Archive for the ‘Farming’ Category

Beverage Lawyer, Peach Crop

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Today’s Press Herald has an article on mead maker turned law student  Nick Higgins,

Higgins hopes to eventually use his experience as a mead maker to help other food and beverage entrepreneurs with the kind of legal issues that pop up while trying to start a food company.

and a report on this year’s bumper peach crop.

Maine Food Sovereignty Law

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Maine has enacted a new law that gives towns more control over regulating food businesses within their borders, reports the Press Herald.

Gov. Paul LePage has signed a bill into law that affirms the rights of cities and towns to regulate local food production, making Maine the second state in the nation to allow consumers to buy directly from farmers and food producers regardless of the state and federal licensing and inspections that would otherwise apply.

One Millions Pounds of Maine Grain (Updated)

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

Rob Tod has committed Allagash to buy one million pounds of Maine grains per year by 2021. That’s more than an eight-fold increase.

In the brewing business, buying locally often isn’t feasible. In Maine, the climate has always been right for growing grain, but the infrastructure just hasn’t been sufficient to meet our needs. Much to our delight, we’ve recently seen a steady and substantial increase in the amount Maine-grown and malted grains. That’s why we’re making the pledge that by 2021, Allagash will be buying one million pounds of Maine-grown grain per year.

Update: Mainebiz has published about Allagash’s commitment to buy more grain from Maine.

Farmers’ Market Stalwarts

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Today’s Press Herald reports on two Farmers’ Market stalwarts that continue to serve customers in Monument Square throughout the winter months.

The Wednesday edition of the Portland Farmers Market, which draws more than two dozen farmers downtown every week, officially ended in November, but Piper shows up throughout the winter to sell his meats, honey and prepared foods. It’s not a big money-maker. Piper, 73, says it’s mostly enjoyment that brings him out. He needs to get away from his Buckfield farm and socialize.

Maine Apple Season

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

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Maine Apple season is getting underway and I’m happy to see heirloom varieties starting to  show back up on the shelves at Rosemont Market.

These beautiful Martha Crabs from John Bunker’s Super Chilly Farm are available at the West End store.

You can see a list of many Maine orchards on the Maine Pomological Society website.

Today’s Maine Sunday telegram includes advice on which apple varieties work best for your recipes.

Botto’s Bakery

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

The Portland Phoenix has published an article on Botto’s Bakery,

“A lot of people know we do bread. They come in and say, ‘I didn’t know you made pastries,’” Jessica said. Their Washington Avenue location sees a lot of foot traffic from the neighborhood and the morning commute. The storefront business, with a quaint design and a couple of tables and chairs, has tripled since they expanded and upgraded their equipment in 2002, she added. They now bake everything in-house, switching from offering a few frozen items.

and a report on organic farming.

The general impression, from casual conversations with farmer’s market foodies, is that buying organic produce comes with certain expectations: the food will be safer, healthier, tastier and less of a strain on the environment. It’s the “you are what you eat,” kind of mentality and firm believers are willing to pay extra money to adhere to it.

Seed: The Untold Story

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

PrintThe Nickelodeon will be screening the award winning movie Seed: The Untold Story starting this Friday, through Wednesday September 21st.

Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. SEED: The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these reluctant heroes rekindle a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a culture connected to seeds. SEED features Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbrell, Winona Laduke and Raj Patel.

The screening of Seed at the Nickelodeon is in partnership with Rosemont Market, Cultivating Community, The Wild Seed Project and the Portland Pollinator Project.

Maine Calling: Farming in Maine

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Wednesday’s episode of Maine Calling on MPBN focuses on what it takes to be successful at farming in Maine and what resources are available to get started.

Maine is bucking a national trend – as farms and farmland shrink in other states, the number of new farms in Maine has been on the rise for more than a decade. What does it take to be a small farmer in Maine?  Where can new farmers turn to get help? We’ll learn what it takes to till the land and make a living as a farmer in Maine.

