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How to eat local all winter long

in Columnists/Community/Environment/Health by

It was a hot evening when we visited with José after his shift in the papaya factory in Belize. We were there to hear his story: how he had grown up in a small village close by, how he had cultivated corn for tortillas on communal village land, and beans, squash, peppers and greens in a garden behind his thatched hut.

Then the papaya company moved in and the government forced him and the other villagers off their land so that papaya could be grown instead. José now works at the papaya factory for very low wages. Not only does he have to buy his food in the town, he now also has to pay rent.

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Local man draws attention to ‘awful’ litter near Rainbow Bridge in Lindsay

in Around Town/Community/Environment by
Local man uses Facebook to draw attention to 'awful' litter in Lindsay
Trash near Lindsay's Rainbow Bridge, off a side path. Photo: Jason Brain.

Jason Brain is by no means the first local resident to be dismayed by litter in our community and take action. We have had ‘adopted roads’ in several parts of the city for years. Every spring, for example, the Fenelon Falls Rotary Club cleans up the ditches along part of CKL Road 8 going out of Fenelon.

Many other organizations, businesses, families and individuals do the same throughout our city and have done so for years: Taking personal time and effort to clean what is public land. And just ask anyone who owns property along alternate routes to our dumps – they are constantly picking up for other inconsiderate — and let’s face it — criminal people.

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Seven reasons why we need trees

in Columnists/Environment by
Seven reasons why we need trees
Often, trees are cut down with hope that this will increase the farm’s bottom line, without realizing that trees are essential to maintaining healthy fields.

We have all noticed it lately while driving around the Kawartha Lakes. A farm goes up for sale. Once sold, the big machines go in and cut down the trees between the fields, often piling them up into piles for burning. Then the spring rains come. The field, without trees, doesn’t drain well. There are new boggy areas. The new landowner, at considerable expense, has someone come in to lay the long plastic pipes to tile, or drain, the field, in hopes that this will solve the problem. But this is not the only problem that has been created.

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Joe Valas has been the ‘bee’s knees’ to customers for 60 years

in Business/Community/Environment/Seniors by
While loading a hive onto a pickup truck, it slipped and fell, cracking open on the pavement.

Joe Valas never intended to be a full-time beekeeper, but for 60 years, honey fans in the Kawartha Lakes have been glad he did just that.

After escaping Slovakia in 1952, Valas — a cabinetmaker trained to work with hand tools — moved to Southampton to find work. However, machinery had taken over furniture production in Canada, so he took temporary work on a farm and instead, found a field of clover.

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Four projects showcase Fleming as leader in environmental, natural sciences

in Around Town/Community/Environment by
Fleming continues to show leadership in environmental sciences. Photo: Marcy Adzich.

School’s not yet out at Fleming College’s Frost Campus where the summer semester is just now winding down for some students in Fish & Wildlife, Ecosystem Management, Forestry, and Heavy Equipment, and where environmental  projects have been on the go all summer.

Maybe because the campus is on the edge of town, what happens there often passes unnoticed. Too bad, because what happens is cutting-edge and inspiring environmental action.

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The aliens are here: Invasive Dog-Strangling Vine threatens Lindsay’s ecosystem

in Around Town/Education/Environment by

After a quick summer stroll through downtown Lindsay, one can see that this little town of ours is full of life. Trees and flowering plants take refuge on lawns and in neighbouring yards, and yet some of those plants are less than welcome. Dog-Strangling Vine is a highly invasive species which was introduced from Eurasia to the United States as a garden plant in the mid-1800s.

Now, in the 21st century, it has become increasingly prolific in Southern Ontario, competing with native plant species that are essential food sources for our insects, birds, and mammals. For those who can recognize its characteristic oval-shaped leaves, arranged in pairs on its fleshy stem, and seed pods which resemble green chili peppers, it is a frightful addition to Lindsay’s list of flora.

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City’s only horticulturist works hard to beautify 46 public spaces

in Around Town/Community/Environment by

It’s 9 a.m. at Victoria Park. Another hot, cloudless summer morning, so a picnic table in the shade of an oak tree in Victoria Park is a good place to be. It is in fact the perfect place to be to meet up with Megan Phillips, the City’s horticulturist. Megan and some of her six-member crew of summer students have some work to do in the park.

They aren’t hard to spot. A City truck pulls up and they all clamber out in steel-toed work-boots and fluorescent orange high-visibility t-shirts.

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Kawartha Lakes woman spearheads probiotic soil innovation

in Business/Community/Environment by
Kawartha Lakes woman spearheads probiotic soil innovation
L to R: Chris Cookman, Jacob Cookman, with Kim Thompson.

One day, perhaps, this will be a well-known story. It will be a story of how a Kawartha Lakes entrepreneur, Kim Thompson, had a fitful night’s sleep. The legend will continue about how she used that late-night opportunity to pour herself into researching her business – horticulture – and after many more fitful nights’ sleep then finds her inspiration. It is the beginning of an insight that could overturn much of what we know about how things grow. Miryal will then become a great Canadian moment.

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McLaren Marsh viewing platform open again at Ken Reid

in Around Town/Community/Environment by

After more than five years, the McLaren Marsh viewing platform at Ken Reid Conservation Area has been re-imagined and redeveloped and is now open to the public.

“The completion of this project has been a long time coming,” said director of stewardship and conservation areas, Kristie Virgoe. “The viewing platform has always been one of the most recognized and favourite spots for visitors to Ken Reid Conservation Area.

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