We miss you rain. This spring has been record breaking dry…and record breaking warm…and record breaking fires…and record breaking loss of arctic ice…and record breaking CO2…and record breaking stupid (The throne speech in Saskatchewan comes to mind). Please come rain, and wash away our records… wash away our tears.
However, in spite of all the heartbreaking negative news, we carry on doing what we do and finding our sense of humour with how ridiculous the world is becoming…like Gord coming home from the hardware store and posting this on Facebook: I walked into Rona yesterday and turned to my right to see pallets (4 or more) full of spray bottles of Roundup stacked and advertised like junk food at the check out. The sheer enormity of the volume of poison I was walking past made me shudder and I verbally swore “fuck” and shook my head… I am sure the person beside me thought I was nuts. Just another example of human beings exterminating themselves with known carcinogens.
Anyways, here’s what we have been up to:
- new projects in the garden and on the land (photos below)
- Saturday open house for sales of perennial edible plants. WOW, are we ever meeting some amazing people that are coming out to visit and buy some plants.
- Sat May 21, 2016 from 10am -2pm. 3295 Compton Road, East Highlands, Victoria.
- Gardening: Planting, weeding, mulching, watering, picking, drying, and EATING
- celebrating our local food with every tasty mouthful.
- Chickens and Ducks and 5 chicks and 1 duckling
- Council meetings, committee meetings, and more meetings.
- Tours and consulting
- Ranting on Facebook and sharing information
We are grateful to our land and feel so incredibly lucky to share this land with all the birds, and insects, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, plants and fungi…but we could do without all those ticks. We are also grateful for our smiling dog Nina…yes this is a smile…she always gives us a toothy grin when happy.
Newest project: Gord has built a cover over our cob seating area with the cob oven. We will be making this seating area smaller and cozier with a roof to protect from the sun and the rain. The photos show how Gord installed the two posts to support the roof, this is a process he uses a lot on fences, trellises and gazebos.
Gord’s political observations of local government officials:
It has been 1 1/2 years since we jumped into the political game… Yes – both of us. On the outside of the system we were driven by injustice and inaction and took the plunge with the hopes of helping create a more resilient and adaptive community. Our general view at the outset was less than stellar of political folks, thinking that many must get into the game for purposes outside of community service. We are glad to see we had misconceptions, as most local elected officials we are meeting are genuine and caring people, working for the best interests of their community. Many of these people share vastly different points of view than we do, but the key here is that they care and are genuine.
That said there are others out there that we have come to see as chameleons and motived by other forces. Folks whom may very well publicly share our views, but act very differently when away from the public eye. Our respect for some has more than evaporated. We have been attacked by some as being unrealistic when we speak to the elephant in the room around growth and climate change, we have seen some twist David Suzuki’s concept of the “right to clean water” (under his Rights to Nature initiative) co-opted as the “right to piped water”… and then this person attacks those that see the issue as an environmental “right” to clean water in lakes, aquifers, wells, watersheds, and rainwater. We have witnessed some withhold information from their council and not allow their councils to interact with municipal staff. We have also witnessed the pull of financial interests, and too often some that are not prepared for meetings. But thankfully I can only count those folks on one hand, and am so grateful that our own community of the Highlands does not have any of that going on.
Our council table is generally characterized as diverse, highly intelligent, with different perspectives, and an amazing amount of integrity and genuine care for the community. I thank each and every one for that, and, for being a model that other councils/councillors in the CRD enquire about. Metchosin has the same thing going on… an impressive example of a great functioning political system that allows for different points of views and genuine respect for one another… and pride.
I am proud to be on the Highlands Council. Very proud.
Disclosure: So it appears that Councillors Gord Baird and Ann Baird are in a financial conflict of interest with the District of Highlands. HA. Last council meeting we both had to leave the room while council disclosed to the public that Eco-Sense (Ann and Gord), hold the contract for cleaning the public bathroom – A composting toilet in a small cob building at the local swimming lake. All is now good…we can clean the bathroom with our financial secret fully disclosed in a public meeting. Here’s the link to the council report stating how filthy rich we are getting.
There it is… short and sweet. Thanks for reading,
Ann and Gord