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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘agriculture

[NEWS] Some Friday links

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  • Al Ahram notes that, as Ukraine is starting to turn towards the European Union, Russia is doubling down on its Eurasian Union project.
  • Al Jazeera notes that the Russian Orthodox Church is more skeptical of the costs of Crimea’s annexation than the Russian state, for fear of losing followers in Ukraine.
  • The Atlantic Cities commemorated the brief return of Major League Baseball to Montréal a decade after the Expos’ death with a Toronto Blue Jays away game, shares pictures of London’s first cat cafe, and maps imbalances in supply and demand in New York City’s popular but troubled bike share program.
  • Bloomberg notes how IKEA’s dreams for expansion in Ukraine were undermined by corruption.
  • Bloomberg BusinessWeek chronicles falling Japanese stock prices, warns that Russia is becoming a junior partner of China, and notes the threats facing Ukrainian agriculture.
  • CNET examines the story behind the iconic Windows XP photo “Bliss”.
  • Global Voices Online hints, by way of a recent quitting, that Ukrainians might be disenchanted with Russian-owned Livejournal.
  • The Guardian notes that the Australian city of Darwin is a military garrison par excellence, and observes that Bulgaria has derived some benefit from the Greek economic collapse as businesses have migrated north.
  • MacLean’s suggests that Ukraine can be anchored ittno the West if it can experience Polish-style prosperity.
  • National Geographic News takes another look at the proposed Nicaragua Canal project.
  • Radio Free Europe notes that a Russian plan to institute fast-tract citizenship procedures for professionals has sparked fears of brain drain in Central Asia, observes the effects that currency devaluation has had on immigrants in Kazakhstan, and comments that Afghanistan’s support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea has much to do with Afghanistan’s long-standing irredentism aimed at Pakistan.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • 3 Quarks Daily’s Omar Ali warns that ongoing violence against Shia in Pakistan threatens to destroy the country and destabilize the whole region.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly writes about her week-long vacation in Nicaragua.
  • blogTO shares vintage photos of Spadina Avenue.
  • Centauri Dreams’ notes that the surface of Titan’s Ligeia Mare is apparently completely still.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to different papers, one suggesting that terrestrial planets orbiting red dwarfs are less likely to enter runaway ice ages, another further examining the concept of superhabitable worlds.
  • Eastern Approaches takes a look at the continuing progress made by Poland’s modernizing agricultural sector.
  • Geocurrents examines the geopolitical complexities of Ukraine and its relationship with Russia.
  • The New APPS Blog notes research suggesting that Internet trolls actually are problematic people in real life.
  • The Transit Toronto Blog notes that a vintage streetcar will be giving free rides on Kingston Road on Saturday the 29th of this month.
  • Torontoist provides an overview of the concept of co-op housing.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that, whatever else it was, the Russian conquest of Crimea was at least almost bloodless.
  • Window on Eurasia warns of unrest among the Tatars of Tatarstan.

[PHOTO] Cavendish Farms potato warehouse, 24 St. Charles Road, Rollo Bay

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Cavendish Farms potato warehouse, 24 St. Charles Road, Rollo Bay

The potato warehouse belonging to potato agribusiness Cavendish Farms, located at 24 St. Charles Road just north of Route 2, is one of a dozen Cavendish Farm locations in the Maritime provinces and Maine and one of four dozen potato dealers on Prince Edward Island.

Potatoes are huge on Prince Edward Island, as the Canadian Encyclopedia notes. The biggest potato-producing province in Canada despite its small size, Prince Edward Island agriculture depends heavily on the potato and has for quite some time, as noted in this historical essay at the website of the PEI Potato Blossom Festival.

