Archives: Stories

Rebekah Lowell Wins 2023 Common Ground Country Fair Poster Contest

By Holli Cederholm  Rebekah Lowell considers herself a “multi-passionate” artist. Her portfolio includes fine art paintings of landscapes, whimsical fabric patterns, Maine Migratory Waterfowl Stamps, and illustrations for children’s books — which she also authors. The common thread is the world around her. “I’m never bored with nature,” says Lowell. If anything, nature provides an

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Beech Hill Farm at College of the Atlantic

Where students and community build relationships through food By Sonja Heyck-Merlin Mount Desert Island, Maine: What comes to mind? Maybe it’s catching the sunrise from atop Cadillac Mountain or sea kayaking in a lobster-buoyed bay? Or maybe whale watching, or biking Acadia’s famous carriage trails? Or maybe you roll your eyes, thinking about a $10

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Every Seed Has a Story — And Every Seed Grower is Part of It

By Tim King Every seed in every packet that a seed company ships to a gardener or farmer is throbbing with biological vitality and a barely fathomable web of stories and culture.  Take, for instance, the beautiful open-pollinated Swiss chard, called Heart of Gold, that Johnny’s Selected Seeds released in late 2022. The catalog describes

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A Tribute to Roberto McIntyre and Haas Tobey

By John Bunker Photos by the author As many of you know, I have been tracking down, identifying and preserving the historic apples of Maine for quite a few years. I’ve driven all over the state, studied apples and old books, grafted trees, collected scionwood — and tried to keep track of it all. This

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Joan Cheetham Retires After Nearly 20 Years

By Jacomijn Schravesande-Gardei, Associate Director of Crops, MCS Many of MOFGA Certification Services (MCS) clients know Joan Cheetham as the “very nice lady.” Unfortunately for all of us Joan is retiring. Over nearly 20 years, she has reviewed many client files and inputs and has also performed many inspections. The work of a certification specialist

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Perspective Shift Needed for Small Farm Viability in Maine

South Paw Farm owner says despite grant funding farms are struggling By Dani Walczak Meg Mitchell, co-owner of South Paw Farm in Freedom, Maine, is tired of perseverance stories. The narrative of the hard-working white farmer personally overcoming obstacles to feed their community has started to fall flat for the farm owner of 15 years. 

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Lessons from Organic Farming in South Korea

By Eesha Williams and Elizabeth Wood Photos courtesy of the authors After 20 years of organic vegetable farming, in 2022, we planted our farm, New Leaf CSA, near Brattleboro, Vermont, with cover crops and set out to see how farmers in other countries approach the challenges of farming. South Korea offered some great opportunities for

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On-Farm Fungus Cultivation

Maine farms develop indoor and outdoor set-ups for market-scale mushroom production By Holli Cederholm Courtney Williams of Marr Pond Farm in Sangerville, Maine, says that outdoor mushroom production is a way to manage marginal lands profitably. She and her partner, Ryan Clarke, branched into mushrooms in 2016 in order to gain “market access” to farmers’

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