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“LOST IN A SNOWSTORM – WE ARE FRIENDS.” Circa 1888. Oil on canvas by Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926), “American art


“LOST IN A SNOWSTORM – WE ARE FRIENDS.” Circa 1888. Oil on canvas by Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926), “American artist of the American Old West.”
Excerpt from the painting description by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art: “The winter of 1886-87, one of the most severe on record, broke the back of the Montana range cattle industry…By January, temperatures had plummeted far below normal: howling blizzards marooned men and animals, and cattle died by the thousands. Russell was one of those stranded by the weather…In this painting, two mounted white men with a pack horse warily receive sign talk from a group of mounted Blackfeet. Although the Indians and white men remain guarded, the power of nature has forced them to depend on each other.”
Merry Christmas to all! Caleb, Megan & Jim




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CHRISTMAS ON MONHEGAN ISLAND, MAINE. Circa 1945. Ten miles from the mainland, Monhegan Island is a little over one squ


CHRISTMAS ON MONHEGAN ISLAND, MAINE. Circa 1945. Ten miles from the mainland, Monhegan Island is a little over one square mile in size. The ferry ride from Port Clyde takes one hour. There are 12 miles of hiking trails on the island.
“…the number of Maine islands with year-round populations has dropped from more than 300 to 14 over the last 100 years. Once thriving cultures made up of fishermen, farmers, teachers, and artists have faded into history…Living year-round on Monhegan is not for the faint of heart. Most residents work several jobs to make ends meet and supplies can be hard to come by, especially in winter, when ferries are routinely canceled because of weather…The annual report for 2018 shows 76 registered voters, five pupils in the one-room elementary school, four marriages, two births, one death, and one arrest, which was a domestic disturbance. Feibusch said there are likely around 200 seasonal residents.” Caleb, Megan & Jim




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The organic point of view


HOW DO YOUR ORGANIC-PURCHASES MEASURE UP AGAINST THE CROWD? Yesterday produce industry e-rag ‘The Packer’ posted its ‘Organic Fresh Trends 2021’ offering deep analysis of trends in organic produce sales.
Surprisingly, Organic Kale leads the pack, followed “Organic” Blueberries and believable Organic Spinach.
For some reason Organic Potatoes are not covered (but Organic Mushrooms are). Go figure.
Be aware that Industrial Ag’s “Organic” Blueberries – commonly sold in supermarkets and Chain superstores – are likely fraudulent Hydroponically-grown fakers, grown without soil and therefore in clear violation of Federal organic regulations and OFPA (the ‘Organic Foods Production Act’ of 1990). Corporate-captured regulator USDA continues to look the other way on illegal Hydroponics (as USDA additionally does in allowing fraudulent “Organic” Milk from illegal corporate CAFO factory farms).
You can still be confidant of the authenticity of real Organic Blueberries sold by honest Certified Organic family farmers at Farmers Markets and Organic Maine Wild Blueberries raked from the Barrens of Downeast Maine.
More than a dozen leading Organic produce items were surveyed. A link at the end of the article allows one to dive deep into specific commodity sales trends and related purchaser demographics.
When it comes to sourcing authentic Organic Milk you can protect your family by utilizing Cornucopia Institute’s excellent ‘Dairy Score Card’ (find link in the Comments) to determine which Organic suppliers are on the up-and-up and which are the fakers. Caleb, Megan & Jim
https://www.thepacker.com/news/organic/organic-point-view?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWlRVNU16SmtNems0TlRjNSIsInQiOiJGdWNTWFRVNnVyd2IzQ09JZ1ZXXC9MakxTQTZjUlwvYUZ3NzBEZWorb0Z2UStLam1GeDNVVGNWc3ZrdWhzT2UxK1pLM0Y5Zkl5bnQrSXZMYllucGg5NFBtNXhJZ09KNHN1MHN2UlladERzbFN5N1JEQXg5V1dSaVdEaXY1SlRzclRrIn0%3D

The organic point of view



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THUNDERSTORM APPROACHES WOOD PRAIRIE POTATO FIELD IN BLOSSOM. Circa July 2017. Caleb’s sister, Sarah, took this photo,

