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Get ready to learn a whole lot about grains on a special episode of The Farm Report. Erin Fairbanks is joined by Amber Lambke, Executive Director of the Maine Grains Alliance and host of the annual KNEADING Conference. Amber knows her grains and talks about everything from infrastructure to economics. The Maine Grains Alliance's mission is to preserve and promote grain traditions, from earth to hearth. They provide opportunities to learn and share how best to grow and use grains, using a combination of traditional, innovative, and sustainable techniques. The KNEADING conference brings together farmers, professional and home bakers, chefs, cooks, grain researchers, maltsters, food entrepreneurs, and wood-fired oven enthusiasts to educate one another about the art and science of growing and milling grains and baking artisan breads. Over the next 5-10 years the landscape of grains will change dramatically. Find out why on The Farm Report. This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

"What we're finding is that grains make a lot of sense in a diversified crop rotation. Many farmers starting to sell us grains also sell other things." [7:13]

"We lost grain production to an economy of scale that made it cheaper to grow high yielding varieties of grain in the midwest." [9:19]

"In the US right now the percentage of organic grain production happening is still less than 1% of the grain production in our country. We have an opportunity in New England to stay focused on organic and non-GMO grain production." [12:17]

"Over the next 5-10 years the landscape of grains will change dramatically. We're not just buying white flour, we're paying a lot more attention to what we're buying." [24:53]

--Amber Lambke on The Farm Report


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How is farming tied to carbon and how does carbon keep life on earth possible? Find out on a very elemental and scientific episode of The Farm Report as host Erin Fairbanks is joined by Courtney White, the author of Grass, Soil, Hope. A former archaeologist and Sierra Club activist, White dropped out of the 'conflict industry' in 1997 to co-found the Quivira Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to building bridges between ranchers, conservationists, public land managers, scientists, and others around the idea of land health. On today's show, Courtney explains what makes carbon such an essential part of the soil (and the earth) and introduces some alternative methods of farming that could help bring more carbon into our soil. The answer is biological farming - not chemical farming, and Courtney makes a clear case for out of the box thinking when it comes to our land and soil. Tune in and learn about the real issues in the ground and on the minds of sustainable agricultural thinkers everywhere. This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

"How carbon gets cycled is extremely important to maintaining life on this planet!" [02:45]

"We want biological farming not chemical farming." [05:16]

"If we want to store more carbon we have to stop killing the fungi in the soil." [07:36]

"If you have a practice that increases plant vigor and makes plants happy, you're storing more carbon in the soil." [12:40]

"Changes start in the margin, ideas start on the outside and move in over time...but how do you get them to speed up that journey to the center? That's tough. We need policy changes and we have such a dysfunctional political system right now" [20:42]

--Courtney White on The Farm Report


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This week on The Farm Report, host Erin Fairbanks speaks with Doug Fine, author of the book Hemp Bound: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution. In an interesting discussion about the controversial substance that has been outlawed in its time among many states, Erin and Doug discuss the benefits of hemp and why hemp production should be something that is encouraged throughout the country. From the ground up, Doug walks us through the details of the hemp plant itself to his thoughts on the rebuilding of the hemp seed's biodiversity. With many uses that the average consumer might not recognize, such as material for clothing as well as houses, he goes on to share that with more production, hemp could help the country's farmers by offering a viable, profitable product to grow and sell. Tune in to find out more on why the stereotypes that surround hemp might need to be re-examined. This program has been brought to you by Cain Vineyard and Winery.

"Hemp is any variety of the cannabis plant that is 0.3% THC or less... Unless you get high smoking broccoli or corn, no, you can't feel psychoactive effects from hemp." [2:13]

"Hemp seed oil, which is extremely profitable, is an omega superfood. I put it in my morning shake every day. It basically does what flax oil or cod liver oil does, in terms of high proteins, in some cases better." [19:17]

-- Doug Fine on The Farm Report

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