We are a team of educators, farmers, mentors and, more often than not, all of the above. We're located at the Unity Agricultural Center, where our neighbor-farmers will be the foundation of our community. More on our partner farms and mentors can be found in the Mentors section of the website.
Bowsprit was founded by Graziella Cervi and Peter Brady, who together have decades of experience in youth mentorship, farming, and intentional living. This experience includes working with special needs and at-risk youths, enabling lives that are more fulfilling, happier and complete. As committed members of their community, Cervi and Brady are well enmeshed in the crafting community, and have access to local masters who care about giving back to their neighbors through our Foundation.
The foundation of our work at the Unity Agricultural Center is the Biodynamic farm, and the long term focus involved in the renewal of the farm landscape into a vital, productive, resilient, and diversified farm. Biodynamic agriculture is about bringing healing to a damaged environment, encouraging honest and open observation of that natural world, and providing the tools to help us bring our food production practices further into balance.
For us, Biodynamic agriculture is also about relationships between people, recognizing our connections to others, and working to build new ones. Through such work community will thrive. Sharing with others the fundamental work of raising food allows for and cultivates meaningful life experiences that we each can learn from.
Who is it more necessary to share these experiences with than young people on the brink of adulthood, looking for authentic ways to engage with their world? Young people, now more than ever, need something to do that is important and practical. Bowsprit fosters an environment that enables youth to better understand their capacities, their interests, and their own self-worth, and possibly even their purpose.
Our Center creates a seasonal forum where young people, craft-masters and farmers share and learn from each other, contributing to the rejuvenation of our local community. The Unity Agricultural Center is a multiple operator farm organization providing livelihoods for farmers and educational opportunities for local youth.
Northeast Farm Access brings together farmers, social investors and local allies, especially conservation land trusts, to revive and transform sustainable agriculture—yielding not just abundant clean, local food, but also a new generation of successful organic farmers.
Unity College trains the next generation of environmental leaders and will offer guidance, curriculum, and insight into environmental activism.
The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is a broad-based community that educates about and advocates for organic agriculture, illuminating its interdependence with a healthy environment, local food production, and thriving communities.
Fifteen minutes from Unity in Montville, Veronesi Forest Farm is owned and operated by Peter and Graziella's family, with a focus on sustainable forestry practices.
WoodSong is an organic goat dairy that works a herd of Saanen/Alpine/Nubian crosses to produce dairy such as chevre, yogurt, and kiefer, which are sold in a variety of flavors on the farm, along with plain, raw milk. The goats are fed on grass in the summer and hay in the winter; milking does are fed an additional diet of organic grains to support their lactation with extra protein. Born to farming parents who taught her the art of living in harmony with her fellow animals, owner-operator Sunniva Brady has been working with farm animals since she was five years old.
Deer Isle, Maine
Frank is a studio potter, sculptor, craftsman, and carpenter, living in Deer Isle, Maine. He also spends his time in gardens and a small orchard that he shares with his partner, Brinna Davis. He spent time in the Vermont mountains at Johnson State College getting his BA in Art. From there, the fields of Iowa lured Frank out to the University of Iowa, where he received his MA/MFA in Ceramics. For several years he remained in Iowa City, where he learned his trade as a carpenter. The fall colors called to him, so a return to New England found him in southern Maine, where he became involved with Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts. He served on the board there for 20 plus years. The next move was to Deer Isle, where Frank was offered the job of assistant director at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. He was employed at Haystack for 11 years before moving on to open Pitcher/Masters Studio Gallery. One last sidestep finds him happily picking apples and making pots in his new studio on a quiet little corner 5 miles outside of Deer Isle village.
Elizabeth was raised in Halfmoon, New York. After graduating from college and getting her first “real” job working with adults with disabilities, she found out about the Camphill Communities (www.camphill.org) and left the mainstream behind to join the Camphill Movement. For the next 5 years Elizabeth lived and learned in communities in New York, and Ireland and played a very small role during the formation of the first Camphill in India.
After leaving Camphill in the mid 1990’s she worked for several years on one of the first Community Supported Agriculture (C.S.A) farms in the U.S.A. In 1996 Elizabeth moved to Maine to pursue organic farming and ended up learning about the seed business as well as farming practices while working for Johnnys Selected Seeds, and then Fedco. She was the Garden Manager for a Horticulture therapy program in Newport for 8 growing seasons and has worked on and off at Unity Pond Pottery for over 20 yrs. These days Elizabeth lives in Troy with her partner Cliff, dog Elvis, and cat Lou. She makes and sells pottery www.oaktreepottery.com and also works as an Occupational Therapy Assistant with elders and children with special needs. "I look forward to helping Bowsprit grow and thrive!"
East Blue Hill, Maine
After growing up on her grandparent's homestead in rural New Hampshire where she raised sheep, Holly B -W pursued a music education degree at U Mass, Lowell.
She has enjoyed a life long relationship with children and adults through her dedication to teaching piano.
After college, this interest was fueled by working with pianist, Eric Stumacher (former executive director of Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music) and visionary music educator, Shiniki Suzuki. She has held board positions in many varied organizations ranging from Conservation Commissions to Chamber Music and is an active member of Maine Music Teachers Association where she served in many positions.
Her two sons are crafting in the world of glass and film.
Holly lives with her husband and continues teaching on the coast of Maine.
Matthew Shyka is multidisciplinary artist and educator in the fields of dance, theater and visual arts. He was born and raised in Maine and received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology from the University of Maine at Orono. He shortly thereafter moved to Santa Cruz, CA where he lived and worked for 27 years in the engineering field, as a private chef/caterer, and as a program developer and direct support professional for individuals with developmental disabilities. He is a certified practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method as well as a certified teacher of the Danceability method. He is delighted to be collaborating with and supporting the fine folks of Bowsprit.
Daniel is a farmer, a father and an educator—and can’t ever seem to separate those roles. He has applied his passion for experiential, community-based programming, peer-to-peer education and mentorship throughout New England in settings ranging from urban public schools, to city government, community farms, and public and private colleges—including 4 years as the Director of Educational Programs for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. Daniel raises seed crops, perennials and grafted nursery stock along with his partner and two kids at Blackbird Rise, their certified organic farm in Palermo, Maine. Daniel also works off-farm part-time as a STEM Education Specialist facilitating out-of-school programming with the Maine Math and Science Alliance and manages a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NE-SARE) initiative to strengthen the social sustainability of family farmers in ME-NY-MA.
Keene, New Hampshire
Bob Bernstein, an experienced community-based development practitioner, has been connecting individuals and groups with land, public facilities and affordable housing for 40 years. Over this period, Bob has worked with multi-party initiatives, community land trusts, and individuals to develop and implement traditional and non-traditional legal and financing mechanisms for affordable land and housing. He brings this wealth of experience, perspective, and tenacity to Northeast Farm Access, LLC, a company he founded in 2013.
Bob lives in New Hampshire, where he and his family tends Meadowsweet Farm—a 100-acre diversified biodynamic farm with two leaseholds, pending conservation easements, and a restored 220-year-old barn and farmhouse.