RD March 2014 letters

Expert Panel seeks input

RD: As an active opponent to fracking, I very much appreciated Jack MacAndrew’s recent article, “A Fracking Mess” (Jan-Feb 2014). Unfortunately, MacAndrew did not mention the Expert Panel on Hydraulic Fracturing in Nova Scotia. All citizens, termed stakeholders of N.S., but from outside N.S. as well, are asked to submit their concerns about – or interest in – fracking by the end of March 2014. 

    Since October 2013, several more companies have been granted licenses for exploration, which does not indicate the government (of Nova Scotia) is serious about keeping the moratorium in place. The panel’s request for submissions could be our only chance to keep the frackers out, and only if enough people get involved. Strangely (or not) this fact is nowhere publicized. Neither is the website, except on the nofrac site.

    I believe we have to pull all the strings possible to keep us unfracked.

    Visit www.cbu.ca/hfstudy/project-status for more information.

Irmgard Lipp 

Berwick, N.S.


Making peace with squirrels

RD: Pursuant to Tim Reeves-Horton’s “Neighborly News” feature in the Jan-Feb 2014 issue of RD: After years of angst and battles with Red squirrels marauding our bird feeders, we have reached some peaceable solutions.

    First off, I strung a piece of gangion (fishing line) from a tree through a pulley mounted on the side of our house. The pulley allows the bird feeders to be lowered for filling and raised out of squirrel jumping range.

    Secondly, we now revel in the antics of our local small tree planting Tamiasciurus hudsonicus.

    Thirdly, I would like to suggest reading “Nuts About Squirrels” by Richard E. Mallery as a humorous but knowledgeable take on the beasts.

Hugh Jones

Purgatory Point, N.S.



RD: Just received a copy of Rural Delivery, compliments of Hope Seeds. The article about the studded boots (Slip no more) was intriguing. I, too, have studded boots, old army work boots, that work very well. I also use old golf shoes that have metal spikes. Great on frozen ground or solid ice.

    High-end shoes are best as they are all leather and can be quite warm if snow is not too deep. I make sure I can wear wool socks in them. I have also discovered rugby and baseball cleats are excellent when the ground is soft; the spikes are a little bigger and have a more aggressive pattern than golf shoes. I usually get mine at the local Salvation Army, Frenchys, or Value Village. Great magazine.

Doug BrownGranville Ferry, N.S.


Legal schmiegel

RD: Thanks for printing two stories about producing something that is not within the parameters of what some deem as “legal.”  After fours years, I will be shutting down my legal indoor grow lab. 

    I suffer from Tourette’s syndrome and have been using marijuana as one of the treatments of the numerous symptoms I experience. I chose to grow my own medicine primarily because I wanted to be able to produce something on my own, allowing me to control all the inputs. At the end of March, I will have to purchase legal marijuana from a large government-sanctioned commercial producer.

    It seems to me that all’s good if government gets a piece of the action. I think I will find my own source, thank you very much. Also, I purchase my eggs from a local small mixed farm  – that does not have a quota – because the eggs are delicious and the birds lead a happy life!




(With very rare exceptions Rural Delivery does not publish unsigned letters. Understandably, David from Ontario is reluctant to “go public” in his argument with government over restrictions on growing ones own medical marijuana. DvL)


Pollinators important

RD: I enjoyed the latest article on organic farming (ACORN) but noticed there was no mention of honeybees or other pollinators in the article. We all know without the honeybees and other pollinators that none of these farmers could actually farm organically.
I farm organically using only seaweed, and have since I started gardening in my 20s (I am 65 now). 

    On a trip to Prince Edward Island I saw, from the ferry, a farmer with a horse and cart with rubber tires collecting seaweed. I found him later and asked about what he was doing with it. He explained how it added 100 percent of what the crops needed, and from that day forward it has been all I have used, plus kitchen compost. That was more than 40 years ago and I wish I could remember the man’s name. 

    Back to the honeybees and pollinators: Micheal Magnini of Cape Breton, about whom I have read in Rural Delivery, gave me my first copy of RD and my first hive of honeybees. My bees are organic, but I cannot say that my honey is because the girls don’t seem to listen when I tell them to stay in my yard.

John Blake

St. Stephen, N.B.


A light bounce

RD: Here is a solution to a problem many of us have. Flashlight batteries that we are not sure are new or old. I saw this method demonstrated on YouTube and tried it myself, and “seein’s believin’!”

    Take the battery in your fingers, hold it pointing end up and about an inch or less above a table. Now drop it. A new battery will land with a single thud and not bounce. An old one will bounce. It’s a little harder to do with AA batteries because they tip easier, and the same with the AAA, but it works.

Andy McIntosh

Mispec, N.B.


Messing where we drink

RD: I’m writing this letter to RD to say a big thank you for the write up which appeared this Jan-Feb. The article, “A fracking mess,” contained a lot of valuable information on this continuous mess of fracking, which is nothing but the ruination of our drinking water. Governments can be so blind to issues like these. Common sense should tell governments when they read all about the potent mixture, mixed up to explode down in the ground to extract this natural gas, alarm bells should start ringing in their heads. Back away quick from an extraction as dangerous as this.

    Something else amazes me: when a person has to go to another province to really find out what is going on in our own province of New Brunswick. Mr. Alward here in our province drinks down big industry talk like tomato juice, he does not stop to weigh the dangers of fracking and oil pipelines exploding and spilling. Saint John is a prime example; we have an oil refinery, a natural gas refinery, and natural gas terminal. Should an accident occur, Saint John would be wiped off the map. Irving has recently purchased one of the biggest fire trucks built from the United States. All well and good but in case of something drastic happening that truck would be blown to kingdom come.

Robert Ryder

Waterborough, N.B.