40 Stories for 40 Years – Profilee 25
When Natalia first came to New Ventures Maine (then Women, Work, and Community) she was going through the divorce process and needed support. She had been a homemaker and was hoping to turn her operational farm into a business.
To start, Natalia joined NVME’s My Next Career Move class to help figure out her career path. Next, Natalia participated in a training with NVME focused on building a business plan. Natalia says that “I started with $40 and had been providing some seasonal farm tours and wanted to grow that idea.” She found the training essential in growing this idea and making it possible. The class helped her to realize that she had more resources, knowledge, and skills than she thought.
Natalia reached out to NVME many times over the years for support. She is thankful to the organization for providing free and accessible training that was crucial to her moving forward. She has been the operator and owner of the Knot II Bragg farm for many decades. Her business has grown to provide both herbal products, farm goods, and educational resources.
Inspiring and Teaching Others
Natalia says that she has “became an environmentalist, fish farmer, and historian” over time. She enjoys writing and has been published. She has also been featured on many television programs focused on herbalism. In addition, Natalia has been a speaker at both local and national conferences. She hopes to continue to speak publically since she enjoys providing education.
Natalia continues to operate a store selling her herbal products, syrup, wreaths and other goods during the summer months. She would like to inspire and teach other young farmers from Aroostook about the abundant natural resources of the area. She believes strongly that these local resources could lead to economic security for many farmers. Her advice – “use your smarts, intuition, and every resource available to you!”