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August 16, 2017

Activist buys historic Pembroke hall to house ‘new farmers’ movement

New York farm activist Severine von Tscharner Fleming has purchased the historic Odd Fellows Hall in Pembroke to continue her work building the young farmer movement from her new location.

The Quoddy Tides reported Tides Institute and Museum of Art in Eastport connected Fleming with the hall when she expressed interest in expanding her work to Washington County. The sale includes a protective covenant to preserve the building’s historic integrity through its upcoming repair and restoration, Hugh French, executive director of Tides Institute and Museum of Art, told the newspaper. Restoration begins this fall, with tentative completion in 2020.

Fleming has founded four nonprofits and is involved with the Center for New Economics, The Greenhorns, the Agrarian Trust and the open‑source resource for farmers, Farmhack. She was also involved in founding the Pomona Organic Farm, the University of California at Berkeley's Society for Agriculture and Food Ecology and the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Fleming told the paper she’s interested in bringing new farmers and life to traditional organizations, plans to house a library in the hall of the country's agricultural history, and is researching the possibility of creating a youth summer camp focused on local agricultural and fisheries history and an artist and writer residency, performance space and more.

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