Join us for our upcoming events!

Summer 2024 ‘Learn & Earn’ Internship & Saturday Cafe & Market

This eight week paid summer internship offers youth a safe space in nature for building paths to self-discovery, genuine expression, entrepreneurial skills, and community engagement.

Our intern led Café and Market runs every Saturday from June 29th to August 3rd  from 11-1pm

Our Mission: 

Clearing a path for the art of self-discovery and genuine expression in harmony with nature. 

 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 fullest potential.  Our programs are dedicated to supporting our local youth, and their peninsula-wide communities, in their understanding of who they are from the inside out and how to balance that in relation to everything that surrounds them externally.

Our roots are in joy, love and compassion.

The Garden Project garden

“Go beyond normal.

Find your joy in simplicity,

in nature.

Come back to your unique individual path,

finding you.”

inspired by Pam Gregory

 

2021 Interns at the Garden

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.

Help us to dream in a positive future

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

Ready By 21 Mentoring is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.  Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. 

“We come alive as we

rediscover the truth of our goodness

and our natural connectedness to all of life”
– Tara Brach, Ph.D

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 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.

“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.

Herbalist, Brighid Doherty, sits with basket of herbs

Brighid Doherty,

Education and Events Coordinator

Brighid Doherty is a mother, gardener, herbalist, educator, author, and podcast host. Brighid has volunteered with Rb21m as a one-on-one mentor since 2014 and has been the herb gardener at The Garden Project since 2018. She is the founder of The Solidago School of Herbalism, author of Drinkable Healing Herbal Infusions, hostess of The Healthy Herb Podcast, and has a professional gardening business on Deer Isle. Brighid began her connection with herbs while playing in her mother’s gardens as a child, their scents and beauty attracting her curiosity. She received a BA focused in Organic Agriculture and Herbal Medicine from Evergreen State College. For the past two decades, Brighid has worked with medicinal plants in a variety of ways; as a student and a teacher, a gardener and a forager, a medicine maker and health consultant. Today Brighid’s passion is to work with plants and people, inspiring self-reliance in their health and connection to the natural world.

Herbalist, Brighid Doherty, sits with basket of herbs

Board of Directors

Jeff Olson

Brighid Doherty

Graham Tabor

Eryn Klemenz

Kyra Alex

Kasi Billings

Brinna Davis

Upcoming Events 

Everything we do is given freely.

We believe money is a functional exchange of care and energy, based on the value of a shared experience.

Removing cost as a barrier for someone to participate in our events is very important to us.

Instead, we offer you the opportunity to decide the value of each experience and all that is involved in its creation.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING YOU JOIN US IN THE GARDEN!

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. We are an independent non-profit organization, funded by private donations. info@thegardenprojectme.com

Keep in touch

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