Fluid Farms

The Portland Daily Sun has published an article about Fluid Farms, an aquaponic farm that’s been operating in Bayside for 2 years growing herbs, greens and fish.

“We have outgrown our cramped in-town greenhouse and have decided to expand. Powered by the momentum of the past two years of operation, we have committed to an expansion and purchased a production-scale 2,600-square foot greenhouse. We are building and moving into our new greenhouse this spring.”

Owners Tyler Gaudet and Jackson Mcleod are using Kickstarter to get the capital they need to expand their business. They have met their initial goal of $5,000 and are stretching to $10k which would enable them to increase the length of their growing season.

You can follow their progress on Facebook.

Growing Your Own Garlic

This week’s edition of the Portland Phoenix has an article about growing garlic and the plant diseases that afflict the crop in Maine.

As a garlic connoisseur, you should learn your varieties. Commercial growers favor softneck garlic (Silverskins and Artichokes), which stores better, lends itself to braids, and yields more concentrated — albeit smaller and harder to peel — cloves. Home gardeners and small farmers often plant hardneck (Porcelain, Rocambole, and Purple Stripe) varieties for their marketable scapes and large, meaty cloves. Nate Drummond of Six River Farm in Bowdoinham grows mostly Music and German Extra Hardy garlic, juicy, white-skinned Porcelain breeds.

Cape Elizabeth Farms

The Forecaster has published an article about the community of farms in Cape Elizabeth.

She said despite having so many farms, the owners don’t really compete for customers. Instead, the farmers often collaborate and help out where they’re needed in each other’s operations, which is part of the reason they’re able to be successful.

Syrup Grading & Maine Maple Sunday

The Press Herald Food & Dining section has published an article on syrup grading,

Take that darker syrup, which in Maine is called Grade A Extra Dark Amber. In Vermont and New Hampshire, that same syrup would be labeled Grade B. In New York, the label might read “Extra Dark for Cooking.” And in Canada, it’s called “No. 2 Amber.”

and The Root blog has published an article about Maine Maple Sunday.

The 1983 Maine Maple Sunday was the first-in-the-nation event. A dozen Maine producers hosted open houses. “Come and see Maine maple syrup made,” they broadcast. Entertainment featured syrup making, sleigh rides, sap collecting tours, syrup tasting, pancake breakfasts, maple sundaes, and syrup selling. Acceptance by the public was unexpectedly high. Maple Hill Farm in Farmington counted 1500 visitors.

Favorite Dishes, Lobster Market, SoPo Farmers Market

Today’s Press Herald includes a survey of chefs and food writers about standout dishes from the past year,

This week, in honor of Maine Restaurant Week, I asked local chefs, food writers and food bloggers to name the best dish they’ve had in a Maine restaurant over the past year.

Some of them couldn’t resist waxing poetic about an entire meal. Others cheated a little and named two dishes.

an article about the 2013 lobster market,

With last year’s glut of lobsters and plummeting prices still a vivid memory, Maine lobstermen are hatching strategies to cultivate new markets and more customers for the state’s leading fishery.

and a report on plans (or lack thereof) for the South Portland farmers market.

The South Portland farmers market, which was established in 2011, is without a home for the upcoming summer season, according to its manager.

Farms in Winter & an Urban Farm Store

This week’s Portland Phoenix explores the planning and preparation that Maine farmers do in winter.

While this farm manager admits that winter hours are much less demanding…there’s still a lot going on this time of year. Seed orders were placed at the beginning of the year, and the 2012 financial books were balanced and closed. The hay baler and tractor need maintenance. Firewood needs to be chopped. Soon, Kroeck will start interviewing and hiring apprentices…And in a couple weeks, “we’ll start getting the greenhouse ready to start seeding for the summer,” he says.

Under Construction: The article also reports that the owners Broadturn Farm in Scarborough are planning on opening a “urban farm store” in Portland this spring.

Broadturn Barns

The Broadturn Farm Blog has a new post about the renovation and repurposing of their barn and other outbuildings.

The buildings at Broadturn Farm have been a consistent focus over the years. The farmstead space is graced with a collection of connected buildings and stand alone outbuildings. It has a quintessential New England working farm aesthetic. Each building has been one thing, an then another. Renovated and re-renovated, torn down and re-built, these structures have evolved as the various enterprises of the farm saw periods of success and growth. Dating back to the early 1800s, the buildings tell us a story of who came before us and the legacy of hard work that is required to make a living off the land.

Phoenix Does Pork

This week’s Portland Phoenix has published a pair of articles about pork, both by Laura McCandlish:

The nomination process for the Phoenix Readership Survey is still ongoing. Go to make your recommendations for the top restaurants, bakeries, bartenders, food blogs, etc.

Pie Day & Maine Food Strategy

The Food & Wine section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about National Pie Day celebrations taking place in Portland and Rockland, pie facts, and pie recipes,

[Ned] Swain is a member of the elusive “Portland Pie Council,” a group of five or so Portlanders who fancy pie and for the past four years have organized a Pie and Art Gala at the Mayo Street Center for the Arts to celebrate Jan. 23, National Pie Day. Generally, they keep their identities secret, so Swain has become their spokesperson, using his pie hole to promote pies made of sweet potatoes, chocolate, pecans, berries, summer vegetables and just about any other ingredient you can think of that tastes good in a crust.

and an article about the Maine Food Strategy Initiative.

“Right now Maine imports the vast, vast majority of its food and most of it comes in on trucks,” said Lapping, who is a distinguished professor at the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Policy. “But many of us believe Maine has the capacity to produce more food.”