farms.  College students or young adults who may or may not have gardening skills sign on to become apprentices. 

With the introduction of the Food Connection Corps, a group of teenagers were given the opportunity to learn all about the workings of a farm.  During the summer of 2012, seven teens participated in a six-week youth development program at Rippling Waters Organic Farm under the guidance of FCC Coordinator Jane Spencer and Community Garden Coordinator Ian Hammond and other farm staff. 

The FCC students learned about agriculture, nutrition, and hunger.  They experienced running the farm stand, working in the field, tending the school and senior gardens, and working at the farmers markets.  They also learned about making healthy foods with produce from the gardens and they planned

a staff lunch that they made each week.  Training opportunities in leadership, job skills, communication, and team work were top priorities in the program.

Underlying all the training and educational opportunities and community outreach programs at Rippling Waters is a goal of

“sustaining the soul of organics.”   There is a respect for the earth.  No poisons are allowed. Concern for the soil is paramount and lasagna gardening is practiced. 

Companion planting is encouraged.  Plants that attract beneficial insects such as ageratum, borage, dill, and celosia have been introduced for various purposes such as  attracting wasps and fooling the tomato hornworm.  Plants that provide shade, feed the soil, bring in birds and pollinators are included in garden plans. Clover has been sown to improve the nitrogen levels in the soil.  Hugelkulture is being explored.  A circular Mandala Garden has been planted to allow for a meditative place on the farm.  It has been landscaped to emulate the rays of the sun. 

A primary goal of the Rippling Waters Organic Farm is to help community members learn how to grow their own food.  Hundreds of volunteers have benefitted from the efforts of the farm. 1,600 out of 4,000 students in the Bonny Eagle School District have had hands-on activities with food production. 

The Saco River runs parallel to the Rippling

Waters Organic Farm.  It is a strikingly beautiful body of water which meanders through the fields and forests of several counties and serves many purposes. The efforts of Rippling Waters Organic Farm also follows a similar path of reaching out and touching the lives of so many in the community with its goals of promoting organic food and good nutritional practices, food security, and support of the local economy.  May the river and the farm enjoy many more years of providing ripples that encourage enjoyment, sustainability, and a respect for the land where they make their home.

Rippling Waters
Organic Farm
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