|How homesteader, activist, writer Mort Mather found happiness in Maine|
Bangor Daily News - 7/22/2016. By Meg Haskell - Wells, Maine: On a recent sunny morning, Mort Mather, wearing a grubby white T-shirt, dungarees and a tattered broad-brim hat, stood barefoot under a pear tree in his backyard, contentedly washing a pile of fresh-picked lettuce from his garden. Mather, 78, has been washing lettuce in Maine for a long time. He was at the forefront of the wave of idealistic, young out-of-staters who moved to Maine in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The back-to-the-landers saw in Maine the potential to live a simpler, more rural life and reclaim an element of independence from the growing influence of corporations and the politics of Vietnam War-era America. “We didn’t know we were part of a movement,” Mather said of those early days. “We were just living our lives.”
|Food After Fossil Fuels|
Post Carbon Institute - 7/21/2016. By Michael Bomford, Asher Miller - While its slice of the overall energy pie may seem relatively low, the modern American food system is figuratively awash in fossil fuels. On average, roughly 12 calories of (mostly fossil fuel) energy go into producing just one calorie of the food that we consume. The use of fossil fuels in every phase of the food system – from fertilization, treatment, and harvesting to manufacturing, packaging, distribution, and preparation – has utterly transformed what we eat, how we eat, where we eat, and how our food is grown.
|New Way to Boost Crop Production Doesn’t Rely on GMOs or Pesticides|
MIT Technology Review - 7/21/2016. By Mike Orcutt - A new treatment for cotton seeds draws on beneficial microbes that live inside plants – much like the good bacteria in our own guts – to help the crops thrive in dry conditions. The microbe-enhanced cotton, the first product from startup Indigo Agriculture, is already growing on 50,000 acres spread across five different states in the southern United States.
|Maine officials ask public to practice good hygiene at agricultural fairs|
Bangor Daily News - 7/21/2016. By Ryan McLaughlin - With the busy agricultural fair season approaching, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the state’s Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry are warning the public to use good hygiene and judgment when attending fairs.