366 days of gratitude


If I had to live on only one vegetable it would be carrots.

Raw or cooked; sliced, diced or grated;  in savoury dishes or sweet; as a side or part of a main; by themselves or added to soups, sandwiches, stews, lasagna, muffins or cakes; they’re a very versatile vegetable.

We have them for dinner most nights and when I’m preparing them for cooking I always do extra to nibble on which stops me nibbling on other things with much less nutritional value and far more kilojoules.

They’re at their best in late spring and early summer, but even this late in the season they can still be relied on for taste and texture and I”m grateful for that.


Word of the day


Rutterkin – a swaggering gallant or bully; an old crafty fox or beguiler.

Rural round-up


Prisoners train to fill farming labour gap – Alexa Cook:

New Zealand needs to fill 50,000 new jobs in the farming sector over the next decade, and hundreds of prisoners are training up to fill the gap.

More than 400 prisoners nationwide have earned NCEA qualifications from Level 1 to 4 in agriculture and horticulture in the past year.

Graeme Allomes works for Land Based Training and is the main tutor for Manawatu Prison’s agriculture course.

Each class starts with a maths lesson and Mr Allomes said this got the prisoners’ minds ticking for the day, before moving on to animal care, quad bikes and fencing. . . 

Lincoln keen to see Telford improve – Samuel White:

It is too early to say how a review of Lincoln University’s operations will affect South Otago institution Telford’s future, but everything is on the table, and there is concern about how many students are advancing from the Balclutha campus to complete degrees at Lincoln,  the man in charge of the review says.

“The students who are doing certificates may not have any aspiration or need for a bachelor degree and …  we do respect that, but that was one of the original aspirations [for students] but it has not happened,” vice-chancellor Prof Robin Pollard said.

Lincoln University took over the Telford Polytechnic campus in 2010. . . 

All for cheese in China – Emma Brannam:

Say cheese in China and you might get a grin, especially if you’re a Kiwi.

Sales of the food are up more than 20 percent a year, with much of it shipping from New Zealand.

“It’s not something we had as children, so we’re naturally drawn to it,” said Brian Gu, who owns a restaurant in KeriKeri.

“In China, cheese is regarded as healthy, full of calcium. We want to give our children the best food possible and New Zealand products are regarded as really pure.

“We’re only just beginning to learn all the different ways cheese can be included in the diet.” . . .

Stopping the rain from washing away dairy farmers’ profits:

Dairy farmers who have been experiencing wet weather could be facing unexpected soil nutrient loss due to a common misconception about how urea fertiliser behaves when soils are moist from previous rainfall events.

This misconception is based on a common belief that volatilisation, the process where nitrogen is lost through conversion into ammonia gas, is minimised if urea fertiliser is applied to moist soils or before a heavy dew or light rain.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Science Manager Aaron Stafford says that while he can’t predict the weather, the good news is that a strategic look at your nitrogen fertiliser applications and some smart science can help to get the best from your investment, rain or shine. . . 

Hemp Awareness week next week 19-25th September 2016:

The NZHIA are focused on raising the public’s awareness of the legitimate, regulated industry which is set to massively benefit rural and regional New Zealand.

Industrial hemp can provide, seed and fibre for all mediums of industry, from soap to 3D printing; the naturally grown plant could radically change local business. We have business owners right now making a difference to their bottom line and the economy. And this is set to take off in the future.

Richard Barge from the NZHIA who is part of a road show for hemp awareness week, which starts next week says “we are promoting all the markets for Hemp the seed, stems, roots and leaves.” . . 

Cashmanager RURAL launches new farming forum – join the conversation:

Cashmanager RURAL is committed to improving farm performance and our latest development, Rural Community, delivers on this promise.

Our new interactive forum, Rural Community, has launched.

Rural Community provides a place for like-minded rural people to share news, views, discuss topics and ask questions.

It is a forum where general farming topics can be discussed and our lead moderators will regularly post discussion points related to the farming community.

Also launched today is a new improved Help Centre where our clients can engage with, and learn more about our Cashmanager RURAL product. This could be by using FAQ walk-throughs and video tutorials, or exchanging ideas and opinions and learning from one another. . . 

Image may contain: text and one or more people

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out – Robert Collier.

The good old days?


Kia Ora Station, once owned by former PM and Governor General Sir Keith Holyoake is on the market:

A sheep and cattle farm partly paid for by National Party supporters to lure a future Prime Minister to their electorate is up for sale.

Kia Ora Station, which is about 18 kilometres from Dannevirke in Manawatu, was bought during World War II by Sir Keith Holyoake – the only person to have ever held the roles of both Prime Minister and Governor General of New Zealand.

Holyoake, New Zealand’s third longest serving Prime Minister, bought the 393 hectare farm in 1942.

While he paid for £11,874 (just over $1 million in today’s money) for the property, £3000 came from a donation by the Dannevirke electorate branch of the National Party as an incentive to tempt the up-and-coming politician north from his then hop and tobacco farm near Motueka.

The family never actually resided at Kia Ora Station, preferring to live in Dannevirke.

As a full-time politician, Holyoake spent much of his week in Parliament in Wellington and only ever visited Kia Ora Station occasionally on weekends – where he gained a reputation for feeding out hay to the stock from the boot of his Daimler car. . . 

I don’t think a branch of any political party would have enough money to help a prospective MP buy a farm these days and if it did I doubt very much that it would.

From my, admitedly cursory, knowledge of electoral law I don’t think helping a candidate in this way is illegal but imagine the negative publicity someone would face if s/he accepted such an offer.

Those were the old days but were they good?

