'DON'T MISS' DYNAMITE INTERVIEW OF VANDANA SHIVA BY CHRIS HEDGES. This is a powerful and excellent video (27:38) with fearless journalist Chris Hedges interviewing articulate environmental activist Vandana Shiva. Covered is not only the war being waged by Industrial Ag on family farmers and the people, but also their sinister alliances with financial, internet, and manufacturing monopolies which are zeroed in on greed and enslaving humankind. Brew up a pot of tea and take the half hour to soak in this concise connecting-the-dots opportunity. Vandana's organization 'Navdanya International' was one of the plaintiffs on our landmark 'OSGATA et al v. Monsanto' Federal lawsuit. Our thanks to Gab Rielle for sharing this video with us. Caleb, Megan & Jim
Chris Hedges: “And yet there is no question these corporations will make war on any alternative autonomous system.”
Vandana Shiva: “Every day, that is where my energy goes. Ninety percent goes in the creative part of creating alternatives and ten percent in getting them off our backs. And thank goodness we had Gandhi who taught us that it is a duty to disobey unjust and crude laws. He did it with salt. We do it with seed. We do it with food.“
CUTTING ICE IN MARANACOOK, MAINE. Circa 1930s. The crew at the Maranancook Lodge, in the central Maine community of Maranacook, near Augusta, cuts the ice the lodge will need for cooling food in the Summer. Note the piece of labor-saving equipment in the background at right which lifts the heavy blocks out of the lake and gets them ready for loading. Jim
ALAN LEWIS OF 'NATURAL GROCERS' EXPLAINS THE HOW OF WHY ORGANIC FAMILY FARMERS HAVE BEEN SQUEEZED OUT OF THE RETAIL MARKETPLACE. Organic industry consolidation has come fast and furious. The industry now excludes small and local producers and that's a BIG PROBLEM if you are a family producer lacking an outlet to sell your product. Alan is our friend and Jim serves with him on the Real Organic Project Standards Board. Please consider this valuable video (13:50) MUST WATCH if you want to understand how the now-hostile marketing system 'works.' Caleb, Megan & Jim
YET ANOTHER ISSUE OF THE 'WOOD PRAIRIE SEED PIECE' e-NEWSLETTER NOW POSTED ONLINE! Sage Observer Mark Twain is Joined by a ‘Maine Tales’ About Blowhard Monsanto, New Farm Photos Capturing Winter’s Weakening, An Insect-Depressing Offer for FREE King Harry Potatoes, a Timely Recipe for ‘Maple Syrup Scones' and More! http://woodprairiefarm.com/newsletters/Newsletter_033019.htm Caleb, Jim & Megan Gerritsen Wood Prairie Family Farm Bridgewater, Maine (207)429-9765 www.woodprairie.organic
EIGHTH ANNIVERSARY OF ‘OSGATA et al v. MONSANTO’ PROVIDES IDEAL OPPORTUNITY FOR REVIEW OF MONSANTO DOWNFALL & BAYER BUYER’S REGRET. When we filed our Federal lawsuit eight years ago today, few people outside of agriculture had ever heard of Monsanto (http://archive.constantcontact.com/…/arc…/1110848049754.html).
Since the 1980s we’d heard the terrible tales but face-to-face contact with Monsanto at a national USDA Transgenic Conference in 1996 was the real eye-opener (http://www.woodprairiefarm.com/newslette…/winterspring97.pdf). Monsanto’s arrogance and hubris – and its cataclysmic threat to agriculture and organic farmers – had been quickly corroborated.
‘OSGATA et al v. Monsanto’ pursued and achieved twin goals: 1) gain court protection for farmers contaminated by Monsanto’s patented-seed, and 2) provide education to the public about Monsanto’s malevolent nature. In due course, a judicial estoppel protecting innocent farmers was ordered by the Federal Court of Appeals. As well, public understanding etched Monsanto in the American psyche as the loathsome bully of family farmers, earning the notorious ranking as the world’s most-hated-corporation.
The radioactive fallout attributable to Monsanto greed and ill will was well-presented in yesterday’s MUST WATCH video (3:59) on German Public Broadcasting.
Monsanto has now been found guilty and legally liable by the first two juries to arbitrate harm from its deadly ‘Roundup’ herbicide. Awards have found Monsanto cilpable to the tune of $80 Million in damages. Multiply that award amount by the 11,200 lawsuits (!) yet to be adjucated, and Monsanto’s potential liability hovers near $896 Billion – that’s just shy of $1 Trillion and over 14x the purchase price of $63 Billion paid by diligence-impaired Bayer.
By any measure, Monsanto and Bayer are mired in deep, deep trouble. The karma concept has gained new relevance. Jim
“Today is Independence Day for America. Today we are seeking protection from the Court and putting Monsanto on notice. Monsanto’s threats and abuse of family farmers stops here. Monsanto’s genetic contamination of organic seed and organic crops ends now. Americans have the right to choice in the marketplace – to decide what kind of food they will feed their families – and we are taking this action on their behalf to protect that right to choose. Organic farmers have the right to raise our organic crops for our families and our customers on our farms without the threat of invasion by Monsanto’s genetic contamination and without harassment by a reckless polluter. Beginning today, America asserts her right to justice and pure food.” – Jim Gerritsen, OSGATA President, March 29, 2011
MAINE LEGISLATURE PASSES RESOLUTION SALUTING MAINE AGRICULTURE. Sponsored by our friend and ally, organic farmer Rep. Craig Hickman, Co-Chair of the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture. Caleb, Jim & Megan
MONSANTO FILES NEW PETITION WITH EPA TO EXPAND ITS DICAMBA-DEVASTATION – THIS TIME TO AMERICAS' MASSIVE CORN ACREAGE. Monsanto's notorious "Dicamba" herbicide has been known to cause JAW-DROPPING OFF-TARGET DRIFT DAMAGE to neighboring farmers' crops when it is sprayed on GE soy and GE cotton crops gene-spliced to resist the weed killer. Corn is the USA's primary feed grain and grown on more than 90 million acres. If integrity-compromised Monsanto-hand-maiden EPA complies with the new grossly irresponsible petition, unintended crop damage to non-target crops will no doubt SKYROCKET. This mass destruction will force out of business innocent farmers who possess private property rights and constitutionally warrant security and protection from Monsanto's deadly chemical trespass. Jim
"Over the past two years, dicamba drifting from fields of Monsanto's GMO soybeans and cotton has damaged crops, gardens, wild plants, and trees on a scale unprecedented in the history of modern agriculture. If EPA grants the petition, drift damage would become even worse as it would allow dicamba to be widely sprayed on America's largest-acreage crop, corn.
"'It beggars belief that Monsanto would propose expanding the devastation its GMO-herbicide package has already caused,' said Bill Freese, science policy analyst at Center for Food Safety (CFS). 'EPA must finally defend farmers and the environment from further injuries by immediately rejecting this petition'…
"Dicamba damage threatens the livelihood of countless farmers. Bill Bader of Missouri has lost thousands of peach trees from his orchard, and the fruit he can harvest has shrunk to the size of walnuts. John Seward of South Dakota has seen his vegetable farm devastated by several times by dicamba drift, and may go out of business. Resort operator Mike Hayes has lost the vegetable garden that once fed his guests, as well as numerous bald cypress trees that are home to bald eagles and ospreys, to repeated bouts of dicamba drift and runoff. Beekeeper Richard Coy has shut down his Arkansas honey operation and is moving his hives to Mississippi because dicamba drift in Arkansas has killed so many flowering plants that his honeybees were deprived of the nectar and pollen they need. Hundreds of farmers have also filed class action lawsuits because of the damage."
MISERY & MORE HEARTACHE: MASSIVE MIDWEST FLOODING ADDS NEW DESPERATION TO MAJOR FARM CRISIS. Even prior to the recent severe flooding in the Midwest, family farmers across the country were already facing the worst Farm Crisis in at least 35 years. The 'NY Times' reports. The Farm Crisis means low crop prices which have been devastating farmers. Imagine working hard at your job all year. Then at year's end you settle up: Not only do you NOT GET PAID ANYTHING but you owe another $1500. "Median farm income earned by farm households" is forecast at (Negative) -$1553 in 2018 and (Negative) -$1449 in 2019 (https://www.ers.usda.gov/…/highlights-from-the-farm-income-…). Family farmers are facing very tough times. Caleb, Jim & Megan
"The record floods that have pummeled the Midwest are inflicting a devastating toll on farmers and ranchers at a moment when they can least afford it, raising fears that this natural disaster will become a breaking point for farms weighed down by falling incomes, rising bankruptcies and the fallout from President Trump’s trade policies.
"'When you’re losing money to start with, how do you take on extra losses?' asked Clint Pischel, 23, of Niobrara, Neb., whose lowland fields were flooded by the ice-filled Niobrara River after a dam failed. He spent Monday gathering 30 dead baby calves from his family’s ranch in this northern region of the state, finding their bodies under huge chunks of ice.
"'There’s no harder business to be in,' Mr. Pischel added. 'But with death and everything else, you’ve got to answer to bankers. It’s not our choice.'"
TEAM OF HORSES PULLING WOODEN SNOWROLLER. GUILFORD, MAINE. Circa 1905. The early alternative to plowing in order to deal with deep snow. The team is working on Elm Street in Guilford, which is located about 45 miles northwest from Bangor. Note the tall steeple of the Methodist Church in the background at right. Also, notice the power poles and wires carrying electricity. It took decades for farms and rural areas outside of towns in Maine to receive their electric power. In the case of Wood Prairie Family Farm's nearest neighbors – farmers Bud & Myreta Shaw and Doss & Etta Morse – it was the late 1950s before the power lines were extended this far. On Bootfoot Road the first power 'poles' were reasonably straight twenty-foot-long peeled cedar posts with their limbs removed. Those very weathered cedar posts were finally replaced with pressure treated poles about 15 or 20 years ago. Caleb, Jim & Megan