MESAS publishes useful reports, manuals and bulletins on whole systems approaches to improving Maine’s agriculture. They provide long term insights based on the work of our farmers and their collaborators. PDF’s are linked below.
SUSTAINABLE YEAR ROUND AGRICULTURE PROJECT Report (2020)
The Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society (MESAS) recently finalized a report on a selection of infrastructure options for year round covered agriculture in Maine. The report is the culmination of a research, design and demonstration that began in 2014. The project demonstrated new technologies that show initial promise for wide adoption on commercial Maine farms and presents analysis, findings and recommendations for critical research in climates defined by a short growing season, a long winter with snowfall and an often unpredictable “shoulder season” weather in spring and fall.
The report suggests that a commitment to priorities for low tech, renewable energy and heating systems that balance financial viability with environmental and social accountability may be the best approach for increasing the impact and full life cycle of extended season covered agriculture infrastructure, especially for Maine’s abundance of soil-based small and mid-sized family farms. It centers farmers as key consultants in defining the role of tech and data for Maine’s future. environmental data, climate control, and user-centered energy monitoring that may help increase innovative hybrid approach to agriculture, renewable energy, and issues with peak energy loading and demand.
Embedded in the report is a prototype Excel-based farm infrastructure project planning and budgeting tool that includes carbon fuel and energy accounting, alongside crop planning and traditional financial accounting.
CERTIFIED MAINE MEAT PILOT PROGRAM DRAFT Manual (2019)
UNDERSTANDING THE DICHOTOMY BETWEEN INDUSTRIAL AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE Report (2004 Smith, Bell, Files)
UNDERSTANDING THE DICHOTOMY BETWEEN INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE: Types and Characteristics of Maine Farms
Stewart Smith, Pamela Bell, and Andrew Files; October 2004
This report discusses definitions, concepts and models of sustainable agriculture, and demonstrates the character and extent of sustainable agriculture in Maine (at the time). It also provides valuable insights from farmer interviews meant to help those considering sustainable practices. This report also presents information from a survey comparing industrial and sustainable agriculture farms in Maine.