Articles by Lauren Abbate

Livestock such as these cattle can be seen at the Fryeburg Fair in Fryeburg in this October 2014 file photo.

This club will teach Maine children how to raise, market livestock

By Lauren Abbate on Jan. 18, 2017, at 6:29 a.m.
With the new club educating children and families on what exactly goes into raising a variety of different animals, Judy Smith said they will be more informed about what exactly goes into raising the food they consume.
High school senior Franci Bliss, 17, of Portland is a certified doula who has assisted in around 15 births since August.

17-year-old finds passion for birthwork while becoming a doula

By Lauren Abbate on Jan. 14, 2017, at 7:29 a.m.
Regardless where the future takes her, helping others will be at the center of her plans.
Three roosting chickens are the focus of the 2017 Common Ground Country Fair poster, which was released by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association this week.

Maine association unveils 2017 Common Ground Country Fair poster

By Lauren Abbate on Jan. 12, 2017, at 3:57 p.m.
The poster represents the 41st annual Common Ground Country Fair, which will be be held Sept. 22 through Sept. 24.
Visitors and vendors can be seen during the annual State of Maine Agricultural Trades Show at the Augusta Civic Center in this January 2011 file photo.

LePage: Maine agriculture ‘can become a major industry, not just a boutique industry’

By Lauren Abbate on Jan. 11, 2017, at 1 a.m.
“Where [farmers] are all spread out on the landscape during the growing season and the busy time of the year, I think the [trades show] is a good time to get everyone together.”

Collaboration brings midcoast students a community-oriented garden project

By Lauren Abbate on Jan. 10, 2017, at 3:23 p.m.
“I see this space as a way to connect the students to their community, thinking in terms of what to grow there in regards to what the community needs.”
A tub of fresh butter is seen on Friday at Rollins Orchard in Garland. Rollins Orchard began making butter in 2015.

For quality small-batch butter, try churning it at home

By Lauren Abbate on Jan. 05, 2017, at 6:34 a.m.
“We use the slow traditional process to give [the butter] better flavor. It gives it a more buttery flavor.”
Brian St. Laurent washes carrot bunches at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association farm in Unity, Aug. 24, 2011.

Agriculture organizations reflect on 2016, look ahead to a new year

By Lauren Abbate on Dec. 31, 2016, at 7 a.m.
Statewide agriculture organizations say that despite challenging conditions 2016 was an exciting year for the overall realm of local food and farming in Maine — a year that gives hope to continued growth in the coming 365 days.

Vandalism leaves uneasy feeling for Clinton dairy farmers

By Lauren Abbate on Dec. 28, 2016, at 3:05 p.m.
Given the plethora of challenges dairy farmers face daily, T.J. Wright is disheartened that now he has to worry about vandals as well.
The farm at 430 Copeland Hill Road in Holden is seen Friday. The Holden Land Trust announced they have purchased the farm.

Holden Land Trust aims to save centuries old farm and its 160 acres of farmland and forest

By Lauren Abbate on Dec. 23, 2016, at 3:43 p.m.
The Holden Land Trust signed a purchase and sale agreement with the Hart estate to buy the 160 acres, with the intention of preserving the land for future agricultural use.
Jacob Yoder (right), 17, and his brother Joni Yoder (left), 12, get a little help from Pat Chase as the boys were working on insulating the family's new shop building in Whitefield Monday. Pat Chase and his wife, Robin, have been helping Amish families find land and settle in the Whitefield area. The Yoder family bought land and they plan to move to Whitefield in the spring of 2017 from New York.

Amish community taking root in Whitefield thanks to doggedness of local couple

By Lauren Abbate on Dec. 23, 2016, at 7:24 a.m.
“It’s not like God’s making another batch of [farmland] the town over,” Pat Chase said. “When [the Amish buy land] they don’t break it up and sell house lots. It’s always going to be in that family.”

‘Modern milkmen’ relocate from Pittsfield to New Jersey

on Dec. 22, 2016, at 7:54 a.m.
“It was not the business that failed.”
Ethan Bartlett pushes Bo out of the way as he is pulling on the reluctant Clementine to get back in the paddock after milking at White Bull Farm in Pittsfield, March 10, 2016.

‘Modern milkmen’ relocate from Pittsfield to New Jersey

By Lauren Abbate on Dec. 22, 2016, at 7:52 a.m.
In August the brothers ceased operation of the farm, sold their herd and relocated to New Jersey.
The Portland Co-op is one of 18 local food markets and farmers' markets offering increased matching funds for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program shoppers through Maine Harvest Bucks, allowing them to buy more local fruits and vegetables.

Maine Harvest Bucks offers winter specials to help SNAP users get local fruits and vegetables

By Lauren Abbate on Dec. 20, 2016, at 4:07 p.m.
Shoppers using nutrition assistance benefits are getting a little boost in the form of increased matching funds to buy local fruits and vegetables.

Midcoast farmers donate box truck, supplies to Standing Rock’s Rosebud Camp

By Lauren Abbate on Dec. 15, 2016, at 7:07 a.m.
The plan to donate the box truck ― filled with food and other needed items ― began just two weeks ago
A goat peers out of the barn on Dec. 1 at Copper Tail Farm in Waldoboro. Christelle and Jon McKee of Copper Tail Farm participated in the Maine Farmland Trust program focusing on helping farmers and producers figure out how to expand their business and make adjustments necessary for tapping into the wholesale market.

Program offers instruction, assistance to help farmers scale up to reach wholesale markets

By Lauren Abbate on Dec. 09, 2016, at 6:31 a.m.
The program is in its third year and aims to help small farmers reach wholesale markets.
Jessica and Brian Farrar, owners of Maine Water Buffalo Co. in Appleton, began the dairy side of their business in 2013. Milking once a day, they make mozzarella cheese, buffalo milk feta cheese that they call "buffeta," soft spreadable cheeses, yogurt and gelato. They sell their products at farmers markets in Union, Belfast, Camden and Rockland.

Creamery, meat farm looks to double water buffalo herd

By Lauren Abbate on Dec. 07, 2016, at 2:01 p.m.
In the seven years since the Maine farm began, the Farrars have carved out a stronghold for their niche product, expanded their water buffalo herd, opened a farm store, established a creamery, and now, they’re looking to double the size of their herd to meet growing demand.
Attendees convened Monday at the Maine Farmland Trust's second annual Farmland Access Conference, where the focus was the 400,000 acres of farmland in the state that is poised to change hands over the next decade.

Access to farmland crucial for short-term and long-term growth of Maine agriculture

By Lauren Abbate on Dec. 05, 2016, at 4:47 p.m.
“We have a lot of people who want to farm, and so the question for us is how do we make it possible.”
Sen. Angus King gives remarks on local agriculture and aquaculture during the 2016 Maine Food Network Gathering on Friday at the University of Maine in Orono.

Why local food must grow in Maine but stay true to its roots

By Lauren Abbate on Dec. 03, 2016, at 7:51 a.m.
“We’re sitting in one of the world’s great brands, it’s called Maine.”
Jodi Clayton, owner of One Lupine Fiber Arts, demonstrates the use of a spinning wheel on Monday at her shop in Bangor.

The art of spinning: How and why people are taking to the wheel to spin their own yarn

By Lauren Abbate on Dec. 01, 2016, at 6:29 a.m.
“There is a lot of just muscle memory and coordination, and then once you get it, [spinning] shifts into something that is incredibly soothing and meditative and tranquil and lovely.”

Woodstove changeout program highlights importance of updating your home’s hearth

on Nov. 26, 2016, at 1:04 a.m.
(From the BDN) If your stove equipment is not up to snuff, it could be emitting an excessive amount of particulate matter that can have negative effects on people’s lung health.