Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lessons

Things I have learned this week. That I will admit to..

1) Begonias taste good



Ok this one was a complete surprise. Jo-Ann busted me taking a taste of a Begonia. Who would have thought. A local green house fellow introduced me to some edible plants. Like Begonias. They taste just like Sorel. I have to try it in a salad. Soon as the lettuce gets up. Last year we were eating lettuce by May 29th. Think we will be a little later this year.

2) Always pressure test an irrigation system before burying it.

Well Duh. I was using a lot of barbed hose connectors that had to be secured to the poly with stainless steel clamps. Just where do the clamps go, how tight to make them. When I turned on the water I blew three of the tops clean off. Nice little geysers. Looks like at least one of the "T" connectors blew apart under a tire. I will have to take the soil out off the tire to fix that one. Or two. Maybe three.

Also learned that CPVC, schedule 40 threaded pipe fittings need to be tight. And well glued or you can spend a couple of hours straightening that out. Ah well, water under the bridge - er distribution system. We got the main line pressureized and running yesterday. Through a filter and a pressure reducer. House pressure is too much for a drip irrigation system so we had to throttle our gravity fed system back to twenty pounds for the garden. Jo-Ann managed to decipher the Orientaleze on the Irritrol irrigation timer and we have that all working. Don't get me started there. Don't they have people that can proof read these things. In the language of where your trying to sell them. It will take some testing to get the program right. Now we are starting with 6 am and 6 pm for one minute. It has been really damp lately so hard to tell how to optimize the watering.

3) Don't put things off.

We wanted to put up a Canadian flag on the house but have put it off for a year or so. While we were at the Home Depot in Prince George we found a little porch mounted flag and mounted it off the veranda.

What fun. Would have been even better if the flag and holder was actually made in Canada. But wait - we're hewers of wood and drawers of water. We don't actually make things. Even our own flag.

Speaking of buying locally. Watched a thought provoking show on the tele last night. About items marked " Product of Canada ". Things like Lunenburg Highliner Salmon. Well all Lunenburg fish products. Ice Cream, No name Garlic, Pacific Shrimp etc. All clearly marked: "PRODUCT OF CANADA". Now that would lead me to believe it was made in Canada. How about you? Actually it doesn't. Apparently it means that 51% of the cost of transportation and packageing was spent in Canada.

The shrimp and other "Lunenburg" products come from Russia, China and Vietnam. Processed there and shipped in frozen blocks to Lunenburg Nova Scotia, the quintessential picturesque Canadian Fishing community - that can't support a local fishing community, where the local plant defrosts, packages and labels them: "Product of Canada". The ice - cream ( which isn't technically ice-cream ) a sugar and whey product comes from New Zealand or England. By using the whey and sugar product they get around tariffs on milk products - and of course it's "whey" (pun intended) cheaper.

Who'd a thought my Pacific Red Salmon made a 15 thousand mile trip from Kamchutka via the Panama Canal to Lunenburg Nova Scotia to be shipped across Canada another 5000 miles to my local Safeway. And this is economically feasable or sustainable how?

I see that Prime Minister Harper has promised to deal with this issue but the Liberal opposition are complaining it's a " Photo Op ". Jeez, like Canadians really want to be duped about what "Product of Canada" actually means.

Here's a link to the story: Made in Canada

Taste real home grown food. Pay attention. Ask questions. Buy Local.

All right. I am Adding fishpond to the list. Don't tell anyone. Probably a law against that somewhere.

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