The boys in blue, the corduroy jackets with the three initials over the heart.
They were on the yellow bus. Roaming the halls of the high school. Those were the future farmers of America, of Maine. I grew up on a farm, learned the art of Maine potato picking spuds as a little shaver.
My family raised vegetables that were sold in a roadside stand too.
That cash stashed in the summer/fall labor peddling corn, cukes, onions, dry beans, squash, a variety of veggies. Learned about consumers, marketing, how business works early on as a young grasshopper too.
The family farm trucking gardening in Maine produce sales. All helping keep the potato and grain conventional farming end of the farm operations humming.
Greasing it with some much needed financial lubricate. To keep things moving. The wolf from the door.
All important when most of your hard earned savings dollars are buried. Again.
Scattered over level to rolling farm fields in the spring.
Tended with love over the summer and waiting for good fall weather, healthy market prices.
With just breaking even considered a good year target goal. That’s part of farming in Maine, anywhere.
Planted inches down into the rich dirt. Just below the surface. In the back forty, the side sixty.
In the farm fields waiting for the Maine potato harvest here we go again hoopla. When leaves changes from green to a slew of brilliant colors. One by one spiraled to the ground.
Attended the MOFGA’s Farmer to Farmer Conference in Northport this past weekend. The key note speaker told of farming with his heart, not a business plan. In the beginning it was lots of mistakes that were the lessons that were the farming education.
And that it was passion for the dirt and the lifestyle coming out of being a back to the lander, a homesteader. Highly socially aware.
A bit of a rebel. A graduate of Tufts University.
Lessons Learned From 40 Years On The Same Farm was the story told down front.
Jack and Anne Lazor owners of the Butterworks Farm shared their tale of wrestling, enjoying the twists and turns. Of creating wealth scratching, managing the Good Earth.
Buying broken farming equipment with issues. Reaching out for answers on how to make it work again to produce food.
Recalling farming by the seat of their pants not a farm plan. And fueled with plenty of wonderment to overcome any discouragement.
The Lazor’s emphasized to the MOFGA audience the important of taking care of the farm soil. Be kind to it, to others and that is the key to richness, personal success. Your farm land, wooded sections will take care of you and pull you through.
If you just tend to the basic principles, build up the soil with minerals and keep an open mind to try new ways to improve your farmscape.
Lots of young families and a day care to help the little ones enjoy the three day / weekend MOFGA Farmer To Farmer event in Northport Maine.
Plenty of space between the topics to allow for networking in the halls. Asking what is or is not working for another small producer. Some gardeners, others large growers of crops or raising larger scale herds.
Farm tours, break out sessions on labor relations, nut farms, soil husbandry, food safety.
Organic farming in Maine thrashed thoroughly. To mentally sort and reap much that organic farmers could all take back to their operations.
Organic farming in Maine providing good locally sourced food. Grown close to home, full of nutrition and goodness. For a resurgence of sustainable farming in Maine. But on a smaller, more manageable, enjoyable scale.
Food hubs, marketing the organic food to get it to the masses all part of the talks over meals, during the social hour and contra dancing.
More on what Farmer to Farmer topics were on the list to pick from for morning and afternoon sessions.
With lots of young families that inspires and excites. Gives hope. As locally grown food in Maine is discussed from A to Z.
To increase availability and avoid dependence on out of state or country marketers.
Close to home food that you feel good about buying, putting on your family’s table.
That gives local control on what we eat, knowing exactly where it came from too. Grown with USDA / GAP certified practices.
Held at the Point Outlook in Northport Maine, the original MBNA compound with neat log cabins of all sizes. To host the Farmer to Farmer travelers that needed lodging. I was lucky enough to tag along with the Nature’s Circle Maine organic food and seed farm gang to the MOFGA event this past weekend.
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