366 days of gratitude

April 20, 2016

Ladybird Hill at Omarama is about half way between Wanaka and home making it a good spot to stop for lunch en route.

There’s more to it than good food, it’s a cafe, restaurant, winery and salmon farm.

You can catch your own fish and they’ll smoke it for you while you wait.

This morning I phoned to say I’d be passing through and would I be able to pick up a salmon that would keep until Friday.

The answer was yes, they’d smoked some yesterday and it would be fine until Sunday.

I said I’d see them in about an hour and a quarter.

The fish was waiting when I arrived and it was still warm. After I phoned they’d caught, cleaned and smoked it for me.

That’s very good service for which I’m grateful.

P.S. – the salmon smells delicious but it’s in the fridge where it will remain untasted until Friday.

 


Word of the day

April 20, 2016

Rimbomb – to resound or reverberate.


Rural round-up

April 20, 2016

Farm the secret to school’s success:

Northland College’s agricultural focus is helping to turn the once struggling secondary school into a success story, says the school’s Commissioner, Chris Saunders.

Absenteeism was an issue at the Kaikohe school, but truancy has halved since several initiatives were put in place to help prepare students for careers in agriculture, with Lincoln University contributing to Northland College’s curriculum and the operations of its commercial dairy farm.

“I think a big part of the success we’re seeing now is that we’re using the farm to offer students practical, primary industries-based training,” Mr Saunders says.

The University offers curriculum support that allows students to undertake on-farm courses, which will lead on to Lincoln qualifications.

“The farm is a significant asset for a small secondary school to own, so it’s very helpful to have Lincoln playing an active and supportive role with the management of it.” . . 

Woolly thinking in Norway – Sally Rae:

At first glance, the similarities between a Norwegian clothing company and a Gimmerburn farm might appear remote.

But with both enterprises sharing a strong focus on quality and a passion for wool – along with histories spanning more than a century – there were definite synergies.

Three executives from high-performance wool clothing brand Devold, including chief executive Cathrine Stange, recently visited the Paterson family’s property Armidale in the Maniototo. . . 

Merino key to ‘amazing’ new fabrics – Sally Rae:

‘‘It’s not your grandfather’s merino”.

Addressing a group of farmers in the Paterson family’s woolshed at Gimmerburn, Global Merino founder and chief executive Jose Fernandez outlined his business.

Global Merino is a United States-based technical textile manufacturer

founded by Mr Fernandez in 2007. It sold its first product in 2009. . . 

Dairy professor retires after years in dairy industry – Jill Galloway:

Peter Munro is about to retire after spending most of his working life in the dairy industry.

The professor, Fonterra chair in food materials science at Riddet Institute, started his life on the family’s dairy farm in Northland and has gone on to develop new dairy products for New Zealand.

“What I am proudest of is creating value for the New Zealand dairy farmer.”

Throughout a long career Munro has worked on milk protein manufacturing and its use, whey proteins and other products.

Fonterra often gets stick for exporting commodities, but at least 30 per cent of its products is sold in a specialised form, usually for food ingredients, says Munro. . .

My most valuable stock unit – Jamie Mackay:

A recent conversation with a sheep farming mate of mine about the current plight of the dairy industry resulted in me reflecting positively on the bad old days of sheep farming in the 1980s.
 
My friend was somewhat surprised when I declared, off the top of my head, that even during the lows of Rogernomics we never ran our farm at a loss.  This is in stark contrast to some dairy farmers who this season will run at a $300,000-plus loss per annum.
 
So I went back through some old annual accounts from 30 years ago to check I wasn’t looking back at farming through rose-tinted spectacles. Those annual accounts for the year ended 30 June, 1986 made for very interesting, if somewhat sobering, reading. . . 

How hill country can be profitable and resilient – Doug Edmeades:

It seems that we have lost sight of what a good clover-based pasture looks like and have forgotten the skills to grow and manage it, says Doug Edmeades.

A two-day symposium on hill country was held recently in Rotorua.  It was well attended by 300 farmers, consultants and agricultural scientists. Clearly, there is a thirst for innovation, new technologies and knowledge in this sector. 

The aim of the meeting was explicit: “What does a profitable and resilient future for our hill country farming look like?” And, “What do we, collectively and as individuals, do to achieve this future?” 

