Saturday, February 18, 2012

Farm Wish List...

We have been told by many of our customers and friends that we should add a wish list for the farm. Some of these items you may find in your garage and might be contemplating taking them to the tip! Rather than dumping paint into a landfill we thought it would be a great idea to up cycle or recycle what you may not want or use.  
So with Spring fast approaching and the to do list getting longer and check list of things to repair starts to grow we thought we would add our wish list to our blog this year.  I have added a few that are on the ultimate dream wish list just for entertainment factor.  
Over the last few years we have met some incredible people (You all know who you are), who have already donated wood, steel roofing, piping, paint and more and we can not thank you enough for that. 

Strattons Farm wish list.

Latex exterior paint - this is not for the house but for the bee hives.  Any colours are fine!

Towels - old towels we need for kidding time at the farm - Thank you Marj for our first bundle of towels.

Plastic, stainless steel, rubber pales

Old barn boards are recycled onto our animal housing
Wood Wood and more wood!!! (I personally think this is just a man thing when it comes to having piles of wood!)
We need everything from:
old barn boards, to recycle onto the goat house and chicken house
OSB, marine ply for new outdoor pig housing
cedar, hemlock for raised beds, building new washstands, and more stands for Michael's bee hives to sit on.
Planks of wood for building hot beds in the greenhouse.  Not to sound too fussy, if you have short lengths or small off cuts we will not be able to recycle them as we do need longer lengths.

Our cultivator needs new shims.
A homesteader from pioneer (dream list) - Our cultivator is looking a little lopsided at the moment!

Pink insulation bats or the Eco friendly insulation - this is to insulate part of the goat house for when the kids arrive to create a kid box to keep them warm

Greenhouse grade plastic - for repair, or for creating new ones (another one is also on the dream list)!

EMT galvanised tubing/ metal tubing for hoop houses, low tunnels and also for the new markII version of our movable chickens pens we hope to build this year.

Plexiglass for barn windows

Wire - 2"x4" welded wire 48" high, 1"x1" Washstand tables


scythe (dream list)


water lines 3/4"-1",Elbows, T's and joints

Old utility sinks - for our vegetable wash stands  Thank you to Marj at Amazing Graze Alpacas for the utility sinks.  Even though I have crossed this of our list we can still use another one.

A huge thank you goes out to Heidi and Gary for all the EMT, plastic sheeting, buckets and hoses that the have donated and up-cycled to the farm. 

The list could go on, but if you have something you think we might make use of then please do contact us and let us know.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Take Action to Stop GM Alfalfa!

The information for this blog entry has come from CBAN the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.   To see all links and to see how you can help please click this link to visit their site.  Please watch the short video below.  It is only 3 minutes and it explains why it is so important for us NOT to have GM Alfalfa in Canada.


Summary: Alfalfa growers do not need or want GM alfalfa and have been trying to stop it for at least five years. Organic food and farming in the U.S. and Canada is under immediate threat from GM alfalfa. Conventional farmers will also lose their markets. The introduction of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) herbicide tolerant (Roundup Ready) alfalfa would have serious negative impacts on many different types of farmers and farming systems, both conventional and organic. Because alfalfa is a perennial crop pollinated by bees, GM contamination is inevitable. GM alfalfa was actually approved in Canada in 2005 but still needs to go through one more step before it can be legally sold as seed in Canada.
leafcutter bee on alfalfa flowers
Why is Alfalfa Important? Alfalfa (harvested as hay) is used as high-protein feed for animals like dairy cows, beef cattle, lambs, poultry and pigs and is also used to build up nutrients in the soil, making it particularly important for organic farming. If introduced, GM alfalfa would ruin export markets for alfalfa products and threaten the future organic food and farming in the North America.

What are Farmers Saying about GM Alfalfa?

Conventional and organic farmers agree that GM alfalfa is not wanted or needed: What conventional alfalfa producers told the House of Commons Agriculture Committee, June 7, 2010


Before the U.S. decided to allow GM alfalfa plantings in early 2011, groups in Canada sent their comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in response to their Draft Environmental Impact Statement on alfalfa. Read the about on the predicted impacts of GM alfalfa and the experience of GM contamination in Canada:

The Campaign So Far

Stop Monsanto button
Before the Federal election in Canada, May 2011: Conservative Members of Parliament purposefully delayed a vote (twice) on a motion for a moratorium on GM alfalfa at Agriculture Committee meetings. The Liberals, NDP and Bloc Members all supported the moratorium so if the Conservatives had allowed the vote, the motion would have been approved and the motion would have passed to the House of Commons for a vote. The motion was proposed by the Liberal members of the House of Commons Agriculture Committee after huge public pressure to support Bill C-474 which would have required an assessment of export market harm before any new GM seed was permitted.
In 2007 a judge ruled that the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) approval of GM alfalfa was illegal and ordered the Department to conduct an environmental risk assessment to look into farmer concerns about contamination. In December 2009, the USDA released its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for comment (this is the first time it has conducted this type of analysis for any GM crop). Canadian groups sent in their comments (see above) but in January 2011, the U.S. approved plantings of GM alfalfa. Resistance continues in the U.S.

Call to Join the Campaign

Invitation from the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network and the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate:
The commercialization of genetically modified alfalfa -- GM Alfalfa -- planned by Monsanto and Forage Genetics International, would have a severe, negative impact on Canadian agriculture, markets, and our environment. A united effort by agriculture producer groups, consumer and environmental organizations, as well as concerned individuals, will prevent this from happening. A similar campaign stopped GM wheat in 2004.
This is your invitation to join together to put the brakes on GM Alfalfa.
We invite all organizations, producer associations, companies and community groups to endorse the "No to GM Alfalfa" campaign by signing on to the following statement (Your group’s name will be used in a list of groups that state opposition to GM Alfalfa):
  • We oppose the sale, trade and production of GMO Alfalfa in Canada.
  • We ask the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to reassess its approval for environmental release of GMO Alfalfa.
  • We want the public to understand the hazards, costs and market losses that would result if GMO Alfalfa were released into our environment.
Sign the statement here! or email for more info.
The Saskatchewan Organic Directorate (SOD) is a Member of CBAN. SOD is the umbrella group for the organic sector in Saskatchewan. In 2001 the Organic Agriculture Protection Fund Committeewas established by SOD in order to protect organic farms and food from contamination by GMOs. The OAPF Committee provided support to the legal action against Monsanto and Bayer to bring about an injunction to stop the commercialization of GMO wheat, and to make the biotech companies liable for losses to organic farmers due to contamination of certified organic crops and fields by GMO canola. In 2004 Monsanto withdrew its application to have GMO wheat approved in Canada.
For more information contact:
OAPF Chairperson, Arnold Taylor at (306) 252-2075, or Lucy Sharratt at the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) (613) 241-2267 ext.25, or