366 days of gratitude

June 9, 2016

I picked the last of the tomatoes in our glasshouse today.

They aren’t so tasty raw this late in the season but 10 minutes at 180 degrees brought out the flavour.

Today I’m grateful for the last taste of summer the tomatoes gave me.


Word of the day

June 9, 2016

Melch – mellow, soft, tender; (of weather) mild; (of soil) friable, loose; sweet; (of a drink) honeyed, mulled; (of a tree) producing sweet fruit.


Rural round-up

June 9, 2016

Five-year deal ‘huge’ for fine wool sector – Sally Rae:

“A breath of fresh air for fine wool” is how Central Otago farmer Bevan McKnight describes a $45 million deal between Italian textile company Reda and the New Zealand Merino Company.

Under a five-year contract to source fine wool from NZM, 2500 tonnes will be shipped to Italy to fuel the growth of Reda’s high-end suiting fabrics and active product ranges.

Mr McKnight and his wife, Tiffany, of Merino Ridges, in the Ida Valley, were ‘‘absolutely” passionate about merino sheep. . . 

Farmer buoyed by support – Sally Rae:

Port Chalmers dairy farmer Merrall MacNeille has suggested a pilot programme involving the University of Otago, Ministry for Primary Industries and himself, in an attempt to keep selling his milk.

Mr MacNeille and his wife Alex have been inundated with support from customers and the public since being ordered to stop selling raw milk after a tuberculosis-positive heifer was discovered on their property above Careys Bay.

For at least three years, he has been working with the university, supplying milk to use in an electronic milk purifier. Unlike regular pasteurisation, which heated milk to “crazy” temperatures and then cooled it, the machine did not heat the milk. . . 

South Canterbury deer farms join forces for feed for profit project – Pat Deavoll:

Martin Rupert of Mt Peel and Dave Morgan of Raincliff Station have teamed up in a DEEResearch funded project aimed at giving South Canterbury deer farmers the chance to pool skills, knowledge and experience.

The focus farms have informal field days allowing participants the opportunity to discuss shared issues. 

“It’s pretty basic. The theme is “feed to profit.” We all have to feed stock well to make a profit,” said Morgan. . . 

 Driving force behind wildlife sanctuary – Patrick O’Sullivan:

Andrew Lowe’s passion for conservation has seen him named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

He was the driving force in the establishment of the 2500ha Cape Sanctuary wildlife restoration project at Cape Kidnappers.

It enabled the re-introduction of endangered wildlife species that once flourished at the Cape and Ocean Beach, and contains the greatest diversity of native birds on mainland coastal New Zealand. . . 

Fonterra Eltham – Filling Billions of Burgers World-Wide:

Fonterra today celebrated the official opening of its new slice on slice cheese expansion at Eltham, with the plant now able to produce enough cheese to fill more than three billion burgers each year.

The expansion opening, which was attended by Fonterra farmers, staff, iwi and central and local government representatives, was officiated by Whanganui MP, Hon. Chester Borrows and South Taranaki District Council Mayor Ross Dunlop, along with Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings, Director David MacLeod and Managing Director Global Operations Robert Spurway.

The first cheese marks the successful completion of the 10 month build to install two new lines that will double the site’s sliced cheese production. The new individually wrapped sliced cheese line was completed last year. . . 

Brushing up on first aid down on the farm – Joyce Wyllie:

“Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah…Staying Alive” is the rhythm to play in the mind while remembering guidelines for CPR compressions and breaths.

Who would have thought the Stayin’ Alive disco song by the Bee Gees would have a place on the farm?

The action plan acronym “DRS. ABCD” jogs the memory for action in an emergency situation.  First ensure there is no Danger to patient, self or bystander, check for Response, Send for help, then deal with Airways, Breathing, Circulation and finally D for Doctor.

All this and more will be familiar to those who have done a first aid course.  Jock and I had a day off the farm to brush up on these important skills and increase our confidence  dealing with a crisis. The others on the  training were mostly  farmers but also truck drivers, retired folk and young mums. . . 

