Word of the day

November 3, 2017

Slochet – to walk with your shoes nearly coming off your feet or with your shoelaces untied; walk slowly because your shoes are too big.


Which language would you learn

November 3, 2017

From Italki 

No automatic alt text available.

If all the languages in the world were proportionately represented by 100 people at a party:

17 would speak Chinese    6 would speak Spanish    5 would speak English

4 would speak Hindi    3 would speak Bengali    2 would speak Russian   and 2 would speak Japanese.

Without a fellow speaker of their native language to talk to at the party the other 55 would just dance awkwardly.


Friday’s answers

November 3, 2017

Teletext gets my thanks for posing Thursday’s questions and can claim a virtual batch of blue cheese asparagus rolls for stumping us all by leaving the answers below.


Rural round-up

November 3, 2017

The big dry – Waimea Water:

The 2001 drought was the most severe drought our region experienced in 60 years. Different phrases were used to describe it, including a shortage or a crisis. Early on it was ‘water fears.’ In the end, the drought stuck and it became known as the ‘Big Dry’ and it affected everyone in the region from Nelson to Richmond to Motueka to Golden Bay.

Riverbeds dried up. Saltwater threatened the bores in the lower Waimea River. Stories about the scarcity of rain appeared almost daily in newspapers. Councils met to assess the water supply risks and the rationing requirements. Green pastures were brown with no grass in sight. Dairy farm stock had to be dried off months early, with cattle and sheep sold below cost to cover lost revenue. Permitted users, including irrigators across the Waimea Plains, had been reduced to 40 percent of their allowed take.  . .

No Waimea dam: I’m out, says long-time market gardener Mark O’Connor – Cherie Sivignon:

For four generations, Mark O’Connor’s family have been on the Waimea Plains. For the past three, they’ve been growing vegetables.

But the Appleby Fresh managing director says if there’s no Waimea dam, he will consider subdividing some of the land and selling up.

“We actually had a meeting the other day and said what are we going to do if we don’t get the dam and I said: ‘I’m out of it; it’s too hard to farm without having water’,” he said. . . 

Fonterra to invest $100m in Australia after hitting full milk processing capacityFonterra sees Aus opportunities – Gerard Hutching:

Fonterra has unveiled plans to invest $100 million immediately into its Australian business in a major expansion plan.

It is also looking into the possibility of its Australian operation becoming a co-operative.

Chief executive Theo Spierings told the co-operative’s annual general meeting in Hawera on Thursday that Fonterra’s reputation had climbed from 9th to 5th in the RepZ survey and had “changed the minds of 1.5 million New Zealanders.” . . 

We’ve got the bull by the udder – John King:

Here’s a quiz for morning smoko. According to modern grazing practice, where’s best on the curve in the illustration for the following:

  • · Maximum livestock growth?
  • · Maximum pasture longevity?
  • · Maximum soil development and structure?

Many farmers and all agricultural professionals will know where’s best for growing livestock, a few less will know where’s best for pasture longevity, and most wouldn’t even consider where’s best for soil, let alone there might be two places. That’s due to the prevailing culture and training railroading what we believe is normal – focusing on single goals.John King

Farmer Fast Five – Richard Power – Claire Inkson:

The Farmers Fast Five : Where we ask a farmer five quick questions about farming, and what agriculture means to them. Today we talk to Hawarden Proud Farmer Richard Power, who with his wife Mez, won the Romney section of this years Ewe Hogget Competition.

How long have you been farmer?

I am a third generation farmer.  I was bought up on our stud sheep and beef farm where from a young age was taught how to handle and judge stock.  After a stint at Lincoln I went lamb drafting for 5 years.  Travelling around so many different farms gave me a great insight into different breeds and ways of farming.  I carried on drafting for another 3 years after taking on the home farm with my wife in 1990 and changing to a commercial operation.

What sort of Farming are you involved in?

We are involved in a traditional dryland sheep/beef and crop operation, concentrating on early lamb production. All our lambs are gone by Christmas, and what doesn’t go prime is sold store.  On a normal season the split would be 80% sheep and the beef/crop sharing 10% each.  Beef cattle of any type are traded from Autumn to Spring and Barley is grown for a local farmer. . . 

Major deer shed upgrade underway:

Most deer farmers are upgrading their deer sheds so that velvet is harvested, handled, stored and transported in a clean environment.John Tacon, quality assurance manager for Deer Industry NZ (DINZ), says the regulatory bottom line is that all sheds must have a “clean zone” – a designated area where velvet antler is removed, handled and frozen. In this zone, all contact surfaces must be washable and clean prior to velvet removal and handling. 

