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janfromthebruce
Un-Smart enviros show ignorance about growing food, taxation, costs

 

janfromthebruce

[url=http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=165745]Cloudy thinking - no kidding![/url]

Steaming, steaming, more urban myths about those backwards farmers

quote:

Book-smart greens like to talk tax and fiscal policy because it gets at the core issue of deceptive pricing in an eco-abusing economy. When farmers dump livestock manure in a river and let synthetic pesticides sink into the water table, for example, they pass what should properly be their own costs of production on to others.

The cost of food that comes from such a farm is low only because the full cost has been “externalized.” Making that real cost transparent is the job of a green shift, the reasoning goes.


[img]mad.gif" border="0[/img] [img]mad.gif" border="0[/img]

Bookish Agrarian

More shit ends up in our water table from urban sewage 'by-passes' and sewage sludge then ever comes from farm waste. As well no farmer with a brain would knowingly dump manure into a river. Manure is just too valuable for one thing.

I am not saying manure never ends up in water, or that there aren't some bad practices out there from massive concentrations of manure, but it is no where near as common as this article suggests.

janfromthebruce

I thought you would respond AG. You know AG, perhaps you would like to offer Wayne a tour of local farms in Bruce, and expand and "shift" his urban thinking.

[ 30 October 2008: Message edited by: janfromthebruce ]

surfdoc surfdoc's picture

I'm sorry, where is the urban myth here?

Agricultural run-off containing pesticides is known to increase phytotoxicity. Agriculture is one of the main causes of non-point pollution in water. Manure contains high levels of excess fertilizers (phosphorus and nitrogen), which lead to algal blooms, which then lead to decreased oxygen in the water. This is all basic information taught in Science 10.

I wouldn't go as far as saying that farmers are "dumping manure", its more that the manure, fertilizers, and pesticides run-off and into the waterways. Where I am now, there are large algal blooms in the rivers and lakes, caused by such run-off.

Adam T

I fail to see where enviros are being 'unsmart' here.

Economists have long mentioned the concept of 'externalities'. That was the point of Dion's Green Shift, as well as 'cap and trade systems', put a price on the form of pollution to reflect full costs.

janfromthebruce

It was the suggestion in the article that farmers are doing this on purpose or perhaps due to ignorance.
And how to end this, is for farmers to encur the costs - tax the baddies.

Perhaps, because I live in rural Ontario, I have more insider knowledge of the state of the "family farm." If one wants to ensure the end of all family-run farms, than sure tax all the things they do bad, instead of helping them be better stewards of the land. Fencing in cattle is really expensive and keeping them out of river streams running through their property.

I know there is a difference between family run farms and corporate-run agri business, but this writer just didn't make any distinctions and showed, to me, that he needs to get off his urban high-horse and do a "family farm tour."

[ 30 October 2008: Message edited by: janfromthebruce ]

Bookish Agrarian

quote:


I'm sorry, where is the urban myth here?
Agricultural run-off containing pesticides is known to increase phytotoxicity. Agriculture is one of the main causes of non-point pollution in water. Manure contains high levels of excess fertilizers (phosphorus and nitrogen), which lead to algal blooms, which then lead to decreased oxygen in the water. This is all basic information taught in Science 10.

I wouldn't go as far as saying that farmers are "dumping manure", its more that the manure, fertilizers, and pesticides run-off and into the waterways. Where I am now, there are large algal blooms in the rivers and lakes, caused by such run-off.


Sorry but that is factually wrong. As I stated above more waste ends up in our water table from urban settings than ever ends up there from manure run off. Add in old septic systems from cottages along our waterfronts and the comparison is nowhere even close.

If you look at the issue of sewage sludge that is spread on rural land by those contracted to do so by urban municipalities the rate of heavy metals, pharmacuticals including anti-biotics and other toxins then the comaparison to manure is so far out of whack it is almost silly. The levels of crap in that crap is far and away above what exists in farm manure.

That said there are some very probelmatic methods for storing, managing and spreading manure, particularly liquid manure and the rules are different in different provinces.

