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Ok, I know, Maine is not a food.  It has no recipe that I can write out for you, but let me tell you, Maine is awesome!  I went there just this past week, which is why I do not have any new recipes a brewing (but don’t worry I just got my first CSA, community supported agriculture, shipment and, get ready, cuz thats gonna b a wild ride, but more on that another time).

I went there to visit four small organic farms, on which one, I hope to apprentice this summer.  I know, its amazing right?! I met so many wonderful people, living sustainably, growing food and feeding their communities, not only with their food but with their knowledge.  And after all the conversations I had with the many farmers I learned that I have so much to learn.  Farming is a science, and I think many people don’t appreciate it for that these days.  It is not as simple as planting some seeds and waiting for them to sprout, or feeding pigs and watching them grow.  There is months and months of planning, about when and where to plant and re-plant, how to maintain soil health, how to most affectively use every bit of, what I may look at as waste (such as dung and garbage), to create something new.  It is truly incredible, something that I cannot wait to get involved in and learn more about!

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I should let you know about how I got here just in case any of you have a few months to spare and don’t mind getting your hands dirty.  The “program” (which I call it, but it is not really since it is different everywhere you go) which sets up the relationship between farmers and potential apprentices, like me, is called Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, more commonly known as MOFGA.  All you do is go to the MOFGA website and there is a list of hundreds of small organic farms looking for apprentices.  You can apprentice just for the summer, like me, or for a year or two.  You apply to as many farms (up to 12) as you want and then you are on your way!  I definitely would suggest visiting the farms, especially if you are a newbie to farming, like me, and don’t know the specifics of a farm.  Also in visiting all the farms you get to meet all these awesome farmers and visit Maine!

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And as I said, Maine is beautiful.  So we (my mom and I) picked, I think, the coldest possible days to visit these farms.  At night it hit 25 below zero!!!  And during the day was not much better, high of 5 degrees F, with a wind chill.  I think frostbite almost took a toe or two while touring the acres of farm land.  But it was still so worth it!  Seeing how differently these people lived was mind boggling and makes me want to begin farming, learning and exploring right now!

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Not only did we get to see all these fantastic farms, but on our way back, using our boy scout sense of direction to lead us, we got to stop by Portland, Maine (the hip city in Maine).  We parked right along the Casco Bay, where all the fish mongers catch the infamous Maine lobsters all summer.  There were no fishers there the day we visited, yet the town was still alive.  We followed our boy scout instincts once again and landed on the main drag where there was one interesting shop after another.  We stopped at Waterlily, a store which buys its products from local artists.  They had everything from bags and jewelry  to wall hangings and bath salts.  We ended up purchasing some soap made mostly from olive oil, and so far, I’m loving it.

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But anyways, that was my trip, sorry there is no recipe or any pictures of food in this post.  All the food we ate on the trip was not worth taking pictures (or really even eating, yeah that bad), which is sort of ironic because I visited many farms that grow a lot of great organic food. However there is such a separation there between the stores in town and the fruitful lands not 15 minutes down the road.  The towns really need to start taking more advantage of the produce from the farms, I think it would not only help the farms, but also help the towns, bringing in nutritious, fresh, local, sustainable foods.  In general if the food industry was much more localized and less centralized the USA would be in a much better place.  But that is a conversation for another day.  For now, stay warm if your up in Maine, and if your not up in Maine get up there cuz it is awesome.

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