BUYING BACK HOMEGROWN
Electing people who understand locally produced food and animal care
Myrtle Macdonald, B.Sc., U of Alberta, M.Sc.A., McGill University, Author—Voice file photo
wish there were a candidate for Mayor or Council who grew up on a family mixed farm, or who loved visiting relatives on one. The whole ALR is turning into agribusiness that does not use fertile land. Dairies should but don't have their cows grazing outside. Chicken farms don't have their chickens outside eating greens.
My parents always had two or more fields for their cows and also for their chicks and chickens. While one field was kept locked to grow green again, the other was open for them to go in and out, whenever they wished. Only the male fowls were sold. The hens laid eggs in roomy conditions, easy to keep clean. From early childhood I actually loved that chore and gathering eggs. See more here.
Farm young people love the farm, but can't make a living on their beloved farms. This is due to US products flooding our US owned and even our Canadian owned grocery stores. Although costly, they sell for less than they can be produced and marketed in Canada. That applies to fruit and vegetables too.
Solutions to Poverty on the Farm Are:
1. A year round marketing system for locally grown fruit and vegetables. With experience fowls, diary products and meat could be added.
2. Mobile farmers markets: Small refrigerated container cars for medium sized trucks and trains. Each one should stop in the same 6 or 7 different places on a regular schedule, every week of the year. They would both buy and sell. Any surplus not sold, would be refrigerated or frozen, for sale all year round.
3. Supply Management and a variety of tariffs to stop cut rate sale of US grown fruit and vegetables. Continue and strengthen supply management for dairy products.
4. Foreign full and partial ownership of our large grocery stores and of food processing, are serious problems to be faced and corrected.
5. High taxes on massive refrigerator trucks that carry produce from the USA. Realize that they increase the capital and maintenance costs for widening and repairing highways. Also they pollute the air causing suffering and expensive health care costs for all acute and chronic diseases.
6. Elect small farmers who produce saleable vegetables and fruits all year round, to municipal council. Agribusiness farmers do not actually use fertile land and don't understand how quickly the ALR lands are being gobbled up for other uses, making wives or husbands and teens of small farms change their careers. They also have to buy a car or light truck for each one to get to college or work. Four H clubs and sports programs are dying out.
7. Bring passenger trains back on the old Interurban route. The passenger right of way is owned by BC. The entire route is in use by heavy freight trains and is in good condition. No fees need to be paid to them, unlike by West Coast Express to use the Canadian Pacific, north of the Fraser. The route is near six university campuses and the Abbotsford airport. Even to and from Harrison and Cultus Lake shuttle buses could carry commuters, students, tourists and people going to appointments. Updates of the Leewood Proposal still show in detail that it is feasible, practical to schedule and inexpensive to install diesel rail/trams, on the same tracks used by the freight trains now in service.
So please start by electing a mayor and council who understand and agree.
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