A NEWSLETTER FROM THE SALT SPRING ISLAND FARMERS' INSTITUTE SSI Farmers’ Institute AGM Meeting Tuesday 17 February 2015 7:30 pm Upstairs Meeting Ro



SSI Farmers’ Institute AGM Meeting

Tuesday 17 February 2015 7:30 pm

Upstairs Meeting Room
Guest Speaker- Mark Kilner – Food Education for All Ages
Mark is the Culinary Instructor at GISS and passionate about good healthy food. His presentation will be about his food program at the high school, the innovative ways they are producing food, food sustainability on the island and food education.

Please support your Institute and Directors by attending this meeting.


Farmers' Institute Yearly Review
Events, Clubs, Updates
Our Community Remembers............................. Gordon Cartwright, Lil Irwin
Build A Pole Barn.......................................................................................Pa Mac
The Apple Core.......................................................................... Apple Canker
Farm Animals Affectionately Remembered....................Maggie Monsanto
The Compost Pile.................................................................Jokes for Everyone
Famous Recipes.................................................................Vegetarian Meatloaf



Activities For 2014

-the extension to the Bittancourt Museum was started in Jan and requires only the interior finishing at this date.
- winter storm damage to the Horse Ring required many trees to be removed and major repairs.
-GoWifi was installed on the grounds
- the upstairs had a new floor and toilets installed.
- a Blacksmith Shop was constructed by volunteers
- repairs made to the livestock building
-repairs and maintenance to Fall Fair kiosks, band shelter and grounds
-Fall Fair was a success with over 9000 attending and 2000 exhibits

-discussion continues on the development to the Ganges Boardwalk as the FI owns a small strip of land at the end of Rainbow Road.
-George Laundry did a presentation at the Historical Society on our history of Agriculture
- GST registration was completed
- a cheese workshop was held with good attendance
- participated in Ruckle Farm Days
- Heritage Day was held in July. The elementary school visits to the Museum were postponed due to the labour dispute. A 23 minute video was produced for future showing
-input into BC Ferry service
- the transfer of the Fulford property was completed
-attended the ALR conference
-directors cooked a BBQ at the Legion in appreciation of their support

Funding was provided to Abattoir for equipment, Phoenix School- gardening for lunch programme, Fulford Elementary for their gardening programme, Bittancourt Museum for summer staffing, Abattoir Birthday Bash, GISS TASK programme used the Poultry building to learn construction skills, Blacksmith Club for materials

-Therapeutic Riding Association
-Blacksmith Club
-Agricultural Alliance
-Abattoir Society

The 4th Annual Farmer 2 Farmer Conference Is Less Than 1 Month Away

Date: Thursday, February 19, 2015

Location: Saanich Fairgrounds, 1528 Stelly's Cross Road, Saanichton
Cost: $35 (includes lunch prepared by the Island Chefs Collaborative)

Join over 150 Island farmers for a day of practical workshops, networking, and sharing!

You can see this year's workshop schedule below or go to: http://farmer2farmer.ca/?page_id=112

To pre-register go to: http://farmer2farmer.ca/?page_id=117

For more information go to: http://farmer2farmer.ca/

Or contact Niki Strutynski at info@farmer2farmer.ca

Conference Coordinator



'Sowing the Seeds of Love'

Presented By Island Natural Growers

Saturday, Dec. 13th 10 to 5

Wednesday Feb.11th: 7pm Film night at The Fritz Cinema. 'The Sower' a beautiful and heartwarming portrait of an eccentric seed saver and artist from Quebec. A Canadian film recommended by the SSI Film Festival. Fundraiser for Island Natural Growers- ING (our local chapter of Canadian Organic Growers) and Seeds of Assam (in association with Fertile Ground East West Sustainability Network). $10-15

Friday Feb.13th: 7pm 'Seeds of Love Dance Temple' Let's gather together in dance and celebration to cultivate the garden of our hearts and sow the seeds of love together. At Mahon Hall $15

