366 days of gratitude

November 25, 2016

Friends turned up this afternoon with a parcel wrapped in Christmas paper.

We’d agreed a few years ago that we wouldn’t do Christmas presents but they explained it was in Christmas wrapping but not a Christmas present, just something they thought we’d like and we should open it right away.

My farmer did – inside was a flag bearing our company logo.

They were right – we did like it, so much so that we took it outside immediately, lowered the Argentinean flag we’d hoisted for our visitors last week and replaced it with the new one.

Though strictly speaking you’re supposed to lower a flag at sunset, it’s still flying and we’re both grateful for it.


Word of the day

November 25, 2016

Photophilic – thriving in full light; requiring abundant light; of or relating to an organism, as a plant, that is receptive to, seeks, or thrives in light.


Friday’s answers

November 25, 2016

Andrei posed yesterday’s questions for which he gets my thanks.

Should he have stumped us all he can claim a virtual punnet of strawberries by leaving the answers below.


Rural round-up

November 25, 2016

ASA ruling supports IrrigationNZ’s advocacy advertisement:

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has today ruled that IrrigationNZ did not publish misleading information regarding the Ruataniwha Dam project.

Over the week of 23 September 2016, IrrigationNZ placed full-page advertisements in a number of daily and community newspapers. The advertisements were a response to misinformation being widely circulated about the proposed Ruataniwha dam and followed media statements made by NGOs regarding the source of contamination to the Havelock North water supply.

The advertisement: ‘Dam Right! Why the Ruataniwha Dam is good for the Hawkes Bay community, the economy and the local environment’ generated three complaints to the ASA, all alleging it contained misleading and deceptive information. . . .

From avocado indexing to working with top red meat farmers  – Ali Spencer:

Following her interests has led a young horticulture student to a challenging and enjoyable role at one of New Zealand’s largest red meat co-operatives. She talks to Ali Spencer.

Shona Frengley, then Greenhalgh, was born in Invercargill, Southland to a sheep farming couple. Sadly, her father died when she was just four months old, leaving her late mother, Colleen, to raise her and her five older sisters single-handed on the Ringway Homestead in Otautau, with the help of a farm manager.

“She was an inspirational woman, like many farming women,” Shona reminisces.

The girls didn’t miss out on anything, she says. As the youngest, happy childhood memories of the 1970s include riding horses around the farm, checking all the creeks and pulling out ewes heavier than themselves when needed and sessions shifting sheep during floods by torchlight at night.  . . 

Letterbox flyer credited with saving ill husband:

Hawke’s Bay farmer Jo Cregoe remembers every tiny detail of the week her husband Phil contracted leptospirosis and is adamant without a flyer that arrived in the mailbox the previous week she would have lost him.

Phil and Jo Cregoe bought 704ha sheep and beef property Hafton Farm at Waiwhare on the Napier-Taihape road, in 1999 and went on to win the Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year title in 2004. But that all changed in the spring of 2009.

A Massey University flyer warning farmers of the symptoms of leptospirosis had caught Jo’s attention in a pile of mail. Little did she know how important that tea break reading was going to be. . . 

Huge man-made lake reduces stress on farming operation – Kate Taylor:

Irrigation on rolling hill country has given flexibility to a farming operation near Omakere. Kate Taylor reports.

The capacity of a 110-year-old dam has been tripled to allow for more flexibility on Rangitapu Station, home to James Aitken and Caroline Robertson.

“We were thinking about reducing the stress of feeding stock under drought conditions and also evening out the highs and lows financially,” says Robertson. Five droughts in nine years had taken its toll.

“At that point we set out to extend the size of a pre-existing dam on the farm. It was about 300,000 cubic metres and it’s about a million now… winter harvest for summer use. It was a traumatic resource consent process that took a long time as we were one of the first to go through it although we were lucky we had an existing clay dam that required very little construction.” . . 

Farmers health and safety group launches:

Many of the big names in New Zealand agriculture have launched a new health and safety group at Parliament in an effort to make farming safer.

In the year to date, 43 people have died on the job – the same number for the whole of last year.

Of that 15 were in the agriculture sector, more than in any other industry.

The 24 founding members of the new Agricultural Leaders’ Health and Safety Action Group have committed to learn from each others’ experiences in health and safety and to improve the performance of their own businesses. . . 

Neither rain nor earthquake will stop the semen getting through:

If, as the saying goes “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” stops the mail getting through in the US, then in New Zealand an earthquake is no impediment to the delivery of bull semen.

Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) made two helicopter flights into Kaikoura during the week after road access to the township was cut off by the magnitude-7.8 earthquake just after midnight on Monday.

