Editor's Musings

The Springwater News consists of 24 pages, 16 in colour and 8 in b&w. Having b&w pages at different places in the paper, it sometimes proved slightly inconvenient for inserting ads and production. To make it easier, we now have grouped the b&w pages to 5, 6, 7 and 8 plus 17 through to 20.

 

If you remember the front page of the last paper, we had a story about the blue field and the plant, an invasive weed called Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare).

One of our readers sent me a note  -  Just to let you know concerning the picture about the blue field that is dangerous to humans and animals including the bees. Eating the honey from those flowers is also dangerous according to Google..

There is an interesting article at www.honeybeesuite.com.  It starts off mentioning that it is a top-tier honeybee plant and informs you of “The Plus Side “ but then it follows with  “On the minus side.”

In some parts of the world, it is considered a noxious weed and not good for cattle to get into.

It is an interesting read and if it was me, as pretty as the plant looks - many people plant it in their garden - I would not be nurturing it on my plot.

 

Maybe, as we sit here on some of these hot and humid days, we should think about the western states and provinces and be glad we are not there.

B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan just experienced the coldest Canada Day since 1955.

In Washington and Montana, some cities have not experienced any 90 degree weather yet and the latest that has ever happened is July 29th.

In Europe, their temperatures are distinctly below normal.

South Africa has had unprecedented snowfalls and temperatures of -11C freezing their Sugarcanes in the field.

I’ll take the warm rather than the cold.

 

If you look up ‘U.S. states and territory temperature extreme’, there is only one day in the 2000s that has set the record high or record low and that was on December 15th, 2000. Many of the records were set in the early 1900s.

When you go to “List of extreme temperatures in Canada”  three of the record colds were set in the 1800s and the most of the erst between 1900 and 1950. The record warmest days has 11 provinces and territories between 1919 and 1941 while the other two warmest days were in 1976 and 2004.

There is another list called “List of countries and territories by extreme temperatures’,

Greenland had it’s coldest day -66.1C in 1954 and the warmest day 30.1C in 1915.

 

The Ice Explorer that rolled in the Athabasca Ice Fields between Lake Louise and Jasper Alberta holds 56 people. There were 27 on it when it rolled. They were built in 1981 and are upgraded and improved on every year. Why the interest? I rode in one of them a few years back.

 

Somewhere between 1.4% and 2% of the total population of Canada live on farms. In 2011, there were 205,170 farms in Canada. I guess because it is so small, that is why some of the stats you look up are from 2011.

Stats Canada says 48 percent of all farmers are 55 or older. Less than one in ten farms were run by someone under 40.

Very few people have any hands on experience in a business that is far different from our forefathers and even before the turn of the century.

Soon, you’ll see more and more machinery working in the field with no operator but rather just a computer program.

In my day on the farm, I can remember harvesting crops and averaging one acre an hour. Today, I read about a new John Deere combine that will do 30 acres per hour.

An interesting article was about the treatment of hog manure. Through new technology, Solugen, a Quebec based company is testing a manure separation technology which through centrifugal force, heating and distillation, they are ending up with drinkable water and fertilizer (nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus) eliminating the need to store the animal manure. In so doing, they are eliminating 90 to 95% of the greenhouse gas emissions.

The future of farming cannot be predicted but there are amazing strides being achieved by modern innovation.

 

Maple Syrup - Some may remember the $18 million dollar Maple Syrup theft in Quebec from the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers warehouse in Saint Louis de Blandford in 2011 and 2012. The four thieves, Raymond and Richard Vallieres, Arik Caron and Etienne St. Pierre were found guilty, jailed and ordered to pay restitution. Recently, the $10 million fine for Richard Vallieres was dropped to $200,000 but an additional $600,000 is still owed to the Maple Syrup Association. He has 10 years to pay that. His 8 year jail sentence still stands..

Caron had his fine reduced to $1.7 million. His jail sentence was reduced to 6 yeas.

Nothing was mentioned about the other two thieves.

The heist which took place over time, with barrels refilled with water, received international attention, including a Netflix documentary.

Quebec has a quota arrangement and you  are subject to fines for producing Maple Syrup outside of the quota system. If you live in Quebec, you may pay upwards of $75 per tap. There is no quota system in Ontario and elsewhere on the continent.

If we had had a quota system, those of us that may have had a couple of acres of maples and tapped 100 trees would have to pay $7500 for a license. Maple syrup producers here plan on getting one litre of syrup from each tap. Maple syrup may cost $20 a litre some places but the cost of production sometimes leaves very little profit. This year was a great year around here as some producers had a litre and a half if not more per tap. Unfortunately, with no Maple Syrup Festivales, it was harder to market their product.

If you are very imaginative, the Ontario Community Newspaper Association is starting a “This Old Newspaper!” Challenge. You are to take old newspapers and make something whether it be a piece of clothing, art, furniture - the possibilities are endless. There are three categories, Open, Junior under 12 and Family. They will be judged online and from there, entered in the Ontario competition to win $1000. While it would ne nice to be 100% paper, some framework might require something for stability. Therefore each piece must consist of at least 70% paper. If you want to take part, contact me. Part of your requirements is to take pictures as “The Old Newspaper” is developed. The deadline is September 1st. The provincial contest will go live virtually so that readers across Ontario can see and vote. The one with the most votes in each class,takes home $1000.

Again, if interested call me, text me or email me. The telephone numbers and email addresses are in the folio at the top of each page. I can publish the rules in the next paper but in the meantime, e-mail you the information we have now.

 

COVID 19 - (Monday July 20) 2,752 have died of COVID 19. 1 was under 19 years of age, 11 in the 20-39 age, 115 were of ages 40-59, 736 were 60-79 and 1,889 were 80+.

The province is doing about 23,000 tests per day.

The government is trying to decide what to do come September when the students go back to school.

One of the scenarios was to split the week with some going in the first half and some in the second half. But for 2 or 3 days the students are with each other and for the other two or three days, they may go to day care. with a completely new group of kids.

Suppose we have a class of 30 students. If everyday, they met with each other, there would 30 possibilities of a student catching an infection but if they went to day care, and each student met 4 new friends, now there would be 150 different places to start an infection.

In a poll, 41% of Canadians thought students should wear masks. 21% said yes when outside the class and 28% thought masks should be optional.