Making Maine Self-Sufficient

I have been advocating for local economic development for as long as I’ve been blogging, dating back more than a decade. If Maine has any hope of creating resilience that might weather potentially stormy economic seas, it’s going to come via locals and local hubs of economic activity.

One of the state’s best sources of resilience is our local food economy. I’m not talking “foodie” ventures here, although I’m not opposed to high-end and trendy restaurants doing well, especially if they source from local farmers. But local food doesn’t have to be a high-end and pricey option for the elites, either.

"Growing Your Own Food is Like Printing Your Own Money."

“Growing Your Own Food is Like Printing Your Own Money.”

That’s why I was thrilled to learn that Craig Hickman’s bill, LD 1291, encouraging food self-sufficiency, has become law in Maine. This was one of several bills that sought to advance the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance (LFCSGO) passed in 13 towns across the state.

If you don’t know Hickman, he’s an organic farmer, and a passionate advocate of farming and local food, who happens to be serving his second term in Maine’s House of Representatives. He represents the towns of Readfield, Winthrop, and part of Monmouth. He’s also a great example of a citizen legislator who has made a difference in a political climate that all too often has been centered on ideology rather than on what’s best for Maine’s future.

Given my own new project centered on creating a local, urban food hub and Grow L+A that has me excited to be back working in Lewiston-Auburn again, I thought it fitting today to highlight Hickman’s bill.

Better yet, why don’t I just point you over to his blog, Hickman in the House, where he does it better than I can.

3 thoughts on “Making Maine Self-Sufficient

  1. I mix up with a variety of organic farmers and herbalists down here in Florida. It’s odd because even though it is so easy to grow so much down here, Maine is looked on like some distant Shangri-La, a place where organic food growing is supported by a great group in MOFGA, wise people who teach and guide new farmers, and where there is money to help out along the way, too.

    Maine is looked at by a lot of the rest of the states as a place where it’s being done right. Hickman’s actions are one of the reasons for that.

  2. @LP Great points. Maine is very fortunate to have an organization like MOFGA, and all the resources they offer to farmers, both existing ones, and anyone considering farming as a career. It’s also ironic, given our soil, which used to be mostly known for growing rocks!

  3. Jim, Craig is the kind of guy you would enjoy knowing. smart, sense of humor, scary sense of reality for Maine. AND he has weird, great, old-fashioned tomatoes. Amazing that LD 1291 got through!! Bryant

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