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HARVEST August 2015

HARVEST: Farm and Food News From Maine and Beyond

Check back each month for a selection of articles, stories, and trends you might have missed.

August kicked off National Farmers’ Market Week! Markets have evolved over the years: integrating tech, becoming more accessible, and offering education.

There are also more brick and mortar markets opening up, like general stores, bringing local products, and community gathering spaces, to downtown areas.

More Maine eaters want more local meat, and that’s a good thing for Maine farmers.

UMaine’s new contract proposal– requiring 20% local food- will help provide a market for our farmers too.

Farming doesn’t usually sound like an action flick, but this month witnessed an airport chase scene, wiretapping, international politics and the FBI… all for some corn kernels. The drama is related to China’s agricultural modernization as the government tries to feed the country’s growing population.

US agriculture is modernizing, too—using drones for precision planting, data collection, and nutrient deposits, although widespread implementation depends on policymakers. Want to apply it to small-scale farms, too? There’s an app for that.

Young farmers are increasingly college-educated, but that means student loan debt, which makes farming a hard career choice. Still, lots of young people are choosing to farm, like this couple starting a farm in Monroe (part two).

Somali refugees find land to farm, and a new home, in Maine.

The Farm Stand helps rejuvenate foot traffic in South Portland.

More storage options: USDA’s Farm Service Agency expanded the Farm Storage Facility Loan program yet again, to provide affordable financing to farmers to build or upgrade storage facilities.

We agree with the Boston Globe, New England deserves a regional food plan.

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