[ 30 October 2008: Message edited by: Bookish Agrarian ]

Bookish Agrarian

quote:


Originally posted by Adam T:
[b]I fail to see where enviros are being 'unsmart' here.

Economists have long mentioned the concept of 'externalities'. That was the point of Dion's Green Shift, as well as 'cap and trade systems', put a price on the form of pollution to reflect full costs.[/b]


A wag had this to say at one point on these cost issues as it relates to farmers.

Society, all of us, caused the problems we are now facing. It was borne of our very lifestyle and our lack of long term thoughts to the consequence of our actions. It was government and their experts that recommended tiling and draining land that might have performed a better service to the province by recharging water, or being a green area. Those same experts advised removing treed fence lines to maximize production, isolating wildlife populations and their travel corridors. It was not farmers that made the decisions to not intensify urban settings within current borders, but instead create sprawl on Ontario’s prime farmland. The simple reality is that all of us created the problems and it is going to take all of us to fix them.

Expecting the farm community to shoulder the costs for broader societal benefits is not only wrong-headed, it is a blueprint for needed action not taking place. Unlike other businesses farmers do not have a market mechanism to recoup increased costs by passing on the costs to the end users or purchasers of products. To find real solutions we the people of Ontario are going to have to come to terms with the need to fully compensate rural landowners for these societal benefits. If governments at all levels are really looking for positive actions and not just looking for voter-positive headlines, then we need to find ways to share the entire costs across all of society. If we want rural landowners to take land out of production, we need to pay them for lost income. If we want species protected we need to understand that the last refuges of these animals were not created by the landowner, but by the destruction of the habitat for which we are all responsible. Foisting off the costs for the things we all broke would not be okay in any other area of society. It is time to make sure that compensation for fixing these problems is not something that people need to fight for, but central to the solutions we wish to enact.

janfromthebruce

Thank you AG. I knew you would be better at explaining my "just living rural but not in a farm" understanding of why I felt offended by what the author said. [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

Fotheringay-Phipps

Hi, Bookish Agrarian. It's not just those contracted by urban municipalities who are responsible for spreading sewage sludge on rural land. They need willing recipients. My neighbour was paid a nice fee per acre for taking sludge from the city. He won't say how much, but the talk in the coffee shops is that some guys are getting $50 an acre, which is a tidy little sum if, like my neighbour, you have 300 acres in various patches. I heard one story, which may be a rural myth, that one guy stopped the first truck at the gate and announced that his rate had now gone up to $60 an acre.

Most guys take good care of their land, but the lure of easy money seduces others. A friend's father drank his money away, but has still managed to hold onto his land. There are 55-gallon drums sitting oozing into the brush at the back of his property. He didn't ask what was in them, just took the money for storing them. And down in cash-crop country here, until a few years ago, all kinds of windrows were being grubbed up, and farmers were ploughing practically up to the edge of streams. The conventional wisdom is that you cover your costs in the middle of the field and make your profit along the edges. I don't know if it's enlightenment or just watching all that light sandy soil blow away, but now we are starting to see cedar hedges being planted to subdivide fields. These same fields were amalgamated 20 years ago to make it easier for the machinery to get in. If this keeps up, Ontario may eventually look like it did in 1950.

Brian White

We had to fence off our rivers and streams back in ireland about 15 years ago because of european union directives. A neighboour farmer was annoyed about having to leave so much land around hedgerows (fearful of rabbits turning into a plague) and destroying his sugarbeet. It didn't happen because the extra cover supported foxes that kept the rabbits in check. After been forced into it at the start he became an avid supporter of the setbacks. These setbacks are also great buffer zones to prevent dust, (and soil and slurry )from reaching the waterways in wet weather especially.

janfromthebruce

Brian I don't think anybody here is arguing against doing things like that. The debate started with an urbanist basically being disconnected from his part in the process.

surfdoc surfdoc's picture

quote:


Sorry but that is factually wrong.

What is exactly factually wrong with what I said?