Yili’s Oceania Dairy narrows full-year loss as production ramps up, sales surge – Jonathan Underhill:

(BusinessDesk) – Oceania Dairy, the South Canterbury-based dairy company owned by China’s Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, narrowed its annual loss as sales quadrupled from its processing facility at Glenavy.

The loss was $16.3 million in calendar 2015, from a loss of $17.6 million in 2014, the first full year for the company created in 2013. Revenue soared to about $141 million from $34 million a year earlier, according to Oceania’s financial statements. . . 

Leading New Zealand botanists honoured:

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has presented New Zealand’s foremost botany award, the Loder Cup, to Neill and Barbara Simpson of Queenstown.

One of New Zealand’s oldest conservation awards, the Loder Cup recognises outstanding work to investigate, promote, retain and cherish the country’s incomparable native plant life.

“Neill and Barbara Simpson truly deserve to be honoured with the presentation of the cup at the Green Ribbon Awards tonight,” Ms Barry says.

“Their tireless work to protect native flora and get others involved in looking after it has been an almost life-long journey.

“They are an outstanding couple who have worked with extraordinary dedication, and represent the very best of the New Zealand conservation movement.” . . 

Canada’s dairy farmers say diafiltered milk from U.S. costs them millions – Lucas Powers:

Our wily neighbours to the south have figured out a clever way of not paying tariffs on a certain — let’s say “controversial” — commodity, and Canadian dairy farmers say it’s costing them hundreds of millions every year.

The product in question is called diafiltered milk.

Essentially, it’s milk that’s filtered, flushed with water, and then filtered a second time, with a few other steps along the way. The end product has a high concentration of protein, about 85 per cent, and very little of the fat and lactose that make up natural milk.

‘It’s a classic case of the right hand of the government doing one thing, and the left hand doing another.’
– Maurice Doyon, Laval University professor

The Canadian government allows it to cross the border without a tariff, because if it were dried into a powder, it would have the same amount of protein as the kinds of protein powders allowed to pass through tariff-free under trade agreements. . . 

Moving beyond pro/con debates over genetically engineered crops – Pamela Ronald:

Since the 1980s biologists have used genetic engineering to express novel traits in crop plants. Over the last 20 years, these crops have been grown on more than one billion acres in the United States and globally. Despite their rapid adoption by farmers, genetically engineered (GE) crops remain controversial among many consumers, who have sometimes found it hard to obtain accurate information.

Last month the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a review of 20 years of data regarding GE crops. The report largely confirms findings from previous National Academies reports and reviews produced by other major scientific organizations around the world, including the World Health Organization and the European Commission.

I direct a laboratory that studies rice, a staple food crop for half the world’s people. Researchers in my lab are identifying genes that control tolerance to environmental stress and resistance to disease. We use genetic engineering and other genetic methods to understand gene function. . . 

 


Thursday’s quiz

June 9, 2016

This is your opportunity to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual chocolate cake.


Quote of the day

June 9, 2016

If everybody, every day, would try to do one thing that pulls them beyond themselves the world will start being a better place. – Patricia Cornwell who was born on this day in 1956.


June 9 in history

June 9, 2016

53  Roman Emperor Nero married Claudia Octavia.

62  Claudia Octavia was executed.

68  Roman Emperor Nero committed  suicide, after quoting Homer’s Iliad..

721  Odo of Aquitaine defeated the Moors in the Battle of Toulouse.

1310  Duccio‘s Maestà Altarpiece, a seminal artwork of the early Italian Renaissance, was unveiled and installed in the Siena Cathedral.

1534 Jacques Cartier was the first European to discover the Saint Lawrence River.

1595 King Wladislaus IV of Poland, was born (d. 1648).

1650  The Harvard Corporation, the more powerful of the two administrative boards of Harvard, was established,  the first legal corporation in the Americas.