Prince Edward Island was first introduced to potatoes in 1758 when the British took over from the French. An ideal growing place for potatoes the potato harvest was ‘a phenomenal success’. Soon, potatoes were being exported to other colonies, and in 1802, Lord Selkirk brought settlers from the Scottish highlands to the Orwell Bay area of the Island. Provided with potatoes to cultivate, the Scots survived almost exclusively on a diet of potatoes and cod for a few years, and by 1806 John Stewart was quoted as saying: ‘potatoes are raised in great abundance, and in no country better’.

Faced with land covered almost entirely by a dense forest, the settlers who arrived on Prince Edward Island had to clear land tree by tree to make room for their farms. Often it would take several years to get their fields completely clear of tree stumps. Making as much of their land as they could, they were forced to plant their crops among the stumps while they were still at work clearing out the fields. Because the potatoes took little care or attention, the land owners were free to focus on the development of their farms. In 1822 a man named Walter Johnstone described the potato planting among tree stumps and the piles of soil over the potatoes as resembling ‘mole hills’.

In 1805, statistics showed that out of 10,000 acres of farm land on PEI, 15% was devoted to potatoes. This percentage increased over time, and by 1820 over 40,000 bushels of potatoes were being sent as far away as the West Indies. By the ’40s this number had increased to 124,000. Exports kept increasing until 1845, when the Island was hit by the same blight that caused famine in Ireland. The modern potato industry in PEI eventually became world famous, beginning in the 1920s after two new varieties of potatoes were introduced: the Irish Cobbler variety and the Green Mountain variety.

In the 1920s, potato acreage in PEI almost doubled, with yields tripling. The beginning of a period of cooperation between federal and provincial governments resulted in the development of the seed potato industry and the control of potato diseases. Realizing that with the small size of the Island, scientists could familiarize themselves with all of its potato farms. This, along with the Island’s cold winters, made disease and pest control and prevention much easier. These advantages of the Island’s size and isolation have resulted in exceptionally high quality potatoes. Today, no seed potatoes are able to leave the Island without the certification of government inspectors.

The 1950s brought around the introduction of large-scale mechanization to potato farming on Prince Edward Island. The result: more potato acreage, less individual potato growers. Today, PEI’s largest number of the acres used for the cultivating potatoes are found in our area, Prince County (the western part of the Island).

The website of the Canadian Potato Museum in the western community of O’Leary has more information on the contemporary potato.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 22, 2014 at 1:58 am

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Anders Sandberg of Andart links to a paper suggesting that mind emulations–uploaded human minds–are likely to arrive not too late after 2050.
  • Cody Delistraty wonders why writers are so often depressed and in bad relationship.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that analyses of the atmospheres of five hot Jupiters.
  • The Dragon’s Tale observes evidence that First Nations in British Columbia practiced mariculture.
  • The Financial Times‘ World blog observes that Euroskepticism and hostility towards the Euro is growing in Italy.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money takes note of Paul Ryan’s tone-deaf statement about inner-city men.
  • Marginal Revolution argues that, at least in the United States, large amounts of property are held by governments which don’t make use of them.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wades into the question of just how many constitutions Argentina actually has had.
  • Towleroad links to Stephen Colbert’s interview with former Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl.
  • The Way the Future Blogs shares an old Frederik Pohl article from 1988 describing his experiences on a book tour.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that apparently more Russians don’t believe Ukraine is a nation and think Russia has legitimate claims on Ukrainian territory, and shares an article written by one man who thinks this threatens Russia’s future.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO shares pictures from Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Crooked Timber reacts, perhaps not wisely, to the recent British government state that an independent Scotland would not automatically have a currency union with the United Kingdom.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that tidal heating of Mars-mass planets in the circumstellar habitable zones of red dwarf stars could keep them habitable.
  • The Dragon’s Tales observes arguments that Vesta may have had a magma ocean for a long time period.
  • Far Outliers observes the impuissance of the last Ottoman ruler of Syria faced with the Armenian genocide and comments upon how the response of the American government after the First World War to abandon the Middle East did not help things.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas responds to Nick Kristof’s wondering where all the public intellectuals are by arguing that whole concept may just be an effect of a centralized mass culture.
  • At Halfway Down the Danube, Douglas Muir notes that Kosovo hasn’t had much of a winter.
  • Language Hat has two posts on language standardization, one on Aramaic in the ancient Middle East an the other on Hazaragi, a Persian dialect spoken by–here–Shi’ite Afghanistan refugees in Australia.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the dire situation of tea plantation workers.
  • The Map Room’s Jonathan Crowe links to recent maps of Ganymede and Mercury.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer comments on the tumult in Venezuela by wondering why that country’s government has been so incompetent.
  • Thought Catalog features a first-person essay by Iranian gay refugee in Canada Shawn Kermanipour.
  • Towleroad remarks on the gay icon status of Blondie’s Debbie Harry.
  • Transit Toronto’s Robert McKenzie observes that the TTC is offering transit users the chance to “Meet the Manager” of different stations.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that migration from Belarus to Russia is becoming a serious issue for both countries, whether because of labour shortages in Belarus or Russian immigrant politics.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