I didn't argue that the majority of the crap comes from urban areas. A lot does, and that partially has to do with mixing storm drain systems with sewers (as is done in Toronto).

You're not the only one who lives in a rural area. I do too, and there is much talk about farmers finding a way to limit their run-off because of the algal blooms here (no urban area to blame it on). Nitrogen and phosphorus (both found in fertilizer, not to mention the ammonium from dairy shed wastewater) are directly related to such algal blooms.

As for pharmacueticals, that happens on farms too - remember that unless we are talking organic meat, the animals may be fed antibiotics.

We can't blame all eutrophication on farm run off, but that doesn't mean it is false to say that farm run off is implicated.

It's Me D

quote:


From the OP Article:

The cost of food that comes from such a farm is low only because the full cost has been “externalized.” Making that real cost transparent is the job of a green shift, the reasoning goes.


Um, I know its not the direction of the discussion but doesn't this article suggest we need to increase the cost of locally grown food? How idiotic is that!

Cut the environmental damage caused by local agriculture by increasing the cost of locally grown food and forcing people to rely on imported food, grown in Countries with even lower environmental standards (hence the cheapness); drastically increasing food insecurity by decimating our local agriculture and exporting the environmental damage caused by our lifestyle to other countries, and all in a single blow.

What we need is to legislate local food consumption and provide heavy investment into local agriculture to meet this challenge while reducing the damage that agriculture may cause to the environment; the cost of food shouldn't be raised though, the government should carry the increased costs of better practices and ensure the urban consumers of food pay their share of this cost through taxation.

[ 31 October 2008: Message edited by: It's Me D ]

George Victor

Let's ignore the un-smarts everywhere.

Still hoping that you can find an outlet for farm news that might make it into urban consciousness, BA.

Tommy_Paine

I saw a documentary on PBS a long, long time ago examining the issue of herbacide and pesticide use on farms.

Seems the only advice on usage of such products farmers were getting were from sales representatives of the products being used. Of course, they wanted their customers to have good results-- so they advised frequencies and quantities far above what was actualy needed, when the field were put under close scrutiny.

As the farmer said at the time, if stuff is running off into the water table, it means we wasted money.

And herbacides, pesticides and fertilizers are a significant cost to the farmer, environmental considerations aside.

I think one of the problems with the eviromental movement in general is that many in it seem bent on confrontation when it isn't necessary-- and in the end, counter productive to their environmental aims.

But perhaps it sates their desire for confrontation and holier than thou motivations?

It's Me D

quote:


Seems the only advice on usage of such products farmers were getting were from sales representatives of the products being used. Of course, they wanted their customers to have good results-- so they advised frequencies and quantities far above what was actualy needed, when the field were put under close scrutiny.

Wow, in NS at least times have certainly changed; attendance and government workshops regarding the use of pesticides is mandatory to farm here (and I imagine elsewhere). I'd like it if government was more supportive in banning the worse chemicals and subsidizing the better ones but farmers here certainly know which chemicals and in which doses to use (though I'd imagine they cannot always afford to use the best but that isn't their fault).

quote:

As the farmer said at the time, if stuff is running off into the water table, it means we wasted money.

Certainly how I hear it here; local farmers I've spoken with consider over-using their chemicals to be both bad for their crops and bad for their bottom line.

Tommy_Paine

quote:


Wow, in NS at least times have certainly changed; attendance and government workshops regarding the use of pesticides is mandatory to farm here (and I imagine elsewhere).

Well, as I said, I saw the documentary a long time ago.

Bee that as it may, bee keepers are complaining that their bees are dying because blue berry farmers are spraying when the trucked in bees are polinating, leading to bee die off-- and I beelive it's traceable to a particular new pesticide.

So, nobody is perfect, it seems.

But, being a city feller, maybe I should mind my own bees wax.

[ 31 October 2008: Message edited by: Tommy_Paine ]

It's Me D

quote:


Bee that as it may, bee keepers are complaining that their bees are dying because blue berry farmers are spraying when the trucked in bees are polinating, leading to bee die off-- and I beelive it's traceable to a particular new pesticide.