1667 The Raid on the Medway by the Dutch fleet began.

1732  James Oglethorpe was granted a royal charter for the colony of Georgia.

1772  The British ship Gaspee was burned off the coast of Rhode Island.

1781 George Stephenson, English mechanical engineer, was born (d. 1848).

1798  Irish Rebellion of 1798: Battle of Arklow and Battle of Saintfield.

1815  End of the Congress of Vienna.

1836 – Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, English physician and politician, was born (d. 1917).

1843 – Bertha von Suttner, Austrian journalist and author, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1914).

1856 Five hundred Mormons left Iowa City and headed west for Salt Lake City carrying all their possessions in two-wheeled handcarts.

1863  American Civil War: the Battle of Brandy Station, Virginia.

1868 – Titokowaru’s war began with the killing of three settlers near Ketemarae, north of Hāwera, by Ngā Ruahine warriors acting on the orders of the spiritual leader Titokowaru.

1873  Alexandra Palace burned down after being open for only 16 days.

1885  A peace treaty was signed to end the Sino-French War.

1891 Cole Porter, American composer and lyricist, was born  (d. 1964).

1909 – Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward opened the Public Trust Office Building in Lambton Quay, Wellington.

Public Trust Office building opens

1909  Alice Huyler Ramsey, a 22-year-old became the first woman to drive across the United States. With three female companions, none of whom could drive a car, in fifty-nine days she drove a Maxwell automobile the 3,800 miles from Manhattan to San Francisco.

1915  William Jennings Bryan resigned as Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of State over a disagreement regarding the United States’ handling of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania.

1922  First ringing of the Harkness Memorial Chime at Yale University.

1923 Bulgaria‘s military took over the government in a coup.

1928  Charles Kingsford Smith completed the first trans-Pacific flight in a Fokker Trimotor monoplane, the Southern Cross.

1930  Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle was killed during rush hour at the Illinois Central train station by the Leo Vincent Brothers, allegedly over a 100,000 USD gambling debt owed to Al Capone.

1934  Donald Duck made his debut in The Wise Little Hen.

1941 Jon Lord, English musician (Deep Purple), was born.

1944  World War II: 99 civilians were hung from lampposts and balconies by German troops in Tulle in reprisal for maquisards attacks.

1944  World War II: the Soviet Union invaded East Karelia and the previously Finnish part of Karelia, occupied by Finland since 1941.

1946 King Bhumibol Adulyadej ascended to the throne of Thailand. He is currently the world’s longest reigning monarch.

1953 Flint-Worcester tornado outbreak sequence: a tornado spawned from the same storm system as the Flint tornado hit in Worcester, Massachusetts killing 94.

1954 Joseph Welch, special counsel for the United States Army, lashed out at Senator Joseph McCarthy during hearings on whether Communism had infiltrated the Army – giving McCarthy the famous rebuke, “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

1956 Patricia Cornwell, American author, was born.

1957  First ascent of Broad Peak (the world’s 12th highest mountain).

1958 Queen Elizabeth II officially opened London Gatwick Airport.

1959  The USS George Washington was launched, the first submarine to carry ballistic missiles.

1961  Michael J. Fox, Canadian-born actor, was born.

1967  Six-Day War: Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria

1968 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a national day of mourning following the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

1973  Secretariat won the Triple Crown.

1978  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opened its priesthood to “all worthy men”, ending a 148-year-old policy excluding black men.

1979 The Ghost Train Fire at Luna Park, North Sydney, killed seven.

1985  Thomas Sutherland was kidnapped in Lebanon.

1986  The Rogers Commission released its report on the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

1999  Kosovo War: the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and North Atlantic Treaty Organization sign a peace treaty.

2008 – Two bombs exploded at a train station near Algiers, Algeria, killing at least 13 people.

2008  Lake Delton drained as a result of heavy flooding breaking the dam holding the lake back.

2009 – An explosion killed 17 people and injures at least 46 at a hotel inPeshawar, Pakistan.

2010 – At least 40 people were killed and more than 70 others wounded by an explosion  at an evening wedding party in Arghandab, Kandahar.

2015 – The Southern Front of the Free Syrian Army claimed to have captured a major Syrian Army base known as Brigade 52 in Daraa Governorate.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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