Get Involved!! Here's how.

Please become part of the CECLA community in one or more of the following ways:

Attend one of our Events - Please see our schedule of events, or just stop by the land at 767 Carding Machine Road in Bowdoinham.

Lead a Workshop or Activity - If you have a skill related to traditional living (basket weaving, candle making, beekeeping, etc.), yoga, holistic health, music, outdoor skills, or anything else you’d like to share with our CECLA community, we encourage you to contact us to arrange a workshop.   We'll help you plan it, publicize it, offer it to members and the general community, and help facilitate the workshop!

Volunteer - We always will welcome another hand, whether its harvesting vegetables, picking weeds, maintaining trails, trimming brush, putting up buildings, and so on, and so on....

Contribute to our Newsletter - Recipes, stories, opinion articles....all are welcome!

And last but not least - Consider Joining CECLA!  Be part of our community.

Membership has the following benefits:

  • 50% off registration fees for all classes and workshops;
  • Free use to all trails on the Dancing Cricket Farm for hiking, cross-country skiing, birding, and so on.
  • Notice to join and participate in the Annual Shindig and other concerts and events;
  • Our periodic blog and newsletter, that includes stories from our farm and resource management programs, stories and photographs of indigenous communities in Latin America, and articles on healthy and sustainable living; and,
  • Updates on the research we perform, and how we are applying it.

Your membership dues and/or tax deductable donations from you or your business/employer will directly support a variety of programs and initiatives.  You can earmark donations for specific efforts.  Among this years goals are the following:

  1. Provide no fewer than 10 workshops, programs, and gatherings related to farming, environment, culture, and health.  Your dollars will help support our staff that either leads or facilitates these programs.
  2. Initiate construction on the CECLA Visitor Center, proposed as an energy efficient, green building using materials mostly from our own land, and planned as a two story octagon.  We'll be working hard to keep costs low by performing much of the work ourselves, but our initial estimates are approximately $200,000 and, over time, we hope to pay for this with a combination of grants, donations, and sponsorships, combined with proceeds from use of the building by other organizations.
  3. Apply for a grant from the Maine Public Utilities Commission for their Renewable Resources Fund for non-profit organizations to develop demonstrative renewable energy initiatives that are used in public education programs.  We need approximately $10,000 in match/seed money for our portion of this.  We are targeting a blend of solar, wind, and wood energy to meet our needs.
  4. Approximately $10,000 budgeted for our staff to provide free or low cost stewardship services to Maine land trusts and other non-profits that do not have the resources to perform ecological stewardship or monitoring of their lands.
  5. Along with these though, we also can benefit from a variety of unused materials that you may have laying around, whether its a used 5-gallon bucket, a shovel, or some unused two by fours.  A "wish-list" of items is found on the web site for the Dancing Cricket Farm at



CECLA & Dancing Cricket Calender of Events

We’re just getting going, admittedly, and we anticipate continuing to be quite busy getting the farm established right through June.  Watch for many more programs throughout the summer and fall.   This list is only the beginning:

  • Bird and Wildflower Walk at the Dancing Cricket Farm.  Saturday, June 5.  Led by CECLA Ornithologist and Naturalist Dave Santillo. 
  • Overnight camping in the Wishbone Meadow field.  July.  Led by Dancing Cricket staff, with bonfire, music, night walks, star watching, etc.
  • Youth Day.  Late July.  Led by Dancing Cricket Staff Samantha Manetti and Nick Costello.  Nature interpretation walks, bird house building, games, and more.
  • Harvest Picnic.  August.  Shindig at the farm for members of the DC CSA, and members of CECLA.  Food, music, games and more.
  • Wildlife Tracking Workshop.  August.  Led by Samantha Manetti.  On the various trails around the farm.
  • Dancing Cricket Music Festival.  Tentatively set for the second weekend in August, we're lining up several up and coming and established Portland area bands, as a fund raiser for our Ecological & Cultural Center.  Lots more news coming on this one!

The Identity of the Dancing Cricket 

If you look at the websites for CECLA and Dancing Cricket, one thing is conspicuously missing……the Dancing Cricket himself….or herself.  The Cricket is in the painstaking process of being born.   It appears to be close…just not “deadline ready.”  In the meantime, if any of our readers wakes up in the middle of the night, having been visited by the vision of the very essence of the Dancing Cricket….well, sketch ‘em out, and email it to us!!!!!!!!  There still may be some time to influence what the Dancing Cricket will be!


CECLA/Dancing Cricket Press

The mid-coast edition of the Forecaster wrote an article, by reporter Alex Lear, on CECLA and Dancing Cricket Farm. Please see the following link:


CECLA thanks Friends and Supporters!

HUGE thanks go to the following folks who’ve provided valuable assistance to CECLA:

Eric and Peggy Cianchette, owners of the Portland Regency Hotel, very generously donated the use of their hoophouse in Cumberland since February to germinate and raise our vegetable crops.   The Ciancettes also made available significant quantities of high quality organic manure. Needless to say, we can’t overstate how amazing and key this has been to our startup.

Board member Amy Simonds has been instrumental in coordinating business aspects of CECLA and Dancing Cricket, ranging from coordination with the Town of Bowdoinham to lining up Farmers Markets, and a ton more.

Board Member Kristel Hayes, president of MeshMarketing, Inc., donated wonderful expertise, time, and creativity for design and coordination the creation of both CECLA and Dancing Cricket web sites, and for both logos, and other marketing expertise.

Vice-chairman Jim Costello, of Curtis Thaxter in Portland, donated a great deal of extremely helpful legal advice and effort related to business registration and our non-profit application.

CECLA member Ron LeBlanc, of Cumberland, donated a heater for the greenhouse, and a variety of 2 by 4’s and other materials for use in the hoophouse, AND helped greatly with hoophouse monitoring.

Richard Gallagher, our neighbor on Carding Machine Road, donated use of his tractor and disc harrower to help prepare our fields, and donated a full weekend of his time to do the work!

Judy Gervais volunteered her expertise as a Certified Professional Accountant to assist with CECLA's application for non-profit status.

Greg Leonard of Quality Containers in Yarmouth, donated a 55 gallon container for use as a water catchment for use in our irrigation.

We also extend our sincere thanks to a number of friends and family who helped with planting and upkeep in the greenhouse:

Emily Santillo, Jenna Santillo, Arthur Bell, Amy Simonds, Eric Rishe, Lynn Holland, Tara Fahey, Linda Rivard, Charmy Cutler

THANK-YOU EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!  We’ve come very far this year, because of you!