So, nobody is perfect, it seems.


I'm certainly not suggesting anyone is perfect! Pesticides and herbicides are a real problem and although there are many ways that the problem can be mitigated, farmers (like the rest of us) are restricted by their finances, the government needs to help them break their dependency on certain products and practices by providing the direction and the $$$ (especially the $$$).

Regarding the specific example you raised, do you have any idea what the chemical is? or any links? As you might have guessed from my location Blueberry farming is THE type of farming here and so I'm especially interested in this case...

ETA:

quote:

But, being a city feller, maybe I should mind my own bees wax.

Please don't! We certainly don't need MORE disconnect between urban and rural people and their realities; that is already at a very problematic all-time high right now [img]frown.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 31 October 2008: Message edited by: It's Me D ]

Tommy_Paine

I heard the report on CBC radio earlier this year. I've tried spellunking on the CBC news site to find such things in archives-- or even current stories, but it seems CBC radio doesn't have their particular stories on line.

Or, my search skills are pathetic. A real possibility.

ETA,

quote:

Please don't! We certainly don't need MORE disconnect between urban and rural people and their realities; that is already at a very problematic all-time high right now

It was just a flimsy pretext for yet another of my uproariously funny puns.

[ 31 October 2008: Message edited by: Tommy_Paine ]

Left J.A.B.

I am not sure people are really getting what BA is saying, and I am loath to speak for him, but here goes.

He is not saying that some farm practices, particularly industrialized farming are okay. Rather that there is a tendency to blame farmers when there is a lot going on in the backyards of urban centres ignored by those who presume to preach to farmers and rural residents.

The issue of sludge is a very serious one, but I am afraid many urban people just flush it down the drain and it goes out of thought. Along the lakeshore here cottage septic systems are a real and present problem. Yet these things are not as noticeable as a liquid manure tank or someone spraying their field of beans.

The presumption that farmers are the culprits and should bear the costs shows a fundamental lack of understanding of our food system and the way our food economy works.

When progressive minded farmers are suggesting that maybe there is a hole in the logic, wouldn’t that be a good time to may listen and not preach?

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by Left J.A.B.:
[b]I am not sure people are really getting what BA is saying, and I am loath to speak for him, but here goes.

He is not saying that some farm practices, particularly industrialized farming are okay. Rather that there is a tendency to blame farmers when there is a lot going on in the backyards of urban centres ignored by those who presume to preach to farmers and rural residents.

The issue of sludge is a very serious one, but I am afraid many urban people just flush it down the drain and it goes out of thought. Along the lakeshore here cottage septic systems are a real and present problem. Yet these things are not as noticeable as a liquid manure tank or someone spraying their field of beans.

The presumption that farmers are the culprits and should bear the costs shows a fundamental lack of understanding of our food system and the way our food economy works.

When progressive minded farmers are suggesting that maybe there is a hole in the logic, wouldn’t that be a good time to may listen and not preach?[/b]


And that's right. Hence, when elitist progressives from urban centres negative apply labels to rural areas and farmers, it's not wonder their voting behaviour goes towards Conservatives.

Left J.A.B.

I have never understood the urban antipathy to rural people even rural progressive champions. That being said I have never understood the reverse either.

Seems to me that average urban and rural people have more in common than what separates them. I often wonder that because the interaction many of us rural people have with urban people are with those with enough money to own cottages or go tootling around the countryside if there isn’t a class issue going on there.

George Victor

quote:


And that's right. Hence, when elitist progressives from urban centres negative apply labels to rural areas and farmers, it's not wonder their voting behaviour goes towards Conservatives.


Joe Bageant points to the same phenom in the U.S. Heartland in Deer Hunting With Jesus. He also points out how the conservative there "works" the rural and small town population.

Take a boo at the book, rural Ontario. I came out of rural Ontario and know exactly how the bastard right woos 'em. (And how the "liberal Left" in both worlds speaks out of its ass on things agricultural).

