RD October Letters 2017

Blue in the face over blueberries
RD: There’s not enough coverage about 60 million pounds of N.S. blueberries. They say the price is low. Why can’t we buy them at the Atlantic Superstore, Sobeys, etc.? There’s lots of berries from down south. During September of last fall (2016) I spoke to the produce manager of Atlantic Superstore in Tantallon, N.S. All they had were excuses. I called Ontario – no luck. 

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RD July-August Letters 2017

Something’s fishy
RD: I tried to discover if I could buy some river herring by means of telephoning Fisheries and Aquaculture, in the phone book as 426-9010, but the girl never heard of such fish. She then referred me to “Dartmouth” where the girl said she would ask regarding Gaspereau or river herring. Never heard of the fish herself. Now I got a bill for long distance; evidently the second girl was in Cornwallis Park, N.S.
    I mention the runaround in part because you might find it interesting to do an article, possibly relating to the dearth of herring generally. Is the Gaspereau River empty of kiack? It was once renowned for a square net fishery, the wide nets supported from above, on a limb or an A-frame or tri, like an engine from a truck tree lift.

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RD June Letters 2017

War on nature
RD: I would like to thank Dr. Av Singh for his timely article on glyphosates. Other than the dangers that he mentioned, there are some additional considerations:
    1. Once we have killed all the weeds that are susceptible to glyphosates the only weeds left will be the resistant ones. These will pose an even greater hazard. (This is analogous to the situation we have created with the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in humans leading to resistant “super bugs.”)
    2. Secondly, as everyone knows, glyphosates were originally discovered as a descaling agent for pipes and later found to have antibacterial properties. As we spread them (glyphosates) indiscriminately on our crops we do not know what they are doing to the bacterial life in the soil. Bacteria play a vital role in soil health. We kill them off at our peril.
    It is time to stop our “war on nature” and learn to live in harmony and holistically with all that nature has to offer.
Bruce Wright MD, FRCPC  
Bridgewater, N.S.

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RD May Leters 2017

Squirrel be gone, in a nutshell
RD: I found a trap that works quite well with squirrels. It is a Woodstream gopher trap from Princess Auto. Take a walnut in shell and place it in triangular trigger and set. See attached photos.
Kelly Cheverie
East Point, P.E.I.

Thanks for the dissent
RD: Thank you for printing dissenting views in your magazine. John Earl and Ed Long both got their voices heard; I’m still reminded that Old Macdonald’s farm is in O-hi-o-hi-o! That pertains to the Great Lakes, phosphorous, and “protectionism.” For this reason I decide to renew my subscription. And not to be ironic, I thought also to study Small Scale Pig Raising, so find enclosed an order for that book! Thank you. 
Rusty Ephemeris
Cheltenham, Ont.

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RD April Leters 2017

More to blueberry prices
RD: The collapse in blueberry prices is certainly due to supply increases exceeding the growth in global demand (“More blueberries, lower prices,” Jan. RD, p.28). The situation in the Maritimes, however, has been worsened by an apparent structural change in price setting practices. This has resulted in the prices paid to growers falling relative to frozen product prices and compared to the prices paid to growers in other regions.  
    Since 2013, the Maritime grower price has declined from 70 cents to 30 cents. The first 10-15 cents or so of this 40-cent drop was not related to supply and demand but to the change in pricing. This is not a small matter. The cumulative loss for growers over the 2013, 2014, and 2015 crops roughly equates with the total returns growers realized from the 2016 crop. Furthermore, returns from the 2016 crop might otherwise have been about 30 percent more. 

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RD March Leters 2017

Hunting N.S. blueberries
RD: I just read the magazine, vol. 41 #7 (RD Jan.), and as usual was very impressed. I tend to eat a lot of blueberries when in season and was wondering where in Belleville, Ont., I might buy the frozen kind from Nova Scotia? I would rather not buy from out of country. Any idea, or could you place this message in the next issue and we could see what growers might have an answer? Thank you.
Dave Thornton
Roslin, Ont.

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RD Jan-Feb Leters 2017

Two cents’ worth
RD: I was just reading your article “Midden” in the April 2016 issue. One of your comments reminded me that when I came to Canada as a boy in 1957 I could buy a bottle of pop for 10 cents and would pay a two-cent deposit on the bottle. I could take the bottle back and get the deposit back. I was told that the bottle went back to the pop company to be cleaned and reused. As you mention, that kind of reuse seems better than smashing the bottles up and making new ones.
Patrick Ryall
Hubley, N.S.

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RD December Leters 2016

Advocating for agriculture
RD: I am a fairly new subscriber to Rural Delivery, and just wanted to write to tell you how much I enjoy it. I pass it on to the rest of my family when I am done with the current issue, and good conversation (sometimes heated debate!) always arises. 
    I am a small-scale homesteader (pigs, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, ducks, and horses) and 4-H general leader in the Barrington, N.S., area, and we struggle with agriculture here. I am originally from Shelburne (Welshtown), where my family has farmed for 200 years. As an advocate for agriculture in whatever shape or form it takes for you, I am grateful for the agriculture resource you provide. 

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RD November Leters 2016

Keeping the faith from afar
RD: Thanks for keeping faith and sending an issue past my subscription date! I don’t have a photo of myself doing the field and orchard work right handy, but this photo will give you a hint.
    Many years ago we moved to the U.S.A. (husband’s new job), so you can see just how much I have, and am, enjoying your publication. I am always amazed when you tackle yet another “hot potato.” Wish I had the time to jump into the fray!
Hannelore Gresser
Ojai, California

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RD October Leters 2016

RD: As a senior I appreciate the work you put into each magazine. In my childhood my parents subscribed to Family Herald until it closed. You have taken their place. My parents did much farming. Dad ploughed with one horse, disked, harrowed. When I look back, how many miles he walked to produce a crop of strawberries, potatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash. We kept chickens, ducks, geese, all organic produce, herbs, dill, thyme, etc. Milked two cows by hand, sent the milk to the creamery each morning. 
    I’m sending Rural Delivery as a birthday gift to a friend in Alberta who I’m sure will enjoy the magazine. She is from Lynedoch, Ont. Her grandparents raised tobacco, pork, and tapped maple syrup trees.
Lily Anne Polischuk-Slade
Simcoe, Ont.

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