Welcome To North Branch Farm



We are a family owned and run, horse-powered, MOFGA certified organic farm located on 330 acres of fields and woodland in Monroe, Maine. Currently we specialize in producing fresh and storage winter vegetables, farmstead cave aged cheese, grass-fed beef, pork, and fruit trees.

Farm Blog

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Babies, Buildings, and Brine

Hello?!  Hello?!  Hello?!  Hello…o….o…o…?! That is what you will hear if you happen to stick your head into our silo (see below) and call “Hello.”  You will be relieved to know this is now an OSHA-approved activity, since the giant metal silage-unloader that had been hanging by a rusty cable from the inside of the roof recently came down with a horrific bang at 6:30am about a week ago, all of its own accord. It is also the sound of this blog calling out to its long-neglected readers. Many things are happening on the farm this year and at this season within the year, as one might expect.  My days are spent for the most part in tending the young humans on the farm–Ada is four and a half years old and Elwyn is an awesome four months–which is an interesting, lovely, and occasionally hair-raising challenge.  Seth is tending the orchard, veggie crops and nursery and directing others in those areas.  Tyler and Elsie are still tending our dairy herd with excellent sense and caring.  We are milking seven cows once a day and raising up their calves–Claribel, Fennel and Delicata are the heifer calves and Mâche, Mustard, Mesclun and Potatoes are the steers.   Cheesemaking is underway, as you might have heard via facebook or our North Branch Creamery blog, so I won’t delve too much about that here.  Suffice to say that whenever I lay out the cash money at the co-op for what basically amounts to a cheese dependence, I am counting the days until I can eat myself satisfied on grass-fed, cave-aged hard alpine cheeses... read more

July’s eve

With summer barreling along, we aim to use every day as efficiently as we can.  While the days are long, the list is even longer–on top of keeping livestock cared for, crops cultivated, food on the table and a little one content, other bigger projects crest like waves, demanding planning, prep work, an often big push towards execution and then the backwash (continuing the wave analogy) of loose ends to tie up, or more often to tie IN to the next project-wave.  For us, some of these projects include constructing a cheese cave, designing and building a creamery, building two bridges for which we have federal NRCS funding, finalizing and promoting the Winter Vegetable CSA, direct-seeding the rest of the root crops (rutabagas, beets and carrots), transplanting the brassicas (cabbage, kale and giant storage kohlrabi), and making hay. Sometimes it’s good to stop and remember the projects that have been successfully completed and the routines that have been streamlined and are functioning well.  A couple examples: Other victories: After many years of bottle-feeding calves twice a day, we’re starting to use something called the kiwi (i.e. from New Zealand) calf feeding system and it seems to be a major success.  The calves get to drink more milk because we’re not limited by what we have the time to stand there and feed them through a bottle, plus they have to suck hard which produces more saliva for healthy digestion, they always nurse with their heads at the right angle so that the milk is channeled into their milk stomach instead of their grass stomach, and the feeder gets filled... read more

Maynely Babies

May is definitely baby time in midcoast Maine in general (baby eels, baby birds, baby tadpoles in vernal pools, baby leaves on big trees…) but at North Branch Farm the baby-ness is amplified by human meddling and we have possibly somewhat more than our fair share of tender young things. Firstly, we had baby pigs.  Seven piglets came to live at the farm a month ago and are happily fulfilling their pig-ly duties: rooting in the dirt, running in circles, testing the electric fence with their noses and squealing in surprise to find it’s still on, and eating or mushing beyond recognition any food put before them. Secondly, we had onions.  We seeded them in the greenhouse at the usual time, the first week of March, and grew them and grew them through this cold, gray spring.  I gave them all flattops a couple weeks ago and then on May 9th, 10th, and 11th, all 16,000+ allium seedlings–mostly onions with some shallots and leeks thrown in–got towed out to the field… …then came out of their potting soil and went into the ground.  Wet weather like we had on Saturday makes for a sodden onion planting crew and very happy onion seedlings. And thirdly, we have baby cows.  And do we ever have baby cows.  Mara had a baby bull first, at the end of April, and his name has settled in somewhere in the vicinity of Maurice.  Next up, one of our favorite milkers, Delilah, had a heifer calf (hooray!) who now goes by Dahlia.  Just today, during a very busy day on the farm, two first time... read more


  Hi friends, After spending about a month identifying very strongly with the beavers in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, as in, “Winter is really beautiful, but holy cow! when are we supposed to restock our food and fuel and let our babies run around outside?”, North Branch Farm and I have finally been ambushed by spring.  In the last week, since I whisked Ada away for a NC grandparent getaway and then returned, Monroe has gone from total snow and sloosh cover to only residual patches of snow in open areas and the beginnings of bare ground in the forest.  We’ve gone from days that weren’t getting above freezing to nights that don’t plan to go below freezing for the foreseeable future. We started our onion seedlings one month ago and they have gone through the knee stage and the hairpin stage and the shepherd’s crook stage.  They are now in the fine yet robust place where they look like they want to jump out of their soil and bounce around like Lowly Worm but we still have to marvel at the fact that five months hence that little thread of green will have produced an 8-ounce globe of radiant pungency. Since it was my first morning in a while waking up on the farm–and a very early one at that–I took a walking tour at 5:30am.  First stop: the seedling greenhouse; the heater had run out of kerosene in the night and the air temp was down around 37 degrees, but even the basil seedlings looked okay.  Next stop was the NRCS high tunnel where... read more

Meet The Farmers

Click here for bios
Tyler Yentes

Tyler Yentes

Livestock Manager

Elsie Gawler

Elsie Gawler

Livestock Manager and Cheesemaker

Anna Shapley-Quinn

Anna Shapley-Quinn

CSA and Crop Manager

Seth Yentes

Seth Yentes

Fruit and Nursery Manager

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