It's Me D

As Bageant (I believe) points out, it is a class thing, and thats what makes it so enraging: Conservatives actually oppose the interests of most rural Canadians but they play upon a common view amongst us rurals that all urban folks are upper class (obviously not even close to true!)... instead of joining with the urban working class and overthrowing the Conservatives rural working people are isolated and preyed upon by the Cons (who in reality represent the very upper class interests that rural working people are opposed to). [img]frown.gif" border="0[/img]

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Actually, I think this is the worst sort of cop-out:

quote:

Hence, when elitist progressives from urban centres negative apply labels to rural areas and farmers, it's not wonder their voting behaviour goes towards Conservatives.

Fine if their reaction leads them to choose an alternative. Not so fine if their alternative is pro-corporate agri-industry, and reactionary in each and every other way that can be mentioned.

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by It's Me D:
[b]As Bageant (I believe) points out, it is a class thing, and thats what makes it so enraging: Conservatives actually oppose the interests of most rural Canadians but they play upon a common view amongst us rurals that all urban folks are upper class (obviously not even close to true!)... instead of joining with the urban working class and overthrowing the Conservatives rural working people are isolated and preyed upon by the Cons (who in reality represent the very upper class interests that rural working people are opposed to). [img]frown.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]

I heard a couple farmers the other day talking about "scabs". Like most farmers I know, they have off-farm jobs and right now they're on strike. So the onward march of capitalism may be bringing about an alliance.

George Victor

quote:


Fine if their reaction leads them to choose an alternative. Not so fine if their alternative is pro-corporate agri-industry, and reactionary in each and every other way that can be mentioned.


In the business of making a living, there aren't alternatives out there LTJ. It's kiss ass - and in the 30s there were tales of farmers' daughters offered up in the tobacco patch area - or starve. Check out the rate of suicide and mental breakdown out there!

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by Lard Tunderin' Jeezus:
[b]Actually, I think this is the worst sort of cop-out: Fine if their reaction leads them to choose an alternative. Not so fine if their alternative is pro-corporate agri-industry, and reactionary in each and every other way that can be mentioned.[/b]

I'm not saying it is fair, being a rural very progressive person. And nor am I saying that all urban progressives are anti rural or have old fashioned ideas, but I'm saying that there can be a distain and air that puts distance there.

Left J.A.B.

Who is Wayne Roberts by the way. If he is person that comes up on google as the head of something called the Toronto Food Policy Council that makes these comments even more disturbing. I am starting to think your idea of a tour is the right one Jan, but what farmers will have the time at this time of the year with plowing, combining, getting the barn ready for winter, and the rest plus their off farm jobs?

Tommy_Paine

quote:


I have never understood the urban antipathy to rural people even rural progressive champions. That being said I have never understood the reverse either.

At work we talk about a lot of things. Dissing farmers isn't something I can ever remember as a topic of conversation. I think industrial workers in the cities wish farmers well, as far as I can tell.

From visits to friends in the country though, I sense antipathy, if not from farmers, from small town folk. There, I think it's because they feel threatened by urbanites that are fleeing the major metropolitan areas for country life.

I understand that the people of Dundalk turned down the oportunity to have the "Go Train" extended to the town. And after seeing development in Shelbourne, I can understand why.

A more significant factor, I think, is just the continuation of a trend which began with the industrial revolution. More people are living in cities.

Not really that long ago, everyone in a homgenous population like Toronto or London, or Kitchener or Kingston had family that still lived on the farm. Good thing-- it was these connections that kept many city kids fed ( if not overworked) during the great depression.

But now, with waves of immigration, and successive generations removed from the farm, people in today's London, Toronto, etc, don't have the same connection.

And that breeds missunderstanding, jealousy, envy, contempt.

surfdoc surfdoc's picture

^ When there is work to be done, why not invite Wayne up to do some work. There are at least 4 WWOOF farms on the Bruce Penninsula (I'm assuming thats where Janfromthebruce's name refers). He could write about the WWOOFing experience, the rural-urban divide, and get some hands-on knowledge. But then, who knows, perhaps WWOOFing is seen as unprogressive, or only for "elitist progressives", or those who have the money to "go tootling around the countryside".

