Maine’s Long-Time Local Food Culture

An interesting glimpse into Maine’s thriving local food movement from the perspective of one Emma Thieme, born & raised in coastal Waldo County, Maine. Jim

“I’m from Waldo County, Maine, and for my family, it was always farm-to-table. My older sister and I grew up helping my parents in the gardens. The first thing I ever really cared about was a crop of tomatoes in our 100-foot-long hoop house. I don’t remember how my crop fared that summer, but I do remember the delicious canned tomato sauce my mom made, and has made every fall since for nearly two decades…

“The movement that the Nearings pioneered during the Great Depression is something Maine doesn’t get nearly enough credit for. Our back-to-the-land impulses stay under the radar. While some towns and communities across the country are slowly adopting this food philosophy, Maine is made up, almost entirely, of people participating in the movement. Much of that can be attributed to the lifestyle the Nearings inspired.

“The local food movement is just one beautiful idea we Mainers had, and within it you’ll find evidence of the strength and resilience of our hard-working communities…

“Young farmers are coming here because we’ve cultivated a community that helps them succeed. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) runs apprenticeships and a farm training program. Our Department of Agriculture offers rural development grants and loans. And on any given day when listening to WERU, Maine’s community radio station, you’ll hear young farmers coming together to discuss new opportunities and ideas for our state’s agricultural industry. Many people are even choosing to buy farmland in groups to offset the cost…

“Seeing all these farmers within my age group assures me that we can carry forward the back-to-the-land movement. Whether we grew up with it in our homes or didn’t find it until our 20s, this is a way of life we value…

“If you love carbs and you’ve been to Portland, you’ve probably tried something delicious from Standard Baking Co. on Commercial Street, or maybe you’ve waited in line for a fresh Scratch bagel across the bridge in SoPo. Both of these popular companies are making it a priority to use local grains and flours, and there are many more.”

http://matadornetwork.com/trips/tasting-maine-guide-local-food-movement/