RD March Leters 2017

Keep it up
RD: You don’t have to live in the Maritimes to like Rural Delivery. When it arrives I look through it first thing. I really enjoy it. Keep it up.
Jack Lindhout
Chilliwack, B.C.

“Wonderful book”
RD: Received my Rural Delivery for Jan.-Feb. 2017, also the 2016 Year in Review. It’s a wonderful book, and many stories and recipes to share. Keep up the excellent work, for I enjoy them so much.
Bonnie Whynot
Middlewood, N.S.

Why single out Trump?
RD: I was first introduced to Rural Delivery in the late ’70s and have continued to buy it through subscription or from newsstands and feed stores ever since. Through all those years it has consistently been my favourite magazine. The last two issues, however, are giving me pause to consider whether I want to continue reading RD. With the extreme level of Trump bashing that one sees on social media and on the state-controlled TV stations, one has to wonder why it was ever permitted to leak into this fine little country magazine.
    With the plethora of world leaders out there who condone slavery, murder of homosexuals, complete suppression of women’s rights, and countless other human rights abuses, it’s difficult to understand why a Western leader who perhaps thinks outside the box has to be singled out in the way Mr. Trump has been over the course of the past two issues. The man has only been in power for a month, and yet one would think from reading recent articles that he is the direct cause of everything from global warming to the JFK assassination. I hope RD is able to shrug off this urge to run with the crowd of naysayers and get back to being the greatest little country magazine on earth.
Ed Long
Priceville, N.B.

Hunting N.S. blueberries
RD: I just read the magazine, vol. 41 #7 (RD Jan.), and as usual was very impressed. I tend to eat a lot of blueberries when in season and was wondering where in Belleville, Ont., I might buy the frozen kind from Nova Scotia? I would rather not buy from out of country. Any idea, or could you place this message in the next issue and we could see what growers might have an answer? Thank you.
Dave Thornton
Roslin, Ont.

In pursuit of a greenhouse
RD: In one of the back issues of RD there was a wonderful plan for building a modest, small greenhouse that I wanted to pursue. I can’t find the issue and am thinking I may have torn the article out. I’ve scoured my plant book library and anywhere else I may have put it. No luck. I’m wondering if you have any way of tracking this article. I believe the potential building was around 14’ x 16,’ and the article described in full how to build it. I’m devastated, as I love gardening and have MS so I am limited in other activities. I need to have a hobby to do this year where I don’t have to bend, lift, etc. When I saw the greenhouse article I thought, “This is it.
    I love your magazine. I’m not living in the country (Hants County) anymore, but it’s still home and I’ve stuck to my roots; i.e. the family farm, putting in huge vegetable gardens, the animals, exposing my two children to the environment and beauty that nature gave it, etc.
    Will sign off now and look forward to my first new magazine of 2017. A late Happy New Year to RD and all the workers you have preparing all the great articles. With thanks.
Carol Tomlinson
Truro, N.S.

(Carol, our stalwart backup man, Mike Bienstock, checked our index and scoured back issues, and he believes the article you are referring to is “Step-by-step greenhouse,” by Dorothy Diamond, RD Sept. 2015. We will see you get a copy. DvL)

Cover to cover
RD: Thanks folks – love it – already read January RD and Year in Review cover to cover and tried a recipe and a household hint.
Ruth Wells
Mineville, N.S.

Remembering Ken Smith
RD: Received my copy of Rural Delivery asking that I renew. Happy to do that. I would like to see more vintage local recipes, perhaps a contest, a story of the phantom ship, and articles from communities like Northport, Port Howe, Linden, Roslin, and Rockley area.
    I would like to comment on an item in “Echoes” – your tribute to Ken Smith (“Only One Step More,” RD Jan.). I knew Ken Smith my entire life. His older sister and my mum were best friends growing up. Ken probably sang me lullabies. 
    Throughout my teenage years I lived across the street from Ken and his family. I babysat his kids, and his wife, “Gertie,” was someone I always looked up to. 
    Ken was not just a wonderful musician, he was a very dear human being. I have some of his music and will cherish it always.
    Gertie passed away suddenly and Kenny followed, a scant three weeks later. They are together again in Paradise. The music world of Nova Scotia has lost a wonderful couple who will always be remembered by my sister, brother, and I, with love. RIP Ken Smith.
    My grandmother and Ken’s mother were best friends for many years. Thank you for remembering him.
Bev Weeks
Harvey, York County, N.B.