Saturday Feb.14th: 10-3pm Seed Exchange, Local Seed, Plant and Food Vendors, Info Tables and Workshops at The Farmers Institute ($5 donation, students free)
10:30-11:45 Permaculture in East Africa Slideshow Talk- Brandon Bauer
12:00-12:30 Fruit Tree Project Planning Group- Tony Beck
1:00-2:00 Seed Saving, Salt Spring Sanctuary and Seed Library- Linda Gilkeson
1:00-3:00 Fruit Tree Pruning- Paul Linton (outside)
2:15-3:00 Bee Keeping intro and how you can help bees- Bee Club
3:30-4:30 BC Seed Coop and mobile seed cleaning equipment- Vanessa Goodall and Mary Alice Johnson

Sunday. Feb. 15th - 9:30am-4:30pm 'Growing Together' Workshops at the Farmers Institute upstairs ($25 pre-registration includes lunch)

9:30-12:30 Farm Sharing and Community Living Panel Discussion
Are you someone with land looking for other like-minded folks to share it with? Are you someone who has a desire to be on land, create a home and community? Do you have skills or experience to help these people work together?
Please join our 3 hour session to share ideas and experience about living/ working on land in community, whether multi-generational, multi-family, co-housing, separate structures, farm share leasing, co-ownership, co-operative business, etc. We will start with a few brief presentations by local ‘experts’, followed by practical solutions to help the people in the room increase their capacity to work together.
12:30-1:30 Organic Lunch from Hips 'n Haws
1:30-4:30 Local Food Resilience: Building on Success and Activating Opportunities

In 2005, Island Natural Growers conducted a local produce study, which revealed we are growing about 5% of our food on island. Since then, many programs have made efforts to raise the percentage. This session will look at how are we doing now and how we can further increase our local food security. Topics will include local initiatives such as The Abbatoir, The Produce Centre, and Community Gardens, along with successful models from off island such as Fruit Tree Projects, Community Kitchens and Value-Added Cooperative Businesses.

'Friend' us on Facebook (Salt Spring Seedy Saturday)
Call 250-653-4031 for more info. or to register for Sunday workshop.



Farmland Trust & Agricultural Alliance

*Got Questions?

*Get Answers

*Be Informed

*Visit Our Display Booth

The Farmland Trust and the Agricultural Alliance will have information and displays on their projects including:
• Produce Centre
• Burgoyne Valley Community Farm
• Abattoir

At Seedy Saturday Feb 14– Farmers' Institute- 10:00- 3:00



The Farmland Trust still has ACREAGE AVAILABLE FOR LONG TERM RENTAL at Burgoyne Valley Community Farm 2232 Fulford-Ganges Road.
We are accepting responses to our Request For Proposals (RFP).
Proposals for up to 10 acres are reviewed as received until the land is completely rented. There is still space available
For more information and to submit proposals:
Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust Society
107 Castle Cross Rd,
Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2G1
email: ssifarmlandtrust@shaw.ca
250 537 5302

Please review the documents for:
1) Request for Proposals (RFP)
2) Memorandum or Agreement
3) Policies
4) Soil Analysis Report

at Burgoyne Valley Community Farm
Although all our plots have all been rented, you can get on our waiting list.
(20’ x 50’) are available for rental of $40 per year.
For info see www.ssifarmlandtrust.org
Review: Shaw Family Gardens Handbook
for rules and application form.
Email: ssifarmlandtrust@shaw.ca
or 250-537-5302

Clubs & Updates of Interest



The Salt Spring Poultry Club and Abattoir Society had a successful workshop titled Growing Healthy Meat Chickens,
Lori Gillis and her assistant Lisa Lloyd informed and entertained an attentive crowd at the Farmers Institute on January 12th.

These are the points most strongly emphasized.

