Here in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, city council notifies the community when a container ship is unloading at the waterfront. At that time, truck traffic increases in the area. One day recently, the Atlantic Huron was unloading and trucks were loading at the dock.
The Atlantic Huron, a lake boat of the Canadian Steamship Line, unloaded what looked like fertilizer or pesticides for the potato fields. The fields are sprayed with chemicals several times during the growing season, so the process has begun again as the fields are planted for the year.
The ship unloads quickly as the trucks line up to receive their powdery cargo. Referred to as a self unloading vessel, the Atlantic Huron is part of a fleet of self unloaders which sail the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway to the east coast of Canada. This is not a vessel which plies the high seas.
The link shows how these vessels unload, with an operator and a few people to oversee the process. Imagine the number of jobs this technology has replaced dock-side alone!
From the fields to the dock, everything about the potato industry is industrialized. Long gone are the days of the horse, plow and the people who helped with the planting and harvesting. Now the fertilizers are chemical not organic, such as seaweed or manure.
However, this past year, some Amish families from Ontario have moved to Prince Edward Island, buying up farms in the eastern county. Communities there are making accommodations for horses by installing hitching posts. It may mean organically grown crops will be more readily available.
Less chemicals on the land would be a good thing!