Sam Hayward will appear on the show today on a segment about the novel Sweetbitter,

We’ll hear from the author about her life as a waitress at an upscale restaurant in NYC, how much of the book is based on her own experiences, and we’ll be joined by a Maine restaurateur and by a Maine writer to get their take on food, restaurants and writing.

CEI $10k Matching Challenge

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

CEI—the nonprofit community development corporation Coastal Enterprise Inc—has received a matching challenge from Newman’s Own Foundation to raise $10,000 over the next 7 days. If CEI is successful, Newman’s Own will match the funds with an additional $10k.

CEI plans to devote the money to “help create economic opportunity for young farmers and food related businesses in rural Maine”.

Global food security starts on the farm and requires a strong and vibrant system that supports farmers, producers, the value chain, consumers and the environment. In the rural state of Maine, Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) provides loans and technical assistance to smaller, low-income players in innovative farm-food businesses, helping them to increase production, create a livelihood, and connect to markets.

Reversing a generational decline, there are 2,000 more Maine farms with 100,000 more acres in production than 30 years ago. From 2007 to 2012, Maine farmers under 35 increased by 40%. Help us build the foundations of our local food systems to spur sustainable economic growth and revitalization.

You can help CEI meet their goal by making a donation online at Crowdrise. The deadline for the matching challenge is December 1st.

New Winter Farmers’ Market Location

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

The winter edition of the Farmers’ Market starts on December 5th. This year the market is moving to a new home at 84 Cove Street which is just around the corner in East Bayside from the Urban Farm Fermentory.

The winter market began February 13, 2010. In its first year it was located at 85 Free Street, for the next 2 years it operated out of the Irish Heritage Center and it has been held at the Urban Farm Fermentory for the past 2 seasons.

Ocean Approved Kelp Farming

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Today’s Boston Globe includes a report on Ocean Approved’s seaweed aquaculture operation.

At the vanguard of New England’s nascent seaweed farming industry is Paul Dobbins, president and cofounder of Ocean Approved, a kelp farming operation based in Portland, Maine.

“The majority of seaweed gets imported from Asia,” Dobbins said. “We see an opportunity to provide a local alternative to that, and the response has been tremendous.”

Bumper Crop of Apples

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Today’s Press Herald features a story on this year’s bumper crop of apples in Maine.

Experts and apple orchard owners say a combination of factors is likely behind this year’s bumper crop. Apple trees tend to be cyclical, so this year’s higher yield follows a lighter harvest last year. Good spring and summer weather also played a role, although the warm late-summer conditions have pushed back the ripening for some popular varieties by a week or two.

Maine Heirloom Apples

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

appletastingThe Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald reports on the growing interest in heirloom apples.

Bendzela and Essman are among a growing number of Mainers who have developed an appreciation for heirloom varieties of apples that for the most part disappeared with the rise of big agriculture. They have replanted varieties that were originally grown on the farm and added more that were once popular in Maine – apples with different textures, unusual tastes and whimsical names, such as King of Tompkins County, Fallawater, Esopus Spitzenburg (a favorite of Thomas Jefferson) and Hubbardston’s Nonesuch.

The paper also has an article on vegetarian chef and Maine-native Matthew Kenney.

Matthew Kenney’s restaurants and books are a force in the plant-based food world, but his biggest influence may be in the new chefs he teaches.

Seaweed and Maine Seaweed Festival

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Today’s Press Herald includes an article about the Maine Seaweed Festival and the rising interest of seaweed as a cooking ingredient.

But the story is a good metaphor for what’s going on in the world of seaweed right now. Consumers are discovering a local food source that has been around for millennia, but has rarely been used in American cooking and is little known except when ordered in a dish at a Japanese restaurant. Now Americans and western Europeans are beginning to embrace it, and at the same time realizing here in Maine that we’ve got our own handy local supply right on the coast.

Visit seaweedfest.com for more information on the Maine Seaweed Festival.

Out on a Limb Apple CSA

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

The Out on a Limb heirloom apple CSA is now signing up members for this Fall. Shares are $150 and get you 5 deliveries of ¼ bushel each which contain “varieties of rare and highly flavored apples with a wide range of uses, appearances, histories and flavors”. See the OOAL website for more info.