Organic Farmers Know That Consumers Don’t Mind a Little Listeria as Long as They Get it From Farmers Who Care

one-maineELLSWORTH — Organic farmer Bill Thayer remembers the basil incident well. Thayer, who with his wife, Cynthia, runs Darthia Farm in Gouldsboro, said federal inspectors were at the farm for two days while a batch of basil jam was being produced. They were there, he said, because some of the jam would be shipped out of Maine. When the basil supply ran low, one worker walked 50 feet to a nearby hoop house, picked some more and brought it back to the building where the jam was being made. The feds offered a critique, Thayer said, because the worker went and came back wearing the same clothes. Thayer’s story played well to a sympathetic audience at Ellsworth City Hall on April 23, where he was one of six panelists at a forum titled “Maine Agriculture: Our Food, Our Farms, Our Future.” The event was organized by OneMaine, which bills itself as a nonprofit bipartisan organization “whose only special interest is Maine people.”(read more at the Fenceviewer)