This page has helpful information for current and prospective Grower Partners who are growing or want to grow medicinal plants for the Meeting House Farm Herb Grower Collaborative.
Below, you will find the following documents:
- FAQ for Grower Partners
- Options for Selling with MHF
- Sample Consignment Agreement (coming soon)
- Herb Drying Guide for the Northeast
If you would like to apply to become a Grower Partner, our annual enrollment period starts the first week of March and runs through April 1st.
An application form will become available on our Join the Collaborative page when enrollment is open.
Check out the amazing folks who make up Our Grower Collaborative here.
FAQ for MHF Grower Partners
Do Grower Partners have a standard growing practice to adhere to?
- All growers with Meeting House Farm grow regeneratively and organically. Many of us also follow biodynamic methods. We do not require farms to be certified organic, but we do visit every farm and talk with you about your farming methods. We are a collaborative of small farmers who harvest beautiful herbal medicines by hand – resulting in high quality medicine for local herbalists.
What about soil health?
- Soil health should be your first priority. Please get a soil test of your growing area.
What does the MHF Collaborative accept?
- We welcome plants that offer to share themselves in your life and are loved, tended, and dried by you.
- We typically do not take extracts or other preparations. The extracts in our store were prepared under state license in our facility, or a facility that we have already thoroughly inspected and is licensed as well.
How should I store my plants for transport?
- Herbs should be stored in barrier bags or food grade plastic buckets. See the Herb Drying Guide below for more details.
How do I get my herbs to MHF?
- The first time you consign or sell with us, we will come to you to pick up your dried plant material. You can get them ready in paper or parchment bags for us - we will store them in biodegradable paper barrier bags in our certified facility. We will want to get to know you and ask you questions about your story, your growing practices and your relationship with the herbs.
- We also offer an herb pick up – (monthly in the northeast) – usually the first week of each month during the season (June – November) for $30 per visit. You are also welcome to drop off at our farm at any time.
What happens to my herbs once they reach MHF?
- We will re-bag and label your herbs, take a picture and get them on the website. We aim to do that within the week, but during the height of the season it can take a month.
What quantities do you accept?
- We accept 1 lb per herb or more. We will do a pick-up for at least 5 lbs of dried herbs.
- We must re-weigh your herbs.
- We can only count herbs in increments of 1 oz. If you send us 10 lbs plus 0.5 oz of tulsi, we can’t easily sell the 0.5 oz so we will pay you for the 10 lbs. As we grow, we hope to use these “little bits” to combine between farms, but for now the volume isn’t there for this option.
- After we weigh your herbs, you will receive a receipt from us that will include how we bagged that herb for sale.
Why are there two different sales prices for the same variety of plant on your website?
- We are a certified organic farm and as such are required to show price differences between certified organic and non-certified. This is evident in all of our pricing.
What is the payout structure like?
- You can choose from 2 different models listed below: the Standard Retail Model or the Collaborative Model.
Options for Selling with MHF
1. The Standard Retail Model
In this model, we buy your herbs out-right and sell them under the Meeting House Farm logo.
- This is the simplest option. It is available for growers who can deliver at least 2 lbs of each herb.
- Please note that, to ensure quality control, the herbs must be dried and garbled to our specifications.
- We pay 50% of the Retail price per pound. Please feel free to request the 2023 pricing guide for growers for examples of grower prices.
- Payouts occur via check within 30 days, once we have your herbs weighed in-house.
- If you are interested in selling via the Standard Retail Model, please reach out to email@example.com to let us know what you are interested in selling. We’d love to talk to you!
2. The Collaborative Model
- This is a great option for first year growers. It lets us guide you through herb quality in your first year and limits risk for all of us.
- Consignment is 60% to the farmer; 40% to Meeting House Farm.
- Payouts occur every 30 days via check based on sales price.
- This option requires that you sign a consignment agreement with us (sample below)
When I join the Collaborative, are my herbs labeled with my name or yours?
- Your herbs will always be labeled with your farm name in our online store, as transparency is one of our top values in the Collaborative.
- Your herbs are sold as single source – we do not white label. The bags that people receive will be labeled with your farm name, under our branding.
- The exception is when we are filling a very large order that one farm cannot fill on their own. For example: the Calendula currently sold at Portland Food Co-Op is from Patch Farm and Meeting House Farm. We label this as Meeting House Farm Herb Grower Collaborative for simplicity.
What are the perks of joining the Collaborative?
- We strive to meet as a collaborative regularly to build community, share farming tips, seeds, wisdom, and go in on bulk supply orders together.
- Your herbs will have the opportunity to be sold in our online store at meetinghouse.farm as well as on the shelves of our growing stockist list which includes storefronts, apothecaries, groceries and co-ops across Maine.
- We offer to feature you in our marketing campaigns including our website, social media and emails. We respect your level of comfort around that, and your story can be as anonymous or intimate as you are comfortable with.
- You get a discount code to use in our herbal marketplace.
- A farm visit and consultation with Emily, including what to grow on your land, dry room set up consultation and production review.
- Up to three 30 minute phone consultations with Emily.
Is there a cost to join the Collaborative?
- There is a $25 application fee to apply to join the Collaborative.
- We ask each new farm to pay $600 to join the Collaborative.
- We charge this fee because it costs us $750 add each new farm to the collaborative.
- Please note that based on the amount you grow, there are some services that require additional fees (see below).
The Collaborative Model we offer our farms:
When a bag of herbs is sold, the farm receives a payout of 60% of the sales price of the herbs (bagging costs are not included).
For farms that grow 250 lbs or more per year, the remaining 40% of herb sales covers their share of the costs of running the collaborative (excluding herb pick-ups and inventory and reporting fees).
For smaller farms (particularly those growing less than 100 lbs per year), the remaining 40% of herb sales does not cover these costs. Thus, some services require additional fees (see table below).
We are applying for a grant to help the cost for smaller farms that can’t yet produce 250lbs.
All costs will come out of payouts (after the herbs are sold) rather than being charged upfront.
Collaborative Model Fees
We need for you to stick with the option you choose for the entire year.
If we don’t sell your herbs in 18 months, we will put them on sale the following January. If they don’t sell in 20 months we will return them to you or offer to donate them to a local group – typically this is either the Wabanaki nation or a women’s shelter in the area.
Herb Drying Guide (American Northeast)
If you have additional questions, please contact us via this form: