Maine fiddleheads

hot off the press: maine farm to table

If you’re looking for a food-related #longread, you’ve come to the right place. A few weekends ago, the Portland Press Herald published this magnum opus, “How the farm-to-table movement took root in Maine” by Meredith Goad and Mary Pols, as part of the launch of Source: Eating and Living Sustainably in Maine, a new section in the paper.

In conjunction with the Source launch, the PPH hired a powerhouse food editor, Peggy Grodinsky, held what looked to be a great party (at Urban Farm Fermentory!), and has begun to churn out respectable coverage on what it’s calling as “farm-to-table” topics. This pleases me greatly.

I will understand if, in reading the opening paragraphs of the paper’s debut feature for this section, that you are somehow confused and think it’s talking about Portlandia, especially the part about Maine hosting a Kneading Conference this summer, “…drawing breadheads from around the nation. For the eighth time.”

Breadheads? That’s a new term, even for me. Speaking of terms, Goad just wrote up a Green Glossary Part 1 of “definitions of farm-to-table food terms” as the next Sunday story. This is especially timely in light of my last post on the shifting meaning of words like “sustainability” and “local” to different interests. And I appreciate that Grodinsky and Goad are laying editorial groundwork through what looks to be a series of foundational stories. Already looking forward to Part 2 (this Sunday?).

Living and eating sustainably is about so much more than eating at establishments you support philosophically, but I love it when I know more about how a business works and agree with it. Below are a few of my favorite Maine restaurant gems:

  • The Gothic in Belfast might actually be my favorite restaurant of ALL TIME. Whoa. It’s owned by Searsport native, Matthew Kenney, who is a raw food star (yes, that’s a thing) and advocates for a plant-based diet. Lest you think it serves cardboard, this place is truly delicious. Jason Paul Roth runs the show there, and this Maine Magazine profile can give you more detail.
  • Pai Men Miyake in Portland: if you live in Maine and live in a cave, you will still know this restaurant. This is one of a collection of restaurants in the Miyake fold, which also includes Miyake Farm in Freeport, where the pigs roam free, and might even fly. Best. Ramen. Mmm.
  • Primo in Rockland also runs quite the farming operation behind the house where its restaurant is located. And it’s owned and run by Melissa Kelly (+1 for a woman in the kitchen and at the helm of the empire — like Barbara Lynch and Kristen Kish as profiled in this New York Times Magazine feature).

Learning to cook and eating at home is the most sustainable way to live, but I also think showing support for small businesses and spicing things up with a night out make everyone (or at least me) happier.

I look forward to becoming a loyal Source reader, but what else should I be reading on the food sustainability front? I like books (be my friend on Goodreads), but I also like blogs, stone tablets, and other forms of written word.


1 thought on “hot off the press: maine farm to table

  1. clare

    Reading something by Julie Guthman!! Either Agrarian Dreams (about the organics industry in CA), or Weighing In (about food justice and the politics of obesity). I am so sick of people thinking Michael Pollan is the be-all end-all word on food issues, and I think Julie’s book is a great example of a book that is read-able (if slightly more dense than Pollan’s journalistic style) but gives a much more nuanced, less over-simplified portrayal of the problems (and opportunities) in our food system…


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