maine asks trump to make sail freight a reality

posted March 16, 2017

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Or, well, almost. As you may remember, two summers ago, the Greenhorns loaded a schooner with 10 tons– $70,000 worth of cargo– and sailed it from Maine to Boston to sell at markets in the city. And then, the NEWSAG conference held a “FoodBarge Hack” lunch at their annual conference. The Portland Press Herald said of the project, “It’s art. It’s protest. It’s celebration. And, who knows? It may even be a practical way to get cargo to market.”

It looks like Maine’s Department of Transportation might actually agree. As BDN Maine reports, “The National Governor’s Association submitted its members’ wish lists to the Trump administration last week. The overall list isn’t being made public, but the Maine Department of Transportation is releasing its proposal: almost half a billion dollars for improving the state’s roads and bridges and to jump-start a project that would revive a long-dormant coastal barge route, from Maine to New York City.” They’re calling it the “New England Marine Highway.”

Though the Greenhorns would like to see a less fossil-fuel dependent model than tug-boat-pulled barges, we’re glad to see people thinking more creatively about viable ways to move goods from agricultural areas to regional markets. Put a sail on that barge— or, oh we don’t know, a solar panel, a hydrokinetic turbine, or some draft power— and we’re all for it!

Missed Maine Sail Freight, read more here!



greenhorns releases: MANIFESTA!

posted May 3, 2016

We are so proud of this awesome collaboration. If you’ve been wondering how a maritime art stunt fits into the mission of an organization that supports farmers (I mean, talk about your landlubbers!), this publication is for you! Manifesta lays out the story, history, discourse, and activism behind the Maine Sail Freight project last summer! The un-monograph is a fun and galvanizing read, and we think it is going to make a real believer out of you!

This is a story about a group of young farmers staging a pageant-like protest about the terms of trade in our agricultural economy, and the nature of transportation and exchange within that model.

It’s an elaborate stunt, invoking colonial history and the maritime ex- traction economy of coastal Maine as a platform for discourse on a more regional, more prosperous, and more diverse food economy for the future.

We claim the ocean as an ally and a commons—a venue to imagine what a world where 60% of the retail price goes to the farmer, and view- point from which to watch the farmers of the region operate, and co-oper- ate to circulate wealth and add value. We raise a flag for food sovereignty on the mast of our sail boat.

We are not content to labor where 70% of the agricultural work is performed by those without citizenship. We are not content to operate
in a high-volume, low-value commodity extraction economy. We are not content to be silent while our nation negotiates yet more free trade agree- ments freeing only those at the top of the capitalist slag heap and chaining the rest of us to their terms.

This project is our retort!





sail freight projects abound! meet the new FoodBargeHack @ It Takes a Region

posted November 1, 2015

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We are SO HAPPY to see continued discussion of SAIL FREIGHT!

As you may remember, we’ve been obsessed since our first sail freight project in VERMONT a few years ago, and then again in with Maine Sail Freight this past August.

Like they said in the Portland Press Herald:

“It’s art. It’s protest. It’s celebration. And, who knows? It may even be a practical way to get cargo to market.”

AND NOW, inspired by Sail Freight and Farm Hack, there will be a FoodBarge Hack lunch Friday Nov. 13, at NEWSAG‘s It Takes a Region Conference. The event’s organizer’s write:

“Together, we will envision an energy efficient, sustainable regional food system using our waterways. We will focus on how to connect mid-sized upstate farmers with underserved NYC neighborhoods using a barge on the Hudson River, and challenge the status quo. With your help, we want take real steps towards a viable alternative to food filled trucks on our roads.”

Please note that you must be attending the conference and should RSVP to Jill Slater in advance if you would like lunch.


maine sail freight is hiring (again)

posted October 15, 2015

Maine Sail Freight is hiring!

Position: Sales Associate

DECEMBER 2015

Dear Mainers and Maine-lovers, Apply for this retail position to represent Maine Products and producers at the Boston Public Market during the busy holiday season.

Maine Sail Freight is a project of T​he Greenhorns,​ an 8 year old grassroots organization which works to promote, recruit and support the incoming generation of farmers through cultural programming and media production.  Maine Sail Freight aims to illustrate and connect our regional foodshed using the logic of the landscape to orient the generation-long project of re-regionalizing our food supply.  In partnership with Crown of Maine Organic Coop, we coordinated and delivered food, using the ocean as a trade-route.

Maine Sail Freight launched a pop up shop at the Boston Public Market in August, and now we are happy to partner with other organizations and business from Maine to extend the market presence into the Holiday season. Each of these organizations represent another segment of the growing sustainable agriculture economy in Maine, and we hope that our booth can be a pavillion that invites Bostonians and shopping tourists to explore all that Maine organic farming has to offer. Partners include: Maine Grain Alliance, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardners Association, Maine Department of Agriculture, Crown of Maine Organic Coop+ Fiddlers Green Farm, Experience Maritime Maine.

Would you like to be the voice of this project and help spread the word about our regional food economy, to learn about and promote the programs of the partner organizations.

Learn more about the project: (more…)



bring your body! show up for fisher people, the ocean commons, and the health of the gulf of Maine, sept. 30, plymouth, ma

posted October 4, 2015

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Family fishermen and supporters are inviting ally networks to join them and call on Congress, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, and the New England Fisheries Council to stop the corporate takeover and privatization of the ocean and fisheries, to protect the democratic process and to restore the health of the marine ecosystem. 
Bring your body and spirit and turn out for an action starting at 12 p.m. Wednesday September 30 at the Radisson Hotel in Plymouth, MA. The New England Fisheries Management Council will be holding a meeting at this time, and FLC, NAMA, fishermen, supporters, and allies (you! me!) will make it clear to them that we support local fisherman and are determined to protect our oceans. 
Your support in the past — through written testimony or signing petitions — has brought unprecedented diversity of public input to the policies being considered by the New England Fishery Management Council. You have also helped create safe space for fishermen who have felt alone and often harassed for speaking out to actually stand up and be heard.
Whether you eat local seafood, support family food producers/local living economies/healthy oceans/our public commons/the public process, or simply want to keep those in power accountable, this is a fight that affects us all.

To RSVP for this action, email brett@namanet.org. And, for more information or with questions, contact Shira (shira@namanet.org) or Brett (brett@namanet.org).