Produce having to be thrown away – Molly Houseman:
Rodger Whitson has had to start throwing away perfectly good produce as the reality of being a small business owner during lockdown sinks in.
He owns Janefield Paeonies and Hydroponics, which operates from his 4ha property just outside Mosgiel, growing lettuce and herbs, as well as strawberries and paeonies when they are in season.
Usually, that fresh produce is sold at the Otago Farmers Market and to select restaurants and cafes.
‘‘We only grow half a dozen product lines and good quality. We have got a really good customer base on the farmers market, and the few restaurants and cafes we deal with keep it niche,’’ he said. . .
Some Northland food producers are being forced to feed valuable crops to cows because Covid restrictions have closed the region’s farmers’ markets.
Several growers spoken to by the Advocate have been lucky with the Delta outbreak coming just as they were between harvests.
Others, however, have been hard hit with no let-up in costs or work, but no income apart from the wage subsidy, which doesn’t fully cover staff costs.
One Northland egg producer is giving everything to a foodbank — a boon for struggling families but a blow to their own incomes — while one spring onion grower has reportedly been forced to plough in an entire crop. . .
No change to level 4 setting – Hort NZ – Sudesh Kissun:
Horticulture New Zealand says it has now been officially advised by the Ministry for Primary Industries that the settings for this Alert Level 4 are the same as those used last year in Level 4.
However, because this strain of Covid is far more virulent, more precautions need to be taken, it says.
There is no requirement to register with MPI as an “essential business or service”.
You will be considered a Alert Level 4 business or service, if you are one of the following: . .
Leader of the pack living best life – Sally Rae:
Surrounded by her much loved team of working dogs — plus pet miniature schnauzer Mickey — casual shepherd Kate Poulsen reckons she is literally living the proverbial dream. She talks to rural editor Sally Rae about the career she has chosen in the rural sector.
Lockdown doesn’t really mean much is different for Kate Poulsen.
The 25-year-old East Otago casual shepherd is doing a lambing beat at Goodwood “tucked away out of it”, which really was not much different from usual.
For her line of work meant that she was often working by herself and, as far as she was concerned, as long as she had her dogs with her then it was “business as usual“. . .
Farmers and lifestyle block owners in the Otago and Southland regions are being asked to avoid lighting fires until lockdown is over, to reduce risk to firefighters.
Southland’s principal rural fire officer Timo Bierlin says even well controlled burns will cause issues at present, because people see the smoke and dial 111 in the belief they are reporting an escaped fire.
Brigades will always turn out to 111 calls and have the protective gear and procedures to do this safely.
“But we would like our firefighters to stay safe in their bubbles and not have to respond to avoidable fires just now,” says Bierlin.
Deaf sheepdog learns sign language to round up sheep – Cortney Moore:
A senior sheepdog has learned sign language for herding.
Nine-year-old Peggy, a border collie from the U.K., lost her hearing and was handed over to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, according to South West News Service.
However, Peggy’s luck took a turn for the better when she crossed paths with Chloe Shorten, the British news agency reports.
Chloe, who is an animal welfare manager at the RSPCA’s Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch in Norwich, England, provided Peggy a place to stay and access to much-needed training. . .