Join Andy Smith of Smith’s Smokehouse and delve into the basics of charcuterie through a series of four workshops. Learn how to create your own charcuterie goods, and potential business, and then dig deep into a variety of curing processes including bacon, bresaola, beef jerky and more!
Don’t forget to register for this course, there are only 10 spots available. The complete series is $350 for MOFGA members and $400 for non-members. Each course will take place at Smith’s Smokehouse; bring your own lunch.
MYCOLOGOS is the world’s first online and in-person mycology school and demonstration mushroom farm, based in Portland, Oregon. They are currently raising funds through a Kickstarter campaign (ending December 20) where you can save up to 80% off online courses in mycology. The founder of mycologos, Peter McCoy will be teaching a Greenhorns mycology workshop in our new headquarters in Maine next Summer. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest in this July 2018 class.
Click HERE to check out the kickstarter, there is only 6 days left to donate!
This lovely clip above give a snapshot of Arista Holdens most recent sail camp. Arista will be working with the Greenhorns to hold another sail camps in the Summer of 2018 on the beautiful coast of Maine. Contact Arista directly if you would like more information by sending an email to email@example.com
Check out this awesome rice growing project in Maine by Wild Folk Farm. Their goal is to get as many farmers and folks eating and growing rice throughout Maine, the Maritimes, and the Northeast. They are developing an educational, research and commercialized rice operation as currently there are no commercial rice growers in the state, and only a sprinkling of homesteading rice practices. Most domestic rice farms in the United States are monocultures that rely heavily on fossil fuel-driven mechanized cultivation and harvesting processes, and chemical sprays and fertilizers. Their proposed systems on the other hand are ecologically beneficial and symbiotic, adaptable to otherwise inaccessible farmland (low-lying wet clay soils), void of chemical inputs, and after initial excavation of the paddy areas, non-reliant on fuel-driven tools and machines. Arsenic is not an issue in our rice. Continue reading →
There is a new Credit Union for farmers in Maine! It was founded in recognition that access to credit is one of the most difficult hurdles for young and new farmers to overcome. The Maine Harvest Credit Project is working to create a specialised credit union that is focused on providing credit to small farms and relocalizing the food economy in Maine. Their aim is to fill crucial financing gaps in the traditional credit system such as land acquisition, specialized food processing and farm equipment.
They believe that the creation of Maine Harvest will have an impact well beyond Maine’s borders. As the first deposit-taking institution in the USA focused on food system re-localization they will be a model for other states and regions looking to scale up the financing options for small scale, sustainably produced food and agricultural products. This is the start of something very important!
The project still needs a million dollars in order to get its accreditation, we think that this is the perfect opportunity for a tech investment (if you farm for a tech person, please pass this on for them to look at!)
To read more about the Maine Harvest Credit Union click HERE
If you or somebody you know is interested in becoming a donor, please contact Sam or Scott directly.
Sam May: firstname.lastname@example.org / 207.653.2260
Scott Budde: email@example.com / 207.653.5527
Photo Credit: Gordon Chibroski/Press Herald Staff Photographer
Severine spoke to BBC radio in the UK this about the need for an informed and sustainable approach to seaweed farming, one of the fastest growing aquaculture sectors anywhere right now. Listen to her talk about the culinary benefits of seaweed, and tell the story about how she got into seaweed herself on the coast of Maine by getting in literal touch with nature.
The 12th annual all-ages dress-up Blackfly Ball is taking place this weekend, August 19th, in Machias, Maine. The Ball has been taking place every year since 2005 to celebrate the restoration and reopening of the Machias Valley Grange Hall and as a testimony to the 100+ years that the building has served as a community center to the people of Washington County. The event itself embodies the history of the building, bringing together people from all walks of life to find a common ground through community and celebration.
This years line up features soothing brass, wacky ukuleles, flocks of fiddles and more from far and wide. This event is 100% free and is entirely funded by poster sales, the posters are designed each year by the newest illustrator to join the Beehive Collective and are exceptionally beautiful!
To see all of the previous posters click HERE and to find out more information about the ball and to keep up to date or to organise ride sharing to and from the ball click HERE
The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) are hiring! They have just announced two new exciting full time positions, Director of Development and Community Engagement Coordinator.
Both roles will remain open until MOFGA find the best candidate possible for the position, however the first review of candidates for the position will begin on September 6th for the Director of Development, and August 14th for community engagement coordinator position. So if interested in either post, be sure to get your application in before the relevant date!
To find out more information about these roles or to how to apply, click HERE
Even after the lamb comes, the ewe continues to strain. Sticky with afterbirth, the ram lamb calls to his mother in quavering tenor, but though she lifts her head in his direction and lets out a low moan of response, her heaving sides won’t let her rise and go to him.
In the compounded darkness of the manger—it’s well after sunset—it’s hard to see what’s happening. The ewe stretches a hind leg in effort, and then again, and again, pushing. She stops her rhythmic movement, breath ragged. Someone shines a light: there is something there, behind her hind legs, on the straw. A second lamb? The thing is dark, darker than the first lamb. A black lamb? But no, it glistens too strangely in the odd glare/shadow contrast of the flashlight.
