Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


New student-run lunch cafe in Belfast pairs great food with culinary training


November 1, 2018 – By Kay Stephens, Penobscot Bay Pilot – The kitchen at Waldo County Technical Center is fired up with activity on Friday mornings as Chef Matt Maniscalco works with high school students on preparing a simple menu. On October 26, it was potato and corn chowder, spaghetti with a homemade meat sauce, and an apple crisp with strawberry puree.

Coastal Mountains Series Begins with Talk on Ecologic Agriculture


November 1, 2018 – The Free Press – Beginning in November, Coastal Mountains Nature Program will present a three-part speaker series at Camden Public Library on the second Thursday of the month. The public is welcome for the first talk in the series: “Rediscovering Ecologic Agriculture,” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 8. Robert Lawrence of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will discuss the evolution of industrial agriculture and its impact on soil, air, water, and climate in the U.S. and globally.

Cultivating Rural Entrepreneur Network Development in Maine


November 1, 2018 – Maine Community Foundation – This report offers an understanding of the ways in which rural entrepreneurs and small business owners in Maine can benefit from connections to their fellow entrepreneurs for shared learning, joint problem solving and exploration of potential business opportunities. Enrichment of rural networks is an important consideration in cultivating a wide array of entrepreneurs and supporting their success.

Elliot Farm’s Laser Scarecrow Project


November 1, 2018 – Elliot Farm – Elliot Farm and the Wentworth [Institute] team were able to design a cost effective laser scarecrow for under $500 per unit. After piloting 9 units during the 2018 farm season, Elliot Farm reported a reduction in bird damage, recording a 20% damage rate in the height of bird season, down from the historical 80% damage rate. The farmers also found that if the lasers were used in conjunction with a bird distress call, the damage was further mitigated to just 8%.

Climate Smart Farming in the Northeast: Six Key Strategies for Farmers


November 1, 2018 – Cornell University – In the Northeastern United States, climate-related risks such as extreme rainfall, drought, heat stress, changing disease and pest pressure, and unpredictable weather patterns pose serious threats to farmers’ livelihoods. The average annual temperature in the Northeast has increased by approximately 2.4°F, and annual precipitation has increased by 4.9 inches over the last 120 years.

USDA issues safety-net and conservation payments to Maine farmers


October 31, 2018 – USDA Maine Farm Service Agency, Bangor Daily News – USDA Maine Farm Service Agency Executive Director Dave Lavway recently announced that approximately $1,524,159 will be paid to Maine farms that enrolled in Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage for 2017 market downturns. Additionally, Maine FSA will distribute $158,563 in Conservation Reserve Program rental payments to landowners for their commitment to conservation stewardship.