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South Bristol’s ice harvest keeps ‘working history’ from melting away

MAINERS PRESERVING A LINK TO THE ICE HARVEST PAST. For one hundred years – prior to the rather sudden appearance of electrical refrigeration – commercial Ice Harvest was big business across Maine. While Winter's cold remains active in Maine, the Ice Harvest long ago followed the path of the horse-and-buggy.
However, citizens in the coastal Maine town of South Bristol are annually preserving the tradition of the Ice Harvest with a ice work session held every February. This article in the 'Bangor Daily News' tells the story with some great photos plus this video (2:27) provides additional good detail.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl1hSWzCbvo
Back before our isolated Township got power lines, we stored ice the hard way every winter, but just for home use. Insulated with sawdust our ice blocks would last the entire cooling-season and kept an old-fashioned refrigerator-looking "ice box" in the cellar cool all year. To see if we could pull it off, we actually were able to save a few leftover blocks for three or four years.
If you happen to be in Maine in July you can take part in South Bristol's Ice Cream Social. Guess where they get the ice to make the hand-crank ice cream? Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Ice harvesting was a thriving industry in 19th-century New England. Using large, jagged-toothed saws, workers would cut heavy blocks from frozen rivers, lakes and ponds, pack it in sawdust and sell it around the world. Then came electric refrigeration, and ice-cutting became all but obsolete. But there are still a few places where the tradition is carried on.

"It was a postcard-perfect winter scene — a small, snow-covered pond framed by tall trees and a rustic barn. Here in South Bristol, Ken Lincoln and several other men were out early in the morning, doing what they learned to do as kids. They were removing the first blocks of ice from the pond."

South Bristol’s ice harvest keeps ‘working history’ from melting away

Ice harvesting was a thriving industry in 19th-century New England. But there are still a few places where the tradition is carried on.


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JUSTICE SERVED IN 'ECOLOGICAL DISASTER' TRIAL! MONSANTO-MALIGNED MISS…

JUSTICE SERVED IN 'ECOLOGICAL DISASTER' TRIAL! MONSANTO-MALIGNED MISSOURI PEACH FARMER AWARDED MASSIVE $265 MILLION AWARD IN LANDMARK DICAMBA-DRIFT LAWSUIT. The jury in this blockbuster federal lawsuit has ordered malicious Monsanto to pay $265 Million in damages to Bill & Denise Bader – owners of Missouri's largest Peach Orchard – after repeated 'Dicamba'-herbicide drift events destroyed crops and brought the farmers to the edge of financial ruin.
In ordering payment of $250 Million in PUNITIVE damages, the jury accepted the Bader legal team's assertions that Monsanto had engaged in a jaw-dropping extortion-marketing-scheme in which reluctant soy and cotton farmers were cynically bullied into purchasing Monsanto's GE Dicamba-resistant seed lest their own crops also be decimated from notorious volatilized-Dicamba-drift.
When combined with the to-date three unanimous Roundup-cancer jury verdict losses & 40,000 remaining Roundup lawsuits, this stunning Dicamba verdict serves as a clear indictment of Monsanto (merged with Bayer in a hapless and transparent attempt to make itself disappear from public scrutiny) as nothing short of a soul-less, on-going criminal enterprise which continues to threaten citizens and the environment. Jim

"The legal challenge was the first dicamba suit to go to trial and was brought forth by Bill and Denise Bader, owners of Bader farms. Dicamba is produced by Monsanto, which Bayer acquired in 2018.

"Mr. Bader's suit challenged (pdf) Monsanto's 'willful and negligent release of a defective crop system—namely its genetically modified Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II Xtend cotton seeds ('Xtend crops')—without an accompanying, EPA-approved dicamba herbicide'…

"The Baders, who did not use dicamba, said they lost over 30,000 trees due to Monsanto's actions, as journalist Carey Gillam wrote earlier this month:

"Bader claims Monsanto sold GMO dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton seeds despite knowing the actions would trigger chemical damage to farm fields that were not planted with the new seeds. The intent, the Bader Farms' lawsuit alleges, was to induce farmers to buy the specialty seeds as a means to prevent crop damage from herbicide drift coming from neighboring farmers who were planting the GMO crops and spraying them with dicamba.

