LINCOLNVILLE – Ladleah Dunn is a sailor and a damn good cook. More importantly, she aims not to take the foodie industry in Maine so seriously or make it too precious. Her culinary adventures stem largely from her own small farm in Lincolnville; what’s ridiculous is how she makes it look so easy.
A two-person farm isn't a hobby. It's a lot of damn work. The thing that is consistently impressive about Ladleah Dunn is how she can scrounge every last bit of her hard-worn efforts from her land into a delicious meal. Like the fable about the ant and the grasshopper, she has let none of the vegetables or herbs she has so carefully cultivated go to waste now that summer growing season is over.
For example, Ladleah grows and harvest her own fruits, vegetables, heirloom greens and herbs and sells them to a few local restaurants. She ends up selling some through the local Lincolnville bulletin board, prompting people to come to her house and buy directly from her.
“I love to get cash for what I grow because it helps pay for the infrastructure, but I’m amenable to any kind of trade and barter," she said.
She elaborates on this theme: "I firmly believe everyone should have access to good food. This comes from a desire to serve my community. Growing up on Vinalhaven, we didn't have a lot of cash flow, but I happened to be born on an organic farm with two parent who were both chefs. So, just by default, we were never in want for really good food, even if it was beans, 12 different ways. This empowers me to pass it on. In fact, I just recently gave away vegetables to three different people who really kind of needed it. That almost feels better to me than a cash exchange. In fact, I just had a guy who knows apple trees and has been working with them his whole life come by and give us some really fantastic advice on how to take care of our old apple trees in exchange for tomatoes. I gave him enough tomatoes to make a few batches of sauce."
In this gallery, we'll show you a few things she's harvested and transformed into food to last all winter.