Sustainable Communities

Maine training project focuses on interpersonal relationships for greater farm viability

Providing farmers with expert advice on production and farm management topics is the focus of much of the work conducted by Extension educators, nonprofit staff and other agricultural service providers. But what happens when the conversation with farmers veers beyond soil health, agronomy and animal husbandry to questions around communication, decision-making, goal-setting and time management? […]

Guild by association: Partnership grant organizes Maryland cheesemakers

Although consumer demand for local Maryland artisanal and farmstead cheeses is high, state regulatory hurdles have created significant barriers for this emerging industry. Working with Ginger Myers, agricultural marketing specialist with the University of Maryland Extension, a committed group of farmstead cheese producers and agriculture support specialists teamed up to form the Maryland Cheesemakers’ Guild […]

Food hub faces the challenges of scaling up ethnic produce

The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (NESFP), led by Jennifer Hashley, has a 20-year history of training next generation farmers—including immigrant and refugee growers—to improve local food systems. A recent Northeast SARE Partnership grant supported the Project’s food hub initiative aimed at long-term economic self-reliance among farmers while expanding access of healthy, culturally-appropriate foods in […]

Ginger: An ancient crop in the New World

Melissa Bahret of Old Friends Farm in Amherst, Massachusetts, saw that her greenhousewas sitting idle in the late spring and summer, after her vegetable starts were in the ground or sold to customers.  She and her business partner, Casey Steinberg, were looking for new ways to use the space and to complement the flowers, salad […]

Fair Trade Strategy for Northeast “Eco-Growers”

For Northeast apple farmers it was a matter of survival. Facing a perfect storm of rising land, oil and labor prices, along with fierce competition from China and Chile, the apple farmers needed to find new revenue streams fast. They began a collaboration with Red Tomato, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization that helps connect consumers to […]

Large-Scale Help for Small-Scale Farmers

Lydia Sisson had worked on farms before, but when it came to taking the next step—going into business for herself—she hesitated, unsure of how to navigate the complexities of acquiring land, keeping the books, analyzing the market and more. But after taking a business training course through the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project in early […]

With an Ear to the Ground

The pumpkin field, the prison, the classroom, and the interstate are just a few of the places where sustainability and community values converge. With an Ear to the Ground introduces us to farmers, chefs, educators, visiting Russians, and kids and the experiences thay share about food and the natural world. Print only; order from Northeast SARE.