Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ag Fair Enlightenment

Yesterday, having my animals on display at the Providence Bay Fair and talking to the public lead me to another enlightenment.  Many people still have no clue about food, farm animals, and farming.  We can soon change that.

This year is the 132 nd. continuous year of expositions and celebrations at the  Providence Bay Agricultural Fair in Northern Ontario.

My goats, geese, ducks, and chickens were entered in 10 categories, winning 7 First, 1 Second, and 2 no-show.  The newly hatched drake duck and aged cock are receiving psychological counseling to help them through their loss at the fair.

While I can't speak for the animals whom I mandated to attend, the ribbons don’t motivate me to invest the 10 hours capturing & hauling animals, and attending the fair.

I do it for the opportunity to talk to the people attracted by up-close exposure to these farm animals destined for food production.  The people attending the Fair my come primarily for the cotton candy and midway rides, but they're also curious and draw near to the farm animals; drawn by some latent, deep, and ancient human drive that they likely don't fully understand.

Four years ago, before I started farming, I was one of them; totally ignorant about that side of life.

So that you fully understand what I experienced at my local Agricultural Fair, I'll share three stories.

Chicken Vs. Egg

Soon after placing the chicken and her rooster in the cage, she laid an egg.

When people walked by the cages peering in at the animals, it was easy to spot the egg sitting there.  Almost everybody remarked about the juxtaposition of the egg.  It was an unexpected occurrence.  Most would say, "There's an egg in there!, or "Look at that!"

One boy of 8 or 10 blurted out what many appeared to be thinking, but never said, "What's that egg doing in there?"  At least he recognized it as an egg.

I said, "The hen laid the egg shortly after I put her in the cage."

His eyebrows went to maximum height as he voiced his astonishment, "Eggs that we buy in the store, the one in the carton, that we eat, they come from chickens?"

"Yes", I said, "they pop out of the butt end of chickens."

"Gross!", he said.

And so we have it.  We may have lost another egg customer in the short term through the sudden, shocking truth of where eggs really come from.

Goat Vs. Lawnmower

People peered in at my Billy Goat and his three nanny goats on display (the rest of the herd were back at the pasture purposefully selecting the morsels of grass to be eaten next).  That's when I'd say, "You're looking at the latest and best available technology for lawn care."

Most would laugh, or at least smile, in recognition of what was about to bombard them.

Entry level gasoline powered lawnmower for $179.99 at your nearby
Canadian Tire store, assembly required, gasoline, oil changes,
and regular engine maintenance required to retain OEM warranty.
A brand new, entry level lawnmower at Canadian Tire is $179.99 plus 13% HST, is $203.39 plus the ongoing costs of periodic engine maintenance, gasoline, and oil changes; all of which add to the depletion of our non-renewable energy sources and Climate Change gas emissions.

Alternatively, you can buy a high quality goat for about $75.00 to $150.00

For natural lawn care, the goat has the following Features, Advantages, & Benefits:
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Self powered,
  • Self steering,
  • Automatically fertilizes and waters the lawn as it trims the grass
  • You can enjoy watching your favorite TV show from your favorite chair while the lawn is being expertly trimmed by your hard working goat.
  • No goat maintenance required
  • No fossil fuels required by goat
  • Goat automatically produces new baby lawnmowers each year which can be sold or kept for even faster lawn maintenance for you and your neighbours.
  • Your old goat lawnmower can be traded in at the end of the lawn care season for about 75 lbs of goat meat for your family freezer, to feed you through the winter.
 Which seems like the better deal to you:  Lawnmower or Goat?

Free Chickens for Belgiums

In Joel Salatin's book, "Folks This Ain't Normal" on pg. 78 of the paperback version of the Chapter "Lawn Farms and Kitchen Chickens", Joel describes how the Belgium government tried to help their citizens, and helped the environment too:
"In her great book City Chicks, Pat Foreman tells about a town in Belgium that offered three chickens to any household that wanted them.  Two thousand families signed up for the birds.  Those six thousand hens, in the first month of the program, dropped compostable biomass to the landfill by 100 tonnes.  This was the ultimate recycling program."

"If every kitchen in America had enough chickens attached to it to eat all of the scraps coming out of that kitchen, no egg industry or commerce would be necessary in the whole country.  Imagine shutting down the entire egg industry.  Greenies and animal welfarists decry battery cages and industrial chicken conditions, and I agree they are deplorable."
In a April 12, 2010 article in UK's The Independent newspaper:
"In the region of Limburg, near the Dutch border, more than 2,500 families adopted hens just last year, a 306 per cent rise on the previous year. There have been similar successes in other parts of the country."

Moral of the Story

We are headed into tough times, especially in Canada.  The current Federal government of Canada and all the wannabe opposition parties are "generously" bribing us selling themselves to Canadians with our own money earmarked for this special interest group, or our money promised for that project if only we should vote for their party.
"I just got adopted as one of 3 family chickens by a Canadian family.
I have a clear Mission and Purpose in my life!

As an alternative to this wanton excess of government bribery using other people's money (ie. our taxpayer money), consider that every Canadian has to eat three times per day (if they can still afford it).

I suggest that helping Canadians eat better helps all Canadians.

The only ones against this proposal will be those entrenched multi-millionaire SM farmers who depend on the continued chronic dependency of all Canadians to their SM monopoly.  That negativity is less than 8% of all Canadian farmers, and less than 0.048% of all Canadians; therefore this proposal will be welcome help for 99.952% of all Canadians.  That seems to be as close to “everybody” as we can possibly get.

Isn't government supposed to be all about helping Canadians by working for the greater good of all Canadians?

What tax money bribery pronouncement made so far in this 2015 Federal election will have a greater impact on more Canadians?

Why can't Canada's Federal government grant 3 free chickens to every family that is willing to keep them and properly care for them as a family egg production source for at least 2 years?  What kind of mini-building boom will that create as 8.5 million backyard or roof top chicken coops get quickly constructed?

Prerequisite training courses, whether delivered by Internet or local Community Centre, will describe the program, train the willing, and help ensure the success of the program.  The program will not be available anywhere local zoning does not allow urban chickens; a simple method to encourage local government to reconsider their dogmatic and misguided attempt to save us all.

Of course, we'd welcome all of these newly egg self-sufficient families as members to Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada as $1.00 per year new members of SFPFC.

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