Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Sends Comments to USDA on Interim Final Hemp Rule

December 4, 2019 – Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry – The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has issued its comments to the USDA on the Interim Final Hemp Rule, expressing concerns with proposed requirements that have the potential to adversely affect the growth of the hemp industry in Maine. The comments come after a thorough analysis by state officials and include feedback from Maine farmers. The USDA’s proposed hemp regulations were released Oct. 29, 2019, and states were invited to review and respond with comments within 60-days.


'Indiana Jones' Scientists Collect Seeds in Wild for Climate Change Fight

December 3, 2019 – By Reuters, The New York Times – Braving perils from blood-sucking leeches to tigers and using transport as basic as elephants, scientists have journeyed like "Indiana Jones" to remote locations to collect wild cousins of crop seeds in a project to help tackle climate change.


Open Source Technology Could Be a Boon to Farmers

December 2, 2019 – By Aaron Orlowski, Civil Eats – Robert Chang’s fellow small-scale farmers turn to each other when they need low-cost tech to stay organized as they plant dozens of varieties of vegetables each season and seek to consistently fill their community-supported agriculture (CSA) boxes each week.


Sugar field burning plagues poor Florida towns with soot

December 1, 2019 – By Ellis Rua, ABC News, AP – For residents of the Glades, a string of poor, predominantly African American rural towns dotting the southern shore of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee, the beginning of the annual sugar cane harvest in October means the arrival of "black snow."


The impact of glyphosate on waterways, marine life, and agriculture

November 30, 2019 – By Frank Dean, Moms Across America – Moms Across America received funding to test water samples in Florida and make an educational video with Frank Dean and Dr. Don Huber about the impact of glyphosate, specifically in Florida, on waterways crops, and health. Citrus farming use is the major focus, but glyphosate herbicides are also used directly in the water, on streets, sidewalks, gardens, parks, and on food crops such as sugar in Florida. Frank generously offered to also write this report on glyphosate and the impact on waterways and agriculture and we hope you will share it with your local farmers, city managers, Parks & Rec Departments, and landscapers.


This world map rates countries by the sustainability of their food systems

November 30, 2019 – By Kristin Toussaint, Fast Company – What we choose to eat can affect climate change, and that means all the factors involved in feeding our growing population—from agriculture to fair trade to food waste to the labor force—can have an impact on how sustainable our food system is. That’s a lot of information to track, but it’s important to have that big-picture perspective. And now we’re closer to it, thanks to a map created by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) that rates food sustainability for different countries around the world.


Our country is out of touch with our food system. Can we shift the tide here in Maine?

November 29, 2019 – By Sarah Walker Caron, Bangor Daily News – To be honest, I didn’t want to learn more about the recent recall on romaine lettuce because I knew once I did, I’d have to toss the five beautiful romaine hearts dwelling in my fridge. But it was the responsible thing to do. So on Saturday morning, with the sun streaming in my windows, I finally read the news story, checked out packages and tossed them into the kitchen garbage.


FDA comes down hard against CBD-infused food and beverage, ending months of silence

November 27, 2019 – By Laura Reiley, The Washington Post – A recent industry study predicted the global cannabidiol (CBD) market will grow from $311.7 million this year to a staggering $1.25 billion by 2024. Hemp farming quadrupled in 2019 as the crop, which was legalized in the 2018 farm bill, was seen as a huge new growth opportunity for beleaguered American farmers. More than 1,000 CBD-infused products are now available online.


Apples of his eye

November 26, 2019 – By Kate Cough, The Ellsworth American – It was perhaps a marker of his celebrity that John Bunker, apple sleuth, founder of Fedco trees and lover of baseball, got a fist bump from an audience member as he made his way to the podium at the Blue Hill Public Library on a recent Tuesday evening.

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