Sunday, November 30, 2014

Who is cowboyjunkey?

In the late nineties as I started getting on the internet and signing up for sites I needed a username. I'm not sure when exactly or for what site this happened but I tried "cowboyjunkie" after the band The Cowboy Junkies. No luck - it was already taken. So I tried mis-spelling the ending and it worked. I don't recall a site yet where it hasn't worked over the past 15 years. I had stumbled upon something original. At the time I didn't know how much of an influence they had or would have over my life.

I listened to them through high school in the early nineties after getting hooked by their version of Sweet Jane. In university there was almost always one of their CD's in my stereo  There is something about their music that speaks to me. I love so many artists and types of music but I always come back to them.

Currently they are doing some blog posts on the recording of the Trinity Session. When I first heard this story of how the album came together many years ago it got me even more hooked on their music. I don't think the way they did it is better than anyone can do it today - its the process and the story that I love. They were, after all, using a high-tech microphone of the day. Everyone was setup around it - "If someone had a solo section they were asked to play a little louder during it (in the case of an electric guitar) or move physically closer to the mic (in the case of something like a mandolin).

Take some time and read the posts below:

A Look Back At….The Trinity Session (history – part 1 of 3)

A Look Back At…The Trinity Session (history – part 2 of 3)

A Look Back….The Trinity Session (history – part 3 of 3)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Neonics, bees, & agriculture

The recent announcement by the Ontario government looking to reduce neonicotinoid use in agriculture has got a lot of people up in arms. CropLife Canada claims this will bring about widespread tillage and loss of productive soil. Grain Farmers of Ontario claim that it will lead to the end of the family farm. Many farmers on Twitter are upset its more government regulation.

The fact is there have been problems with neonics in Ontario and some changes need to be made. In most areas in the rest of Canada seed treatments with neonics and bees live in harmony.  Ontario farmers have made changes and things have improved. Whether more regulation is needed I'm not sure but I do know if the technology is that valuable farmers will find a way to keep it.

This isn't a ban. Farmers will need to prove their need for it. Its all about good agronomy. Start doing your work now to show what pests you have and why you need it. The coming season gives you a chance to try test strips without the insecticide and evaluate.

And don't forget to participate in the consultation over the next couple of months. Make your voice heard. But please make it a calm and rational voice. Shouting matches between all parties doesn't serve anyone.