The output of the symposium, and hence, one hopes, the answers to these questions, is to be formally captured in a “position paper”. More on that after the paper comes out. . . 

Fertile ground for enhancing farming software:

Farmers are fairly enthusiastic about using the latest digital technologies to run their businesses, but there is still room for improvement in the agricultural software area, preliminary Lincoln University research suggests.

Lincoln student Jamie Evans recently undertook an exploratory study that involved surveying some of Canterbury’s farmers about the types of technologies they used and how well they thought they were being served by the programmes.

“With this study, we wanted to identify any issues farmers might have with their software, but the long-term goal is to carry out further research that will help us find solutions and ultimately improve these digital technologies,” says IT lecturer Shirley Gibbs, one of the project supervisors. . . 

Big sell off begins and big dry continues – Brian Wood:

THE big dump has started and, unless substantial rain falls across the Bathurst region, the panic to sell livestock before winter sets in shows no signs of abating.

An incredible 20,000 cattle have gone under the hammer at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange during the past two weeks.

Last week’s sheep sale had a yarding of 20,000 and 19,300 the week before, which also shows how the weather is impacting on the rural community.  . . 


True in spirit

April 20, 2016

I’ve come across this on Facebook several times:

A lovely military man selling poppies stopped me today and asked if he could re-position mine – while doing so he told me that women should wear their poppy on their right side; the red represents the blood of all those who gave their lives, the black represents the mourning of those who didn’t have their loved ones return home, and the green leaf represents the grass and crops growing and future prosperity after the war destroyed so much. The leaf should be positioned at 11 o’clock to represent the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the time that World War One formally ended. He was worried that younger generations wouldn’t understand this and his generation wouldn’t be around for much longer to teach them.

There’s no mention of this at NZ History Online:

The red or Flanders poppy has been linked with battlefield deaths since the time of the Great War (1914–18). The plant was one of the first to grow and bloom in the mud and soil of Flanders. The connection was made, most famously, by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in his poem ‘In Flanders fields’.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly . . .

McCrae was a Canadian medical officer who, in May 1915, had conducted the funeral service of a friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres (Ieper). Distressed at the death and suffering around him, McCrae scribbled the verse in his notebook. In a cemetery nearby, red poppies blew gently in the breeze – a symbol of regeneration and growth in a landscape of blood and destruction.

McCrae threw away the poem, but a fellow officer rescued it and sent it on to the English magazine Punch; ‘In Flanders fields’ was published on 8 December 1915. Three years later, on 28 January 1918, McCrae was dead. As he lay dying, he is reported to have said ‘Tell them this, if ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep.’

Many people were moved by the pathos of ‘In Flanders fields’. Among them was Moina Michael (1869–1944) who worked in a YMCA canteen in New York. Two days before the signing of the Armistice (11 November 1918), she wrote a reply to McCrae: ‘We shall keep the faith’.

Michael set herself a mission: to have the red poppy adopted in the United States as a national symbol of remembrance. The American Legion adopted it at its annual convention in September 1920. Attending that event was Madame E. Guérin who, along with Michael, was responsible for making the poppy an international symbol of remembrance. Both were known at the time as ‘The Poppy Lady’.

Guérin saw the potential to make and sell poppies, putting the proceeds towards the welfare of veterans, their families and poor children. For the next year or so Guérin and others approached veterans’ groups in many countries, urging them to adopt the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.

The first Poppy Day

New Zealand was one of these countries. One of Guérin’s representatives, Colonel Alfred Moffatt, suggested the poppy idea to the New Zealand Returned Soldiers’ Association (as the Returned Services’ Association or RSA was originally known) in September 1921. The Returned Soldiers’ Association placed an order for 350,000 small and 16,000 large silk poppies, all made by Madame Guérin’s French Children’s League. . . 

Nor is it mentioned by the RSA.

This isn’t the first time significance is attributed to the colours or design of a symbol after the fact.

The anecdote is true to the spirit of  the poppy but how it’s worn isn’t as important as that it is, and that poppies sales still help returned service people and their families.


GDT up 3.8%

April 20, 2016

The GlobalDairyTrade price index went up 3.8% in this morning’s auction, the second consecutive rise.