1. WARM transport of chicks from where they hatched until you get them. Chilling at an early age can do serious damage and cause unexpected early deaths.
2. DRY BEDDING throughout their short life. With 6 inch deep litter and regular removal of the crust that forms on the surface it will not be necessary to completely change the bedding. Keeping the surroundings dry is particularly important in the last few days of life so that birds are clean and dry when they arrive at the abattoir and have not developed foot ulcers or breast blisters.
3. VENTILATION, meaning windows that actually open and allow air to move freely through the house. This keeps moisture levels down and helps to reduce ammonia production, which increases the risk of respiratory disease. You should never be able to smell ammonia. If you do it’s time for a major cleanup.
4. FEED WITHDRAWAL, for both food and handler safety, explained in the following video. http://youtu.be/S2zwLc59jb8

This workshop was a resounding success, raising $720 in registration fees for the abattoir and attracting many new members to the Poultry Club. In response to the growing number of enquiries about dual purpose chickens and sustainable flocks another workshop is being planned for late January next year.



Changes A Hoof

The Abattoir is currently closed for cleaning and renovations. We have held meetings with provincial inspectors regarding requirements for the slaughter of beef and pork. This will involve a substantial reno of our current knock box and handling facilities. These changes will be made when we have secured funding.
Our employees attended a seminar this past month on the BC Meats Quality Information System (BCMQIS). Abattoirs across BC have recently received training under this program so producers can quickly and can easily obtain the carcass quality information on their animals. Our employees will continue their training in carcass assessment this spring. We will then be certificated to stamp various grades on a carcass and provide feedback to our customers. For more information please visit bcabattoirs.org .
The month of February should bring changes to our web site and pricing for next year. We are trying to make booking, communication, cutting instruction etc a more seamless process. Good luck with lambing season to all our sheep farmers.



Bee Time
By Kelly Johnson
This time last year, the weather was mild, the snow drops and winter aconite were in full bloom and the bees were flying on the warmer days. Indeed it was a mild January. An unusually cold arctic front hit the west coast in February, and by the end of the week, I had lost four of my seven hives.
There is no doubt it is challenging for bee keepers. Bee health, including native pollinators, is complex with many contributing factors including loss of habitat, available food supplies, climate change, presence of parasites and diseases, and exposure to toxins such as pesticides. In the past decade honey bees have been dying in greater numbers and winter deaths of honey bees is on the rise. Winter losses in 2013 were high varying from 15% in British Columbia to 58% in Ontario. The Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists consider the long term acceptable level of winter bee losses to be 15%.
The debate over bees and crop pesticides, specifically neonicotinoids (neonics), has been everywhere. I decided to write an article to “demystify neonicotinoids”. When I began my research I pulled together information from various newspaper articles, web sites, and bee magazines. This topic is so controversial and so hot right now, I was actually overwhelmed with all the information and misinformation that is out there. I would need about five pages to pool it altogether. I will do my best to summarize the key points for you.
Neonics are a pesticide which is derived from a synthetic form of nicotine. It is a systemic neurotoxin that is incorporated into every cell of the plant as it grows. Agricultural farmers have been using this chemical to treat the seeds instead of spraying chemicals on their fields. Some farmers prefer the neonics and are fighting to keep them in use, others are not. In Canada this chemical has been in use since 2004.
The Financial Post had a good article in November 2014 by Claire Brownell. She states that Ontario bee keepers have been able to correlate bee deaths with the planting of corn crops. Apparently when corn seeds are pretreated with neonics, a particularly large amount of pesticide-laced dust is generated, far more than with other crops such as canola. This dust is very concentrated and bees are found dead in the field after sowing corn seed. Pollinating insects contribute an estimated $2.3 billion to the agricultural economy every year, according to the Canadian Honey Council, so of course killing off the pollinators is a huge problem. An interesting point at the end of Claire’s article stated that while the environmentalists may be right that bees and the environment would be better off if we just eliminated all pesticides entirely and went entirely organic, humans may not like the consequences: drastically reduced food production, economic losses and steeper food prices.

In 2014 the European Union banned neonics and Health Canada is considering doing the same, with the Ontario government pledging to severely restrict their use by summer 2015. Here in BC, however, neonics are still in use even though it has been acknowledged that there are critical data gaps concerning chronic toxicity to bees and the long term environmental impacts.

There has also been controversy around the use of neonics on flowers and hanging baskets specifically potted up to attract beneficial insects . I decided to call Fraser Thimble Nursery regarding their nursery stock. I was assured that they do not have plants treated with neonics.
What you can do: When purchasing plants ask your nursery staff if the plants, seeds or soil were treated with neonicotinoids.

What you can do, write a letter to the BC agriculture minister Norm Letnick asking for a provincial ban on these pesticides.

In closing, on a more positive note, I would like to encourage you to consider having plants that bloom during the winter months. When the weather is mild and the bees are flying it is great to have a bush or two that they can feast on. In December the blooms were magnificent on Mahonia and right now my bees are in the hazelnut catkins and bringing in pollen. Witch Hazel is in full bloom as are the snow drops and winter aconite. Fraser Thimble has a wide variety of perennials, bushes and trees that bloom throughout the year. They have knowledgeable staff that can guide you to the nectar and pollen loving selection according to your specific garden site requirements.



Following our last newsletter, our Saltspring 4H Community Club members brought their project work to a close. Record books were submitted for marking by leaders who review and comment on the final books. This is the record-keeping portion of the project work where the members outline what they have learned, what goals they have reached, and celebrate their accomplishments with pictures, awards, etc, all put together in a binder format. It is also the final piece of work culminating in project achievement. Great work everyone!

Anna travelled to Toronto to the National 4H Members’ Forum in Toronto from November 4-9.. As one of a handful of delegates selected to represent British Columbia at this national 4H travel opportunity, she found it “very informative, and a lot of fun. This year’s theme was Sustainable Agriculture and Healthy Living. It was interesting to see how agriculture works and is viewed in the big cities and even in other provinces. Everything in other provinces is done on such a big level – big animals, big farms, big production. I learned about how the 4h program is carried out in different provinces. I met people who had travelled from all over the country to come to this event. I was on the media committee – we reported daily on the events of the forum. We toured a brickyard – to see a new way of using an old building - a revitalization project turning the brick manufacturing yard into a museum. We toured the Earth Rangers Kids‘ Conservation Organization Centre (ERC) Headquarters in Toronto. This new building is one of the most efficient buildings in the world, using nearly 90% less energy than other buildings of its size. THE ERC practices innovative water, energy conservation and comfort strategies.

I was able to use my French language skills speaking French with a delegate from Quebec who spoke very little English. We paid a short visit to the Royal Winter Fair, where we manned a booth to share 4H Awareness to visitors. That was a great opportunity to share our knowledge of 4H programs and practice skills like public speaking. This was a fantastic opportunity and I would highly recommend it to any of my fellow 4H members and friends. Another great reason to participate in the 4H program!” (Contributed by Anna)

November also saw several of our members attending the District Awards night in Saanich, where Joely, Everest, Quinn, Helena and Anna were recognized for their accomplishments in District Judging Field Day – they received 4H blankets and ribbons for their accomplishments – well done!

This event also recognized the work of our long-time leader, Art Falardeau, where he was honoured with a certificate and pin for 15 years of dedicated service as a 4H Leader. Art was presented with this aware in person at our Annual 4H Banquet and Awards Night the following week – thank you so much Art for your commitment to the 4H Program.

This year’s 4H Banquet was a great success, with the theme of “Lord of the Rings”, as selected by our members. Costumes and decorations represented the theme and the members all teamed together to decorate for the enjoyment of everybody. “We had a neat archway decorated with branches and lights, and our friend Nikki made some really neat scrolls with a poem from the Lord of the Rings. There was one on each table, with candles and glow-in-the-dark rings. We took pictures of our guests coming through the archway. Supper was lasagna with Caesar salad, garlic bread and we finished with a lot of yummy desserts” (as told by reporter, William).

A photography display was supplied by the Photography Project members (Helena, William, Noah and Anna) for viewing by families members and guests.

