Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


Planned seaweed farm reflects changes in Maine aquaculture

January 17, 2019 – By Stephen Rappaport, The Ellsworth American – When organized fish farming first came to Maine in the 1970s, the first crops were shellfish – primarily blue mussels and oysters – and the “sea farms” were pretty much limited geographically to the Damariscotta River and some of the more sheltered inlets on Vinalhaven.


As Brazilian agribusiness booms, family farms feed the nation

January 17, 2019 – By Anna Sophie Gross, Mongabay – Brazil’s “Agricultural Miracle” credits industrial agribusiness with pulling the nation out of a recent economic tailspin, and contributing 23.5 percent to GDP in 2017. But that miracle relied on a steeply tilted playing field, with government heavily subsidizing elite entrepreneurs.


How Native American Diets Benefit From Tucson’s Indigenous Seed Bank

January 17, 2019 – By Lisa Waterman Gray, Resilience – Housed inside a welcoming midtown Tucson shop, the nonprofit Native Seeds/SEARCH works to preserve endangered or rare plants of the Sonora Desert region. To accomplish this the organization sources, stores, distributes and sells approximately 1,900 varieties of drought-tolerant, non-GMO (genetically modified organism) seed.


Grant fuels expansion of Cheese, Brews, and Bread fest in Skowhegan

January 16, 2019 – By Doug Harlow, Kennebec Journal – The Wesserunsett Arts Council has teamed up with Main Street Skowhegan and the Maine Grain Alliance to form a committee that will plan and execute an expanded version of the Cheese, Brews, and Bread festival, fueled in part by an enterprise grant from the Maine Office of Tourism.


Debate brews over splitting Maine’s agriculture, conservation department

January 16, 2019 – By Kevin Miller, Portland Press Herald – As Gov. Janet Mills prepares to announce her final Cabinet nominee, there is renewed discussion about breaking up the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to better serve farming, logging and land preservation interests.


Organic Food Health Benefits

January 16, 2019 – By Lois Zoppi, News Medical – Consumers are increasingly concerned about the effects of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, and growth-promoting hormones that are found in food. Organic food, which is grown and produced differently to food produced in conventional methods, is thought to contain fewer additives and contaminants and is also considered to be more environmentally friendly.


Center for Food Safety Files Legal Action to Prohibit Hydroponics from Organic

January 16, 2019 – Center for Food Safety – Today, Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a new legal action demanding the Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibit hydroponic operations from the Organic label. Hydroponic production systems – a catch-all term that applies to food production methods that do not use soil – do not meet federal organic standards and violate organic law, which requires that organic farming include soil improvement and biodiversity conservation. Hydroponic systems cannot comply with the organic standard's vital soil standards because hydroponic crops do not use soil at all. The CFS filing was endorsed by over a dozen other organic farmer, consumer, retailer, and certifying organizations, including the Organic Farmers Association, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA), PCC Community Markets, and the Cornucopia Institute.


New organic items trending

January 15, 2019 – By Tom Burfield, The Packer – Watermelon radishes, proprietary apple varieties and snack-size veggies are just a few of the latest offerings available from innovative organic produce grower-shippers.


Organic slow to penetrate foodservice

January 15, 2019 – By Tom Burfield, The Packer – Organic fruits and vegetables typically have failed to make a significant inroad to the foodservice segment, but there are a few exceptions, and some suppliers are optimistic about future foodservice business.


Organic makes headway at retail

January 15, 2019 – By Tom Burfield, The Packer – As consumers set out to eat healthier, more and more organic produce seems to be popping up on supermarket shelves.