THUNDERSTORM APPROACHES WOOD PRAIRIE POTATO FIELD IN BLOSSOM. Circa July 2017. Caleb’s sister, Sarah, took this photo, looking westward towards Number Nine Mountain.
It was late morning – just before dinner – and we were roguing our organic Maine Certified Seed potatoes for virus when this storm came up quick. We were at the far end of the field with a thousand feet of potato rows between us and the safety of our pickup trucks parked at the other end of the field. We hurried to the trucks on the road just in time as the heavens opened up and quickly dumped a half-inch of pounding rain accompanied by thunder and lightning. The storm brought us some welcome rain and it was a good one to experience from the safety of a truck cab. Caleb, Megan & Jim




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Park Service starting process to expand Katahdin Woods

MAINE’S ‘KATAHDIN WOODS AND WATERS NATIONAL MONUMENT’ MAY GROW LARGER BY 3000 ACRES. After many years of effort in piecing together adjacent land parcels, in August 2016, ‘Burt’s Bees co-found Roxanne Quimby donated 87,563 wooded acres east of Katahdin to the people of the United States. The next day President Obama signed an Executive Order which created the brand new ‘Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.’
Now, four years after its establishment the word is out that the National Park Service is eyeing strategic purchases from willing landowners that would increase the integrity of one of the newest additions to the National Park System. Caleb, Megan & Jim

“If acquired, the tracts of land would add an estimated 3,000 acres to the 87,500-acre national monument. The expansion would connect parts of the monument that are now separated and would add snowmobile trails that could be used by wintertime visitors.”
https://bangordailynews.com/2020/12/13/news/penobscot/park-service-starting-process-to-expand-katahdin-woods/

Park Service starting process to expand Katahdin Woods



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Holding Ground by Peter Ralston


“HOLDING GROUND.” Photograph by iconic Maine Photographer Peter Ralston (ralstongallery.dotcom).
Description by Mr. Ralston:

“A three day nor’easter had kept all boats in all harbors and at the tail end of the storm, I headed over to Spruce Head to see how they had made out.

“With still plenty of opportunity for something to go wrong, there was a modest assembly of trucks with guys just hanging out, smoking and drinking…watching the fleet, covering each others’ backs.

“It’s at moments like this that you pray…or something. You hope that all of the attention you’ve paid to your ground tackle will reward you with a boat still there in the morning. Having watched my own boat ride out a number of winter storms has made me, like everyone in a similar situation, intensely aware of the ‘weakest link’ factor.

“The title refers to those places where the bottom is good, where one’s boat will be safe and where the anchor or mooring will not drag. In a wholly secular sense, it speaks directly to the matter of faith and hope, not to mention preparedness and the need to look out for each other…..the very stuff from which community is woven.”

“Holding Ground” was shared by Heather Cox Richardson along with these comments: “A perfect sentiment for America in December 2020.”
http://cowbird.com/story/14336/Holding_Ground/

Holding Ground by Peter Ralston



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National Geographic | National Geographic

“NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: THE BEST PHOTOS OF THE CENTURY!” While our century is still young, that’s a pretty irresistible come on to view the last ten year’s best-of-the-best.
We gawkers are welcome to view the first nine, NG subscribers get the exclusive on the final twelve.
Excellent captions tell the tale surrounding the photo as well as conveying the content. Caleb, Megan & Jim
https://email.nationalgeographic.com/H/2/v600000176539658219320a76e965fd798/dc78eeeb-9583-4107-9e90-3a1e0fa9d2fb/HTML

National Geographic | National Geographic



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Stop Eating Pesticides


IN TERMS OF PESTICIDE RISK, WHICH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES SHOULD YOU ‘GO ORGANIC’ AND WHICH MAY BE SAFE EVEN IF NON-ORGANIC? This Fall ‘Consumer Reports’ released their extensive research into the associated pesticide risks for consumers from 35 different Fruits & Vegetables.
Your family will benefit from following the guidance offered in this excellent primer. Critical to this study were our trustworthy friends, lead researcher Charlotte Vallaeys, (senior policy analyst at CR) and Dr. Michael Hansen (CR senior scientist). Caleb, Megan & Jim

“The solution isn’t to eat less produce. More than 80 percent of Americans already fall short of the recommended amounts: at least 2½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits per day for most adults. Instead, you can minimize the risk by choosing fruits and vegetables grown with fewer and safer pesticides…

