365 days of gratitude

November 24, 2018

I officiated at a marriage service on Tuesday morning, returned home, scanned the Particulars of Marriage form and emailed it to the Registrar as required.

This afternoon I got an email from one of the couple telling me their marriage licence arrived in the mail today.

I am very impressed by the efficiency of the registry staff and grateful for it.


Word of the day

November 24, 2018

Vogie – conceited, vain; proud; cheerful, happy, merry.


Sowell says

November 24, 2018


Saturday’s smiles

November 24, 2018

A travel agent looked up from his desk to see an older man and woman peering in the shop window at the posters showing glamorous destinations around the world.

The agent had had a good week and the dejected couple looking in the window gave him a rare feeling of generosity.

He called them into his shop and said, “I know that on your pension you could never hope to have a holiday, so I am sending you off to a fabulous resort at my expense, and I won’t take no for an answer.”

He took them inside and asked his secretary to write two flight tickets and book a room in a five-star hotel.

They, gladly accepted, and were on their way.

About a month later the elderly woman came back to the travel agency.

“And how did you like your holiday?” the agent asked eagerly.

“The flight was exciting and the room was lovely,” she said. “I’ve come to thank you. But, one thing puzzled me. Who was that old guy I had to share the room with?”


Rural round-up

November 24, 2018

Whanganui berry farm forced to close pick-your-own strawberry service – Jesse King:

Popular family attraction Windermere Berry Farm has cancelled pick-your-own days after repeated thefts and other poor behaviour.

For the second year in a row, staff have been forced to put a temporary stop to the farm’s pick-your-own strawberry service.

Yesterday, people who had paid for the experience were seen wrenching a waratah out of the ground and picking strawberries from a block that was off-limits. . . 

 Fonterra is big but Mataura (nutritionally) aims to be world’s best – Point of Order:

Earlier this week Point of Order drew attention to the contrasting fortunes of key components within New Zealand’s dairy sector, which by any account is a mainstay of the country’s export industry. In that instance it was the contrast between the report of rising revenue and profit of specialist milk supplier A2 Milk and the slide in Global Dairy Trade auction prices likely to lead to another downgrade in the milk payout for Fonterra suppliers.

The contrast was heightened later in the week, first with speculative reports that Fonterra is putting up for sale the iconic icecream company Tip Top (which could yield $400m to reduce debt) as well as its South American operations. . . 

Effluent monitoring paying dividends:

An innovative approach to monitoring dairy farm effluent runoff is reaping rewards for farmers and the environment.

Taupo milk processor Miraka, with about 100 suppliers, is offering bonuses to suppliers who meet the five criteria set out in its Te Ara Miraka Farming Excellence programme: people, environment, animal welfare, milk quality and prosperity.

NZ agricultural technology company Regen is helping Miraka farmers manage their effluent more effectively with a smartphone app. This texts daily effluent irrigation recommendations to farmers, and logs data to prove compliance, meeting the company’s caring-for-the-environment criteria. . . 

Merino muster heads out on the highway – Sally Rae:

 It was hard to know which was the more spectacular sight on the snow-blanketed Lindis Pass yesterday – the weather or the wethers.

Munro family members were continuing a tradition of driving sheep between their two pastoral lease properties, Rostriever, at Otematata, and Mt Thomas, on the south side of the Lindis summit. 

At about 67km, John Munro reckoned it could be the longest sheep drive in New Zealand. . .

Frustrated farmer’s consent renewal attempts :

Turakina dairy farmer Andrew Major is frustrated by the difficulty of renewing his existing consent to spread effluent on sandhills.

He’s had the consent for 24 years. It is due for renewal next year and he is beginning the process of applying to Horizons Regional Council.

He was hoping to be offered help, but has been told he will be emailed a form to fill in.

It’s good that he’s applying early, Horizons Regional Council strategy and regulation manager Dr Nic Peet said. Applying six months before the consent is due to expire means he will be able to continue to operate under the old consent until the new one is decided. . . 

Woolshed injuries targeted :

The wool industry wants a new online training tool to become part of every woolshed in the country, so that injuries occurring in and around the sheds can be reduced.

Tahi Ngātahi was officially launched at the New Zealand Agricultural Show by shearing and farming industry leaders.

New Zealand Shearing Contractors’ Association president Mark Barrowcliffe said most wool harvesting injuries were preventable and all have a detrimental effect on everyone working in the business. . . 

 

Blades shearers cutting a track for France 2019

South Canterbury shearers Tony Dobbs and Allan Oldfield have confirmed their places at the 2019 world shearing and woolhandling championships.

With Fairlie farmer, Dobbs, again winning the New Zealand Corriedale blades shearing championship final, and Geraldine shearer Oldfield placing fourth, it confirmed their positions as winner and runner-up in a series of eight competitions which started at Reefton in February.

They become the first part of the Shearing Sports New Zealand team confirmed for the 18th world championships to be held in Le Dorat, France, on July 1-7. . . 

Milk production up 12% on Donald Pearson Farm:

It’s been a great start to the season for the Auckland dairy farm owned by NZ Young Farmers.

Milk production on the 74-hectare Donald Pearson Farm (DPF) is up “12 per cent on last season”.

The farm’s new manager, Tom Ruki, is being credited with the rise. . . 

Students to learn about food and farming in new ag curriculum – Andrew Norris:

Recommendations from a review into agricultural education and training in NSW completed in 2013 is bearing fruit, with the roll-out of new mandatory agriculture components in the school curriculum from next year.

The Pratley Review was conducted by Jim Pratley, the Foundation Dean of the Faculty of Science and Agriculture at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga.

NSW Education Standards Authority inspector for technology education, Mark Tyler, said recommendations from this review played a crucial role in the introduction of these new courses. . . 


How do you like it?

November 24, 2018

The waiter asks, how do I like my lamb or steak and I hesitate.

It’s not the I don’t know how I like it, it’s that I don’t know how the chef interprets the term medium rare.

I’ve had meat I’ve requested medium rare come on the raw side of rare and the well done side of medium.

I’n not alone in my preference. A Beef + Lamb NZ poll found 42% of respondents opt for medium rare.

New Zealanders have spoken – steaks should be cooked medium-rare.

The result came off the back of The Great Steak Debate poll run on the Beef + Lamb Facebook page – fans were asked how they liked their steaks cooked with the choice of; rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well and well-done.

Of the 1,500+ respondents, at the time of writing the results were as follows; 626 (42%) voted for medium-rare, 342 (23%) chose rare, 254 (17%) opted for medium, 168 (11%) voted for medium-well and 106 (7%) decided against their better judgement that ‘well-done’ was their preferred steak scenario. 

I have yet to find a chef who doesn’t think a well-done steak is over-done.

The Great Steak Debate is one that has been discussed around the Kiwi dinner table for time immemorial.

It’s often a polarising topic that can create rifts between friends and family, with the insult ‘you’re ruining a bloody good piece of meat there, mate’ frequently hurled across the grill.

Tim Brittain Chairman of Angus Pure, winners of the Steak of Origin title in 2017, and an avid barbecue fan, weighed in on the argument:

“We’re delighted our great, steak loving nation has voted this way. Of course, it always comes down to personal preference but we at Angus Pure feel that if you want to get the most from our delicious product then medium rare is the perfect balance between taste and tenderness.”

As to how to ensure medium rare is the way it should be, maybe I should carry a screen shot of these with me:

 


Saturday soapbox

November 24, 2018

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh how beautiful’ and sitting in the shade – Rudyard Kipling

 


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