"Testing showed that leaves of his dying peach trees carried traces of dicamba. The 5,000-acre family farm, which produced 5 million to 6 million pounds of peaches annually along with corn, soybeans, various berries, apples, and tomatoes, is now struggling to survive, according to Bader.

"The jury sided with Bader Farms on Friday and awarded them $15 million in damages, as St. Louis Public Radio reported:

""Monsanto and BASF were found liable for negligent design of the products and negligent failure to warn regarding the products. The jury also found that the two companies created a joint venture to manufacture and sell dicamba-resistant seed and low-volatility herbicides, and that they conspired to create an 'ecological disaster' to increase profits.'

"The jury followed up Saturday with a determination that Monsanto and BASF pay $250 million in punitive damages."




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ACLU Defends Amish Community’s Religious Freedom Against Lenawee County’s Threat to Bulldoze Homes

UNFOLDING TRAGEDY IN MICHIGAN: PETTY BUREAUCRATS THREATEN TO BULLDOZE AMISH HOUSES BECAUSE OF FAKE 'PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERNS.' Michigan needs to get its act together, follow the US Constitution and act as though it holds respect for religious freedom. The Michigan Legislature must update its seriously flawed 'public health' laws and NOT dictate bogus uniformity and normalcy in the name of fictional 'public safety' standards.
Old Order Amish whose religious beliefs include avoiding such modern conveniences as electricity and indoor plumbing represent ZERO "health" risks to the public or themselves. That's a fact.
We now have Old Order Amish here in Aroostook County and we do business with them. As a group they are model citizens and much more industrious, capable and responsible than we 'English' (English-speaking non-Amish). Our Amish friends have demonstrated their competence and good-living for more than 300 years. We English pale by comparison.
Over-drive Nanny-Government needs to back down, focus on real problems (or if there aren't any, cut back on budgets and save taxpayers money) and adopt Maine's "live and let live" sensibilities.
Thank goodness for the ACLU! Let justice reign. Jim

"Today the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) and the law firm Wright & Schulte, LLC counter-sued the Lenawee County Health Department for violating the constitutional and civil rights of an Old Order Amish community by threatening to demolish every Amish-owned home in the county, in effect expelling an entire faith community from its borders. The Amish community, which lives in accordance with their religious beliefs by abstaining from using electricity, hydraulic power, running water, and other modern technology, faces expulsion from Lenawee County as a result of lawsuits that local officials filed against them last month."

ACLU Defends Amish Community’s Religious Freedom Against Lenawee County’s Threat to Bulldoze Homes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


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‘Entire aisles are empty’: Whole Foods employees reveal why stores are facing a crisis of food shortages

DOES YOUR WHOLE FOODS MARKET HAVE EMPTY SHELVES? The nearest WFM is almost 300 miles away in Portland, Maine, and we haven't been inside in over 5 years, well before Amazon took over ownership.
We were recently sent this 'Business Insider' article from 2018 which depicted numerous photos of WFMs from around the country with empty shelves, apparently thanks to a then-new dubious 'just-in-time' ordering system with some very, very rough edges.
Have you seen scenes like this in WFMs? Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Whole Foods is facing a crush of food shortages in stores that's leading to empty shelves, furious customers, and frustrated employees…

"But Whole Foods employees say the problems began before the acquisition. They blame the shortages on a buying system called order-to-shelf that Whole Foods implemented across its stores early last year.

"Business Insider spoke with seven Whole Foods employees, from cashiers to department managers, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution."

‘Entire aisles are empty’: Whole Foods employees reveal why stores are facing a crisis of food shortages

Whole Foods employees say stores are suffering from food shortages because of a newly implemented inventory-management system called order-to-shelf.


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It’s Iowa caucus day. So why did we ask 20 California farmers what they’re thinking today?