Aristotleded24

quote:


Originally posted by Left J.A.B.:
[b]He is not saying that some farm practices, particularly industrialized farming are okay.[/b]

Exactly. There's a major difference between the practices of the struggling farmer and the massive food factories (others refer to them as "corporate farms," but I don't use that term because I think it gives these operations undeserved legitimacy as farm operations) that are killing agriculture throughout the world.

janfromthebruce

I think it would be great for him to be invited up to Bruce for a tour. It's all about working together for sustainable agricultural practices and healthy food for all.

Bookish Agrarian

quote:


Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
[b]

At work we talk about a lot of things. Dissing farmers isn't something I can ever remember as a topic of conversation. I think industrial workers in the cities wish farmers well, as far as I can tell.

From visits to friends in the country though, I sense antipathy, if not from farmers, from small town folk. There, I think it's because they feel threatened by urbanites that are fleeing the major metropolitan areas for country life.

I understand that the people of Dundalk turned down the oportunity to have the "Go Train" extended to the town. And after seeing development in Shelbourne, I can understand why.

A more significant factor, I think, is just the continuation of a trend which began with the industrial revolution. More people are living in cities.

Not really that long ago, everyone in a homgenous population like Toronto or London, or Kitchener or Kingston had family that still lived on the farm. Good thing-- it was these connections that kept many city kids fed ( if not overworked) during the great depression.

But now, with waves of immigration, and successive generations removed from the farm, people in today's London, Toronto, etc, don't have the same connection.

And that breeds missunderstanding, jealousy, envy, contempt.[/b]


While I am sure no one sits around discussing farmers, I can say that there is just as much misunderstanding on both sides.

If you spend any time on call in shows in urban markets as I do from time to time you soon find out there are a lot of people who are not very farmer friendly. There has not been a show or interview yet where I have not had to patiently explain that no farmers are not rich, no the average farmer does not get whacks and whacks of cash from the taxpayer, no farmers don`t sit there with their guns just waiting to blow away the first thing that wanders by and so on. It gets a wee bit tedious after awhile.

There other weird thing that sometimes happens is I end up having to give cooking advice. If only my grandmother knew I have had to explain canning over the radio more than once given how hard she had to fight with me to get her to help. She would be splitting a gut laughing.

As for the rest Tommy I think you are on to something. Maybe that`s just because I have made the same argument myself before, or maybe its just because it actually makes sense [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

Tommy_Paine

quote:


or maybe its just because it actually makes sense

...well, if you put a thousand Tommy's at a thousand typewriters for a thousand years....

Bookish Agrarian

quote:


Originally posted by surfdoc:
[b]^ When there is work to be done, why not invite Wayne up to do some work. There are at least 4 WWOOF farms on the Bruce Penninsula (I'm assuming thats where Janfromthebruce's name refers). He could write about the WWOOFing experience, the rural-urban divide, and get some hands-on knowledge. But then, who knows, perhaps WWOOFing is seen as unprogressive, or only for "elitist progressives", or those who have the money to "go tootling around the countryside".[/b]

While WWOOFing is okay those farms can hardly be considered typical farms in Bruce-Grey. (I just looked them up).

I am not saying there is anything wrong with them, but WWOOFing takes place on very specific types of farms and would not give a very good perspective on even the average organic farm, let alone a small conventional farm. My partner`s family has been a WWOOFing host so I understand what goes with the territory. If you really want to understand the farm community and its challenges you would be better off staying with a couple, both working off the farm, both farming full time, trying to have a life for thier children and still struggling to pay the bills. That is a typical farm family in Bruce county, although often the children have left for jobs in the city and the stress levels are through the roof.

Bookish Agrarian

quote:


Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
[b]

...well, if you put a thousand Tommy's at a thousand typewriters for a thousand years....[/b]


...what someone might actually agree with me

Tommy_Paine

I've been visiting the Bruce since I was in high school, and fell in love with it. I try to make it up there at least once a year. Sometimes in cottages, often camping at Cypress Lake. The way the economy is going for me, next year looks like camping, at best. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

Of course, I pay attention to the farm land when tootling around up there, always have. Given the nature of the land and climate, I am amazed anyone makes a living farming there.

