Nov 122017


Power.  Is yours on again? Is it out? Is it up?  Power.  Does it flow from people upward or from the top downward?  Did we really just shift it downward toward people? Did we do that?!!

This week, many of us have been consumed with conversations about power of all sorts–electric power, political power and, please let’s not leave food power off the list.  After postponing the pork pick-up because of that mighty, roaring, destructive wind, Phil did make it up to Herring Brothers on Thursday to fill the freezers (all nicely powered up) with bacon and ham and pork chops and sausage and ribs–every kind of good, delectable pork to keep us well fueled through these coming winter months.

On Halloween, Governor LePage signed the amended food sovereignty bill into law, which became effective immediately.  With that action, the state of Maine became the first state in the country to recognize the shift in power away from food monopolies and regulatory agencies to people in towns at town meetings.  Every town in Maine can now adopt local food ordinances governing the “direct producer-to-consumer transaction of food and food products”.   With one more likely major battle to come on the food sovereignty front, the very best thing we can do in Maine to protect this is to have so many towns and cities as possible adopt the Local Food & Community Self-Governance Ordinance, expanding the zone of food sovereignty.  When the next battle comes, the fabric of people power over our food will be stronger and more resilient.  Meanwhile, here’s a brief report that ran in Lewiston’s Sun Journal this past week announcing the amended law’s passage.  Here’s to saying ‘yes’!  Yes to feeding ourselves.  Yes to determining how we do that in our communities.  Yes to greater food self-sufficiency.

The foundation of food sovereignty has now been laid in Maine. We can grow our own food. We can feed each other.

As to electric power…we-e-ll, rural electrification is still a grand idea, isn’t it?!  With so many without refrigeration this week, we’ve been putting in some extra kitchen time to process milk.  We are well stocked up with cheeses, yogurts, milk and all things porcine.

Hope you are all again enjoying more ease in your daily doings with restored power.

Hope we will all enjoy more ease in our food exchanges with restored people power, too.

Heather and Phil Retberg together with their three children run Quill’s End Farm, a 105-acre property in Penobscot that they bought in 2004. They use rotational grazing on their fifteen open acres and are renovating thirty more acres from woods to pasture to increase grazing for their pigs, grass-fed cattle, lambs, laying hens, and goats. Heather is Master of Halcyon Grange #345 and writes a newsletter for their farm’s buying clubs for farmers in her area and has generously given us permission to share some of her columns with Grangers throughout the state.

Grange members are invited to submit guest columns to Views from the Farm for consideration by emailing the webmaster. Please note that the views and opinions expressed in contributed articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Grange.

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