Interns working with herbalist, Brigid Doherty

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” – Simone Weil

Through healthy relationships, Ready By 21 Mentoring focuses on a person’s internal understanding rather than external expectations, allowing space for growth, self expression and views of their highest potential. We seek to offer all involved the chance to discover who they are, and who they can be.

2021 Interns at the Garden

Our Mission

Our mission to offer the opportunity for positive growth through healthy relationships has called for a consistent commitment of open hearts and minds. We have come to know with all certainty, that living in a reciprocal relationship with our earth is key for any being to completely blossom into their full potential. Our programs are dedicated to supporting our local youth, peninsula wide, in understanding who they are from the inside out and how to balance that in relation to everything that surrounds them externally.

In the Garden

Our garden sits at the entrance to the Stonington Transfer Station on donated farmland that was once used as the town’s dump site. We’ve brought in soil, created raised vegetable beds, a magical herb circle and a pollinator flower garden. Today, our edible landscape has grown to include 50 grapevines that tether the south side of the field and 30 fruit and nut trees and shrubs that hug all sides of the fence and expand to the beehives and milkweed under the 200 year apple trees. 

Our garden method is an intuitive blend of restoration, permaculture and biodynamic practices. We are guided by the principle of reciprocity. We are committed to exploring the dynamic process of life rather than having prescribed outcomes and conditions. Our intention is to feed the soil using compost/plants/manure, to sow seeds with the natural rhythm of the moon, and to harvest with gratitude. We re-use natural materials including cardboard and straw for mulching and water retention, and we avoid the use of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and plastics – seeking a natural balance of all life in the garden. We dry farm, catch water in rain barrels and rely on no local well sources.

Working outside with the land encourages the free flow of communication and is an ideal way to build healthy relationships with one another and nature. While the greenhouse and garden beds are delighting the community with  seasonal bounty this thriving natural vessel has become a restorative place of nourishment, peace and learning.

 Our eight-week summer Learn and Earn program invites youth ages 12-18 to apply to become paid interns, tending the plants, creating items for the weekly market and prepping and serving lunch from the gardens at our Saturday café. With self discovery at its core, we have seen tremendous personal growth supported by artistic, entrepreneurial and exploratory programming.

We look forward to welcoming you in the garden, at our summer market/café, and at our numerous events throughout the seasons.

2022 Summer Interns

2021 Interns at the Garden

Visit the café/Market

Join us in the summer for our intern-led farm stand at the Garden Project. We’re located on the Airport Road as you make your way to the Stonington Transfer Station. We sell fresh produce, handmade goods, and prepared food.

We’re closed for the season. A big thank you to everyone who brought joy and support to our interns this summer! See you next year.

Farm stand items for sale

Support us

As we continue to emerge, we would like to express a heart-felt thank you to all of you that make the important opportunities of empowerment offered by Ready By 21 Mentoring possible. None of this would be accomplished without your support. We are deeply grateful for your consistent belief in our efforts.

PO Box 216, Deer Isle, Maine 04627
(207) 367-5936

Young girl in garden holding flowers
Young girl in garden holding flowers

What does nature mean to you?

We have created a short questionnaire to help us connect more deeply with the best ways to continue to grow and strengthen our programming. 

Will you take just a few moments to tell us a little bit about yourself?

“We come alive as we rediscover the truth of our goodness and our natural connectedness to all of life”
– Tara Brach, Ph.D

We invite you to explore more photos on our Instagram page.

Our Beginnings


Since 2011, Ready By 21 Mentoring has been committed to the process of working with youth where they are, and developing invaluable relationships of mutuality. Inviting young people to teach us the best ways to support them has created a foundation of witnessing and validating that has allowed over 150 emerging adults to feel both seen and heard – an incredible tool of empowerment that can support people in moving forward in their life journeys.

“…you never stopped believing in me even when I was making the wrong choices. You were ALWAYS there when I needed you most, no matter what…I wouldn’t have the courage and faith in myself if it weren’t for you.”

Real World Trips 

To relieve anxiety and allow self-growth we must deal with external pressures and expectations from a place of deep inner-knowing and trust.

We have had the privilege of extending the opportunity for travel to many young people that otherwise may not have had the chance to explore places outside of what is familiar to them. These trips have been life changing. We have seen these experiences continuously open a place in our travelers’ hearts and minds that stays with them forever.

Real world trip 2022

Toddy Pond.

Our commitment to stay curious and invite inner knowing, so that we may support each other in reaching our highest potential, remains unwavering.

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living” – Miriam Beard

Kyra Alex

Kyra Alex, Executive Director

Kyra founded Ready By 21 Mentoring in 2011 after 15 years as the chef and owner of Lily’s Cafe in Stonington. Upon closing the cafe to further pursue her passions, it quickly became apparent to her that she would most miss working with island youth. Tending to her heartfelt connection to the earth and its inherent sources of joy, she is grateful for her place of belonging on the island and the opportunity to support young people in developing meaningful relationships.

Keep in touch

Join our mailing list to stay in the loop. We send very few emails!

Every relationship is an opportunity for self discovery.

Our Pledge to Share Power

From the very beginning, Ready By 21 Mentoring has been committed to diversity, inclusivity, and internal truth in relation to external experiences.

Current events have deepened our commitment to educating ourselves so that we may continue to share our power. We are actively seeking ways to invite lessons from Indigenous people about the land we have the privilege of tending and honoring Black and Brown people who have brought the opportunities for abundance that we, as white people, have taken for granted.