Archives: Stories


Aaron Anker (left) and Nat Pierce have brought GrandyOats to award-winning fame. By Joyce White Photos courtesy of GrandyOats GrandyOats has managed something noteworthy in Maine – creating a successful organic food business worthy of the 2013 Producer of the Year Award by the Maine Grocers Association and Food Producers Alliance while maintaining its organic

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The Multitalented Sidemans

Eric and Becky Sideman in a rare moment of sitting – on a granite boulder in the middle of one pasture. The 80- by 100-foot garden in spring. Vegetables are rotated between this garden and the smaller one near the house. Text and photos by Jean English Many of us know Eric and Becky Sideman

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Volunteer Profile Fall 2014

Tim Reimensnyder, self portrait By Betsy Garrold For Tim Reimensnyder, volunteer coordinator for the Crafts Area of the Common Ground Country Fair (CGCF), the Fair is a family affair. Tim and his wife, Marie, have been selling T-shirts at the Fair for more than 20 years. He got his first taste of volunteering at the

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Grange Corner Farm: Growing Grains Suited to the Northeast

Sam Mudge checks on his field of ‘Danko’ winter rye (right) and ‘Sirvinta’ winter wheat (left). Photo by Aube Giroux. By Holli Cederholm Grange Corner Farm, a MOFGA certified organic farm, stretches across 30 acres of old hayfields on a windy crest with panoramic views of the Camden Hills in Lincolnville, Maine. Sam Mudge says

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Grange Revival

Halcyon Grange in Blue Hill has a state-licensed kitchen and bulk storage bins for grain. By Betsy Garrold Photos by the author What has sprung dance floors, a stage and nurtures local agricultural traditions? The Grange, of course. In Maine the Grange is seeing a resurgence of interest and relevance. As Maine continues to grow

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Holding Winters Peace All Year

Toki Oshima drawing By Grace Oedel Lately I have been wrestling with the dynamic tension between patience and action. How are we to balance the urgency that motivates us to do our work with the need for rest and rejuvenation? For farmers, the warm season flies by furiously with chores from before sunrise to after

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Editorial Jean English

Toki Oshima drawing By Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener Ben Falk, in his keynote speech at the Common Ground Country Fair, called for a billion new gardeners, because “we have everything we need right here, right now” to re-establish the perennial-based, diverse and integrated food-producing ecosystems that were here for thousands

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Volunteer Profile Erin Bibles

Erin Bibles. Photo by Betsy Garrold. By Betsy Garrold Erin Bibles and her husband, Brent, led a peripatetic life before settling at their Thorndike farm, Mélange Métairie (Mixed Small Holding). They met at the University of Arizona and moved to Oregon when Brent, a wildlife biologist, got a job at Oregon State University. Erin finished

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New American Farmers

New American Sustainable Agriculture Project graduate Jabril Abdi pauses in his corn field. Batula Ismail farms her plot in Lisbon. By Stowell P. Watters Photos by Greta Rybus Here is a nightmare we Mainers can only imagine: A group of men with assault rifles comes barreling across the savannah to demand that we part with

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Rediscovering the Family Farm

Toki Oshima drawing. By Grace Oedel My husband and I recently moved in with my in-laws with the intention of farming family land. I wish I could say this was a smooth, easy process, but we all struggled. We were unused to what it meant to live together. We had differing expectations about how to

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