Alternative in a Farm, YES!


For now I picked two farms, ,mostly because one is as far north as one can go

and still be in this country and about the same thing south in this country,

just to prove that alternative anything works?


Windmill Acres Farm and Goat Dairy, LLC.


Windmill Acres Farm Wins Award

Alan Hart owner and operator of Windmill Acres Farm has been awarded the Florida Innovative Farmer Award for 2011.

Alan was nominated for the award by Florida A & M University for his efforts to operate his goat dairy farm

using innovative techniques that reduce the carbon footprint of his farm and protects the natural resources.

The award was presented at the Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprise Conference in Osceola County on July 16, 2011.

Florida Innovative Farm Award.

The goal of the Florida Innovative Farmer Award is to recognize farmers and ranchers who are leaders and innovators based on the following criteria.

Success in making farming systems more profitable over the long-term.

Ability to use farming practices that enhance, rather than harm, natural resources. Leading,

or participating in, activities that support viable communities, either through economic development or contribution to regional food systems.

Effective outreach and/or education about sustainable agriculture ideas and practices to others,

such as producers, community leaders, agricultural educators and the general public.

To Freeport farming couple, innovation comes naturally


Photo: Brendan Twist / The Forecaster

Ralph and Lisa Turner, seen here in a greenhouse on their Laughing Stock Farm,

sell community supported agriculture shares every week in Freeport and Portland.

Lisa decided in 1997 to begin farming on 1/5 of an acre. At the time, she was reading the work of Eliot Coleman,

the trailblazing organic farmer who had recently studied local growing techniques across Europe.

Inspired, the Turners built a greenhouse.

“We’ll speak up, even if what we’re saying is wildly unpopular.

Politics exists in everything, so you’ve got to get off the farm and say what you think,

or people will make decisions that affect your life without asking you,” Lisa said.


Photo: Brendan Twist / The Forecaster

The Turners warm their Freeport farm’s greenhouses

using leftover restaurant cooking oil, seen here in barrels.

“Farming has become an ‘in’ thing to advocate for,” Ralph said.

“And a lot of the advocacy groups don’t spend as much time interfacing with actual people who farm as we think they should.

While reviewing the regulations of 2011’s Food Safety Modernization Act, the FDA decided it needed to get out and see some farms.

The Turners volunteered, along with two other Maine farms, Spears Vegetable Farm in Nobleboro and the Apple Farm in Manchester.

About 20 FDA officials toured Laughing Stock Farm for several hours, asking questions,

and listening as the Turners made their case for various elements of the act’s regulations as feasible, unnecessary or cost-prohibitive.

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