I'm honestly surprised that you run into anti farmer stuff on radio, Bookish Agrarian.

Bookish Agrarian

quote:


Originally posted by Fotheringay-Phipps:
[b]Hi, Bookish Agrarian. It's not just those contracted by urban municipalities who are responsible for spreading sewage sludge on rural land. They need willing recipients. My neighbour was paid a nice fee per acre for taking sludge from the city. He won't say how much, but the talk in the coffee shops is that some guys are getting $50 an acre, which is a tidy little sum if, like my neighbour, you have 300 acres in various patches. I heard one story, which may be a rural myth, that one guy stopped the first truck at the gate and announced that his rate had now gone up to $60 an acre.

Most guys take good care of their land, but the lure of easy money seduces others. A friend's father drank his money away, but has still managed to hold onto his land. There are 55-gallon drums sitting oozing into the brush at the back of his property. He didn't ask what was in them, just took the money for storing them. And down in cash-crop country here, until a few years ago, all kinds of windrows were being grubbed up, and farmers were ploughing practically up to the edge of streams. The conventional wisdom is that you cover your costs in the middle of the field and make your profit along the edges. I don't know if it's enlightenment or just watching all that light sandy soil blow away, but now we are starting to see cedar hedges being planted to subdivide fields. These same fields were amalgamated 20 years ago to make it easier for the machinery to get in. If this keeps up, Ontario may eventually look like it did in 1950.[/b]


I am not suggesting that every farmer is a boy scout, or that they think to the future. However, as a general rule, most farmers oppose those kinds of actions. As well, it is usually the experts from government and academia that come in and recomend a lot of these `improvements`.
There are a huge number of economic pressures on farmers fertilizer can cost upwards of 600 dollars a ton. Getting paid for sludge is quite an inducement for some I am afraid.

Tommy_Paine

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
[b]

...what someone might actually agree with me[/b]


No, that I might make sense.

[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Bookish Agrarian

quote:


Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
[b]I've been visiting the Bruce since I was in high school, and fell in love with it. I try to make it up there at least once a year. Sometimes in cottages, often camping at Cypress Lake. The way the economy is going for me, next year looks like camping, at best. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

Of course, I pay attention to the farm land when tootling around up there, always have. Given the nature of the land and climate, I am amazed anyone makes a living farming there.

I'm honestly surprised that you run into anti farmer stuff on radio, Bookish Agrarian.[/b]


And on London radio no less!
Of course a London radio station was also the last place I had to explain how to cook a whole chicken from scratch when I was on to talk about local food.

By the way the secret is, as in all things, the appropriate amount of single malt whiskey.

The Bruce is a special place. If you ever get the chance and are so inclined wander back into the Purple Grove area. Stunning views of the Bay. The bike ride from Owen Sound to Wiarton along the shore line is great, although to many houses are going up and ruining. If you ever do stop at the Big Bay store for ice cream.

[ 31 October 2008: Message edited by: Bookish Agrarian ]

Tommy_Paine

You know, one of the things I had to learn to do when I was separated was do "real" cooking for my daughters and I.

I always considered cooking a whole chicken for sunday dinner one of the easiest meals to do. In fact, I almost thought it was "cheating".

I never tried whiskey, but I found that if I softened a whole lemon by rolling it on the kitchen counter hard enough to mush the insides but not enough to crack the peel, then go nuts on it with a fork until it was about to fall apart, then shove it inside the chicken, it kept the chicken moist while at the same time imparting a subtle lemon flavour.

Now, I'm not so good at making soup from the carcass. Last time, I boiled it too long and ended up with some kind of gelatin.

Hmm. Maybe I'll make dinner this sunday.

Bookish Agrarian

That just means you got rid of all the water and left yourself nothing but fat. Turn the heat down!