Getting a handle on scything
RD: We enjoy your Rural Delivery very much. We are looking for a scythe – long handle. Maybe you know where we can get one. We live in Cape Breton, N.S. Hope to hear from you soon. So far can’t find it here.  
Henk Niesten
Millville, N.S.

(Henk, bent snaths are carried by major farm stores, or may be found through a classified in RD. Wooden straight snaths are found at Scythe Supply in Perry, Maine, or through Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio. Lee Valley Tools sells a straight aluminum snath. DvL)  

Correcting “Uranium anxiety” misconception
RD: The interesting article “Uranium anxiety,” by David Boehm in Rural Delivery (Jan.-Feb. 2017), contained a factual error (page 25). Mr. Boehm quoted Ms. Angelina Polegato, supervisor, Drinking Water Management Unit, Nova Scotia Environment, with the following statement (Ms. Polegato’s in italics): “...calcium in drywall ‘mobilized uranium naturally occurring in the area,’ leading to infiltration of wells.” 
    In fact, calcium in drywall has nothing to do with chemical release of uranium, and other metals, from walls of the cobweb of cracks inside rocks underlying piles of ground drywall and wood stored on the Harrietsfield, N.S., construction and demolition processing facility.
    When a pile of drywall, particularly ground up drywall, comes into contact with water, chemical changes may begin. The calcium sulfate is biologically converted into hydrogen sulfide. This conversion occurs when ground drywall becomes waterlogged during storage in large piles, e.g., 10-15 feet high, outside in the rain. Hydrogen sulfide smells like rotten eggs, and is a toxic chemical and health risk.
    As rainwater percolates through the pile into the ground and rock fissures, sulfide in solution comes into contact with oxygen and another kind of bacterium converts the sulfide into sulfuric acid. So now we have the spectre of dilute sulfuric acid coursing through a cobweb of fractures in the rocks lying beneath the pile of ground drywall and wood and into residential wells downstream from the Harrietsfield construction and demolition facility. 
    The dilute sulfuric acid extracts uranium and other metals, e.g., cadmium, lead, manganese, etc., by “eating away” the walls of the cracks in the underlying rock!  
    Hard to believe? Not really. A mining technique called “in-situ leaching” employs sulfuric acid to leach uranium, and other metals, without digging up the rock or using traditional underground mining, etc. In the in-situ method, sulfuric acid is pumped into a borehole drilled into a mineral-rich ore body that has been “loosened up” via fracking techniques. The acid is pumped back to the surface via a second borehole and the uranium is recovered from the acid solution, which is continuously re-circulated.
    Unlike the mining techniques described above, the dilute sulfuric acid-uranium plume from the Harrietsfield site moves down gradient into residential wells.  
    My career in solid waste management (Guelph, Waterloo, Mississauga, Vancouver, Tennessee) included research at a construction and demolition processing facility. I am a member of a community group that successfully halted installation of such a facility on Hwy 7 in Porters Lake/Lake Echo.
Richard Buggeln
Lower Three Fathoms Harbour, N.S.

RD: Just received the Jan.-Feb. issue of Rural Delivery, was glad to see and read the letter to the editor from Jim Dickie, from Kingsley, N.B. I especially agree with the sentence, “You obviously have a lot of out-of-touch friends.” 
    Then turning to page 14 and 15, the article by Frank Macdonald, Inverness, N.S., was a head shaker. It’s as if Frank and the publisher and editor of RD are getting their facts from The New York Times or listening to CNN. Your stance on Donald Trump, the wall etc., in my opinion, isn’t at all an accurate assessment of facts on what’s going on in the politics in the U.S.A. It’s very irritating for us who listen and read.
    The almost one-page article of Frank’s surely could have been bumped for something pertaining to what you are best at doing: small farm, rural folk issues. In my opinion, either study and present all the facts of a Donald Trump issue, or leave it alone. You may very well be poisoning your subscription numbers.
    By the way, this is the first time I have been offended by RD in many years of being a subscriber. I believe I was the one to introduce you many years ago to H. Gordon Green. 
    Keep up the good rural living articles, minus the ill-informed political views. Or I may be out.
John Earl
Utterson, Ont.

RD: Just received the January issue and the new Year in Review… awesome!
Ron Eamer,
Williamstown, Ont.