“The good news: Almost half of the nonorganic fruits and vegetables pose little risk. But about 20 percent, such as fresh green beans, peaches, and potatoes, received our worst scores; those are the ones it’s most important to try to buy organic…

“’Pesticides are chemicals that are specifically designed to kill living organisms,’ says Devon Payne-Sturges, DrPH, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health in College Park…

“…there are still many unanswered questions about the effects of long-term, low-dose exposure…

“In our ratings, the ‘cleanest’ produce receives an Excellent or Very Good score, while fruits and vegetables that carry the most risk are rated Fair or Poor…

“To create CR’s ratings, we analyzed five years of data—from 2014 to 2018, the latest available—from the USDA’s Pesticide Data Program, which tests fruits and vegetables for pesticides, about 24,000 samples in all. Then we calculated a rating based on four factors: the number of pesticides detected on each item, the frequency with which pesticides were found on samples, the average amount of residue of each pesticide found on the items, and the toxicity of the pesticides.”
https://www.consumerreports.org/pesticides-in-food/stop-eating-pesticides/

Stop Eating Pesticides



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Death of cows in weekend storm just the latest struggle for dairy farmers


MAINE’S HEAVY WET WEEKEND SNOW COLLAPSES A BARN FULL OF DAIRY COWS IN CENTRAL MAINE. These days it’s hard times everywhere for dairy farmers.
But for the Quimby’s of Shady Lane Farm in Troy, Maine, 2020 has been had a very, very tough year. Our friend Jenn Wixson has set up a Go Fund Me Campaign to help out the Quimbys (Google “Go Fund Me – Debra Quimby” to get to the Campaign). Caleb, Megan & Jim

“For dairy farmers David and Debra Quimby of Shady Lane Farm in Troy, 2020 has brought one hardship after another.

“But the worst disaster yet happened during this weekend’s storm, when high winds and wet, heavy snow caused the roof of their cow barn to collapse, trapping their 80-head dairy herd inside the mangled metal and wood structure.

“The wind just went in there and lifted it right off the foundation,” David Quimby said Monday. “I never heard a thing, the wind was blowing so hard here at the house. My son come running in here in the morning, just screaming. All the cows were in there — and it was pretty near flat to the ground.

“All but six of the cattle survived the collapse. They moved most of the herd about 6 miles away, to another dairy farming operation.

“David Quimby, 68, said he feels he is fighting a headwind as he tries to keep doing what he loves — being a Maine dairy farmer. He’s been at it his whole life, and tough times in the industry are neither a new phenomenon for him or specific to Maine.

“The drought this summer forced him to start giving feed in July to cows that normally graze in pastures. Then, in August, the family’s only loader tractor caught fire.

“’It was a hard summer,’ David Quimby said…

“’When I went to bed last night, I thanked God it wasn’t any worse. And it could have been,’ he said.”
https://bangordailynews.com/2020/12/08/news/midcoast/death-of-cows-in-weekend-storm-just-the-latest-struggle-for-maine-dairy-farmers/”

Death of cows in weekend storm just the latest struggle for dairy farmers



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NORTHERN MAINE’S FIRST MAJOR SNOWFALL. 5″ of new heavy wet snow fell overnight with more continuing today into tonight.

NORTHERN MAINE’S FIRST MAJOR SNOWFALL. 5″ of new heavy wet snow fell overnight with more continuing today into tonight. ‘Oakley,’ our uber energetic 8-month old Australian Shepherd has never, ever met something he is not excited about, including new snow. He is beginning to learn – through skidding – that braking in snow is different than braking on snowless ground.
Wise ‘Halle,’ our Great Pyrenees is now about six years old and has outgrown puppy-like tendencies. In middle age she is content to let Oakley run circles around her.
Behind them our auction-prize 8′ wide PTO-powered snowblower awaits mounting onto the rear of a farm tractor. In an annual pre-snow ritual, we spent yesterday clearing out the yard and putting equipment and pallet boxes away so that we can push snow unobstructed for the next five months or so.
The tire swing is ready-for-use but has been outgrown for now and has been idle for years.
Some Winters we’ve had two snowstorms per week to push and blow. Caleb, Megan & Jim




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