There are several articles of interest in today’s Portland Daily Sun:
- A feature article on the new restaurant initiatives that are proceeding during a downturn in the economy. The optimists behind The Corner Room, The Farmer’s Table and Figa were all interviewed for the piece.
- An update on Grace, the new restaurant being built in the renovated Chestnut Street Church.
- An article on Portland’s local food movement and the new Portland chicken ordinance.
This week’s meeting of the Portland City Council resulted in the passage of an ordinance to permit Portlanders to raise chickens, denial of a liquor license for Cactus Club (which will stay open pending an appeal), and passage of liquor licenses for two new establishments, Pearl and The Farmer’s Table.
There’s an article in today’s Press Herald about the goals of Maine Street Marketplace initiative that’s meeting this week at USM.
Maine farmers, fishermen and others are working to create a new delivery system to connect customers with locally produced food and agricultural products.
The idea is to set up an online grocery store that would take customer orders for the wide range of produce, fish, meat, poultry, dairy and other agricultural products produced around the state. A warehousing and distribution system would be part of the venture, which may also include a retail store and commercial kitchen for food processing.
The total number of farms in Maine increased 13% from 2002 to 2007 and the number of organic farms increased 139% over same time period, according to an article in today’s Press Herald.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its latest five-year census this week, showing that the number of farms in Maine increased by 13 percent, to 8,136, from 2002 to 2007, compared with a 4 percent increase nationwide. The average size of a Maine farm declined 13 percent, to 166 acres, during the same period.
CSFs are front and center in this article in the Food & Health section of today’s Press Herald. According to the article, a number of community supported fisheries will be on hand at the CSA Fairs taking place across the state on February 8.
As of last week, organizers were expecting lobster and mussel shares to be offered in Portland, lobster and shrimp in Brunswick, and mussels in Newcastle. Seafood shares were also expected to be available in Belfast, Orono and maybe Saco and Ellsworth.
There’s an article on the growing number of winter farmers’ markets, in the Home & Garden section of the Maine Sunday Telegram.
This week’s Forecaster reports that the City Council will be taking a vote to allow city dwellers to “keep up to six live chickens per household, provided they have the right amount of space.”
Poor weather conditions the past couple years have constrained supply of maple syrup. Maine syrup producers are adding capacity in anticipation of this year’s season in hopes of capitalizing on the market conditions, according to an article in today Maine Sunday Telegram.
“The largely mom-and-pop operations don’t tap sugar maples until the sap starts to flow, usually around the third week of February.
But this year, maple syrup fever is raging across the state thanks to a shortage of the sweet amber liquid. This January, prices have soared and syrup makers are racing to increase production, laying new sap lines and preparing to tap more trees than ever before.”
Maine Maple Sunday is taking place on March 22nd this year.
Local Foodie is working on a project this year to create “an interactive map that represents all aspects of the food system and can be used by consumers, producers, distributors, and everyone in between to make connections with local food.” It sounds like a great idea. I look forward to seeing it come together.
A new post from Portland in a Snap reports on the Winter Farmers’ Market and includes a detailed menu of items and prices available from participating vendors. The options range from rutabagas and golden shallots to creme freche and ewegurt.