Semen taken in on the two flights – on Tuesday and Friday – was picked up by technicians in Kaikoura, who delivered it by road to a total of about 25 farmers who had artificial breeding bookings, LIC chief executive Wayne McNee said. . .

Price of Lab-Grown Burger Falls from $325K to $11.36 – Natalie Shoemaker:

Lab-grown meat could be on your plate within the next five years. For the past few years, the barrier to getting test-tube meat into the hands of consumers has been the cost of production. In 2013, it was around $325,000 to make this stuff in a lab, but the process has been refined, and the cost now is just $11.36.

“And I am confident that when it is offered as an alternative to meat that increasing numbers of people will find it hard not to buy our product for ethical reasons,” Peter Verstrate, head of Mosa Meat, told the BBC. . . 

Top award for young East Cape farmer – David Macgregor:

A young Alexandria farmer who turned a rundown farm into a major dairy producer in less than 10 years, has scooped a prestigious agricultural award for his hard work and vision.

When Tshilidze “Chilli” Matshidzula,29, was appointed Little Barnet deputy farm manager nine years ago, it had fewer than 50 dairy cows and was another failing example of government attempts to transform the agricultural sector by giving land to rural communities.

Fast forward almost a decade and the farm now has 549 cows that produce 11000 litres of milk a day and has just made history by becoming the first black managed and owned commercial farm to win a top agricultural award in over 50 years.

“Winning the prestigious Mangold Trophy has given us something that money cannot buy. . . 

New Zealand’s organic food industry to benefit from new arrangement with China:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has welcomed the signing of an arrangement with China that will benefit the organic food industry for both countries.

The Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Certified Organic Products was signed in China by MPI Director-General Martyn Dunne and by Vice Minister Sun Dawei last week (14 November).

MPI Director Plants Food and Environment, Peter Thomson, says this arrangement supports the growth of the organics industry in New Zealand and provides greater assurance for consumers in New Zealand. . . 

Image may contain: grass, sky, outdoor, text and nature


White Ribbon aim not good enough

November 25, 2016

Today is White Ribbon Day which is part of a campaign to end men’s violence towards women, and encourage males to lead by example.

That’s a good aim but it’s not good enough.

Men’s violence to women is a big  problem but it isn’t the only problem. Men are violent to men, women and children. Women are violent to men, women  and children. And children are violent to other children and adults.

It doesn’t matter who does it to whom.

The age and gender of the perpetrator and victim are irrelevant.

No violence, by anyone, to anyone, is acceptable.

The aim should be to end violence by anyone to anyone and to encourage everyone – man, woman, and child – to lead by example.

Ending violence by men to women is a good aim but ending all violence is a better one.


Quote of the day

November 25, 2016

I can only say that one’s individual situation is more real and important to oneself than the devastations of fates and empires especially when they do not vitally affect oneself.  – Isaac Rosenberg who was born on this day in 1890.


November 25 in history

November 25, 2016

1034 – Máel Coluim mac Cináeda, King of Scots died. Donnchad, the son of his daughter Bethóc and Crínán of Dunkeld, inherited the throne.

1120 – The White Ship sank in the English Channel, drowning William Adelin, son of Henry I of England.

1177 – Baldwin IV of Jerusalem and Raynald of Chatillon defeated Saladin at the Battle of Montgisard.

1343 – A tsunami, caused by the earthquake in the Tyrrhenian Sea, devastated Naples and the Maritime Republic of Amalfi, among other places.

1491 – The siege of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, began.

1667 – A deadly earthquake rocked Shemakha in the Caucasus, killing 80,000 people.

1703 – The Great Storm of 1703, the greatest windstorm ever recorded in the southern part of Great Britain, reached its peak intensity. Winds gusted up to 120 mph, and 9,000 people died.

1755 – King Ferdinand VI of Spain granted royal protection to the Beaterio de la Compañia de Jesus, now known as the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary.

1758 – French and Indian War: British forces captured Fort Duquesne from French control. Fort Pitt built nearby grew into modern Pittsburgh.

1759 – An earthquake hit the Mediterranean destroying Beirut and Damascus and killing 30,000-40,000.

1778 – Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck, English author and activist, was born (d. 1856).

1783 – American Revolutionary War: The last British troops left New York City three months after the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

1795 – Partitions of Poland: Stanislaus August Poniatowski, the last king of independent Poland, was forced to abdicate and was exiled to Russia.

1826 – The Greek frigate Hellas arrived in Nafplion to become the first flagship of the Hellenic Navy.

1833 – A massive undersea earthquake, estimated magnitude between 8.7-9.2 rocks Sumatra, producing a massive tsunami all along the Indonesian coast.

