flint corn restoration project immersion experience opportunity

posted June 4, 2020

A message from Albie and Michele in Norridgewock, ME who are offering a wonderful opportunity in flint corn cultivation, harvest and processing:

June 3, 2020
Dear Friends,

We have been finding and preserving and growing out Maine and Northeast varieties of flint corn now for several years.  We have given away thousands and thousands of seeds at events and seed swaps and have made jonny cakes in a support capacity at several events including three Turtle Island Healing Ceremonies and three harvest festivals at Nibezun in Passadumkeag, Maine.  This year we have three plots in the Skowhegan area all growing the very promising Maine Flint Corn called Byron which was saved by Will Bonall of the Scatterseed Project in Industry and then shared with Pam Prodan in Wilton.  Last year we had a conference at our farm in Norridgewock with a Native American Cornkeeper elder as our keynote and other speakers to follow.  It was attended by over 70 people.  We now have several farmers growing flint corn and have a one third acre plot growing on our own land and another acre about to go in near the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan and a third plot on river bottom farm land owned by Richard and Julie Searles in Solon. 

We have a yurt on our property and an efficiency apartment with a separate entrance for a young farmer wanting an immersion experience in flint corn cultivation and harvest and processing.  Limited stipend funds are available from Fedco Seeds and the Maine Grain Alliance. All three fields will likely be planted by this week or next and we had lined up a COA student to become the corn caregiver starting in mid June but she at the last minute was unable to come and commit to the project. 

If you know an individual or young couple potentially interested in such an opportunity, please let them know about us.  We can be reached at FlintCorninMaine@gmail.com or 696-5250.

Warm regards,
Albie Barden and Michele Carmel
254 Father Rasle Rd. Norridgewock, Maine.  04957

amazing footage of corn monsters

posted March 14, 2017

You’re never seen a sprout look this ghoulish. AMAZING video from band C.A.M.P.O.S. for their song Teosinte, which features incredible slow-mo of the title seed germinating.

Most of the sites that reviewed the band mentioned that teosinte is a “form of Mesoamerican corn,” but being the horticulture geeks that we are, we can’t help but mention that it is a species of South American grass that is actually considered the ancestor of all modern corn. To this end, we also can’t help but recommend this, while less visually stimulating, utterly fascinating article by the genetics lab at the University of Iowa on corn genetics and the long-standing mystery that teosinte’s genetic makeup solved. And yes, we just called corn genetics, “utterly fascinating.”


global action plan for agricultural diversification

posted December 30, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 3.59.24 PM
From over half a million plant species on the planet, we currently rely on just four crops (wheat, rice, maize and soybean) for more than three-quarters of our food supply. These `major’ crops are grown in a limited number of exporting countries, usually as monocultures, and are
highly dependent on inputs such as fertiliser and irrigation. Over 7 billion people depend on the productivity of these major crops not just for their direct food needs but increasingly as raw materials for livestock and aquaculture feeds and bioenergy systems.
A global population approaching 9 billion people, living in a hotter world with scarce water and energy resources represent a `Perfect Storm’ for humanity. In these circumstances, the major crops alone may not be able to meet the world’s food and nutritional requirements. Even if crop yields can meet the food demands of a growing population, they may not provide
adequate nutrition. The double-burden of over and under-nutrition (Hidden Hunger) is a major concern. Nutrient-poor and energy-rich diets are linked with lack of dietary diversity

monsanto cancels building new industrial plant

posted December 30, 2015

Reuters/Tom Gannam/Files

The Gazette, and Iowa City newspaper, recently published a story mentioning the “struggling farm economy” being the cause of the cancellation of a $90,000,000 Monsanto seed corn plant. The story can be found here, but one must ask the question: Is consumer awareness prohibiting the expansion of these GMO giants? Keep putting your money where your ethics are, dear shoppers.

As a supplement, take a look at the USDA’s Economic Research Service and you’ll see that the value of net production per acre for organic is nearly three times that of conventional.

Organic: $366.27 (Yield: 121 bushels per acre)

Conventional: $139.05 (Yield: 159 bushels per acre)




greenhorns report on the national ffa convention

posted November 24, 2014

 Greenhorns, in partnership with Organic Consumers Association were in attendance last month at the national gathering of the FFA. The FFA National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, saw a sea of 60,000 students representing every nook and cranny of America (and its territories) gathered together for fellowship, belonging, education and scholarly competition. Between the ages of 13 and 18, many of these students are next-in-line to the family farm and occupy a strategically powerful position in the future of American Agriculture; they are kids with land. With a self-confidence rarely seen in teenagers and impeccable public speaking skills, these students in their blue corduroy jackets cut quite the impressive figure, particularly in a stadium context.

They are team-spirited, motivated and articulate, and most of them credit these qualities to the organization that brought them together, the FFA. The FFA is turning these next-in-line farmers, agriscientists, ag teachers and farm sympathizers into successful leaders, fierce entrepreneurs, and good Samaritans…for Big Ag.

This polished youth constituency at the FFA sing the praises, almost exclusively, of Big Ag. How did this happen? Lets start with the obvious place; let’s follow the money.