Here are some articles that have appeared in my readings of local papers. Occasionally I have included something more national or worldwide, but these are mostly Maine. This doesn't mean that I haven't missed something newsworthy or important, it does mean I'm doing what I can to make interesting content more available. Enjoy!
Field Report - Learning About Community-Supported Agriculture the Hard Way - NYTimes.com
Published: November 24, 2009
When a brush fire destroyed two chicken houses at Soul Food Farm in Vacaville, Calif., in September, killing 1,200 chicks that would have been cooked rather
differently at Chez Panisse, Alexis Koefoed was sure her business wouldn’t survive. The loss of two weeks’ income would put her young farm over the edge,
especially since her husband had lost his job in June....
"This romantic vision of the poor farmer needs to be thrown out! It’s not romantic to be poor. It’s a struggle."
Disaster declaration doesn't help small farmers | Sun Journal
December 1, 2009
By Leslie H. Dixon, Staff Writer
Published: Dec 01, 2009 12:00 am
WEST PARIS — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared an agricultural disaster in Oxford County but some local farmers say the designation, which
could provide financial help, will be of no use to them.
"We're not large enough to qualify," said Donnie Baldridge who along with his wife, Jeannette Baldridge, operate the LolliePapa Farm in West Paris. "The
problem is the bureaucracy of it. It's set up so it doesn't really do the small farmer any good. We lost really our entire crop of wheat but we didn't
have enough (to qualify for assistance). We're out of the loop."
This week, U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins announced that the U.S.D.A. had approved a request by Gov. John Baldacci to declare an agricultural
disaster in Oxford, Androscoggin, Franklin, York and Cumberland counties as well as Carroll and Coos counties in New Hampshire. The declaration makes emergency
loans available to local farmers.
The Bangor Daily News:
Maine given $480,000 for organic agriculture
BANGOR, Maine — Maine has received more than $480,000 for an initiative to encourage more organic agriculture production, according to a press release from
Juan Hernandez, state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Funding for 2010 is being made available as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
Extension agents promote programs
BY BETTY JESPERSEN
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel 12/02/2009
FARMINGTON -- Dave Fuller has been the agricultural agent with the Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office in Farmington for more than a decade and
2009 will go down as his busiest year yet.
"I've had 950 phone calls, walk-ins and e-mails," he said.
The queries covered everything from growing vegetables to pesticides to starting up a farm, Fuller told Franklin County commissioners Tuesday during the
Extension's annual report....
Somerset Co. to host maple syrup grading school
BY DOUG HARLOW
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel 12/02/2009
SKOWHEGAN -- The largest maple syrup-producing county in the nation finally is getting some respect.
The International Maple Syrup Institute, based in Ontario, is holding its sixth annual maple grading school in Skowhegan on Thursday and Friday.
STATEHOUSE Legislator: Report on dairy subsidies silences debate
AUGUSTA -- A state senator is accusing the state Department of Agriculture of trying to "squelch" debate on the controversial topic of dairy subsidies.
BY SUSAN M. COVER
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel 12/05/2009
Composting grant a perfect fit for school garden
By Eileen M. Adams, Staff Writer
Published: Dec 04, 2009 12:00 am
DIXFIELD — Buckfield Junior-Senior High School has received a $1,000 grant to design and build compost bins for waste from the cafeteria and school garden.
"It's a great opportunity to have a hands-on experience and apply the things they've learned in the classroom," Principal George Reuter said.... Also receiving a Service Learning Award was Jay Middle School for $4,000. It will pay for a geodesic dome greenhouse to be built by students in the Grade
8 Gifted and Talented program, other eighth-graders, local parents, volunteers and local builders.
Many good grades at maple syrup school
Tue. Dec. 8, 2009
SKOWHEGAN (AP) -- Tasting maple syrup is a lot like tasting wine. Sniff the aroma, take a sip, hold it on your tongue and savor it for a moment to register
At the International Maple Grading School, syrup is serious stuff. At a time when syrup production has boomed to its highest levels in decades, students
here learn the sappy sweet nuances of the trade, such as how syrup flavor can be affected by soil type, weather, tree health, production practices and
numerous other factors. ...
"I once tasted a barrel of syrup you could blow bubbles with," he said.
Farmers find new power for old tractors in electricity - Bangor Daily News
By Jeff Barnard
The Associated Press
APPLEGATE, Ore. — At
Blue Fox Farm,
the tractor is old but the fuel is new.
Like a small but growing number of organic farmers around the country, Chris Jagger has converted an old Allis-Chalmers Model G tractor built in the 1940s
to run on electricity at his farm in southwest Oregon.
Dairy task force calls for changes - Bangor Daily News
By Sharon Kiley Mack
AUGUSTA, Maine — Legislators knew the state’s unique Dairy Stabilization Program — which is managed, but not funded, by the state and provides subsidies
to Maine dairy farmers when the price of milk plummets — was in trouble early last year when dairy prices hit crisis levels.
Their worst fears were realized when the program ran out of money in September.
READFIELD: Residents warm to appeal for orchard
BY MATTHEW STONE
READFIELD -- More than 30 people crowded into a newly opened cafe here Thursday night to learn the latest about a nonprofit group's efforts to preserve
a local orchard. ...
"It's clearly one of the signature views that Readfield is known for," said Jerry Bley, a member of Readfield's conservation commission. "Over the years,
we've lost a lot of our agriculture, and it would be a shame to lose one more farm."
Posted by Rose and Steve @ 08:00 AM EST