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Co-Applicant / Spouse:

Bianca Cothen


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Past and present farming experience:

We are a farming family that is looking to relocate our current operation and grow our business at a place where we can maximize the dream.
We are pursuing our passion of farming for the health of others and our personal self-sufficiency.
We believe in the positive power of living with the land and enjoy sharing this with our three children, in hopes of bettering the future generations and restoring the environment.

Josh grew up near New Orleans, in Mississippi and joined the navy at nineteen as an electronics technician. Josh grew up loving the challenge of problem solving and fixing things and he has a knack for building efficient systems with smart technology.
After 9 years in the Navy and a few years of unchallenging work as a Network Administrator and Telecommunications specialist at Togus VA hospital in Maine, he got into farming and homesteading.

Josh is also a trained boat builder and attended school at the Landing school in Kennebunkport. Mastering woodworking skills has helped us immensely with building infrastructure on the farm. Josh also has an extensive knowledge of small engines and has lots of experience with large farm machinery.
He loves the constant challenge of figuring out how to grow food sustainably and provide a great life for our family.
Being a person who enjoys problem solving and making efficient systems Josh has found his niche in farming full time.

Bianca, is birth doula and aspiring midwife who grew up in New England, and have always had a passion for gardening and taking care of others.
Josh and Bianca connected on their love of farming, feeding ourselves and others off the land. They built a little off grid homestead and cabin in Starks, Maine where they lived for 3 years growing veggies and learning about building a farm and garden.

We are intrigued with the changing world of modern agriculture and have been closely following the work of Elliot Coleman, and Jean-Martin Fortier. Both, of whom, focus on the values of low impact farming, soil building (low / no till), permanent beds, intensive plant spacing, small use of acres with a high yield, year round production, and of course Organic practices.

As people who value working smart and efficiently we have adopted these techniques with low impact hand tools and have a very productive little farm on ¾ of an acre that has produced high yields over this past season.We have had so much fun designing, building, and working our small farm that we know we have finally found our calling and wish to find farming property that can we can instill our next larger steps towards success on.

Farming, Management & Marketing Experience
5+ years of experience growing large yields of Garlic. 2 years experience in making Black Garlic as a value added product in large batches.
3 years homesteading from the ground up
Certified Organic Farming at Charlies Red House Farm in MA ( 2017-2018). We built and managed our own Certified Organic Operation on leased land with weekly wholesale deliveries of vegetables.
Greenhouse work at Brighams farm in Concord MA (2014-2017: Bianca)
Crop planning, equipment maintenance and ground preparation for 4 season farming.
Greenhouse construction and irrigation systems for field and greenhouse
Attendance of Kendall Square discovery market Cambridge MA
Wholesale of products to local aggregates, restaurants and co-ops.
Online presence and advertising, use of social media tools such as facebook, and instagram.

We are participants in the Farm Start program from Farm Credit East and we were able to obtain all new equipment required to work the land efficiently. Please let us know if you would like a list of equipment that we can provide.

Josh & Bianca Cothen
Rusty Shovel Farm


Counties being considered:
  • Androscoggin County
  • Cumberland County
  • Kennebec County
  • Oxford County
  • Sagadahoc County
  • York County
Types of enterprises considered:
  • Apple/Fruit
  • Beef
  • Berries
  • Dairy (cows)
  • Flowers
  • Goats
  • Grains
  • Greenhouse
  • Hay/Forage
  • Herbs
  • Hogs
  • Livestock
  • Nursery
  • Poultry
  • Row Crops
  • Sheep
  • Sugaring
  • Vegetables
  • Woodlot
Total Acres Desired:


Tillable Acres:


Wooded acres:


Acres in Pasture:


Acres in Pasture:


Acres in Orchard/Fruit/Perennials:


  • Yes
  • Doesn't matter
Farm structures needed:
  • Barn(s)
  • Storage
  • Shop
  • Other Housing
Equipment needed:

We have all equipment to start but any extra equipment would be learned by us and used efficiently.

Arrangement(s) considered
  • Owner-Financed Sale
  • Short-Term Lease
  • Long Term Lease
  • Lease with Option to Buy
  • Work to Own (Gradual Transfer of Responsibility & Farm Assests)
  • Partnership
  • Joint Venture with eventual sale
  • Farm Manager
I am interested in farms with Conservation Easements:
  • Yes
Here is a summary of the vision for my farming future and/or business plan:

We know that as farmers it is in the best interest to wear many hats, the following is a list of business interests that we plan to pursue in the next 5 years.
-Our Farm Product Goals Years 1-5
-Black and Smoked Garlic Production (Year 1)
-Local Four Season CSA (Year 1)
-Pasture raised poultry with Movable Chicken Tractor (Year 1)
-Forest Raised Pork (Year 1-2)
-Pasture Raised Rabbit with Movable Rabbit Tractor (Year 1-2)
-Pasture Raised Goat and Goat Milk Products (Year 1-2)
-Orchard Growth and Organic Management (Year 1-2)
-Bee Hives (Establishing Year 1)
-Maple Syrup Production (Year 1-2)
-Forest Farming and Mushroom Production (Year 2)
-Sustainable Woodlot Maintenance and Woodworking products such as boats (Year 1-2)
-Farm to table dinners and/or host community support dinners (Year 2-3)
-Flower Production ( Year 1)
-Permaculture Design to farm layout (Year 1-5)
-Microgreens and Juicing bar products (Year 1) .
-Possible Small scale cow rotation to learn dairy and meat products (Year 3-4)
-Value added farm products such as canned items and farm fresh to-go foods, farm fresh juices. A certified Kitchen would be a goal to help develop and build. (Year 2-3)
-Development of ‘Holy Smokes’ business. A passion of Josh’s that involves the ethical butchering and smoking of meats, using age old techniques that observe religious and ancient methods. Smoking products will not be limited to meats, and can include vegetables, cheese, herbs and other value added products. (Year 1-5)