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WINTER TIME SCENE – NORTHERN MAINE POTATO HOUSE. PATTEN, MAINE. Circa 1960. …

WINTER TIME SCENE – NORTHERN MAINE POTATO HOUSE. PATTEN, MAINE. Circa 1960. Patten is located in northern Penobscot County at the foot of Katahdin, a few steps beyond Aroostook County.
As an antidote for the sweltering hot days of July we offer this snow-shoveling-worthy scene of a snug potato house full of a potato crop grown the previous Summer.
As evidenced by the traditional July 4th Aroostook meal of Salmon, Peas and New Potatoes, Maine farmers make sure good potatoes are available to all twelve months a year. Caleb, Megan & Jim




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Agent Orange’s Long Legacy: Its Now Affecting Vets’ Grandchildren

MONSANTO'S ROLE AS MEMBER OF THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX AND KEY CULPRIT IN LEGACY OF INJUSTICE TO VETS AND VIETNAMESE. The Veterans Administration has had plenty of chances to do the right thing when it comes to dispensing justice to our veterans following the military's long & ignorant program of mass spraying of Agent Orange in Vietnam.
However, the continued cold mistreatment of American veterans is an ongoing multi-decade national embarrassment with no end in sight.
For the rest of us, in time the other shoe will drop and countless numbers of our fellow citizens will have their own Agent-Orange-Experience thanks to our similarly ignorant chemical-reliant "Cheap Food" driven Ag Policy. Our Agent may be Glyphosate or Chlorpyrifos or some yet to be fingered disastrous farm chemical from Industrial Ag's vast arsenal. Better be prepared to expect a Mea Culpa from the Feds to be as elusive for Citizens as it has been for Veterans. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Beginning in 1962 and continuing until 1971, the United States military, with the approval of President John F. Kennedy, sprayed over twenty million gallons of herbicide over more than four and a half million acres in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia in order to defoliate the jungle and reduce the areas available for the North Vietnamese soldiers to hide in as well as to destroy crops. The effects of that decision are still with us today.

"The cases of the children, and now the grandchildren, of the thousands of people exposed to the defoliants suffering from birth defects and diseases, have reached an alarming level. But the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has continually dragged its feet regarding the acknowledgement of any correlation…

"The numbers of both Americans and Vietnamese that were exposed by spray, residue, contaminated groundwater and soil could not possibly be measured, but it’s thought that over two million American service personnel have been affected.

"Vietnam has reported that at least four hundred thousand people died or were disfigured by American herbicides.

"The offspring of many of the veterans are born with physical defects…"

Agent Orange’s Long Legacy: Its Now Affecting Vets’ Grandchildren

Beginning in 1962 and continuing until 1971, the United States military, with the approval of President John F. Kennedy, sprayed over twenty million


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Trees ‘most effective solution’ for climate change

NEW STUDY INDICATES PLANTING-OF-TREES ON AVAILABLE LAND COULD REDUCE CO2 IN THE ATMOSPHERE BY 25%. "The authors say this is the most effective climate change solution available to the world right now."
We're talking a big area equivalent to the USA in size. Trees are a technology we all know and could get behind. Jim

"The ability of trees to soak up carbon dioxide has long made them a valuable weapon in the fight against rising temperatures…

"The problem has been that accurate estimates of just how many trees the world can support have been hard to come by.

"This new report aims to show not just how many trees can be grown, but where they could be planted and how much of an impact they would have on carbon emissions…

"Using the mapping software of the Google Earth engine they were able to develop a predictive model to map the global potential for tree cover.

"They found that excluding existing trees, farmland and urban areas, the world could support an extra 0.9bn hectares (2.22bn acres) of tree cover."

Trees ‘most effective solution’ for climate change

A controversial study suggests extreme climate change can be averted by planting a billion hectares of trees.


