Grain Mills Can Be Cornerstones of Local Food Economies

Mark Fischer surveys the boxes of organic Redeemer wheat sitting on the worn wood floorboards of his Castle Valley Mill, awaiting pickup. Like most of the grains Fischer cleans and grinds here on the banks of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Neshaminy Creek, this varietal was grown nearby, on a relatively small scale. Hyper-local farm-to-mill grain production of the sort Fischer engages in was common around here a century ago; now, operations like Castle Valley are a rarity. Read full article here.

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Registration now open for Sourcing Local Made Easier: Farmer + Buyer Workshop hosted by MFT

Are you a wholesale buyer who wants to source from more Maine farmers?
Are you interested in tools and skills that can help you get more of the local products you want, at the time of year you can sell them?

Then register today!
Details and registration here.


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Scaling Impact: Equity, Access, and Opportunity in Boston’s Regional Food Economy

Social innovators are working to address some of the most pressing challenges facing society –economic mobility, environmental resilience, community health, food insecurity, intergenerational poverty, and racial, social, and economic inequality. Rather than looking at each of these challenges in isolation, could a single innovative concept create a cascade of impact improving conditions across a multitude of vexing societal issues? That is what CommonWealth Kitchen (“CWK”) is working to figure out. Their platform? Food.

Read full article here.

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Sustainable Startups Need Different Investment Instruments

Read full article here.

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FSA workshop with NMDC on creating a Producer Business Plan

December 6th, 2017
Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum
1678 US-1
Littleton, ME 04730
Join Northern Maine Development Commission staff and representatives from Maine’s USDA Farm Service Agency to improve your business skills as an agricultural producer or would be producer. This free two and one half-hour workshop will explore the importance of developing an effective and useful “Producer Business Plan”. FSA officials will also be on hand to explain federal programs and services designed to help producers in farm ownership.
This is the second of five different business training workshops for producers and would be producers. Others are scheduled for Fort Fairfield on January 11th, Caribou on February 13th, and the St. John Valley on March 22nd.

The link for people to register (free) is:

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New CEI Women’s Business Center workshops coming up

Brand Strategy Tuesd. Dec. 5th, Brand Design Strategy Tuesd. Dec 12, Brand Activation – Tuesd. Dec 19, Tax preparation for sole proprietors…
see schedule for December here.

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Museum of Science – The Future of Seafood: Nourishing the World

Monday, December 4 and Tuesday, December 5

Future of Seafood: Nourishing the World

Nourishing an understanding of global seafood production and inspiring innovation in sustainable, long-term growth.

The Museum of Science, Boston and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (Portland, ME) are co-organizing this two-day, invitation-only conference with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Details and Registration

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The Food Tech Revolution: A workshop with Janet Helm


Details can be found here.

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Washington Post – A Growing Number of Young Americans are Leaving Desk Jobs to Farm

Liz Whitehurst dabbled in several careers before she ended up here, crating fistfuls of fresh-cut arugula in the early-November chill.

The hours were better at her nonprofit jobs. So were the benefits. But two years ago, the 32-year-old Whitehurst — who graduated from a liberal arts college and grew up in the Chicago suburbs — abandoned Washington for this three-acre farm in Upper Marlboro, Md.

She joined a growing movement of highly educated, ex-urban, first-time farmers who are capitalizing on booming consumer demand for local and sustainable foods and who, experts say, could have a broad impact on the food system.

read full article here.

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Maine Grain Alliance – Technical Assistance Grant Opportunity


Application Deadline:
December 1st, 2017 – 5:00 pm

The Maine Grain Alliance seeks applications to award mini-grants of $250 – $1,000.

The mini-grants are to fund need-based technical assistance (TA) and equipment that will help grain-based business owners secure economic opportunities in Maine.

Examples of technical assistance might include, but are not limited to: hiring someone to help with business planning, hiring a consultant, advisor or expert, marketing/logo/brand development, website creation, attending a course or mentoring opportunity, hiring an architect, engineer, mechanical specialist, buying a needed piece of machinery or getting legal support. Please specify one area of technical assistance for which you are seeking grant support.

Grain-based business owners and entrepreneurs demonstrating financial need are welcome to apply. The Maine Grain Alliance is especially interested in assisting participants, presenters, panelists, work-study students, and scholarship recipients of the Kneading Conference which has been held annually since 2007.

For more information about the Maine Grain Alliance and its other programs, please visit The Maine Grain Alliance is a 501c3 non-profit organization. This technical assistance grant program is made possible by Skowhegan Savings and Slow Money Maine.
Application Deadline:
December 1st, 2017 – 5:00 pm

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