SO WHAT'S ON THE MINDS OF FARMERS IN THESE CHALLENGING TIMES? 'The Counter' recently sought out the thoughts of 20 California Family Farmers. An excellent article which should be considered MUST READ.
The responses were valuable for gauging the plight of family farmers in the current Farm Crisis and in our age of relentless corporate consolidation and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"There are over 70,000 farms in California, and almost three-quarters of them are defined as 'family farms'—as many as 95 percent, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which includes family partnerships in its number. The farms, smaller than 100 acres, belong to farmers whose average age is 59.2…

"'I went to Washington, D.C., with a group of small farmers and introduced myself to one of the congressmen, who said, ‘Man, we’ve never had anybody like you out here.’ The guys who lobby are just all the big, big places, and we’re a tiny little farm on 25 acres. The guys who go there are the almond growers—not 25- acres-of-farmland people. We’re feeding a little community. We’re asking for things in the farm bill that would be loans and stuff like that, more toward the small family farm versus giving all that money to Big Ag. Tariffs are a completely different scale from what we do.'”

It’s Iowa caucus day. So why did we ask 20 California farmers what they’re thinking today?

Primary season often puts the focus on commodity crops and international trade agreements. But 90 percent of our produce is grown in California.


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The North Face – Question Madness

NOT YOUR TYPICAL COMMERCIAL AD. Most commercials deserve a quick flick of the mute button. However, we believe you'll find this 2016 masterpiece on Vimeo (1:46) – honoring the 50th anniversary of 'The North Face' – is cut from a different cloth and establishes new pinnacles for brand identity.
Last month we again attended the Winter meeting of the 86-year-old 'Direct Gardening Association.' DGA is the trade group for those of us who make our living growing seeds and plants and sell them – in our case Organic Seed Potatoes (www.woodprairie.organic) – directly to gardeners.
Keynote speaker Mark Schaefer, longtime faculty member at Rutgers graduate marketing studies program, nominated this video as the best ad ever. With thanks to Cat Stevens, please watch and tell us if you agree. Caleb, Megan & Jim

The North Face – Question Madness

Sound Design : Tanguy Meunier, Harry Knazan, Pierre-Hugues Rondeau Mix : Guillaume Houde, René-Pierre T. Guérin Music Editing : Pete Van Uytfanck,…


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NY senators call for investigation over influx of Canadian onions

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN: AMERICANS COMPLAIN OF CANADIAN DUMPING – THIS TIME IT'S ONIONS. Border State family farmers in States like Maine and New York perpetually get the short end of the stick when it comes to trade with Canada.
The USA's large population is irresistible to Canadian producers. American farmers don't have any bone to pick with our farmer friends in Canada. However, if there is ever to be justice it MUST begin with acknowledging that we are TWO separate, independent countries selling into the ONE large USA market. That reality has been fraught with perennial, recurring and devastating problems for American farmers.
For example, today, our American dollar is trading 25% higher than the Canadian Dollar. This facts helps Canadian exports. What this means is that if you are a wholesale produce buyer at the Hunt's Point Produce Terminal in Brooklyn and have US$1000 to spend on potatoes, you can either buy from an American farmer and get US$1000 worth of potatoes or buy from a Canadian farmer and get US$1330 worth of potatoes for the same money. It takes a lot of American loyalty and dedication in a very cutthroat produce industry to Buy American.
Then there's the impact of the Canadian Treasury, which history shows American farmers must constantly compete against. Maybe it will be Canadian crop production or transportation which gets subsidized, but when unsubsidized American farmers nakedly face the free market on their own, it is anything but fair and portends calamitious results.
About twenty years ago, during a period of fantastically low Pork prices we happened to be tuned into and listening to the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp). We heard a news story encouraging Canadian Pork producers to hang on tight and survive by collecting EI (Unemployment Insurance) benefits. They assured their intended Canadian farmer audience that with prices this low American hog farmers would be forced out-of-business, the pig populations would then decrease and thanks to an improved supply/demand balance, the price would rebound and it would be happy days for surviving Canadian pork farmers. Self-employed American farmers do not qualify for American unemployment insurance.
Crop year 1985 beat up both American and Canadian potato farmers up very badly with terrible prices. Rare, excellent growing conditions across all of North America brought a record potato crop 11% larger – that A LOT – than the '84 crop. With the major oversupply, farm gate potato prices plummeted. Throughout the Winter of '85/'86, potato prices in Maine hovered around $0.75-$1/barrel (165 pounds) farm gate. Back then it cost $7/barrel to grow potatoes. Farmers were blistered and lost $1000/acre – or $75,000 – $100,000 per typical farm in 1985 dollars. A large number of farmers "got done" farming that year.
One cold day that Winter we were in Boyd's Farm Repair shop in Bridgewater. Boyd's uncle, potato farmer Eldon Bradbury walked in and related to us a story told to him by a wholesale buyer of his potatoes. Seems this buyer had been talking to a Canadian farmer and apologetically related the market price he could pay was only a disastrously low 23-cents per 5-pound sack. Back then the paper sack itself cost about 7-cents plus a farmer would have to pay wages to the crew to put up a truckload. Anyway, the Canadian farmer's response to the 23-cent price was, "Oh, you don't have to pay me that much." What was unspoken, but what the buyer knew, what Eldon knew, what Boyd knew and what we instantly knew is that somehow, someway, the Canadian government was quietly baling out Canadian farmers with the mandate "move Canadian potatoes at any price, just move 'em, we'll take care of you."
Pretty hard for independent American family farmers to survive in this kind of repetitive market environment with the Canadian Treasury placing its finger on the scale.
We feel for you, New York Onion farmers. Caleb, Megan & Jim
https://www.woodprairie.com/newsle…/newsletter_10182011.htm…