1835 Andrew Carnegie, British-born industrialist and philanthropist, was born (d. 1919).

1839 – A cyclone in India with high winds and a 40 foot storm surge, destroyed the port city of Coringa. The storm wave swept inland, taking with it 20,000 ships and thousands of people. An estimated 300,000 deaths resulted.

1844  – Karl Benz, German engineer and inventor, was born (d. 1929).

1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Missionary Ridge .

1867 – Alfred Nobel patented dynamite.

1874 – The United States Greenback Party was established consisting primarily of farmers affected by the Panic of 1873.

1880 John Flynn, founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, was born (d 1951).

1880  Elsie J. Oxenham, British children’s author, was born (d. 1960).

1890 Isaac Rosenberg, English war poet and artist, was born (d. 1918).

1903 – By winning the world light-heavyweight championship, Timaru boxer Bob Fitzsimmons became the first man ever to be world champion in three different weight divisions.

Fitzsimmons wins third world boxing title

1905 – The Danish Prins Carl arrived in Norway to become King Haakon VII of Norway.

1909 P. D. Eastman, American author and illustrator, was born (d. 1986).

1914  Joe DiMaggio, American baseball player, was born(d. 1999).

1915 – Augusto Pinochet, Chilean dictator, was born (d. 2006).

1917 – German forces defeated the Portuguese army of about 1200 at Negomano on the border of modern-day Mozambique and Tanzania.

1918 – Vojvodina, formerly Austro-Hungarian crown land, proclaimed its secession from Austria–Hungary to join the Kingdom of Serbia.

1924 – Sybil Stockdale, American activist, co-founded the National League of Families, was born (d. 2015).

1936 – Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact, agreeing to consult on measures “to safeguard their common interests” in the case of an unprovoked attack by the Soviet Union against either nation.

1940 – World War II: First flight of the deHavilland Mosquito and Martin B-26 Marauder.

1943 – World War II: Statehood of Bosnia and Herzegovina was re-established at the State Anti-Fascist Council for the People’s Liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

1947 – Red Scare: The “Hollywood Ten” were blacklisted by Hollywood movie studios.

1947 – New Zealand ratified the Statute of Westminster and thus became independent of legislative control by the United Kingdom.

1950  Alexis Wright, Australian author, was born.

1950 – The “Storm of the Century“, a violent snowstorm, paralysed the northeastern United States and the Appalachians, bringing winds up to 100 mph and sub-zero temperatures. Pickens, West Virginia, recorded 57 inches of snow; 323 people died as a result of the storm.

1952 – Imran Khan, Pakistani cricketer and politician was born.

1952  – Agatha Christie’s murder-mystery play The Mousetrap opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in London later becoming the longest continuously-running play in history.

1958 – French Sudan gained autonomy as a self-governing member of the French Community.

1960 – The Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic were assassinated.

1960 – John F. Kennedy Jr., American lawyer, journalist, and publisher, co-founded George Magazine, was born (d. 1999).

1963 – President John F. Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

1970 – In Japan, author Yukio Mishima and one compatriot committed ritualistic suicide after an unsuccessful coup attempt.

1973 – George Papadopoulos, head of the military Regime of the Colonelsin Greece, was ousted in a hardliners’ coup led by Brigadier GeneralDimitrios Ioannidis.

1975 – Suriname gained independence from the Netherlands.

1977 – Former Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. was found guilty by the Philippine Military Commission No. 2 and sentenced to death by firing squad.

1982 – The Minneapolis Thanksgiving Day Fire destroyed an entire city block.

1984 – 36 top musicians recorded Band Aid‘s Do They Know It’s Christmasin order to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

1986 – The King Fahd Causeway was officially opened in the Persian Gulf.

1987 – Typhoon Nina pummelled the Philippines with category 5 winds of 165 mph and a surge that destroys entire villages. At least 1,036 deaths are attributed to the storm.

1988 – German politician Rita Süssmuth became president of the Bundestag.

1992 – The Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia voted to split the country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia from January 1, 1993.

1996 – An ice storm struck the central U.S. killing 26 people. A powerful windstorm affected Florida and winds gusted over 90 mph.

1999 – The United Nations established the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to commemorate the murder of three Mirabal Sisters for resistance against the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship in Dominican Republic.

2000 – Baku earthquake.

2005 – Polish Minister of National Defence Radek Sikorski opened Warsaw Pact archives to historians. Maps of possible nuclear strikes against Western Europe, as well as the possible nuclear annihilation of 43 Polish cities and 2 million of its citizens by Soviet-controlled forces, are released.

2008 – A car bomb in St. Petersburg killed three people and injured one.

2009 – A storm brought 3 years worth of rain in 4 hours to Jeddah sparking floods which killed over 150 people and sweep thousands of cars away in the middle of Hajj.

2015 – Pope Francis made his first official visit to Africa.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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