Farms near you, urban agriculture in the news:

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The following items are from “Green Talks: Sustainability e-news”
While some communities may be disgruntled about front yard gardens, others are paving the way for urban farming. The Seattle City Council recently approved an urban farming bill that will allow urban farms of up to 4,000 sq. ft. in residential zones and grants them the ability to sell the food grown on site. As well, greenhouses dedicated to food production can extend 15 ft. above height limits in certain zones. The legislation also allows residents to keep up to eight chickens per household.
California Assembles Sustainable Ag Panel
The California Department of Food and Agriculture plans to pay closer attention to sustainable agriculture issues. Ag Secretary A.G. Kawamura recently announced the formation of a five-member scientific advisory panel on environmental farming that will advise state agencies on sustainable agriculture. The Scientific Panel on Environmental Farming will review and recommend data concerning the impact agriculture has on the environment, and they will make recommendations to appropriate state agencies.
One other interesting task of the panel is that they will be charged with documenting agricultural activities that produce net benefits for the environment and ecosystems.
NSAC Lobbies for Research
On the national level, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is pushing its own agenda. They recently urged the USDA to support a number of measures related to the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), a large competitive grant research program administered by the agency.
NSAC recommendations included a plea for more integrated research, education and extension projects and for more sustainable systems projects. Their resolution also called for a return to a fully competitive program. In 2010, the majority of AFRI funds were available only to universities and not to non-government organizations, research agencies, or individual researchers. For more, visit the NIFA website, and NSAC website.

Goodbye summer 2010

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Adios, farewell, adieu, goodbye summer 2010! It’s been a great one with best-ever harvests all around. A visit  to the local farmers’ market will give a good indication of what’s been growing  locally. Now it’s time to prep those gardens for the coming winter, planting  ground covers and cleaning up spent plants. A layer of compost wouldn’t hurt  either.

Summer’s bounty at Hope’s Edge Farm CSA

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Yes, it’s been a great summer in Maine and the harvests are the best we’ve had in years. Out at Hope’s Edge Farm in Hope, Tom Griffin has planted and is harvesting an incredible range of produce, flowers and herbs. Here’s what Tom says about the  CSA: “Although not certified, we at Hope’s Edge Farm are committed to organic/biodynamic practices and pledge that no agricultural chemicals have been used on the land since 1997.”

Signing up

To secure a share in the garden, Tom will send you a form which you can fill out and return with your payment before May 1, 2008. If you already have a form, send it with your payment to:

Tom Griffin
Hope’s Edge Farm
73 Morse Road
Hope, Maine 04847

To learn more, visit the farm’s website:

Common Ground Country Fair

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Come September in Maine everyone looks forward to the turning of the leaves and the Common Ground Country Fair. Imagine a fair with all-organic (!) fair food. This year’s event is September 24, 25 and 26 in Unity, Maine.

Sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, the event is indeed a one-of-a-kind fair. For story and more photos, visit the “Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors” website ( Or visit the MOFGA website at: