Camden Herald Letters to the Editor July 18

Jul 18, 2019

Response to Hatchet Cove letters

This letter is in response to four recent letters in the Courier-Gazette that claim the Hatchet Cove Farm participants in a Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners-supported agricultural internship are receiving a raw deal. For a decade and a half, the farm’s owners, Bill Pluecker and Reba Richardson, have sponsored interns who arrive interested in learning how to make a go of a small farm business. There are 10 small farms in Maine that were started by people who were Hatchet Cove Farm interns. Yes, the interns receive a stipend of $3 an hour plus room and board. They also receive formal instruction in how to run a small farm, going well beyond the time they spend picking vegetables and other unskilled tasks. A more detailed description of MOFGA’s internship program is on its website. This 40-year-old program has made Maine the only state that has seen an increase in the number of small family farms.

Learning comes at a price. Skill-building requires work that demands some determination. Student teachers pay for the privilege of managing classrooms for months on end to prove themselves. Medical residents, having spent 20 years in school, face long hours of “scut” work at teaching hospitals. The hoops that participants must jump through are viewed as coming with the territory; they flesh out resumes.

So, why do the four letters single out Hatchet Cove Farm? The first letter claimed that Bill Pluecker’s voting record as a state representative, along with the conditions of internship on the farm he and his wife run, point to hypocrisy on his part. That letter appeared in the July 4 issue. The July 11 issue, along with a defense of the internship program signed by former participants, had three letters supporting the original attack. The tone of these letters gave a reader to believe that the first letter came as an enlightening surprise. However, one of the July 11 letters, which demanded that Pluecker “stand down” and told his customers to cancel their orders, was from Kerin Resch, husband of Paula Sutton, who lost her District 95 seat to Pluecker last November.

If these letters are a kickoff for a 2020 campaign of Sutton’s, she should know that while the technique of using an opponent’s proudest accomplishments against them by attacking their value has been used successfully, it should be wielded more subtly to be effective. Ask Karl Rove. Also, attempting to sabotage a family’s livelihood simply is not right. Winning is good, but it matters how we win. An honest discussion of political and economic differences is always better than distorting facts, distributing hogwash and grasping at straws.

Harold B. Mosher



A poem for the season

I hope this poem will give some encouragement during the latest "bug season." It was written prior to the caterpillar attacks this year. Maybe next year!

Black flies.
Vindictive, mean-spirited,
hateful armies attacking
with blunt needles,
leaving painful wounds
slow to heal.

Crafty Mosquitoes.
Hovering, humming,
waiting for the moment
I forget my Skin-So-Soft;
they pierce my skin so soft,
and feast on me.

Dragon flies to the rescue!
Small squadrons neatly
reconnoiter, searching out
my enemies; putting them
on notice that they've
done enough cruel damage
for this year.

Silently, they rouse the
bad guys from our garden.
Peace returns again.

Ina Doban

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