All ministries should be there for all people


At an IHC conference many years ago an impassioned plea was made to a visiting minister for the establishment of a dedicated Ministry of Disability.

He replied that while that would give disability issues a voice at the cabinet table it would give all the other ministers an excuse to sideline disability issues as someone else’s business.

Act MP David Seymour is echoing that logic in wanting what he calls “demographic ministers” to be scrapped.

“I think it’s wrong to have ministers exist purely for a particular type of person. I actually think that all ministers should be working for all New Zealanders,” he says.

Different groups of people might have different issues but addressing them inevitably impacts on other groups in one way or another.

Siloing people and their issues emphasises differences and is more likely to put up barriers than build bridges.

Instead of ministries for different people we should have a single ministry for all people, or better still a culture within every ministry that considers the perspective of, balances the needs of, and works for, everyone.

That doesn’t mean ignoring different needs of different groups, be they be based on gender, age, ethnicity, or disability. It means looking at them and their differences – as part of the whole.

Rather than emphasising what separates us, it would build on what we have in common and as an added bonus, it might even save money.

Quote of the day


Nobody heard him, the dead man, But still he lay moaning. I was much further out than you thought, and not waving but drowning. I was much too far out all my life, And not waving but drowning.  – Stevie Smith who was born on this day in 1902.

September 20 in history


451  The Battle of Chalons: Flavius Aetius‘s victory over Attila the Hun in a day of combat, is considered to be the largest battle in the ancient world.

524 Kan B’alam I, ruler of Maya state of Palenque, was born (d. 583).

1187  Saladin began the Siege of Jerusalem.

1378  Cardinal Robert of Geneva, known as the Butcher of Cesena, was elected as Avignon Pope Clement VII, beginning the Papal schism.

1519 Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Sanlúcar de Barrameda with about 270 men on his expedition to circumnavigate the globe.

1633  Galileo Galilei was tried before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for teaching that the Earth orbits the Sun.

1697 The Treaty of Rijswijk was signed by France, England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Dutch Republic ending the Nine Years’ War (1688–97)

1737  The finish of the Walking Purchase which forced the cession of 1.2 million acres (4,860 km²) of Lenape-Delaware tribal land to the Pennsylvania Colony.

1835  Farroupilha’s Revolution began in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

1842  James Dewar, Scottish chemist, was born (d. 1923).

1848  The American Association for the Advancement of Science was created.

1854 Battle of Alma: British and French troops defeated Russians in the Crimea.

1857 The Indian Rebellion of 1857 ended with the recapture of Delhi by troops loyal to the East India Company.

1860  The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) visited the United States.

1863  American Civil War: The Battle of Chickamauga ended.

1870  Bersaglieri corps entered Rome through the Porta Pia and completed the unification of Italy.

1871  Bishop John Coleridge Patteson, the first bishop of Melanesia, was martyred on the island of Nukapu.

1881  Chester A. Arthur was inaugurated as the 21st President of the United States following the assassination of James Garfield.

1891  The first gasoline-powered car debuted in Springfield, Massachusetts.

1902 – Stevie (Florence Margaret) Smith, English author and poet, was born (d. 1971).

1906  Cunard Line’s RMS Mauretania was launched at the Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson shipyard in Newcastle upon Tyne.

1914 Kenneth More, English actor, was born (d. 1982).

1920  Foundation of the Spanish Legion.

1927 – John Dankworth, English saxophonist, clarinet player, and composer, was born (d. 2010).

1930 Syro-Malankara Catholic Church was formed by Archbishop Mar Ivanios.

1934 Sophia Loren, Italian actress, was born.

1940 – Tarō Asō, Japanese target shooter and politician, 92nd Prime Minister of Japan, was born.

1942 – Rose Francine Rogombé, Gabonese lawyer and politician, President of Gabon, was born (d. 2015).

1942 Holocaust in Letychiv, Ukraine. In the course of two days German SS murdered at least 3,000 Jews.

1946  The first Cannes Film Festival was held.

1947 – Jude Deveraux, American author, was born.

1954  The Mazengarb inquiry into ‘juvenile delinquency’  was released. It blamed the perceived promiscuity of the nation’s youth on the absence from home of working mothers, the easy availability of contraceptives, and on young women who enticed men into having sex.

Mazengarb report released

1957   Alannah Currie, New Zealander musician (Thompson Twins), was born.

1957  Michael Hurst, New Zealand actor, was born.

1962 James Meredith, an African-American, was temporarily barred from entering the University of Mississippi.

1967  The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 was launched at John Brown & Company, Clydebank, Scotland.

1970  Syrian tanks entered Jordan in response to continued fighting between Jordan and the fedayeen.

1971 – Todd Blackadder, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

1973  Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in The Battle of the Sexes tennis match at the Houston Astrodome.

1979  Lee Iacocca was elected president of the Chrysler Corporation.

1979  A coup d’état in the Central African Empire overthrewEmperorBokasa I.

1984  A suicide bomber in a car attacked the U.S. embassy in Beirut killing 22 people.

1990 South Ossetia declared its independence from Georgia.

2000  The British MI6 Secret Intelligence Service building was attacked by a Russian-built Mark 22 anti-tank missile.

2001 In an address to a joint session of Congress and the American people, U.S. President George W. Bush declared a “war on terror”.

2002  The Kolka-Karmadon rock/ice slide started.

2003 Maldives civil unrest: the death of prisoner Hassan Evan Naseemsparked a day of rioting in Malé.

2011 – The United States ended its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, allowing gay men and women to serve openly for the first time.

2014 – The John Key National-led government was re-elected for a third term.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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