Probus learns about hatchery

1 year ago

The Probus Club welcomed two speakers at its January meeting. 

Lucille Hay introduced Dave Macek, director of the Mi’kmaq fish hatchery and vegetable farm, and John Dennis, Mi’kmaq cultural teacher in Presque Isle.

Dennis has a degree in elementary education as well as degrees in plumbing and heating from Northern Maine Community College. In his teaching he strives to educate his students in the origin of their language and culture. 

The students learn their heritage through the music, crafts, dance, religion and speech. The aim is to revitalize the Indian customs and beliefs, Dennis said. Because many recent names and words have no Mi’kmaq vocabulary, the language often becomes a mixture of English and Mi’kmaq.

Dennis now lives in Presque Isle. His birthplace is the Eskasoni Reservation in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. 

Macek said that the fish hatchery has two 15,000-gallon tanks. The trout are fed until they reach seven inches, the size used in private pond stocking in Maine. After 12 months they reach 12 inches in length and can be sold as a nutritious fish source at the farm on the Caribou Road or at the farmers market in Presque Isle.

The farm grows a wide variety of vegetables and blueberries, which can be purchased at the farm’s store or at the farmers market.

Visitors may visit the farm store and hatchery on the Caribou Road most days from 8 to 10 a.m. during the winter months. Hours are extended during the summer. The farm has monthly festivals which feature foods, crafts and tours.

The next Probus meeting will be on Thursday, Feb. 16, at Reed Commons on the NMCC campus. Visitors are welcome.