Adam Nordell ’05 and Johanna Davis own and operate Songbird Farm and play music together in the folk/bluegrass duo Sassafrass Stomp.Adam Nordell ’05 and Johanna Davis own and operate Songbird Farm and play music together in the folk/bluegrass duo Sassafrass Stomp. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik · Bangor Daily NewsUNITY, Maine — In the yellow-painted music room of their sunlit farmhouse, Johanna Davis and Adam Nordell ’05 changed their shoes, pulled out their fiddle and guitar and began to play and sing a toe-tapping song about working hard on the farm with the help of the one you love.

Talk about art imitating life. Davis and Nordell, the musicians behind the popular folk music act “Sassafras Stomp,” spent the last few months playing at contra dances, house concerts and other venues all over the country. But when spring comes, they will turn their focus to Songbird Farm, where they grow organic dry beans, grains, flint corn and vegetables on 13 or so acres in cultivation on the Stevens Road in Unity.

“We’re really lucky to get to farm and to play music for a living,” Nordell said. “Neither thing is easy and fun all the time, but overall they’re very rewarding things to do.”

Nordell, 33, is a Montana native who came east after high school to attend the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor. As a student there in the early 2000s, he got pulled into the enthusiasm for the local food movement and small-scale farming that was sweeping through the campus and did internships on several organic farms. But back then, at least, he avoided catching the farming bug.

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