Or, well, almost. As you may remember, two summers ago, the Greenhorns loaded a schooner with 10 tons– $70,000 worth of cargo– and sailed it from Maine to Boston to sell at markets in the city. And then, the NEWSAG conference held a “FoodBarge Hack” lunch at their annual conference. The Portland Press Herald said of the project, “It’s art. It’s protest. It’s celebration. And, who knows? It may even be a practical way to get cargo to market.”
It looks like Maine’s Department of Transportation might actually agree. As BDN Maine reports, “The National Governor’s Association submitted its members’ wish lists to the Trump administration last week. The overall list isn’t being made public, but the Maine Department of Transportation is releasing its proposal: almost half a billion dollars for improving the state’s roads and bridges and to jump-start a project that would revive a long-dormant coastal barge route, from Maine to New York City.” They’re calling it the “New England Marine Highway.”
Though the Greenhorns would like to see a less fossil-fuel dependent model than tug-boat-pulled barges, we’re glad to see people thinking more creatively about viable ways to move goods from agricultural areas to regional markets. Put a sail on that barge— or, oh we don’t know, a solar panel, a hydrokinetic turbine, or some draft power— and we’re all for it!
We are so proud of this awesome collaboration. If you’ve been wondering how a maritime art stunt fits into the mission of an organization that supports farmers (I mean, talk about your landlubbers!), this publication is for you! Manifesta lays out the story, history, discourse, and activism behind the Maine Sail Freight project last summer! The un-monograph is a fun and galvanizing read, and we think it is going to make a real believer out of you!
It’s an elaborate stunt, invoking colonial history and the maritime ex- traction economy of coastal Maine as a platform for discourse on a more regional, more prosperous, and more diverse food economy for the future.
We claim the ocean as an ally and a commons—a venue to imagine what a world where 60% of the retail price goes to the farmer, and view- point from which to watch the farmers of the region operate, and co-oper- ate to circulate wealth and add value. We raise a flag for food sovereignty on the mast of our sail boat.
We are not content to labor where 70% of the agricultural work is performed by those without citizenship. We are not content to operate in a high-volume, low-value commodity extraction economy. We are not content to be silent while our nation negotiates yet more free trade agree- ments freeing only those at the top of the capitalist slag heap and chaining the rest of us to their terms.
“It’s art. It’s protest. It’s celebration. And, who knows? It may even be a practical way to get cargo to market.”
AND NOW, inspired by Sail Freight and Farm Hack, there will be a FoodBarge Hack lunch Friday Nov. 13, at NEWSAG‘s It Takes a Region Conference. The event’s organizer’s write:
“Together, we will envision an energy efficient, sustainable regional food system using our waterways. We will focus on how to connect mid-sized upstate farmers with underserved NYC neighborhoods using a barge on the Hudson River, and challenge the status quo. With your help, we want take real steps towards a viable alternative to food filled trucks on our roads.”
Please note that you must be attending the conference and should RSVP to Jill Slater in advance if you would like lunch.
Dear Mainers and Maine-lovers, Apply for this retail position to represent Maine Products and producers at the Boston Public Market during the busy holiday season.
Maine Sail Freight is a project of The Greenhorns, an 8 year old grassroots organization which works to promote, recruit and support the incoming generation of farmers through cultural programming and media production. Maine Sail Freight aims to illustrate and connect our regional foodshed using the logic of the landscape to orient the generation-long project of re-regionalizing our food supply. In partnership with Crown of Maine Organic Coop, we coordinated and delivered food, using the ocean as a trade-route.
Maine Sail Freight launched a pop up shop at the Boston Public Market in August, and now we are happy to partner with other organizations and business from Maine to extend the market presence into the Holiday season. Each of these organizations represent another segment of the growing sustainable agriculture economy in Maine, and we hope that our booth can be a pavillion that invites Bostonians and shopping tourists to explore all that Maine organic farming has to offer. Partners include: Maine Grain Alliance, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardners Association, Maine Department of Agriculture, Crown of Maine Organic Coop+ Fiddlers Green Farm, Experience Maritime Maine.
Would you like to be the voice of this project and help spread the word about our regional food economy, to learn about and promote the programs of the partner organizations.
Family fishermen and supporters are inviting ally networks to join them and call on Congress, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, and the New England Fisheries Council to stop the corporate takeover and privatization of the ocean and fisheries, to protect the democratic process and to restore the health of the marine ecosystem.