Today’s post is a big one.

  • Acts of Minor Treason’s Andrew Barton photographs a small-town Ontario vestige of the now-defunct Zellers retail chain.
  • Crooked Timber’s Ingrid Robeyns writes about the new kings of the Netherlands and Belgium.
  • Will Baird at The Dragon’s Tales has a few links to interesting papers up: one describes circumstellar habitable zones for subsurface biospheres like those images on Mars; one argues that Earth-like planets orbiting small, dim red dwarfs might see their water slowly migrate to the night side; another suggests that on these same red dwarf-orbiting Earth-like worlds, the redder frequency of light will mean that ice will absorb rather than reflect radiation and so prevent runaway glaciation.
  • Eastern Approaches reflected on the Second World War-era massacres of Poles by Ukrainians in the Volyn region.
  • Geocurrents examined the boom in export agriculture in coastal Peru and the growing popularity of the xenophobic right in modern Europe for a variety of reasons.
  • GNXP argues that language is useful as a market of identity and that the term “Caucasian” as used to refer to human populations is meaningless.
  • Itching in Eestimaa’s Palun argues that, given Soviet-era relocations of population into the Baltic States, much emigration might just be a matter of the population falling to levels that local economies can support.
  • Language Log has a series of posts examining loan words to and from East Asian languages: Chinese loans in English (too few?), English loans in Japanese (too many?), Japanese loans in English (quite a lot).
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer argues that not only is the United States not trying to prolong the Syrian civil war, but that the United States should not arm them for the States’ own good. (Agreed.)
  • Registan’s Matthew Kupfer approves of the selection of Dzhohar Tsarnaev’s photo on the front page of Rolling Stone as being useful in deconstructing myths that he, and terrorism, are foreign.
  • Savage Minds considers how classic Star Trek seems out of date for its faith in an attractive and liveable high modernity.
  • Strange Maps’ Frank Jacobs examines the concept of the eruv, the fictive boundary used by Orthodox Jews to justify activity on the sabbath.
  • Window on Eurasia quotes writers who wonder if Central Asian states might continue to break up and suggest that Tatarstan might have been set for statehood in 1991 and should continue to prepare for future events.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell argues that human bias as expressed in opinion polls is, depressingly, not just a matter of easily-remedied ignorance.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Beyond the Beyond’s Bruce Sterling notes the latest appearance of glamourous Russian spy Anna Chapman, this time on the red carpet in Moscow next to Brad Pitt.
  • Daniel Drezner observes that the global reaction to the Federal Reserve’s statements on quantitative easing indicates that the United States is still the dominant economic hegemon.
  • Joe. My. God. shares maps of storm evacuation zones in New York City.
  • Language Hat starts a discussion about the paucity of Chinese loan words in English.
  • Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money talks about how illegal marijuana farming in the Pacific Northwest is a significant threat to the environment, all the more so because it is unregulated.
  • Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle is celebrating the summer solstice by taking part in an international Breeding Bird Survey.
  • Also at the Speed River Journal, guest blogger Mike Lepage writes about how construction and development in west-end Guelph is threatening bird habitat.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy deals with the recent American court ruling determining that the federal government cannot necessarily require donor groups to endorse certain views to get funding (originally, started by anti-HIV groups which were also required to oppose prostitution).
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Buddhists and Orthodox Christians in the Russian autonomous republic of Tuva have set up an interfaith council to try to manage ethnic conflict.

