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Ah The Good Ole Days!

Remember the original and somewhat tame warnings on cigarette packages declaring adverse effects on health? Just the warning. No pictures. Ah the good ole days!

Well, Kraft Macaroni Cheese imported into the UK must now bear a label declaring adverse health effects on activity and attention to children. One can only presume different effects on adults… I digress. This is because Kraft Macaroni Cheese contains GMO Wheat.

Kraft Mac'nCheese
Kraft Mac’nCheese

In future one wonders what adverse health pictures are to appear on our food labels. Perhaps the Monsanto Rat that was fed GMO Corn.

Monsanto Rat
Monsanto Rat

First however we must get our government to adopt GMO labeling codes. But there is time for all that.

Smoke break.

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Saturday Slam #7

How does one measure stupid? Well if you are Canadian you can use Stephen Harper. Use the Harpie Stupid Measure sparingly lest you embarrass and disgrace.

For example: Two-Feet Harpie Stupid is defined at about $2-million or the same amount Harpies spent for the Toronto Tourism Pavilion at the 2010 G8/G20 summit media centre, that included an artificial indoor pool to simulate Ontario’s cottage country. Chest-Deep Harpie Stupid is closer to $1-Billion or the amount Harpies spent on the 2010 G8/G20 Live Art Installation when 20,000 police descended upon Toronto streets during the summit meetings. Neck-high Harpie Stupid is spending way over $1-Billion for the 2010 G8/G20 Summit Meetings when the original price tag was budgeted at $179-million.

Understatement is an admirable quality in a jazz singer but not in a federal budget.

Then there is Federal-up-to-here Harpie Stupid: Scandalous. God Forbid.

The Saturday Slam #7 shines the spot light upon ‘Harpies’ and the embarrassing and disgraceful stance they have taken on the Experimental Lakes Area research facility. For over forty years the ELA, a unique and prestigious research facility dedicated for ecosystem-scale experimental investigations and long-term monitoring of ecosystem processes, will stop operations due to federal cut backs. Cut backs designed to save all of $2-million dollars.

ELA Logo
ELA Logo

If that weren’t enough to get one to rethink the competency of Stephen Harper and the gaggle of Harpies roosting in Ottawa how about the fact that prior to closing the ELA facility Harpies did not consult with ELA scientists who all have ongoing projects there. How about the fact that ELA researchers had to contact the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to discover their work was being scuttled.

How about the fact that Harpies plan to dismantle the ELA facility at the end of this month preventing private sector interests from continuing the research. Years of unique data and research in jeopardy and for what? Two-Feet Harpie Stupid? One-Foot?

Lets fly above the Harpies and put this into perspective shall we. The ELA researchers have collected long-term records for climatology, hydrology, and limnology based on whole-ecosystem experiments that address key issues in water management. The ELA has influenced public policy in water management in Canada, the USA and Europe.

The ELA facility closure can only equal something close to madness. No price tag. Something close to Federal-up-to-here Harpie Stupid. Scandalous. And God Forbid one should forget this come 2015 in the polling booth when asked which kind of stupid one wants for the next four years.

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Sunday Salute #4

The Penticton Farmers Market consistently offers some of the best produce and artisan crafted foods in the province and all within the 100 block of Main Street in Penticton. Impressed visitors from Vancouver have mentioned that there isn’t anything on the lower mainland to compare.

Penticton Farmers Market

Its time Organizers and Staff, primarily Executive Director Steph Sundquist get the weekly tip ‘o the hat, congratulations and Sunday Salute from farmersdotter.

The Market seamlessly glides through each Saturday from May 1 to October 31. Steph is first to arrive and last to leave. Clipboard in hand, smile on her face and usually a story or two. She ensures vendors get to their stalls on time and she coordinates inquiries with diplomacy and flair. She engineers a well oiled machine.

This holiday season the Penticton Farmers Markets has been extended to include December 15th and 22nd at the Shatford Centre. Plan to attend if you can. We love the whole buy-local, eat-local, vote with your wallet thing. Cheers and thanks!

To receive regular updates from Penticton Farmers Market and say thanks to Steph, join the Market’s facebook page.

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Saturday Slam #3

Try this. Google ‘Monsanto’. Go ahead, I can wait…

So, aside from the company’s own domains and the ubiquitous Wikipedia site, you probably discovered as did I, top sites containing ‘Monsanto’ are ironically mostly about how toxic of a company it is.

Ironic because according to their website Monsanto pledges to be dedicated to providing farmers the broadest choice of products and services that will help them produce more, conserve more and lead improved lives. [they] offer the highest-yielding conventional and biotech seeds on the market…

So, ten years after Monsanto Introduced Bt Cotton to Maharashtra India, the weekly spotlight of the Saturday Slam shines upon Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco), a partner of US multinational Monsanto who has officially admitted Bt cotton failure in more than 4 million hectares of land has reduced cotton yield by nearly 40%.

Mahyco's Bt Cotton
Mahyco’s Bt Cotton

The same article estimates a net direct economic loss to cotton farmers in Maharashtra will be nearly Rs6,000 crore.  Accumulated losses likely more than Rs20,000 crore due to a steep rise in cultivation costs.

Subsequently Bt cotton has been banned in India and Mahyco was served notice over allegations of hoarding and over-pricing however, Monsanto maintains:

…sustainable agriculture is at [its] core. [They] are committed to developing the technologies that enable farmers to produce more crops while conserving more of the natural resources that are essential to their success. By 2030, [they] will do [their] part by: Producing More, Conserving More, Improving Lives.

If it looks like a snake and slithers like a snake chances are…

I'm a snake
I’m a snake

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Where is High Gear?

Lately, the bakery and perfecting a recipe for supplying the Penticton Farmers Market with just enough bread has been consuming most of our effort. Now that the middle of June looms it is time to kick activity into high gear. The Early Kowloon, one of the rare soft neck garlics to produce a scape, is now producing a scape.

Kowloon Scape
Kowloon Scape

That means time to sharpen the scissors and begin ‘scaping’  before harvest in a couple of weeks. It is believed that removing the scape at just the right moment will produce a superior garlic bulb. Though when that moment occurs is widely in dispute and whether scaping or not is even effective is only marginally less in dispute.

Later this month we are looking forward to having friends stay with us. We expect quite a few visitors this summer. If we continue to delay the guest bedroom renovations any further our visitors can expect to be campers. The bedroom needs a new floor. From the ground up new floor. Literally. We discovered rotting joists and sill plates.

Bedroom Floor Repair
Bedroom Floor Repair

Seems the original construction predates pressure treated lumber and environmental seals. A friend who has experienced a similar problem with his own home ensures us he has a fix that ‘should’ work. Should work. He has been conscripted.

farmersdotter thought too that while we’re at it we “might as well replace that old window with a nice new french door and hey, wouldn’t a new bedroom patio be lovely for our guests. And we could take that nasty old window and make a new cold frame for the kitchen garden! We’ve always wanted a kitchen garden. Watcha think?” Now where is that high gear?