Word of the day

November 11, 2012

 Brumal – indicative of, occurring in or pertaining to winter; wintry.


November 11, 2012

Blush – only 3/10 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.

Better to clean spouting before it rains

November 11, 2012

I was just thinking that if you’re got to have a rainy afternoon, Sunday isn’t a bad time to be having it when I heard my farmer say bother (or word to similar affect with a little more force).

I looked where he was looking and saw water pouring down the inside of the window.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had a reminder that it’s better to clear the spouting before it rains and fortunately someone has already been home when it’s happened.

Rural round-up

November 11, 2012

Cheesemaker wins $35,000 scholarship:

Marlborough Sounds woman Lisa Harper has been awarded a Nuffield New Zealand Scholarships for 2013.

She is one of five people throughout the country to be awarded the $35,000 study grant.

The others include Meridian Energy national agribusiness manager Natasha King, from Christchurch, a daughter of Blenheim-based Kaikoura MP Colin King.

The others are Dairy NZ regional leader Tafadzwa Manjala, from Whangarei, ANZ rural banker Sophie Stanley, from Hamilton, and Northern Southland farmer and retailer Stephen Wilkins, from Athol.

The Nuffield NZ Scholarship offers the opportunity for overseas travel and study.

Dr Harper, 37, who lives on Mahau Sound, is described as a rural entrepreneur.

She was the 2011 winner of the Rural Women Enterprising Woman Award and a finalist in the 2009 Cuisine Artisan Food Awards. She has a Masters in Business Management from Massey University, a PhD in plant pathology from Lincoln University and a science degree from Victoria University.  . .

Chinese market gardens in NZ – Jill Galloway:

During their heyday in the 1970s, there were 600 Chinese market gardeners in New Zealand, but now there are only 157.

Many young people watched their parents work hard in the market gardens and they became lawyers and doctors, choosing not to work like their parents, said the chief executive of the Dominion Federation of New Zealand Chinese Commercial Growers, Howe Young.

He was one of the speakers at the Palmerston North launch of two books last week: Sons of the Soil and Success Through Adversity.

Sons of the Soil covers the history of Chinese market gardening through the personal stories of more than 100 ordinary people from market gardening communities around the country. . .

Award recognises wine tourism ventures – Kat Pickford::

Marlborough wineries Spy Valley Wines and Yealands Estate Wines have been named as two of the best South Island wine tourism ventures in the Best of Wine Tourism Awards.

Yealands Estate won the award for sustainable wine tourism and Spy Valley won the award for architecture and landscapes.

Run by the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, the annual awards recognise outstanding wine tourism businesses in the South Island. The network is a group of wine regions from around the world which aims to promote wine tourism, education and business exchange. . .

Why punish NZ’s over achievers – Bruce Wills:

The supreme irony of the UK Daily Mail’s headline, “Buy New Zealand lamb to save the planet,” is that it took a British newspaper to make mainstream media here, realise that our farms are pretty darn good. Another irony is that this is old news to Dr Jan Wright, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

Speaking recently onTV3’s The Nation, Dr Wright helped to balance a myth farmers are exempt from the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). When she was asked about agriculture, the host, Rachel Smalley, appeared surprised by the response. “New Zealand is in an interesting position because half of our greenhouse gas emissions are from agriculture, which is unusual among developed countries, but I am actually less concerned about agriculture than I am than these heavy industrial emitters and that’s because the agricultural gases are different. It is difficult and there are challenges there…I say agriculture should come in but I don’t have the same problem being generous to it…”

Where Dr Wright and Federated Farmers diverge is the entry point for agriculture. But even she recognises that agriculture is not complacently sitting on its haunches.

Like mums and dads everywhere, farmers pay the ETS. Every time we fill up the tractor or turn on electric pumps, we pay. This also finds its way into the cost of a vet’s visit through to the price of number eight wire. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment also knows that when my ewe ‘Jackson’ gave birth to quintuplets, nicknamed, the ‘Jackson Five,’ it was an efficiency that is a global good. . .

And from Facebook:

Colin King, past champion shearer, current MP, in action for a charity fundraiser:

@[100002906361883:2048:Colin King] half way done shearing shrek 2

The merino wether had three years’ wool and the fleece weighted 13.5kg. All funds raised went to the Nelson, Marlborough Helicopter Trust.

Kyoto is the past

November 11, 2012

Quote of the day from Climate Change Minister Tim Groser:

“Kyoto is the past”, he said. “The future rests on getting countries outside Kyoto to start doing something serious about climate change.”

He said it would be wrong to tie the hands of a future New Zealand government for eight years while a single new treaty is negotiated.

The Kyoto Protocol was the triumph of politics and bureaucracy over science and reason.

It was a lot more about being seen to do something than actually making a difference.

It was riddled with inconsistencies and its one-rule-fits-all approach

The best thing done to address climate change is not anything achieved through the ETS imposed under Kyoto but the  New Zealand-initiated Global Research Alliance on agriculture greenhouse gases.

Instead of the tax-it approach taken by Kyoto and its supporters this initiative brings countries together to find ways to increase food production while minimising emissions.

Kyoto and its supporters take a negative approach, the Global Alliance takes a positive one.

Armistice Day – 11.11@11

November 11, 2012

Today is Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of World War 1, at 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month 1918.

The facts are well known, a recently novel puts the human side of the horror and heroism.

Lives We leave Behind by Maxine Alterio tells the story of New Zealand nurses Addie Harrington and Meg Dutton who serve in Egypt and France.

Historical details and the inclusion of some real names among the fictional characters helps adds to the feeling of authenticity.

The characters, what happens to them and how they react feel real and true to the time.

This is a herstory,  concentrating on the women, telling their stories in their words and helping us see what happened through their eyes.

It is a story of ordinary people dealing with extraordinary conditions and events without being either maudlin or saccharine.

Lives We leave Behind by Maxine Alterio, Penguin 2012: The author’s website is here.


Someone else’s school reunion

November 11, 2012

Going to the reunion of someone else’s primary school wouldn’t normally make my list of enjoyable outings.

But when I’ve lived in the Enfield School’s catchment for nearly 30 years and know lots of the people who were going to it so was happy to accompany my farmer who is an ex-pupil to the reunion dinner.

The school opened in 1876 and closed a few years ago as a result of a declining roll.

This weekend’s reunion wasn’t to mark a particular anniversary, it was just to bring former pupils, staff and parents together and it was fun.

One of the ex-pupils, Wayne McNee, now heads the Ministry of Primary Industries.

He gave the toast to the school and did it well – lacing his speech with humour and keeping it short.

One of the messages he left us with was the way a teacher can influence a pupil’s life.

%d bloggers like this: