the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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podcast: marada cook of northern girl, maine food entrepreneur

Click HERE to stream the podcast or download HERE from itunes.

Marada Cook is one of Maine’s most remarkable entrepreneurs. She’s part owner and manager of three Maine food companies, Northern Girl, Fiddler’s Green Farm, and Crown of Maine Organic, that repurpose, distribute, and sell Maine produce across the northeast and have become core to the regional food system. Join me for a conversation with Marada where she describes – in her understated way – the development of these three companies to where they are today. Recorded onsite at the Slow Money Maine conference. To listen to this episode on the Grow Maine Show, click HERE—->

Marada Cook of Northern Girl

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greenhorns severine & patrick to speak at maine sail freight event

We hope you will join us in early summer, for an evening event exploring possibilities for a Maine Sail Freight Project along our fine seacoast. On June 22 we’ll join with Penobscot Marine Museum, MOFGA, Maine Farmland Trust for a Grange-hosted potluck dinner, and panel presenters from around New England.

If you’ve been following the revival of the working sail, you may have caught the maiden voyage of the Vermont Sail Freight Project last fall, further afield there’s New Dawn Traders in England, Salish Sea Traders in Puget Sound, Sailing Vessel Kwai out of the Cook Islands, and a Tres Hombres, traveling with rum and cocoa to the Netherlands!

Continue reading

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maine’s young farmer alliance

Gathering of Maine’s Young Farmers Alliance!

Grassland Promo

The next gathering will be held at Grassland Farm in Skowhegan on Saturday May 10th at 5pm. After a round of introductions there will be a farm tour and potluck. Please bring a dish and drinks to share. FMI or to carpool email David Gulak, Grassland Farm is located at 41 Grassland Lane, Skowhegan.

Photo courtesy of Grassland Farm:

Maine’s Young Farmer Alliance is a Chapter of NYFC:

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summer semester at stone soup

tiny house 005
Stone Soup Institute is a small non-profit organization teaching sustainable/rural living skills, located in Harpswell Maine. Our program is project based, and hands-on. We are offering the Spring/Summer semester with a focus on building a mobile Tiny House.  We will be building with lumber sawn from trees salvaged from storm damage, as well as materials salvaged from local remodeling contractors. Students will learn how to plan and build a tiny house from start to finish. The goal is to begin in mid May and finish by mid August. Instruction in gardening, animal husbandry, and  homestead related crafts round out our time together. For more information about the Spring/Summer semester visit our website
Also, see our Tiny House blog:
Please contact Jim Cornish for more information at 207-833-2884 or by e-mail:

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grassroots seed network

Maine farmer, seed curator forms new grass-roots group
By Mary Pols for the Portland Press Herald, February 16
After a rift in the community of seed-savers, Will Bonsall takes matters into his own hands to continue protecting hundreds of varieties of potatoes and other plants.



Read the full article HERE
and check out the Grassroots Seed Network!

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mofga: grow your own organic garden workshops

Grow your own organic garden MOFGA

Locations across Maine

April 2, 2014: 6-9 pm

Are you concerned about the rising cost of food? Unsure what the term “certified organic” means? Interested in learning how to grow your own vegetables in a sustainable manner?
Join MOFGA for an evening-long workshop on how to grow your own garden, where the basics of soil science, how to enrich your soil to produce healthy, high-yielding plants will be discussed. The course will also cover the basics of making and using compost, the principles of crop rotation and how to incorporate green manures and manage nutrients in the garden. Other topics will include how to tell the difference between cultivated plants and weeds, basic weed control strategies and common insect pests and methods of natural insect control. The instructor will be an experienced farmer or gardener from your region.
More about these workshops and MOFGA can be found HERE

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save the date: maine grain conference!

We will post registration information as soon as we have it!

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2014 Maine Grain Conference, March 15th – Bangor, ME
We are extremely fortunate this year to have as our main speakers Mary-Howell and Klaas Martens of Lakeview Organic Grains, Penn Yan, NY.  The Martens are regional experts in all aspects of organic grain production and handling.  They will discuss crop rotations, fertility and weed management, seed production, and post-harvest grain cleaning, drying, and storage; as well as the topics and questions that you bring.  We’ll also learn from a panel of Maine grain growers about their successes and lessons learned; and hear about results from UMaine grain research.

Save March 15th on your calendar and look for upcoming registration information!




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greenhorns in maine tomorrow!

Thursday night( JAN 23)  for the Halcyon Grange at Blue Hill Public LIbrary, 7pm ( with potluck cookie jar) about the history and future of the Grange movement. national_grange-194x300

Severine Fleming will report her work (with Jen Griffith) on a project called Grange Future.
The Grange is the oldest Agricultural organization in the United States, its peak coincided with the golden age of family farming in the 1880s- 1920s, recruitment and action spurred by the anti-monopolist sentiments of family farmers being gauged by the unregulated Railroad empires.
For today’s young farmers the grange is a kind of syllabus in community-scale organizing, regional development, cooperative economics and kinship-based policy advocacy.

Grange Future is a community history project undertaken by The Greenhorns, a young farmers network, to help interpret the both the past and future of the Grange and grange movement,not in a nostalgic or abstract way, but as an appropriate institutional format for contemporary users concerned with rebuilding our food system.  Continue reading

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a model for conversation and creativity

We love this idea.  And if you’re feeling the spirit of giving, chip in!

Lily Piel PIctures Oct. 2011 001

Quill’s End  Farm is a 100 acre farm in Penobscot, Maine.   It is a grass-based cow dairy and raises small livestock on pasture grazing rotationally.  Heather and Phil Retberg farm this plot of land with their three children, Alexander, Benjamin and Carolyn.  Phil hand milks 4-6 cows and all the milk is exchanged through a private buying club and their on-farm store.  While they have farmed for 16 years, the last few years have posed some challenges they couldn’t overcome alone.  They came to the conclusion that hard work and perseverance was not going to address those challenges and   reached out to their farm patrons, friends, and community of support to help them brainstorm some creative ways forward during a potluck brainstorm session in November.  Below is how Heather describes the day and what transpired:

“We brought together between 35-40 of our Quill’s End farm patrons for a potluck–midwives, teachers, farmers, doctors, lawyers, bakers, beer brewers, parents, retired and young  to help us brainstorm on some tough obstacles intersecting to pose some real survival challenges to small, diversified farms of our generation.   Continue reading

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sweet farmstead for sale in unity, me


This 16-acre property is MOFGA certified organic and ready to be a home to your operation. The fertile pastures are fully-fenced, and there are existing NRCS Contracts, established Infrastructure for poultry & ruminants, and a well-managed woodlot. It’s located just a few miles from MOFGA’s fairgrounds and in the midst of one of Maine’s key farming communities.  Greenhorns’ friend and ally, Abby, has run Bacon Brook Farmstead on the property for several years and is now moving on to pastures that are just as green and lush to join and help expand another Maine farm.  She has great taste and the home has been renovated beautifully.

View the listing HERE Continue reading


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