The banquet was completed with our “Candlelight Ceremony”, where we were joined by many alumni, former leaders and families who continue to support our program with their time and share their knowledge. Thank you very much to all our 4H extended family – we couldn’t do it without you.

January is off to a busy start with our Club Leader attending a conference in Edmonton, Alberta from January 9-11, where she was a delegate representating British Columbia. Loretta attended 6 workshops in two days, and enjoyed some great networking opportunities as well as learning about more great opportunities and resources to share with the members of our Club and District.

We are not busy working on registration for the coming program year. This year we are offering the following projects:
- Sheep
- Rabbit/Cavy
- Poultry
- Photography
- Cloverbuds
- and a nationally sponsored program called “Find your 4H Wings” .

Our first major event for the year will be Public Speaking in February.

We are seeking new members for our program, together with adults, alumni or other interested parties who may be willing to share their specialty knowledge with us. Those seeking more information can email lrithaler@telus.net or call 250-537-7503 (after 5:00pm).

On behalf of the Saltspring Island 4H Community Club, thank you everyone for your continued support and to another great year of 4H on Saltspring!.


William Rithaler & Noah Huebert - 4Hers


Our 4H Pledge


Jacob Sheep at 4H Leaders Conference


Gordon Allen Cartwright Jan. 19th, 1939 - November 16th, 2014

Gordon served as a Farmer's Institute Director in 2007 and 2008. During his term he also created and chaired the first Grounds Committee. Gordon was the first and only Fall Fair Express co-ordinator from it's inception until 2013......the job entailed providing volunteer drivers for the two days of the Fair and creating and maintaining a schedule for the drivers. Gord was always an enthusiastic supporter of the Tuesday work crew and willingly volunteered for any special projects that were undertaken. We appreciated Gord's great sense of humour.

Lily Adalaide Irwin (nee Sampson) Feb.29th, 1940 - Oct.1, 2014

Lil’s family was one of the original settlers on SSI. She was an Islander from the day she was born and lived her many years here. Lil embraced the lifestyle and was a positive contributor to the community. She developed an interest in sports while in school and became an excellent softball, badminton and tennis player. A founding member of the Motorcycle Toy Run, she helped this event, for collecting new toys for needy children, become a major event in the summer. The Farmers’ Institute appreciated the years that she provided janitorial duties for our meeting room. Her generosity and ready laugh will be remembered by many.

pole barn

Short Farm Videos

Building An Old Fashioned Pole Barn

by Pa Mac

Here is a little project that will keep you off the streets for a while. Watch the video


The Apple Core

by Conrad Pilon

Some of the 'joys' of winter for the orchardist include collecting a variety of scions for Spring grafting, raking the leaves on the orchard floor, liming (dolomite lime) the the base of the fruit trees to the drip line, light pruning of small branches (broken, crossing or diseased) and, most importantly, examining the trees for apple canker. This invasive and deadly fungal disease, sometimes called bull's-eye rot, can be severe in this winter rainfall area of the wet coast.

In brief, apple canker fungus manifests itself as sunken reddish brown lesions on branches and trunks of the fruit trees. The fungus spreads quickly by 'depressing' the bark and rotting it, colonizing the cambium tissue under the bark and essentially killing the 'life line' of the tree. Perennial canker bacteria (anthracnose) and European cankers so closely resemble each other that it is difficult to distinguish between them. But for the health of the orchard, canker is canker and MUST be removed.

Neglect will result in the spread of the infection throughout the orchard. The impact of a canker on the health and productivity of a tree depends on the location and size of the canker. A canker on the main trunk of a tree can result in the death of the tree if it expands or girdles the trunk. A canker on a branch causes the rest of the branch beyond the canker to die or become much less productive.


