Dear Source Readers,

When we put out a call for nominees last year for the first ever Source Awards, we – or at least I – worried we might not get any. With some hubris, we’d billed it as the first annual Source Awards, but what would happen if we built it and they didn’t come? Instead, almost 200 nominees poured in and the real challenge was narrowing the field. Not that we didn’t know it, but we are very rich in Mainers working to make our communities, our state and our world, a more sustainable place.

At the awards ceremony, held in April at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, we were, well, bedazzled. So many smart, interesting, accomplished people who cared about the earth, sea, air, plants and animals, transportation, food and energy supplies. And much more. In one room. In one small town. In one scantily populated state. Surely if we put our minds to it, it felt that evening, we can preserve this planet.

Now in our second year of publishing Source, we continue to feel electrified by the riches here. We admire the scientists researching the disappearance of mussels and the orchardists reviving heirloom apple trees, the professors studying garbage to see what it tells us and the commuters cycling to work over frozen lakes or just diligently carpooling, the artist turning vegetables into couture and the farmers turning compost into energy. And many more. We toast all of you with local beer made from local hops, local malt, local grains, local apples, locally roasted coffee…

Today, we are thrilled to open nominations for the second annual Source Awards. We’re looking for the people, nonprofits and businesses that have worked to make Maine a cleaner, greener, more eco-friendly, more renewable, more livable, more intensely local place. Please nominate them at SOURCEawards in one of the following categories: Cultivator, Elder, Newcomer, Good Neighbor, Pollinator, Scion, or Teacher. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 26, and the winners will be announced at an awards dinner on April 6.

This is also the second year of the Russell Libby Agricultural Scholar awards, given by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) in conjunction with Source. Three scholarships, for $1,500 each, will be given in three categories: for farmers in MOFGA’s Journeyperson program, for Maine high school seniors planning to study agriculture or food systems in Maine, and to an ag student at Kennebec Valley Community College. The deadline for the Russell Libby awards is Feb. 29. Find details and applications at

“Tikkun olam” is a very old (and much debated) phrase in Judaism that translates literally to “repair of the world.” We feel privileged to again honor a few of Maine’s best repairmen and women.

Peggy Grodinsky, Source editor

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