Anything in a Maine community or one of the sixteen county regions is stronger with grass roots collaboration.
Locally sourced Maine farm or fisheries produced quality food hands down strengthens the economy. Creating a diverse income stream to support all the other livelihoods needed to make the burg or village. To fund the intrastructure. To create wealth, keeping the dollars in the small Maine communities turning over, flowing strongly.
From highly creative, tightly run micro, close to home Maine food enterprises.
Maine farming that entices our young to stay in Maine. Not cross the big green bridge on the southern end. To do more than carve out a meager living. To enhance the uniqueness of the small Maine community in other ways. And assure there is always that small Maine town on the map. Not a last guy or gal out, remember to turn out the lights situation.
There is a shift from just you are what you eat, to how, where it is produced agriculture wildfire going on in Maine.
A storm of not just about sitting down to eat. But “feeding” yourself with all the other experiences your body, family, community needs in this short lifetime on this blue and green marble. Pitching in to create home grown not store bought to dine on in Maine. That like hunger improves the taste because your farm neighbor grew it, your fisherman raised it.
The small Maine town is not just a collection of houses, a selection of government buildings and downtown commercial outlets. It is the people. Each bringing talents in their skill set to create the buzz. To differentiate the small Maine community, to make it truly all it can be.
It is not just about for you quality food you toss down the gullet either.
Not fast cheap who knows where it comes from food, but slowly raised and cooked healthy local Maine food. Way more than just setting the table with healthy fuel to keep you and the family going too. It is an attitude, a philosophy, an approach to everything you do and teach your kids in Maine life.
I traveled to Gardiner Maine yesterday to hear several speakers showcase their local food operations.
To highlight where a little help in financing. Could take it to the next step in expansion to extend the market.
Slow Money Maine is one of the Maine partners that gets the discussion started, keeps it going. Breaking down barriers. By bringing investors behind the desk to make the connection with the small farm or fisheries producer out in the field or sea.
The dialogue created by this group’s tie in with MOFGA, a slew of foundations pushing, promoting the same thing.
To find ways to compete with the big cheap food policy of the nation.
From bread baskets out west. Out of the country too. Where the national focus has been a cheap food policy. Less concern for the healthy quality of the food. Just make sure there is lots of it.
For years small local farming trumped, squashed by the almighty dollar bottom line. Everything about just in time inventory, volume sales like other industry business models.
Food from outside Maine’s collection of mostly small towns with shrinking populations. With fewer farms until the resurgence of local growing to feed the populace.
Eight out of ten people live in an urban area. Not by choice, but for survival.
But you have to do more than eat.
Feeding the mind, spirit, and in the process of putting the best locally sourced Maine food on the family table working together. That leads to everyone in the small Maine community to step up.
To know if it is to be, it is up to you and me.
You and I are the “they” in the Maine community. Don’t bitch or complain, wait for someone else to do it. What is needed to enhance. Expand the unique flavor of our many Maine small towns, the handful of cities.
Yesterday in the Episcopal church in Gardiner my partner and I heard presentations from the Brunswick Food Shed. A group converting slow but sure a set of derelict train storage sheds, to develop the old right of way track pathways to create a food hub and more. And from None Such Oysters talk about their coastal 6.5 acres operation. That enterprises tourist/fisheries production tale and needs.
Also a set of sisters, Noon Family Sheep Farm, creating Peakes Island farming off Portland Maine on a small scale. Growing slowly. Same themes. Almost below radar compared to what you and I think of traditional farming. All the mountains of overhead debt, giant equipment payments, etc that come with the typical agriculture operation.
But the pair now supplying a school kitchen and growing by inches not yards or acres. I was there at the Slow Money of Maine meeting to help out with a pair of presentations from Aroostook County. From both ends of “The County” the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. Up here in the “Crown Of Maine”.
Keep it simple. Let’s grow it here in Maine and feed ourselves.
And attract tourists to sample the delicacies of carefully grown, all healthy food. To create sustainable agriculture systems for right here in Maine. The space I call all natural, unfiltered, always pure. The place to unplug, recharge. Where if we all roll up the sleeves, pick ourselves up by the bootstraps in a shifting economy great things happen. The awareness shift back to local food happens. Leads to other home grown endeavors. All started by the back to the land thinking about everything.
We can create more locally sourced farm to table Maine food.
Making us depend less on outside Maine forces that cripple. Siphoning the money in a state not flush with it which weakens. The farmer’s markets, pop up tent outlets, food co ops, acoustic soup, Taste Of Winter suppers all helps out the famous Maine tourist industry too.
It is way more than just creating health food systems from wholesome organic food in Maine. But making healthy communities in the Pine Tree State that starts creating the richness. The real wealth locally out in the local not out of state farm fields.