Despite my (sometime over exuberant) due diligence on 'fungus patrol' over the years, I have managed to loose a respectable number of apple trees to both fire blight and canker. As outlined below, there are a number of factors that cause canker spread. The prime suspects aiding and abetting canker in my orchard are location and soil. My small farm is located in a natural depression with limited air movement, sustaining a moist and humid condition; and, a heavy clay soil which retains water throughout the winter months, keeping the fruit tree roots waterlogged. Fortunately, I have a number of two year old 'whips', seleted varieties less susceptible to canker, ready to replace the diseased trees.

Here are some factors affecting tree susceptibility to canker development:
 During the winter, when the leaves on the orchard floor become wet, ascospores (pathogens) are forcibly ejected into the air. Air currents carry them to the emerging tissues or even pruning cuts where infection takes place. The maturation and discharge of ascospores usually last one to several weeks past leaf fall.
 Other factors include climate (rain), location, variety, rootstock, soil type, water content, pruning and fertilizer regime.
 Applications of excess nitrogen fertilizer, especially farm yard manure which has not been completely composted, increase the canker risk. I apply a regular balanced regime of compost, mulch and lime to keep the soil in the orchard healthy.
 A high water table will put the tree under stress and heavy clay acid soil will also increase the incidence of canker. Again, matching the proper rootstock to the soil type is beneficial in preventing the spread of fungal diseases in the orchard. I have learned that canker is more serious on wet, heavy and/or acid soils, so I pay attention to drainage and raise the soil PH by applying lime, good preventative measures.
 All apple varieties are susceptible to canker to some degree and a variety can vary in its degree of resistance between localities. Rootstock can also influence the susceptibility , trees on less vigorous root stocks such as M.9 (dwarf) tend to be more susceptible to canker .


There are a number of non chemical controls and remedies to remove canker from the orchard.
I follow these basic steps:
 When pruning, both in summer and winter, I try to completely eliminate cankers from the orchard. Pruning should remove all brown, infected bark and wood. Large cankers on the trunk or scaffold branches can be pared back to healthy fresh green tissue and treated with a suitable protective paint or pruning sealer immediately after to prevent the wounds from becoming reinfected.

 Completely cut out all affected smaller branches and spurs. Collect the all the infected wood and burn it. Fungal spores can still infect other plant life in the vicinity after removal through wind transfer.
 In the last few years, to make the task slightly easier, I have resorted to the use of a 'blow-torch' to burn off the large cankers on trunks, therefore cauterizing the infected area, then cover the area with a tree pruning sealer or paint compound.
 Disinfect and sanitize the blades of the pruning or lopping shears after each cut by dipping them in a bleach solution or diluted rubbing alcohol.(I usually mix together 9 parts water to 1 part chlorine bleach in a plastic container.)
 At the first signs of canker, I recommend following the disease management guidelines for organic apple production and spraying the entire orchard with copper-containing fungicides such as Bordeaux mixture (I prepare my own formula of copper sulphate and hydrated lime). The general rule is to spray (on a dry day) after leaf fall and at pre-bud burst in the spring.
 Finally, if you choose chemical control you must combine it with canker removal to be effective. My research on the matter indicates that relying on chemical control alone has not been successful in most cases.

Some preventative measures to keep canker out of the orchard:
 Avoid pruning in wet conditions, try to prune only in dry weather. I prune lightly in the winter for crossing or diseased branches, but complete my 'major' pruning in the summer while thinning the fruit from the tress ( The Cultivated Farmer, Why Prune? January 2013). Pruning back leaves and branches to improve the air circulation of trees and thus reducing surface moisture and conditions favourable for canker.
 When planting new trees, pick varieties with a higher level of resistance to canker and include a spade of lime with the soil when planting a new tree.
 In the Fall, remove fallen leaves, mummified fruit from trees and from under trees, a primary sources of canker in the orchard.
 Improve drainage on wet sites and avoid use of high nitrogen fertilizers.