"'New York State is home to prime onion-producing land, yet our farmers are unable to sell their goods in a domestic market that is flooded by cheap Canadian exports,' Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said in the release. 'Farmers across the country have been struggling to keep up with growing production costs, while Canadian exporters have been able to dump cheap onions onto the market at prices comparable to 30 years ago.'"

NY senators call for investigation over influx of Canadian onions

Two U.S. senators from New York are calling for federal investigations into unfair trade subsidies for Canadian onion growers.


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A Texas community chokes on fecal dust from cattle feedlots | Food and Environment Reporting Network

QUESTION FOR INDUSTRIAL AG: PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY YOUR CLOUDS-OF-FECAL-DUST DON'T VIOLATE RURAL RESIDENTS RIGHT TO CLEAN AIR? The 'Public Trust Doctrine' – which originated back in Roman Times – asserts that government does not possess the authority to "privatize the Commons." Assets of the Commons include Air, Rivers, Sea, Seashore and Seed.
The government violates the Public Trust when it permits theft from the Commons. That theft may either be explicit via acceptance payment of say, a 'Permit Fee' from would-be-polluters, or implicit when it fails to perform its Public Trust duty to restrain powerful entities from committing theft through degradation of the Commons.
Contrary to appearances in this upside-down era of monopoly corporate control, Rural residents are NOT second-class-citizens who have lost their right to clean air and water.
The book 'Nature's Trust' by Dr. Mary Christina Wood fully explores 'The Public Trust Doctrine.' Caleb, Megan & Jim https://jle.aals.org/home/vol64/iss4/15/

"Brorman rolls down the driver’s side window, and a rank odor wafts in from the Southwest feedlot. While good fences make good neighbors, they do nothing to stop the wind from sweeping up tiny fragments of dried manure from the feedlot surface and spreading them across Brorman’s farm. Some summer days, especially during droughts, the particles—which scientists call “fecal dust”—form dense plumes that blot out the sun. When the wind is high, a wall of dust churns through the town of 15,000, coating homes and businesses and limiting visibility on U.S. Highway 60 so severely that motorists must switch on their headlights well before sunset.

“'You go outside and it’ll just burn your nose and your eyes,' Brorman says. The dust brings foul odors so pervasive that they can penetrate the Brormans’ farmhouse even when the doors and windows are closed. Lawrence and his wife, Jaime, use a more explicit term for the fecal dust: 'shust,' a portmanteau of 'shit' and 'dust.' (Other folks who live here are partial to 'shog,' a mashup of the same first word and 'fog.')."

A Texas community chokes on fecal dust from cattle feedlots | Food and Environment Reporting Network

Lawrence Brorman eases his pickup through plowed farmland in Deaf Smith County, an impossibly flat stretch of the Texas Panhandle where cattle outnumber people 40 to 1. The 67-year-old farmer and…


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