“As soon as practicable after harvesting, but within 2 hours, velvet also needs to be placed in a velvet-only freezer capable of freezing to at least minus 15 deg C.” 

At some time in the future he expects standards could well be “ramped up, but it’s a good starting point”. . . 

Autumn – Ben Eagle:

 Today I began the first of what will be many bramble bashing (or should that be obliterating) sessions throughout the autumn/winter as I try to get on top of the scrub encroaching on some of the farm’s stewardship plots. The sky seemed to be missing today, a great grey and white canvas only intermittently marked by the odd passing pheasant or pigeon, the former unable to get much lift to make sufficient impact upon the bleak sky as I looked upward and across. Pheasants annoy me, with their loud cackling call, their pompous plumage and their inability to fly properly, but I know I shouldn’t hold it against them. As I write this post now I hear them outside. Something has spooked them and they are calling out, confused and terrified of the world. Who can blame them I suppose when you primary reason for existing so far as human kind is concerned is to be shot. . . 


Urban sprawl threatens food security

November 3, 2017

Horticulture NZ sees a perfect storm brewing for fresh fruit and vegetable supply:

A perfect storm is brewing for New Zealand’s supply of healthy fresh fruit and vegetables that could see us unable to feed our growing population with domestically grown produce, a report from Horticulture New Zealand says.

In releasing the report, New Zealand domestic vegetable production: the growing story, Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says it is time to take stock and develop a national food security strategy.

“Our research shows that New Zealanders not only want to know where their fruit and vegetables come from, they want to buy New Zealand grown. This report looks at the factors that will impact security of supply. Our current consumption levels of fresh produce show that net production is already below what is required for domestic consumption, meaning we can expect food shortages if we can’t get that balance of supply from imports,” Chapman says.

“Prime fruit and vegetable growing land is being squeezed by rapid growth in towns and cities and high demand for new housing. Changes in weather patterns and extreme unseasonal weather events are becoming more frequent and damaging, impacting the supply and, consequently, the price of fresh, healthy food.

“Things are changing fast, so we need to look closely at our domestic food supply and be sure that town, city and regional planning decisions are seen in the context of impacting the whole of New Zealand’s food supply.”

The report looks at domestic vegetable supply, particularly of what would be considered staple vegetables, to examine all the factors that go into getting these vegetables from the field to the plate. It examines the challenges to supply, through to what is driving demand and price.

“Information and evidence are required to enable good decisions about New Zealand’s domestic food supply and we are keen to engage the new Government with our call for a national food security strategy,” Chapman says.

“Domestic supply is not being viewed as a national system, with identified strengths and weaknesses, to give New Zealanders continued access to all the fresh fruit and vegetables they need in the future. Local, district and regional decision-making doesn’t look beyond its borders. While this is appropriate in the context of their planning, consideration is not given to national food supply when land is zoned for housing, or when water is allocated.

“We need to future-proof the resources required to supply food to our growing population, and this report looks at this with the backdrop of global megatrends, including rapidly changing consumer demands, growing populations, urbanisation and the impact of life-style blocks on horticulture, emerging technology and the emphasis on sustainability.

“This report doesn’t answer all the questions. It provides a snapshot of domestic vegetable production to start the conversation about food security in New Zealand and is part of a body of research we have planned to ensure food security is taken seriously,” Chapman says.

The report is here.

One cause of housing shortages is restrictions on urban limits but unfettered housing sub-division on productive land could lead to shortages of fresh fruit and vegetables and threaten food security.

You can’t blame horticulturists who work out they’d get more for selling their land than they can earn from growing produce on it.

But planning rules dictate what can happen where already. Should they be applied to stop housing subdivisions sprawling onto productive horticultural land?


Quote of the day

November 3, 2017

Self-indulgence is something to watch, but anything that helps you understand situations that are difficult to understand is good. If you’re having some sort of emotional trauma, you need to find a person to talk to about it who says, ‘This is quite normal; it’s fine.’ – Lulu who celebrates her 69th birthday today.


November 3 in history

November 3, 2017

39  – Lucan, Roman poet was born, (d. 65).

644   Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Muslim caliph, was martyred by a Persian slave in Medina.