Following these basic steps may not completely eliminate Apple Canker form your orchard (unless you can eradicate all the factors that commonly cause canker) but they will greatly improve your fruit productivity and and the general health of your orchard.

pole barn



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show and shine


Donna Bellavance Leading "Maggie"


Maggie Monanto 1996 - 2014

“Maggie Monsanto” the mule was bought from Margaret Byron on Feb. 10th, 2006 with no papers. Margaret and I thought she was around 10 years old. The reason I was interested in a mule went back to a video clip my neighbor Mary Stepaniuk had shown me of a standard size mule being ridden in Montana by a fellow in the “outback”. His wife caught the whole show of a cougar stalking their hound dog who was along for the ride. Her husband riding with a rifle in a sheath on his saddle, dismounted to let off a few rounds, intending to scare off the cougar! (mountain lion in the US) This approach did NOT work. Just as the cougar charged the dog, the mule, entirely on her own, charged between dog and cougar using her front hoofs for a deadly strike to stun it. The mule then went down on her front “knees” and used her teeth to shake the cougar like a rat. The cougar died in seconds. The mule calmly walked back to her buddy (I think it was a horse) and off the riders and the dog went! As any farmer on Salt Spring knows, we do have the odd cougar swim to share. I thought “why not be proactive and have a guard mule at Gander”s Hatch Farm”. “Maggie Monsanto” (newly named) was trailered to our farm. She became “Maggie” (the name of a dear friend) +”Monsanto” a name offered by my sister Rosamonde. (Monsanto was chosen to educate my trail ride dudes)-hybrid, sterile, and proven in some circumstances to be downright dangerous. Following her grand media covered event at the 2013 Fall Fair, Maggie Monsanto really did become a star. After meeting and greeting tons of fans at the 2014 Fair last year when she looked like a million bucks (pushing aside Farley her companion donkey to get more of the limelight), Maggie Monsanto went downhill very fast. Aleta Schmah was up to check her, float her teeth and worm her, all the procedures we so hoped would work a miracle…..It was not to be.
This photo is of one of her greatest admirers Donna Belavance, leading her down the runway to have Lynn Brochu, friend and farrier do her 8 week trim. It was the middle of October and she was really beginning to show weight loss. By November 16th she had gone downhill to the point that I once again had to make that dreaded call. Aleta came down from Nanaimo (she is a mobile vet) and with my dear mule just able to get up, looking like a bone rack, Aleta euthanized her. Cancer was the only possible reason for this sudden, dramatic weight loss. Maggie Monsanto is buried on the farm not far from Alistair.



Rob: "I'm rich !!! I just bought 50 female pigs and 50 male deer"

Mike: " And what do you expect to get from that"

Rob: "Expect---nothing!! I' ve already got a hundred sows and bucks"



Famous Recipes

Vegetarian Meatloaf - from Gary's Kitchen

Gary from Wet Woollies Ranch sells his homemade pestos, relishes and sauces at the Saturday Market. He still finds the time to make original recipes for us all to enjoy.
Here is one that really works.
1. Fry 1 red onion chopped fine in 1 tble olive oil until tender, add 2 roasted garlic cloves and 7 tble tomato sauce. Set aside.
2. Cook sushi rice according to instructions on package to make 3 c. Set aside.
3.To make mushroom gravy. Heat 3 roasted garlic cloves in 2 tble olive oil and 1 tble butter. Add 3 cups of finely chopped shitake mushrooms and cook until tender, stirring to keep the mushrooms from sticking. Add 1/2 c. chicken stock and heat through. Mix 1 c.cream, 2 tble port, 2 tble thyme, mascapone cheese in a small bowl until smooth. Add to the mushroom mix and heat through. Set aside.
4. Coat the cooked sushi rice in 1/2 c pesto.
5. Grate 1/2c. asiago cheese.
1. Grease a loaf pan with butter.
2. Put half the tomato, onion mix on the bottom.
3. Press down 1 inch of rice mix.
4. Cover with the rest of the tomato onion mix.
5. Put the rest of the rice mix on top pressing gently.
6. Cover with grated cheese.
7. Top with mushroom gravy.
8. Whisk 2 eggs and pour over the loaf.
Bake 1/2 hour @ 400F

January, 2015