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Midwest organic farmers stalk fraudulent imports that taint the market

AN INVESTIGATIVE STORY ABOUT FRAUDULENT GRAIN IMPORTS, HAPLESS USDA BUREAUCRATS AND AT-RISK AMERICAN ORGANIC GRAIN FARMERS DENIED JUSTICE. Thanks to lost markets and prices pushed down to disastrous levels, American Organic grain farmers have lost HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars thanks to mega-imports of fraudulent fake grain mislabeled as "organic."
Due to this grossly unfair competition these hardworking organic family farmers face ruin and are unceremoniously being run out of business.
The miserable and frustrating record of governmental indifference and impotence has been relentless.
Here is the key fact USDA ignores: US Customs and Border Protection is on EVERY Ship and therefore COULD check for proper paperwork.
If there is any silver lining, it is the display of grit and devotion by true American heroes – like our good friend, John Bobbe of OFARM – who have faithfully championed the position of honest American farmers by patiently working with a shockingly inept, hard-hearted and excuse-generating bureaucracy. Caleb, Megan & Jim

“'This thing gets more bizarre as you go along,' Bobbe said. 'The problem is that consumers are being potentially defrauded, and the price for farmers is going down'…

"Into this void have stepped a small number of importers, the largest based in the Black Sea region and Middle East, and fake organic grain has become a major problem.

"Consumers pay more for organic foods but may be buying products that were tainted in their growing and feeding. U.S. farmers get less for genuine organic grain when fake imports flood the market. Grain brokers, livestock farms and grocery chains are all at risk…

"Bobbe, a 67-year-old who chooses his words carefully, has watched the problem grow from a closet-like home office at his little farm near Stevens Point, Wis…

"He’s uncovered millions of bushels worth of suspect organic grain destined for the United States as director of OFARM, a Minnesota-based umbrella group for organic farmer cooperatives in the Midwest…

"He has become a nuisance to the organic industry and its regulators, but a hero to organic farmers.

"'Unless the rank and file out here in the country stay on top of it, they’ll get lost in the dust, and that’s what John is making sure doesn’t happen,' said Carmen Fernholz, an organic corn and soybean farmer west of Montevideo, Minn."

Midwest organic farmers stalk fraudulent imports that taint the market

As organic food sales continue to skyrocket, U.S. consumers might be buying products that were tainted in their growing and feeding. Grain fraud investigators like John Bobbe are trying to turn back that rising tide of counterfeit imports.


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Image: Sea Change: Facing a reckoning

GAINING GREATER HISTORICAL CONTEXT FOR UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE CHANGE. A 'Sea Change' article by Marina Schauffler (https://pinetreewatch.org/sea-change-facing-a-reckoning/) provides good vantages for a better understanding of the impact of climate change.
Included is a link to an epic 171-page "Climate Chronolgy" by Dr. Sharon Tisher of UMO. Her stunning graphic depicts an effective southward march for the State of Maine – to current Mid-Atlantic temperatures – over a century, most of which is ahead of us.
The "Climate Chronlogy" makes clear our collective failures to grasp warnings, followed by inaction, goes back a very, very long time Jim

"As I stared at a graphic showing an outline of Maine symbolically shifting down the East Coast (see figure), I had an unsettling sense of déjà vu. The image depicted how – a few decades hence – summers in Maine will feel like those in New York and, by 2070, could resemble those around the Chesapeake Bay…

"In the mid-1800s, Irish physicist John Tyndall figured out that carbon dioxide and other atmospheric gases could trap heat. And by 1900, Swedish chemist and physicist Svante Arrhenius calculated how much warming would occur with a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

"The National Academy of Sciences issued a report in 1977 linking global warming to increased fossil fuel use…

"The answers are complex, but some insights can be found in a troubling timeline of U.S. and international climate policy, a 'Climate Chronology,' created by Sharon Tisher, an environmental lawyer and longtime lecturer at the University of Maine…

"For Tisher, one 'huge irony' at the core of the climate crisis is that the United States – the largest historical producer of CO2 emissions – has “done the most to hold back the international community” in treaties aimed at reining in carbon pollution."

Image: Sea Change: Facing a reckoning

Found on Google from pinetreewatch.org


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Austrian parliament votes to ban glyphosate weedkiller | DW | 03.07.2019

GOOD NEWS FOR THE DAY AFTER INDEPENDENCE DAY: AUSTRIAN LAWMAKERS VOTE TO BAN GLYPHOSATE. Yet more headaches for malevolent Monsanto.
"Glyphosate" is the main ingredient in Monsanto's deadly herbicide "Roundup." In 2015 the IARC, an arm of the WHO (World Health Organization) determined glyphosate is a "probable human carcinogen."

"Lawmakers in Austria's lower house of parliament voted to ban all uses of controversial herbicide glyphosate on Tuesday, as the substance faces a slew of lawsuits in the US for potentially causing cancer.