1468  Liège was sacked by Charles I of Burgundy’s troops.

1783  John Austin, a highwayman, was the last person to be publicly hanged at London’s Tyburn gallows.

1783   The American Continental Army was disbanded.

1793   French playwright, journalist and feminist Olympe de Gouges was guillotined.

1801  Karl Baedeker, German author and publisher, was born (d 1859).

1812   Napoleon’s armies were defeated at Vyazma.

1817   The Bank of Montreal, Canada’s oldest chartered bank, opened.

1838  The Times of India, the world’s largest circulated English language daily broadsheet newspaper was founded as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce.

1848   A greatly revised Dutch constitution, drafted by Johan Rudolf Thorbecke, severely limiting the powers of the Dutch monarchy, and strengthening the powers of parliament and ministers, was proclaimed.

1867   Garibaldi and his followers were defeated in the Battle of Mentanaand failed to end the Pope’s Temporal power in Rome.

1883    “Black Bart the poet” got away with his last stagecoach robbery, but left an incriminating clue that eventually led to his capture.

1886 Henry Reynolds launched his Anchor butter from a dairy factory at Pukekura, Waikato.

Birth of iconic Anchor butter brand

1886 – Manawatū rail link opened.

Manawatū rail link opened

1887   Coimbra Academic Association, the oldest students’ union in Portugal, was founded.

1900 – Adolf Dassler, German businessman who founded Adidas, was born (d. 1978).

1901 – Leopold III of Belgium was born (d. 1983).

1903   Panama separated from Colombia.

1908 – Giovanni Leone, Italian lawyer and politician, 6th President of Italy, was born (d. 2001).

1911  Chevrolet officially entered the automobile market in competition with the Ford Model T.

1913   The United States introduced an income tax.

1918  – Elizabeth P. Hoisington, American general, was born  (d. 2007).

1918   Austria-Hungary entered into an armistice with the Allies, and the Habsburg-ruled empire dissolves.

1918  Poland declared its independence from Russia.

1921  – Charles Bronson, American actor, was born (d. 2003).

1924  – Violetta Elvin, Russian ballerina, was born.

1930  Getúlio Dornelles Vargas became Head of the Provisional Government in Brazil after a bloodless coup.

1935   George II of Greece regained his throne through a popular plebiscite.

1942   Second Battle of El Alamein ended – German forces under Erwin Rommel were forced to retreat during the night.

1942  World War II: The Koli Point action began during the Guadalcanal Campaign.

1942 – Martin Cruz Smith, American author and screenwriter, was born.

1943   World War II: 500 aircraft of the U.S. 8th Air Force  devastated Wilhelmshafen harbour in Germany.

1944  World War II: Two supreme commanders of the Slovak National Uprising, Generals Ján Golian and Rudolf Viest were captured, tortured and later executed by German forces.

1948  Lulu, British actress and singer, was born.

1952 Roseanne Barr, American actress and comedian, was born.

1954  Adam Ant, English singer, was born.

1957  The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2 with the first animal to enter orbit, a dog named Laika.

1964   Washington D.C. residents were able to vote in a presidential election for the first time.

1967   Vietnam War: The Battle of Dak To began.

1969  Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon addressed the nation on television and radio, asking the “silent majority” to join him in solidarity on the Vietnam War effort and to support his policies.

1973   NASA launched the Mariner 10 toward Mercury.

1974 – ‘Summer time’ reintroduced on trial basis.
'Summer time' reintroduced on trial basis

1978   Dominica gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1979   Greensboro massacre: Five members of the Communist Workers Party were shot dead and seven were wounded by a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis during a “Death to the Klan” rally in Greensboro, North Carolina.

1982   The Salang tunnel fire in Afghanistan killed up to 2,000 people.

1986   Iran-Contra Affair: The Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa reported that the United States had been secretly selling weapons to Iran in order to secure the release of seven American hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon.

1986   The Federated States of Micronesia gained independence from the United States.

1988    Tamil mercenaries tried to overthrow the Maldivian government.

1996   Death of Abdullah Çatlı, leader of the Turkish ultra-nationalist organisation Grey Wolves in the Susurluk car-crash.

2007  Pervez Musharraf declared emergency rule across Pakistan, suspending the Constitution, imposing a State of Emergency, and firing the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

2013 – A solar eclipse swept across Africa, Europe and the Eastern United States.

2014 – One World Trade Center officially opened.

2015 – Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.

2016 – The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series to earn their first title in 108 years; ending the then longest title drought in US sports history.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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