Here`s the secret I learned from my Great Auntie Nellie. Boil the carcas with a roasted clove of garlic, and some left over veggies, let if cool and then refridgirate. By the next day the fat turns solid and sticks around the top of the pot. Clean it off the top with a spatuala drain the rest through a colander and ta-da you have a really low fat soup stock.

Tommy_Paine

quote:


The Bruce is a special place. If you ever get the chance and are so inclined wander back into the Purple Grove area. Stunning views of the Bay. The bike ride from Owen Sound to Wiarton along the shore line is great, although to many houses are going up and ruining. If you ever do stop at the Big Bay store for ice cream.

Before my divorce, it was my plan to retire up there. Who knows? I may still be able to.

I have to admit, there is so much for me to "grok" just on the tip of the Bruce, there's tons of stuff I've never seen between Wiarton and Cypress Lake.

I do admit to a fondness for "Pottery by Ben", and have a few of her pieces here at home. I never buy food stuffs and such here and bring them up with me, doing my small part to support local commerce.

Funny thing I noticed. I bought some smoked whitefish at the touristy place run by natives, just on the edge of Tobermory. Great stuff sitting around the campfire, with beer.

Doesn't taste the same, at home, even with the beer.

Bookish Agrarian

quote:


Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
[b]

Before my divorce, it was my plan to retire up there. Who knows? I may still be able to.

I have to admit, there is so much for me to "grok" just on the tip of the Bruce, there's tons of stuff I've never seen between Wiarton and Cypress Lake.

I do admit to a fondness for "Pottery by Ben", and have a few of her pieces here at home. I never buy food stuffs and such here and bring them up with me, doing my small part to support local commerce.

Funny thing I noticed. I bought some smoked whitefish at the touristy place run by natives, just on the edge of Tobermory. Great stuff sitting around the campfire, with beer.

Doesn't taste the same, at home, even with the beer.[/b]


I put myself through school working in a rock quarry near Wiarton in the summer lifting and cutting patio stone and fancy stone mantle pieces. As a treat on pay days I would buy myself smoked Whitefish as a treat. Loved it. Took some to friends at school one year after extolling its virtue late one night at the Pigs Ear and it just didn`t have that same special taste. Must be something in the air that mixes with it.

[ 31 October 2008: Message edited by: Bookish Agrarian ]

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
[b]If you spend any time on call in shows in urban markets as I do from time to time you soon find out there are a lot of people who are not very farmer friendly. [/b]

I don't know - I doubt that the people who call into talk radio are representative of anything except a small sliver of reactionary idiots who hate everyone and everything that is different from them.

So, they hate farmers. And they hate welfare bums. And they hate "people from Jane and Finch, wink wink nudge nudge". And they hate feminists. And they hate parole boards. And they hate gay pride parades. They hate everything that the idiots who host these shows whip them up about.

And yes, that includes all those damn farmers who are sitting pretty on government subsidies. Sure, it's bullshit, but when did that ever stop talk radio? Talk radio caters to morons, so that's who calls in.

Bookish Agrarian

Are you telling me the people who call into 'talk' with Charles Adler are not representative. [img]frown.gif" border="0[/img] Whoa is me. I thought for sure they were normal [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

It has been other stuff besides 'talk radio'. There is always an idiot, always. I don't think they are the majority or anything, but they do exist, just like their rural cousins exist too saying the same things but in reverse.

Tommy_Paine

We are, happily, off topic.

It seems to me there are and have been no shortage of Bruce lovers and Grey/Bruce inhabitants here on Babble-- at least a dissproportionate amount for a geographically and demographically small area.

Back on topic, I think when we are talking environment or economics, or the combination of the two, workers and farmers have too much in common to be sundered.

We need to re-build the relationship. Perhaps we could symblolize industrial workers like me with a hammer, and farmers with a sickle. If we meld the symbols....oh...hmmm. Maybe there's a copyright on that....

[img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

Bookish Agrarian

Maybe we could update it with a drill press and a swather

Ssshh Tommy you might expose the Grey-Bruce secret plot to take over the world. First we take babble then we take New York.

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