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Have Truck, Will Travel Alyce Gorter


he good-quality, thick-pile, light beige carpet had, at one time, looked quite spiffy in the basement family room. However, over the years it had sustained heavy traffic from two – and four-legged mammals who all seemed to produce a never-ceasing dribble of dirt, hair, and crumbs. In addition, it had sustained several floods from an overflowing cistern, developing, as a result of all of this, into a breeding ground of mould, mildew, and marital discord. It had to be removed. Now I don’t want to over-simplify matters but there are two kinds of personality types in this world – the process-oriented and the task-focused. Under an even stronger microscope, these two groups could be described as “the talkers and the doers.” You know them well – the process/talkers who want to schedule just one more meeting, convene one more committee, and develop pages of power-point charts and graphs showing “how to…” and while they are figuring out all the steps in the procedure the task/doers have got the job done. Well, the Gorter parental unit is composed of one of each of these types. So ... getting back to the carpet … For some reason, nagging and complaining (my version of motivational speaking) had not produced the desired effect and the hot, humid summer was approaching. I could envision our family room as a personal, home rainforest with mushrooms sprouting, vines stealthily winding around the children while they sat innocently watching TV, and a slowly thickening miasma that would creep up the stairs and poison us while we slept. Something had to be done NOW! The carpet had been professionally laid to cover 12’ by 24’ of floor space with the recommended underlay glued to the concrete, carpet stapled to the underlay, and baseboard nailed to securely hold the carpet edges in place. No small job in removing everything, let alone moving all the furniture to get at it. But the kids were in school, and today seemed a fitting time to tackle the job. The fact that the man of the house was home that day (for some reason long since forgotten) meant, I thought, that there would be two of us to do it. However, the Processor had scheduled an extended meeting with

the living room sofa which reduced the team to one. Armed with a hammer, screwdriver/ staple remover, pry bar, and enough fury to melt the glue and singe the carpet I began the battle. Lift, lug, push, pull, and shove couches, TV, end tables, lamps and sundry other “stuff,” wrench, pull, tug, pry, lever, scrape, and pound to loosen carpet. Yes, the snores upstairs were loud, but how could he not hear me slugging away downstairs ALL BY MYSELF?! The anger increased, pushing me onward, enforcing my determination to ignore aching muscles and cramping limbs. Hours later the carpet was finally released from all its nails, staples, and semi-permanent bonding to the underlay. I began rolling it up — long edge toward long edge—so that by the time I was finished, the resulting bundle was 24’ long and heavier than I could ever possibly manage to move. Now, I am not totally against the act of processing and it was fairly obvious that since I had spent no time previously in considering the “what next” part of the job, I should probably do that now. Planning time was brief, however, as the solution was readily apparent. We have lots of rope. I own a truck. The process: Step One: Back the 4-wheel drive up to the upper-level patio steps. Step Two: Lay the rope on the lowerlevel (basement) floor. Step Three: Roll carpet over rope. Step Four: Secure rope around carpet in tight knots. Step Five: Drag loose end of rope up 13 steps, across entryway, through the front door, across deck, and tie to bumper hitch of truck. Step Six: Step on gas. Just as I headed out the door for Step Six, Rip Van Winkle finally woke up and came to see what the commotion was all about. He was speechless. I assumed he was either too impressed with my ingenuity to speak or just surprised he wasn’t rolled up in the carpet. “If you’re finally here to help,” says I, “stand at the top of the stairs and make sure the rope doesn’t snag and take one of the doors off its hinges.” He did. It didn’t. Got ‘er done.

