LEWISTON — To Michelle Stone, there is something therapeutic in sinking her hands in garden soil, yanking weeds and squishing bugs.

The 38-year-old mom works full time at L.L. Bean’s returns building in Freeport. It’s good, steady work inside a climate-controlled building.

But when she comes home to Lewiston — to the Twisted Twine Farm — Stone relaxes with her family and the garden.

And the garden is growing.

Her creation, which began on a few square feet of soil used to grow chives and other herbs, has become kind of a second job.

“It is a lot of work, but isn’t everybody working a lot?” she said. “Everybody’s always saying how busy they are.”

She is in her second year of running a small, community-supported agriculture operation out her part-time project. Currently, 10 families have purchased shares of this season’s produce, which will include potatoes, carrots, leeks, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, snap peas, eggplant, three kinds of onions, edamame and bok choy.

“It is pretty cool. It’s nerve-racking, though,” Stone said. “I really want it to be good stuff. I want to make sure everybody gets the value they feel they should be getting.”

In a way, she’s been preparing to run a farm all her life.

She grew up in the Ferry Road area where she settled six years ago with her husband and son. Her house sits on family land (her maiden name is Belanger) that once had a farm. The chicken barn is gone. Her gardens spread across the area and she has a small chicken coop just a few feet from where the barn once stood.

“I always knew I wanted a garden,” Stone said. Once she started growing vegetables, she spread out more and more.

“I like being outside,” she said. “Summers are so short here.”

She also liked knowing where her food was coming from and that neither pesticides nor any chemicals were used.

There is something extraordinary about deciding what’s for dinner and then walking out your door and picking what’s needed, she said.

She also enjoyed the research, picking up tips and farming strategies by reading blogs and listening to podcasts. When she decided to begin selling produce, she sought out advice on the Internet for the best ways of rotating crops or planting foods to spread out their harvest

“All winter was spent planning, getting organized, getting seeds and waiting for the weather to turn,” she said. “There was a lot of waitin.”

When spring arrived, she and a friend planted the many rows, including the line of sunflowers along her long, gravel driveway.

Today, the nondescript green plants rise ankle-high from the soil. But in a way, Stone sees them as they will be, facing across the driveway to the southern sun.

“Hopefully in August, there will be a row of sunflowers looking at you when you drive in,” she said.

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