[LINK] “Fish farming tops beef production in race to the plate”

Aquaculture isn’t of the future, the CBC notes; it’s an increasingly dominant reality.

The human diet appears to have reached an important milestone, as worldwide fish farm production has surpassed beef production for the first time in the modern era.

[. . .]

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that fish farm production has grown by six times over the last 20 years.

[. . .]

Everything from fish to seaweed and shellfish is farmed today. And not surprisingly, China leads the world in aquaculture.

“I think farmed fish will be part of the answer in terms of food supply,” said Janet Larsen, research director with the Earth Policy Institute in the U.S.

Aquaculture is the least energy-intensive means of producing animal protein, but not all fish farms are created equal, says Larsen.

Some threaten ecologically-sensitive areas while farming certain species, such as salmon, causes a drain on wild fish.

“We’re overfishing a lot of our smaller fish stocks like menhaden, herring or sardines so that we could grind them up into fish meal and fish oil to feed to these farmed fish,” she said.

Larsen predicts that, for the first time, more fish and seafood will be produced on farms this year than caught in the wild, meaning the need for sustainable aquaculture is greater than ever.

The website of the Food and Agriculture Organization has more.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Charlie Stross mourns fellow and recently passed Scottish writer Iain (M.) Banks.
  • Crooked Timber, Lawyers, Guns and Money, and New APPS all take a look at the disgusting self-justifying behaviour of philosopher Colin McGinn towards a female grad student of his.
  • Daniel Drezner wonders about the extent to which ideology will become important in upcoming seasons of Game of Thrones.
  • Language Hat wonders if Dutch spelling reforms have cut off contemporary speakers of Dutch from easy access to Dutch literature predating the mid-19th century.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders if European Union Internet privacy and security regulations will make things worse for American firms.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw writes about the continuing mystique of the monarchy in Australia.
  • Registan’s Reid Standish talks about the marginal improvements in law and order in Kyrgyzstan.
  • Strange Maps’ Frank Jacobs talks about the recent map reimagining the countries of the world on a reunified Pangaea as a rhetorical ploy.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little charts the ways in which life for Chinese has improved over the past four decades, asnd the ways in which things are still lacking.
  • Window on Eurasia quotes from alarmists worrying about the “de-Russification” of Tatarstan, demographically and otherwise.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Daniel Drezner notes, using as an example the controversial Keystone pipeline, that interest group political movements inevitably become compromised whenever they encounter politicians not beholden to said (here, Kerry’s beliefs).
  • Eastern Approaches notes the continued rivalry between contending political factions in Georgia.
  • Language Log analyses a recent photo of Vietnamese written in Chinese script. What does the odd character order mean?
  • Marginal Revolution notes that poor soil conditions in much of Africa inhibit economic development.
  • In a guest post at the Planetary Society Blog, Bill Dunford describes, in photos and words, some of the more evocatively-named features on other worlds.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer makes the case that there is no such thing as a resource curse, just bad governance.
  • Torontoist notes that Fort York’s new visitor centre is under contstruction.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little describes an interesting-sounding conference in China on rural economic development, one that features an actual visit to an up-and-coming rural cooperative.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell visits the David Bowie exhibit in London and considers Bowie as pioneering a sort of post-colonial modernity that the United Kingdom hadn’t had until that point.
  • Zero Geography’s Mark Graham maps controversial articles in different versions of Wikipedia.
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