GrassRoots Growers 10th Annual Spring Plant Sale Saturday, May 25, 10 a.m. – noon Beaver Lake Lions Park, Hwy 41, Erinsville

No EARLY BIRD SALES Heritage Tomato Plants • Vegetables • Herbs Unusual Annuals & Perennials • Shrubs

Proceeds provide funds for Fleming College Awards, Speaker Events, & Prize Money for Local Fairs Plants grown by GrassRoots Growers & their supporters


Food Matters — to Everyone Dianne Dowling


hat is good about the food system in this region, and what could be better? That’s the question that will be raised at “Food Matters — to Everyone,” a public event on Saturday, May 11. The Food Policy Council for Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox-Addington is hosting the event to raise awareness of activities, projects and businesses in the L&A region that are related to farming and food, and to create an opportunity for people to network and plan future collaborations. “Food Matters — to Everyone” will be held at Roblin Wesleyan Church, 3100 County Road 41. Everyone is welcome to attend and there is no admission charge. The event will begin at 12:30 noon, with a chance to tour displays set up by community organizations and businesses. You will be able to talk with people at the displays, learn about their activities and, if you wish, get involved with their pursuits. Beginning at 1:30 p.m., there will be presentations by a panel of people involved in food and farm initiatives, followed by a question-and-answer period. From 3 to 4 p.m., there will be a session in which organizations and individuals will have a chance to contribute answers to these questions: 1. what are the good things going on in our regional food system, and; 2. what can we do to make the system better. Attendees can submit their ideas in writing and also share them orally. Refreshments will be available during the event. If you are connected to a food – or farm-related organization, or food is an aspect of your work, and you would like to attend, or you would like a display at the event, please contact me at 613-5460869, or dowling@kos.net. Advance registration is needed for a display, but not for attending as a member of the public. Go to foodpolicykfla.ca for details. See you there!

food policy and held public consultations in 2017. In 2018, AAFC released its What We Heard Report, a summary of the presentations received during the consultations. I wrote to AAFC this winter, asking about their progress in developing a national food policy and when we might expect its release. Here is the reply I received in March from the Food Policy for Canada section within AAFC: “Food Policy is a complex and broad subject matter that requires a multifaceted approach. The food policy touches on the mandates of other federal organizations, some of which are developing complementary initiatives to the anticipated policy. Following extensive public consultations in 2017, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) released the 2018 What We Heard Report to present the findings of this important process. Since then AAFC has been working extensively to identify priorities and options to address the themes/ challenges that will best reflect the long-term vision for the Canadian food system. It is important that this policy, as the first of its kind, is done right. To note further, no date has been set for the release of the policy; however, it is on track to be released before the end of the mandate. For more details on the food policy, please visit www.canada.ca/en/ campaign/food-policy/what-we-heard. html.” The Food Policy Council for KFLA supports the advocacy of Food Secure Canada on a national food policy. Go to foodsecure.org for more details on proposals for a comprehensive national food policy focusing on access to sufficient, affordable, and healthy food for all Canadians, overseen by an inclusive governance organization such as a national food policy council. I agree with the sentence, “It is important that this policy, as the first of its kind, is done right.” Contact your MP and the new Minister of Agriculture and AgriFood, Marie-Claude Bibeau with your comments about a national food policy and what it should contain. Dianne Dowling is chair of the Food Policy Council for KFLA, and is a volunteer with other food and farm organizations in KFL&A. Her family operates a certified organic farm on Howe Island.

The Food Policy Council for KFL&A published a Food Charter in 2012, outlining the council’s vision and commitments. Go to foodpolicykfla.ca to read the charter and to learn about other activities of the council.

NATIONAL FOOD POLICY — TO BE ANNOUNCED BEFORE THE FEDERAL ELECTION THIS FALL The federal government, through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), has been developing a national

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The SCOOP • April / May 2019

Silk flower arrangements • Newspapers Headstone flowers • And much more!

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The SCOOP // April / May 2019  

The SCOOP is an independent community newsmagazine. Since 2005, we have been covering rural life in the Ontario area north of the 401 and so...

The SCOOP // April / May 2019  

The SCOOP is an independent community newsmagazine. Since 2005, we have been covering rural life in the Ontario area north of the 401 and so...