Winners of the Maine, Farm, Fish & Food Innovation Challenge Announced

The Maine Innovation Challenge culminated on Sunday afternoon with Pitches given by ten teams. The 5 judges awarded First Place to the Forq Food Lab and the Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative, both from Portland. The New Beet Market from Brunswick and Frinklepod Farm from Arundel were awarded Second Place. Two student teams, Darling Sea Farm from the Darling Center and AgriGatr from Hampshire College received Honorable Mention.  The First Place teams each received $5,000 and 6 hours of legal services from Drummond & Drummond and Second Place teams each receive $1,750 and 8 hours of business development consulting services from the Sustainability Lab.

The ten teams were comprised of thirty-six participants. In addition to the winners, teams represented Abundant Harvest, The Farming Artists, Central Maine Meats and Simonton Cove. During the weekend teams attended 2 workshops, the Business Model Canvas presented by Bill Seretta, from the Sustainability Lab and the Art of the Pitch presented by Don Gooding from the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development.

Advice and consultation were provided to the teams by George Parmenter, Manager of Sustainability, Delhaize North America (Hannaford), Beth Boepple, Lambert Coffin, Stephanie Gilbert, Farm Viability and Farmland Protection Specialist, MDAC&F and Nate Huckel-Bauer, Drummond & Drummond.

Bill Seretta and Tom Settlemire, Co-Chairs of the event, stated, “the event exceeded our expectations.” And they thanked “the Planning Committee, Host Committee, ten teams, 5 judges, 4 Team Advisors, eleven Sponsors, fourteen Partners, Challenge Volunteers and Bowdoin College for making the first Maine Farm, Fish & Food Innovation Challenge a resounding success.”

Pumpkins for Pigs!

This year you can put your left over Halloween pumpkins to good use!

Bring your pumpkins (preferably not rotten, but some soft spots are okay) to the square bin in the driveway at Crystal Spring Farm and they will become food for the resident pigs.

Pigs love to eat pumpkins, and they are good for them too! Carved, uncarved, smashed, any color – the pigs will eat them!

Support a local farmer.

Questions? contact Kristen Pearson at doublehpigranch@gmail.com or 507-261-5098

Click here for the flier: Pumpkins for Pigs

Michael Rozine on Sustainable Food

Sustainable Food: Healthy, Green, Fair, Affordable. Can we have it all and scale it up?

Michael Rozyne, Bowdoin class of 1978, and co-founder of Red Tomato will be in Brunswick on Wednesday, October 21 to give a talk at Bowdoin’s Kresge Auditorium at 7:30 called “Sustainable Food~ Healthy, Green, Fair, Affordable: Can we Have it All and Scale it Up?”

This event is open to the public free of charge.

Michael Rozyne will share his story and experience growing two social venture food businesses – Equal Exchange and Red Tomato.

He will describe the current local and sustainable food movement in the U.S., the issues, challenges, and obstacles that must be overcome to scale up this movement, and how innovation, technology, and collaboration might come into play.

Michael is executive director of Red Tomato, a non-profit business connecting farmers to consumers, relying on wholesale distribution to deliver farm products to local grocery stores.

Previously Rozyne co-founded Equal Exchange, a cooperative business that trades food in a way that empowers both farmers and consumers.

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Grow for Kids this Summer

16431698991_2519819d8f_bThis summer, the newly established Merrymeeting Food Council is looking for community members to grow and donate fruits and vegetables to the local Summer Food Service Program. Foods donated will be provided to local children throughout Topsham, Brunswick, Harpswell, Lisbon, and Richmond that have limited access to healthy foods during the summer months.

Any community members interested in supporting the local Summer Food Program are being asked to grow or provide five requested food items: Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, carrots, and eggs. These foods have been identified as favorites with the kids participating in the program in previous years.

The Summer Food Service Program is a federal program, implemented locally by Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program (MCHPP). The summer feeding program provides free lunchtime meals to children, ages 0 – 18, enrolled in summer camps and other specific sites. Many children depend on the breakfasts and lunches provided by schools as their source of daily, nutritious meals and this program ensures the children have access to nutritious meals when school is not session.

“Summer can place an extra burden on families, causing family food budgets to be strained. Healthy, nutritious meals are important all year round to help kids grow, play, and learn, and it’s even better when the food is fresh and local. We anticipate serving over 5,000 lunches this year and are excited to be starting four new meal sites in Harpswell and Topsham, for a a total of eleven sites throughout our community,” stated Ethan Minton, MCHPP Program Director

Persons interested in growing and contributing food items or interested in more information about the Merrymeeting Food Council should contact Colleen Fuller at Access Health at cfuller@midcoasthealth.com or (207) 373-6925.

 

About The Merrymeeting Food Council

The Merrymeeting Food Council is a collaborative effort between Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, Access Health, community members, food producers and distributors, and other organizations.