"'The scientific evidence of the plant poison's carcinogenic effect is increasing,' the assembly's top social democrat, Pamela Rendi-Wagner, said in a statement.

"'It is our responsibility to ban this poison from our environment,' she added…

"More than 13,000 people are currently in the process of claiming damages from Bayer in the US. The company was ordered to pay large damages in three cases before California courts in recent months, including over $2 billion (€1.8 billion) to a couple who claimed that exposure to the chemical gave them a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The verdicts are not final and Bayer is appealing all of them…

"This ban would apparently clash with EU rules, as, in 2017, the bloc cleared the herbicide for use for the next five years. The EU relies on the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency which did not classify glyphosate as carcinogenic. However, reports from earlier this year indicated that some European regulators were copying and pasting from studies conducted by Monsanto itself."

Austrian parliament votes to ban glyphosate weedkiller | DW | 03.07.2019

Austria is set to become the first EU country to completely ban weedkiller glyphosate, originally developed by Monsanto and marketed under the name Roundup. The ban could clash with EU law.


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Bangor and Aroostook Railroad had decades-long history throughout The County

A SLICE OF LIFE REVEALED FROM THE GOLDEN RAILROAD ERA IN AROOSTOOK COUNTY, MAINE. Before our modern era of rubber tires and asphalt, the railroad was king in rural America.
The double township (two 6×6 mile townships) of Fort Fairfield, lies north of Bridgewater and is similarly butted up against the Canadian border. The Aroostook River flows through "Fort" and early European settlement first came up the rivers beginning two hundred years ago.
To the envy of all, Fort had railroad tracks from both Bangor via BAR (Bangor and Aroostook) and from Canada via CP (Canadian Pacific). In its hay day, Fort served as Aroostook County's vibrant and bustling potato and commerce hub.
In this new and interesting piece from the 'Bangor Daily News', reporter Melissa Lizotte tells the tale of life in Fort in the railroad era and the Frontier Heritage Museum that works to keep railroad history alive. Caleb, Megan & JIm

"Before the days when tractor trailer trucks and modern vehicles made product deliveries and personal travels faster than ever, Fort Fairfield was home to a railroad station that connected local farmers, lumber mills and residents with customers across Aroostook County and the rest of Maine.

"The Bangor and Aroostook Railroad was completed in 1895, stretching from central Aroostook to southern towns such as Houlton, Smyrna, Island Falls and Oakfield and to the city of Bangor…

"Canadian Pacific also had a station and tracks that ran through Fort Fairfield due to the town’s proximity to New Brunswick. The peak of the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad’s usage in the 1930s and 1940s maintained 858 miles of tracks.

"Today the Frontier Heritage Society in Fort Fairfield maintains the former Canadian Pacific Railroad station, originally located along the Aroostook River, as well as many historic train cars at the site of the former Bangor and Aroostook Railyard at the corner of Depot and Brown streets…

"The railroad served as a major marketplace for local potato farmers and brokers from the late 1890s through the 1960s. At the railyard there were more than 100 one to five-door potato houses situated along each side of the tracks that allowed workers to easily unload potatoes…

"'If someone needed to catch a ride to the next town to go grocery shopping, they would hop on the train and then ride back to one of the siding roads with their groceries,' Everett said."

Bangor and Aroostook Railroad had decades-long history throughout The County

Before the days when tractor trailer trucks and modern vehicles made product deliveries and personal travels faster than ever, Fort Fairfield was home to a railroad station that connected local farmers, lumber mills and residents with customers across Aroostook County and the rest of Maine.


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Sustainability in global agriculture driven by organic farming

YET ANOTHER PEER-REVIEWED STUDY SHOWS ORGANIC FARMING OFFERS GATEWAY SOLUTIONS FOR AG SUSTAINABILITY. In the end the real goals for agriculture must be to produce wholesome food and fiber which serve to nourish and empower humans, while at the same time protecting communities and the environment, and demonstrate sustainability over the long term.
Organic farming, while of course not perfect, leads the way as this scientific paper indicates. Jim

"Agricultural practices need to change to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. How to achieve the SDGs is heavily contested. Here we propose a policy framework that triggers the required transition. Organic agriculture, although not a silver bullet, is a useful component in such strategy."

Sustainability in global agriculture driven by organic farming

Agricultural practices need to change to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. How to achieve the SDGs is heavily contested. Here we propose a policy framework that triggers the required transition. Organic agriculture, although not a silver bullet, is a useful component in….


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