A brief history, as told by Dan Marion, head dirt digger, and stoked adventurer: “Farming and gardening have always been a family passion, but sprouting our own farm was a dream come true. Our story begins in 2008 when I met a fellow Mainer and farmer on a far-flung ski trip. We hit it off immediately, and got to yucking it up about skiing and the good times always had back home in Maine. My passion for farming and ambitions to start my own farm had me trading him a pair of skis for flower seeds the following week. Before I knew it, I was scribbling and re-scribbling business plans and budgets while frequently finding my thoughts wandering to the upcoming summer.
I was fortunate to have my grandfather's rolling green stonewalled acres of Maine forest and field waiting eagerly for me to try my luck at farming. With his blessing to use the land, a tractor borrowed from my Dad and an “It’ll do” second hand plow, the adventure of Fresh Pickins began early that Spring.
I felt almost invincible the first day of plowing. But, it wasn’t long before Nature put us in check. A few days after helping plow, my cousin asked if I had begun to itch and rash. "Nothing here” I said. I returned to the farm and, after closer investigation, was shocked to see Poison Ivy shoots throughout the entire farm, including the soil we had painstakingly turned over. I discovered my immunity while my cousin came down with one of the worst cases of poison ivy I've ever seen. This was the first of many lessons in family farming. For the rest of the summer I made the best of what I had and attended every local farmers market that would accept me.“
We really like to play outside! So much so, that it has inspired us to tap into our love of Mother Nature and create products that can connect other people with the undeniable energy and stoke of outdoor adventure. We seek to formulate unique personal care products from both wild-harvested and consciously cultivated plants from our historic farm through modern and traditional techniques. Our passions for adventure and botany have opened up a world of experiences for us that we hope to share with you as well.
Farming is everything! It is the most rewarding, upsetting, connected and disconnected labor we have ever experienced. And yet, we wake up every morning, happy as pigs in sh**, and do it all over again. It is simply a true love. Our historic farmland is nestled just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. We take pride and pleasure in growing and raising high quality ingredients that we infuse into our all of our products. For us, quality is a must. In order to grow high quality plants you need to provide a high quality environment. This environment starts with the soil. Our innovative organic farming practices keep the soils at the center of our attention. We regularly enrich our soil with nutrient packed seaweed compost and employ diverse cover cropping techniques. This makes for a biodiverse microbiology within the soils, providing readily available nutrients for the plants. From there, we keep a watchful eye, make some necessary adjustments, and let the sun and the sea mist work their magic!
At Fresh Pickins we are constantly listening and learning from our natural surroundings. As our name implies, we are all about picking the freshest plants and sharing them in our products. The local environment in Maine offers some truly breathtaking and wild habitats that are ripe for exploration and the discovery of fresh specimens. The natural history of the area is also closely tied to the Native Americans who originally lived here, and were finely tuned into the diverse flora and fauna that exist here. The countless medicinal plants relied on by Natives can still be found here today and have inspired many of our products. It is important now, more than ever, to utilize and protect these invaluable resources. We take sustainable wild-harvesting very seriously. Our sustainable approaches have been passed down from our mentors and are continually expanding with our personal field experiences. We feel that the active sharing of field knowledge and responsible harvesting techniques are imperative in order to protect wild species for the future. Wild-harvesting allows us to connect with nature and harness the Earth’s energy. Our hope is that we can share some of this energy with you and provide a unique experience through our products.
Curiosity killed the cat, but the satisfaction brought him back! For as long as we can remember, we’ve been hounded by the desire to look around every corner in the name of exploration, and for this we are grateful. Our exploratory travels have taken us around the world, and are the essence of Fresh Pickins. Without them.. well let’s just not imagine that! Getting off our butts and going for an adventure is what inspires us, and has led to the creation of many of our products and ingredients. We are constantly exploring locally and afar for new ingredients and formulation techniques, many of which have been forgotten or are newly discovered. While on our adventures, we recharge and acquire inspiration not only from the wilds, but also by meeting new people and immersing ourselves in their local ways of life, histories, and knowledge.