This video provides an in-depth look at the Baltimore food system. It tells this story through the eyes of numerous players, including a food warehouse worker, a grocery store owner, a local food historian, and activists trying to improve access to food in their schools and communities. Nine MICA students spent a school year working with their professor, Hugh Pocock, on BFED. CLF’s staff provided technical support to the students, helping them refine their research goals and identify key informants to interview. The students’ journey through their local food system — where supermarkets are scarce and diet-related diseases common — was an investigation of why the food system comes up short for many city residents. In the end, they find hope for a brighter food future in some unexpected places.
Maine’s Surprising Legislature
Lawmakers in Augusta are getting younger and more independent. And more and more of them are women. By Bill Caldwell.
Bringing Her Down East
A greenhorn learns the ropes on the Gazela Primeiro. By W.B. Leavenworth.
Good News for the Countryside
A new breed of health practitioner is bringing improved medical care to rural Maine. By Lois Lowry.
Deserting the Rock
After 147 years, Mount Desert Rock Light Station is given over to the machines. By John P. March.
Long Season in Aroostook
Color photographic essay by Norm Gibbons.
Tea at Chimney Farm
A visit with Elizabeth Coatsworth at her Nobleboro farmstead. By Sabra Morton.
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Maine-made farm goods soon will wind their way to Boston by schooner
It’s art. It’s protest. It’s celebration. And, who knows? It may even be a practical way to get cargo to market.
When the wooden two-masted schooner Harvey Gamage sets sail from Portland in late August, laden with Maine farm products destined for Boston markets and restaurants, it will probably look like a historical re-enactment to those watching from shore.
But to Severine von Tscharner Fleming, it is so much more. It is performance art at sea. It is an economic experiment. It is a bridge between generations. It is both a protest of the failings of the global food system and a celebration of Maine’s regional food economy.
“We don’t need a logarithm of some venture capital-funded technology company to help us do the logistics of selling our food to Boston,” Fleming said. “We can do it with clipboards. We can do it with sailboats.”
Fleming is a community organizer working on the maiden voyage of the Maine Sail Freight project, a summer-long spectacle that will blend social media and “sailor’s gossip,” vinyl records and sea shanties, computers and cargo logs. Many pre-sail events and “side stunts” have already been held this summer to bring attention to the project, including a “teach-in,” picnic and concert in Portland last week. Still to come are a working shipyard dinner in Portland and a parade of traditional Norse wooden boats down the Kennebec River.
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There are four basic ways to change the food system. I talk about three of them a lot: The first is to eat differently, focusing on good food and especially plants; the second is to bring change to your work, whether that means becoming a farmer or helping other people eat better through your role as a teacher, doctor, artist, techie, lawyer or journalist. The third is to work locally to effect change in, for example, school systems or municipal politics.
The fourth is the toughest: Change the system that governs everything, including food. This means changing dominant economic theories and practices, and indeed the nature of capitalism itself. That isn’t happening anytime soon.