Meet Your Farmer: Winslow Farm

As a summer intern at Forager, one of my interests was learning about the farmers we work with and sharing their stories.  

I had the chance to visit Max Boudreau a few weeks ago at Winslow Farm in Falmouth, Maine.

Winslow Farm was originally started in the 1960s by the Winslow Family. Denis and Sarah Boudreau purchased the farm in the 1980s and turned it into the family-owned farm it is today. Max, son of Denis and Sarah, grew up farming, but has been officially operating Winslow Farm for eight seasons. Fun fact, I also spent five summers working at the farm stand, helping with their nursery, CSA, and U-Pick blueberries.

Winslow Farm is 100 percent MOFGA-certified organic - that’s all 80 plus items on the harvest list, including everything from blueberries to the cauliflower Max harvested the day we visited.

Max has also implemented many regenerative agriculture practices at Winslow Farm, focusing on building soil health. Here’s what I learned from Max about the complex no-till process

“Yes! So that’s my new thing! I'm very passionate about it and we're transitioning to the no-till process. It's an evolution, but I'm trying to get the closest to one and a half to two acres around the core of the farm to a no-till farming system…

I'm really passionate about keeping a living soil. And so that's the difference. The main difference between no-till and till is soil health, and I'm talking about the life forms in the soil. So tillage disrupts the soil. Not only does it disrupt the biology of the soil, but it basically burns up all your nutrients at the same time. So farmers that do till are constantly relying on more and more bagged, brought in products to amend to the soil. Then that's an annual thing to constantly be applying that in order to just get the fertility base - the base fertility that you need for your crop. But the way we're doing it, it’s the soil biology itself. We're working with that system so the actual fungi, the bacteria, the worms, all in the soil are bringing that nutrient down from the surface into the root system and the plants can absorb all that.”


Since this transition, Max has not only noticed a huge difference in the quality of his produce (“exponentially better than the tilled system”), but “unbelievably less weed pressure.”

In terms of Forager:

I love it. I literally can have what's not available or what is available. I can just click a button, and check the price. I can adjust it and then on Forager [my buyers] can see that happening. I literally just did it because I have cauliflower in the field now. That is so convenient for me because I’m out in the field, I see it, I can do it from the field from my pocket. I don’t have involve the computer, send an email or a text.” 

You can find produce from Winslow Farm at…

the Cumberland & Falmouth Farmers’ Markets 

the Winslow Farm farm stand in Falmouth

Portland Food Co-op

Rosemont Market

Or sign up for his delicious CSA!

Winslow Farm has amazing organic U-Pick Blueberries, so make sure to visit soon before the season is through.

Happy picking!

London

Forager Summer Intern

Proposed bills support local food movement in Maine

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There’s no doubt that local food and local farms are an important part of our economy and our communities. That’s why I am doing my part in the Maine Senate to support local agriculture.” - Senator Jim Dill

There are a lot of exciting bills being introduced into the legislature in our home state of Maine in order to support the local food movement in a variety of ways. Here in Maine, local food and farms are central to the economy and state culture and it’s great to see how this movement is backed in the state legislature.

There are several important bills being proposed and here are a few that we’re watching:

LD 351, “An Act To Ensure Accuracy in the Labeling of Maine Meat and Poultry,” was introduced by Rep. Bill Pluecker of Warren and clarifies that meat labeled as “Maine-raised” must be born and raised in Maine. This bill will help Maine-based meat producers differentiate their product and provide transparency to consumers.

Rep. Pluecker also introduced LD 920, “An Act To Establish the Fund To Support Local Fruits and Vegetables Purchasing,” which is a bill that provides incentives for Mainers on public assistance to purchase healthy, local foods.

LD 497, which has already been signed into law by Gov. Mills, is called “An Act Regarding the Providing of Human Food Waste to Swine Producers.” This bill was introduced by Sen. Stacey Guerin of Glenburn, and makes it easier for individuals and organizations to donate their food waste to pig farms. This is a great idea that helps to reduce food waste and supports local farms.

 

The 2019 Locavore Index: Is your state eating local?

Published by Strolling of the Heifers, a nonprofit food advocacy organization in Vermont, the 2019 Locavore Index ranks each state by the value of local food sales. The rankings are based on Census of Agriculture data from 2017, including the value of food sold by farmers directly to consumers and the value of agricultural products sold by farmers directly to local retailers, institutions, and food hubs.

Vermont ranked #1 with total local sales per capita coming in at $166.22, with California and Hawaii not far behind at $129.88 and $107.29 respectively. Maine ranked #6.

“Looking at the U.S. as a whole, locavorism has clearly been growing rapidly. The value of food sold directly to consumers via farm stands, farmers markets, CSAs and online, was measured in both the 2012 and 2017 Censuses. It more than doubled during that period, from $1.31 billion to $2.81 billion—a strong indication that consumer demand for food fresh from farms is growing by leaps and bounds.”

For more information about how Forager could help your business or farm simplify the local food procurement process, contact us.

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Forager Connects Co-ops to Local Farmers

A local newspaper in Keene, NH recently wrote about how Forager has streamlined the relationship between Monadnock Food Co-op and Picadilly Farm.

“The platform’s benefits quickly became evident, saving the co-op about six hours a week in labor… ‘to be able to talk to our farmers more or converse with our customers more or organize the cooler — can be pretty impactful’” - Produce Manager, Allen Raymond.

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