“I—I think that’s part of her body.” What? “I think those are her organs.”
The stillness breaks. The livestock manager is called. “Prolapse,” “iodine,” “warm water,” “towels.” There is a flurry of activity in service to these words. The rumble of a truck announces the arrival of Josh, the livestock manager, from down the road. He clicks his headlamp on to peer at the lumpen tangle between the prostrate ewe’s legs. “That’s her uterus,” he says, and walks away to call the vet.
He returns shaking his head. The vet can’t come for two hours—there’s another emergency, over the border in Vermont. “I guess I’ll try to put it back, but I’ve never had much luck.”
Josh instructs someone to fetch sugar, someone to fetch a better light, someone to prepare a bottle of colostrum for the new lamb (“He’s huge, look how huge he is! That must be what did it”). He sloshes iodine up to his elbows while two people hold the ewe still. Gingerly, he lifts the uterus from ground, pulling off bits of straw and hay. He pours sugar over it. “The vet says this will make it shrink, so that it will fit,” he tells us. Then in a low mutter, to himself, “This was my favorite sheep.”
After a few moments, he begins trying to push the uterus back into the ewe. But even gritty with sugar, reverse-osmosis starting to drain the fluid, it’s slippery and swollen, bulging any place where Josh’s hands can’t stretch, the task like trying to fit a water ballon into the tap from which it was filled. “She’s pushing against me,” he says. “Her body thinks she’s having a lamb.”
He keeps trying: adding more sugar, repositioning, applying prolonged pressure, but it won’t go. Josh sits back on his heels. There’s nothing to do but wait for the vet. Continue reading →
OK, gang, here’s the deal: our friends at Apple Creek Farm (run by Greenhorn Abby Sadauckus and her partner) just needs a few more eggs in their basket to be successfully funded in their Barnraiser! With three days to go, they are within 85% of their goal of funding a the construction of a chicken coop that would allow them to meet the demand for local pasture-raised eggs at their local farmers market. As Abby writes below and as every farmer can empathize, raising money is so just so much harder than the actually work of farming, so let’s help a sister out!
More info about the eggs-pansion (and I hope you’ve caught the double pun there) here!
Here’s the latest from Abby: “As we are all well aware starting a farm takes more that great products, consistent markets and energy—it takes the support of the community as well. The campaign will fund the construction of a hoop house which will serve as winter housing for our expanded flock of organic laying hens.
We’ve met our minimum funding goal of $8,000 and the remaining funds will help us purchase new nest boxes that will make egg collection easier, the lumber for constructing our end walls, and an exhaust fan to keep the house dry.
By improving the way we produce our eggs we’ll be able to offer the same unparalleled product, enhance our hen’s living conditions and double our flock without increasing our workload! Eggs are a key component of our market presence and when we run out in the first two hours of markets our customers notice! This project will enable us to sell more eggs to market shoppers, natural foods stores and through a CSA.
Since we brought all of our farming activities to Bowdoinham we’ve increased our capacity and now we’ve outgrown our current buildings and are ready to take the next step. So, we have this fundraising campaign. We’ve been pushing it for a month and to be honest, it’s harder than farming!”
No secret that we can’t be exactly unbiased talking about the latest Our Land episode, but as a blogger who has essentially no film-making skills and had no part in the making of this video, I have to say that it’s kind of the bomb-diggity. Episode Six, “Building a Regional Food System,” which follows the Cook family of Maine. The Cooks are responsible for the first large organic potato operation in Aroostiuck County, the phenomenally innovative and inspiring Crown of Maine Co-op, and Northern Girl— a value added processing plant that provides rural farmers with access to institutional buyers across New England. The story and its footage is as poignant and hopeful as you’d like to start off your day, but the video goes so far beyond your typical feel-good foodie youtube piece and into the nitty-gritty challenges of what it actually takes to create resilient regional food systems.
Getting style points for its high danceability factor, this video comes from longtime Greenhorns collaborator (most recently of Sail Freight fame) Abby Sadauckas. Abby is “growing out” her farm, Apple Creek Farm, and is asking for help funding an Eggspansion. And how does one “eggspand,” exactly? You build a hoop house to serve as a winter coop for your flock of laying hens, which you then can quadruple! What does this let you do? Meet the local demand for fresh local organic eggs at the farmers market! Please, support their Barnraiser here!
Apple Creek Farm produces organic pasture-raised livestock and eggs in Bowdoinham, Maine.
Oh, and for those of you raising your eyebrows with intrigue at the word “Barnraiser,” here’s some more info on the farmer-oriented crowd-sourcing site!
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!
Looking for a way to keep moral up and marching after yesterday’s historic marches? Hudson Valley folks will have a great opportunity next weekend. Friday, January 27, 2017, from 7:00pm 9:00pm the Gawler Family Band will be playing raucous joyous Americana and folk from around the world. Find them at Mettabee Farm and Arts Center in Hillsdale New York. Information can be found on the farm website, which we’ve copy and pasted below the break. Read more about the band and its history here and listen to member Edith Gawler sing here.Continue reading →