Bring your body and spirit and turn out for an action starting at 12 p.m. Wednesday September 30 at the Radisson Hotel in Plymouth, MA. The New England Fisheries Management Council will be holding a meeting at this time, and FLC, NAMA, fishermen, supporters, and allies (you! me!) will make it clear to them that we support local fisherman and are determined to protect our oceans.
Your support in the past — through written testimony or signing petitions — has brought unprecedented diversity of public input to the policies being considered by the New England Fishery Management Council. You have also helped create safe space for fishermen who have felt alone and often harassed for speaking out to actually stand up and be heard.
Whether you eat local seafood, support family food producers/local living economies/healthy oceans/our public commons/the public process, or simply want to keep those in power accountable, this is a fight that affects us all.
But we don’t think that we’re the only reason that you should pre-order it. The cover (like a good cover should) speaks for itself: ffreelancing co-ops, abandoning the perpetual growth model, and a fascinating look at the potential of abandoned villages in Southern Europe and the diverse communities they might encompass.
STIR Magazine is a “quarterly print magazine that features articles and interviews on the international co-operative movement, the emergence of the commons and collaborative networks, and other community-orientated alternatives in technology, agriculture, food, sports, energy, education and other important aspects of our lives.”
This absolutely mind-blowing APP, called Marine Traffic, shows real-time information about maritime traffic into and out of ports all over the world. It is an open-community based project, and costs $3.00, which we think is well worth the money. Next, we need one for semi-trailers and 18-wheelers.
Interested in learning more? Check out the APP’s FAQ page.
Maine Sail Freight, a pop-up selling goods from small farms throughout the northernmost New England state, will be anchored inside the Boston Public Market during September. The stash of nonperishable organic cargo — 6,400 pounds — sailed from Portland, Maine, on the schooner Adventure in late August. The Greenhorns, an organization that works to support young farmers, orchestrated the project to help the farmers expand the reach of their products and to spark conversation about the logistics of regional trade and the changing farm economy. “If our mission is to build regional resilience, we can’t just do farmers’ markets. Boston Public Market as an axial market for New England is perfect,” says Severine von Tscharner Fleming, Greenhorns director. Turning products they grow and cultivate into honey, maple syrup, jam, sea salt, heirloom beans, tea, spun wool, beeswax candles, flour, rolled oats, and more is a way for farmers to help their businesses thrive in a region with challenging growing conditions. Stop by for tempting items and interesting conversation. Main Sail Freight at the Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St., Boston
Help Wanted: Sales Associate for Maine Sail Freight
Maine Sail Freight has launched a pop-up shop at the Boston Public Market and we are looking for temporary part time workers to act as sales associates and public educator, possibly through December 2015. This will be an exciting experience unlike any other. Would you like to be the voice of this project and help spread the word about our regional food economy?
Strong interpersonal skills, clean, positive, great work ethic
Knowledge of sustainable agriculture, ability to communicate ‘ on message’ the goals of the Maine Sail Freight project, for days on end, engaging the public in a discourse about the future of our more regional farm economy
High level of enthusiasm and self-motivation
Ability to prioritize and manage time effectively
Flexible work schedule, including weekend and holiday availability.
Ability to lift and move product weighing up to 30 pounds
We have openings for both full-time and part-time help. Hours for the position will be determined by the hours of operation for the BPM and special events. Opening hours for the BPM are expected to be Wednesday-Sunday from 8am-8pm. Peak business periods may require extended work days and work weeks.
If you are interested in this exciting opportunity, please forward a resume, 2 references and a short cover letter to email@example.com with the subject line “BPM Sales Associate Application.” Please make sure to outline your availability in your cover letter. Preference will be given to applicants available to start work immediately.
Join Brian Donahue, Marguerita Desy and John Forti for an evening panel and facilitated public discussion to bring these questions to the fore- ground. The Greenhorns’ Maine Sail Freight project, delivering Maine-grown cargo to Boston’s Long Wharf on August 30th prolongs our public- performance logistics with a series of public conversations. We’ll be at Boston Public Market the whole month of September, and over the winter will start back up with public programs in Maine.
The young farmers movement shares a bold vision, to rebuild a more regional, more sustainable, more resilient food economy. Individual farms and farmers are actors, but we know that coordinating across bigger distances and confronting the structural and economic barriers will require serious teamwork. Our boat-stunt, doing more than $70,000 in regional trade, is intended to bring into the open some of these larger systems- coordination questions. We Greenhorns want to get guidance from our elders, and lessons from history about how trade evolves, and how systems evolve, and how we should be preparing ourselves for the work ahead. This panel is mostly about the history of trade in this country, as a way to inform our approach to the re-design of trade-systems. Continue reading →