By Dominik Lobkowicz
Recently relocated to Waldoboro, farmers Jon McKee and Christelle Munnelly stand near a chicken coop McKee built. (D. Lobkowicz photo)
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Two farmers recently relocated to Waldoboro and brought their chickens and goats cross-country from Oregon to set up at the former Applecroft Farm, west of Dow Furniture on
Christelle Munnelly and Jon McKee, originally from Pawling, N.Y., and Tucson, Ariz., respectively, ran Moon Root Farm near Eugene, Ore. for the past year.
The couple decided to relocate to Maine to be closer to Munnelly’s parents, who still live in Pawling, and the location also fit McKee’s goal of being somewhere he
could scuba dive, according to Munnelly.
They took out a five-year lease on the farm.
“We really liked the small farming scene here, because there’s lots of programs in place to help small farmers,” Munnelly said.
Earlier this month and preceded by Munnelly, McKee drove eight goats and 28 chickens across the country to Waldoboro, which took him about 98 hours including rest.
“With the animals, I didn’t want to stop,” he said.
“Water was the most interesting,” McKee said. “Anywhere and everywhere, we were just looking for hoses.”
The chickens kept laying the entire trip. “They did way better than I could ever have expected,” he said.
For the time being, the couple is continuing to use the Moon Root name until they get the feel of the farm’s new home.
“We want it [the name] to fit this piece of land and what we’re doing here,” Munnelly said.
The spread used to be called Applecroft Farm, but few apple trees remain and the farmers don’t currently have plans to do much with apples, they said.
The pair joked about calling it “Crooked Coop Farm” after the chicken coop that McKee built.
In Waldoboro, Munnelly is continuing to make organic bar (both goat milk and regular) and liquid soap; something she has done for five years. The soaps include
scents such as lavender rosemary, orange cocoa swirl, patchouli lime, and carrot cake.
Two Jersey cows are coming to the farm in the end of August as well, and McKee is working to get fencing up and a place for the cows to weather the winter.
Currently Munnelly’s Moon Root soap and organic eggs are all the farm has to offer, but broiler chickens will be ready in the spring and once they get licensed, the
pair plan to sell both cow and goat milk and cheese in the future.
McKee hopes to add beef cattle to the mix eventually, too, making use of the farm’s four pastures. The beef cattle project is hinging on some grant funding to
install necessary fencing and irrigation throughout the roughly 45 acres of pastures, which is “no small task,” he said.
Soap and eggs from Moon Root Farm are currently available at the Thomaston Farmers’ Market and occasionally the Damariscotta Farmers’ Market. At the farm itself,
eggs are available about any time, and soaps are by appointment.
For more information or to make an appointment, call the farm at 563-5759.