GDT20416

Whole milk which has the most influence on the farm gate price went up 7.5%.

g.D.t20416

gdt20.4.16

 

 


Quote of the day

April 20, 2016

I try to apply colours like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music. –  Joan Miró who was born on this day in 1893.


April 20 in history

April 20, 2016

1303 The University of Rome La Sapienza was instituted by Pope Boniface VIII.

1453 The last naval battle in Byzantine history when three Genoese galleys escorting a Byzantine transport fought their way through the huge Ottoman blockade fleet and into the Golden Horn.

1494 Johannes Agricola, German Protestant reformer was born (d. 1566) .

1534  Jacques Cartier began the voyage during which he discovered Canada and Labrador.

1535 The Sun Dog phenomenon observed over Stockholm and depicted in the famous painting “Vädersolstavlan

1653  Oliver Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament.

1657 Admiral Robert Blake destroyed a Spanish silver fleet under heavy fire at Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

1657  Freedom of religion was granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City).

1689 The former King James II of England,  then deposed, lay siege to Derry.

1775 American Revolutionary War: the Siege of Boston began.

1792 France declared war on Austria, beginning of French Revolutionary Wars.

1809 Two Austrian army corps in Bavaria are defeated by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France at the Battle of Abensberg on the second day of a four day campaign which ended in a French victory.

1810 The Governor of Caracas declared independence from Spain.

1828 René Caillié became the first non-Muslim to enter Timbouctou.

1861 American Civil War: Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia.

1862 Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard completed the first pasteurisation tests.

1871 The Civil Rights Act of 1871 became law.

1884 Pope Leo XIII published the encyclical Humanum Genus.

1889 Adolf Hitler, German Nazi dictator, was born  (d. 1945) .

1893 Joan Miró, Spanish painter, was born  (d. 1983).

1902 Pierre and Marie Curie refined radium chloride.

1914 Forty-five men, women, and children died in the Ludlow Massacreduring a Colorado coal-miner’s strike.

1918 Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shot down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories before his death the following day.

1926 Western Electric and Warner Bros. announced Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film.

1939  Billie Holiday recorded the first Civil Rights song “Strange Fruit“.

1941  Ryan O’Neal, American actor, was born.

1945  World War II: US troops captured Leipzig, Germany.

1945 World War II: Fuehrerbunker: Adolf Hitler made his last trip to the surface to award Iron Crosses to boy soldiers of the Hitler Youth.

1948 Craig Frost, American musician (Grand Funk & Bob Seger), was born.

1949  Jessica Lange, American actress, was born.

1953 Sebastian Faulks, British novelist, was born.

1958  The first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Southern Hemisphere opened in Hamilton.

Mormon temple opens in Hamilton

1961 Failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion of US-backed troops against Cuba.

1964  BBC Two launched with the power cut because of the fire at Battersea Power Station.

1968  Enoch Powell made his controversial Rivers of Blood speech.

1972 Apollo 16 landed on the moon commanded by John Young.

1978  Korean Air Flight 902 was shot down by Soviets.

1980 Climax of Berber Spring in Algeria as hundreds of Berber political activists were arrested.

1981 – Alison Roe won the Boston Marathon.
Allison Roe wins Boston marathon
1985 ATF raid on The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord compound in northern Arkansas.

1986 Pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed in his native Russia for the first time in 61 years.

1986 Cameron Duncan, New Zealand director, was born.

1986 Professional basketball player Michael Jordan set a record for points in an NBA playoff game with 63 against the Boston Celtics.

1998 German terrorist group Red Army Faction announced their dissolution after 28 years.

1999 Columbine High School massacre: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado.

2007 Johnson Space Center Shooting: A man with a handgun barricaded himself in NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston before killing a male hostage and himself.

2008 Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.

2010 – Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion killed 11 and causes rig to sink, initiating a massive oil discharge in the Gulf of Mexico.

2012 – One hundred twenty-seven people were killed when a plane crashed in a residential area near the Benazir Bhutto International Airportnear Islamabad, Pakistan.

2013 – Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s – last reactor was shut down at midnight.

2013 – A 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck Lushan County, Ya’an, in China’s Sichuan province, killing more than 150 people and injuring thousands.

2015 – 10 people were killed in a bomb attack on a convoy carrying food supplies to a United Nations compound in Garowe in the Somali region of Puntland.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia


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