Saturday, November 29, 2008

Got My Stokes 2009 Catalogue and Some Rhubarb Wine

I was surprised last week when we went to get the mail - I got my first seed catalogue! It's not even Christmas yet!

I looked up a few things quickly - like, I am looking for a source for field peas, but Stokes isn't carrying them again this year.

I've got an email into Johnny's in the US to see if they will send me some, but haven't heard back yet. We want to try field peas because we could use them to feed the laying hens in the winter...

The other day I visited with one of my friends here in the Valley....she invited me in for some rhubarb wine....ah yes, rhubarb wine.

We started out sipping our wine and wondering when the snow would come....we had a good yak and drank a few more half-glasses. (I think we were kidding ourselves by drinking only half glasses.)

I mentioned the Stokes catalogue, yup, she had got hers too.....but she pointed something out to me. Since I hadn't read it front to back, I hadn't noticed the little insert they put in.

Hmmm....8% Canadian Dollar Adjusment?? WTF?? She said, keep I did. Had to read it a couple of times, because, you know, by then well we had probably had another 2 half glasses....

They go on to say that IF the US/Canadian dollar is back to par when I order, I can disregard the adjustment. OK...what if the dollar is at a point, where a 4% adjustment should be included....what about a 2% adjustment??

Wait a minute! What do they mean they purchase ALL their seed in US dollars? What?? WHY do they purchase seed in US dollars? Doesn't Stokes have their own fields where they have those trial gardens? You know, those ones you see in pictures in every single catalogue Stokes has put out since, well, it has to be going on 15 - 20 years anyway....

I know Stokes has locations in both Canada and the US. every single one of their trial gardens in the US? They don't have ANY in Canada? What kind of rose coloured glasses have I been wearing lately?

We kept yakking about this, neither one of us liked it....we started to extrapolate...easy to do, just pour yet another half glass and start spouting off.....what if the seeds weren't even grown and harvested in the US?

What if...gasp....cough....they were grown in China? ACCCCCCCKKKKK....I mean, who knows, right? They're obviously not grown and gathered in Canada!

We both decided that we are going to rethink ordering from Stokes this year....then, we moved on. We talked about the economy, the US government bailouts, and what will happen in Canada. We're not immune to this global crisis by any means....our real estate markets are dropping like rocks on the West Coast at this moment.

We have the Winter Olympics of 2010 coming to our province next year....meanwhile, as I write this, Whistler (site of many of the Olympic events) is already a Buyer's Market, in terms of real estate....

By the end of our visit (and another 5 or so half glasses) we had touched on (and solved, quite admirably, mind you) every single one of the problems North America is facing! We were incredible! They should take all these leaders, stick them in a room together, and start pouring them half glasses of Rhubarb Wine....yeah, that's the ticket!!

I'm having trouble right now remembering what all of our solutions were (gee, I wonder why)....but personally, I think these bailouts have got to stop. Oh and yes, I think these executives who take these huge bonuses for letting their company FAIL....should just quietly slink away into the night. With NO bonus, NO severance. Who's on the hook for all this money? It'll be the taxpayers, of course...screw the little guy...what else is new??

Start (or keep) looking after yourselves folks...stop spending so much money...separate your NEEDS from your WANTS....grow a little garden. Try to begin to stop being so dependent on electricity (shut off the lights when you don't really need them), wear your shoes completely out before dropping $250 on new ones....

Our global economy is going down down down like a burnin ring o fire....imo, the DOW has a Long ways to go down still. Sucker rallies will be there for sure, watch the Dow chart, you'll see them. But a bottom? I think we're still thousands of points away from a bottom....that's just imo.

You see the problems retail stores are having? Quite a few of them, going belly up. I don't think that's finished with either. I think it'll be interesting to see in a year or two how many more big stores are gone....kaput...bankrupt.

I'm a Bear as you can tell, I can be quite a Bitchy Bear too....our Bull days are over with. I've been a Bear in regards to Real Estate for 2 years now...just ask my sons what their Mama has to say about them buying houses right now....

We're off soon to the Legion to hoist a few pints....we still feel beer is a pretty safe invesment :) And who knows, perhaps a few more world problems will be solved by the time we come home!

Enjoy your Saturday!!

PS One more thing...I intend to get my seed orders in pretty darn quick. I have a feeling that there will be even more of a seed shortage this year. I had a pretty hard time getting some orders filled last year....and it wasn't just me. Lots of people experienced this.

And seeds can be kept for years....I'm ordering them in larger quantities and I don't think I'm the only one who did this last year, either. After all, a run on seeds equals a shortage, right??

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Anonymous said...

Most seed houses don't grow their own seed. One corporation, Monsanto, provides about 85% of the world's seed supply, including organic seeds.

Buying in US dollars a short time ago would have been financially advantageous. Today, the Canadian dollar is worth .78 cents. There's no advantage to that.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't want seeds grown in China either. Your also right, in our house we are starting to cut back on spending. No more new tennis shoes just because they are "the greatest and coolest". No more gadgets just to get them. Unplugging unused electrical chords to save electricity. This American is going to start watching what I spend and not being so wasteful!

Rhubarb Wine....would love to try that one:-)

Aly Carm said...

While not entirely sure about field peas, I happen to know that in my area (Peace River Country, Alberta side by Ft St John, BC) lots of farmers in this area grow peas. Now I don't know of any organic ones, but it wouldn't hurt to look into Alberta farmers of other farms in your area. Once more, not sure if the variety is the same as you are looking for.

Annie said...

Aly carm, Welcome to our blog and thank you for leaving a comment! Talked to the Gman about it, and since he is in Alberta right now, he will see what he can find over there. If you have a blog, can you leave the link, so we can all check it out?

Robin....I'm aware that most of them don't grow their own seed, I just am surprised that Stokes is one of them. I thought that was one of the reason they would do trials of veggies...but I guess we'll focus even more on saving our own seed from what we can...

Robin from OK...good for you! I think more and more people are going to have to start making adjustments....btw, I did put the recipe up on the blog for rhubarb wine, if you're interested :) It's ggggoooooddd


EJ said...

There are local organic seed companies. Many of them have good websites. A quick internet search should turn up some. I would stay away from the big ones for lots of reason - mostly to support the small companies.

JJJ said...

$250 on shoes? Holy Heckanoly! I choke on $20 for the kids' shoes! ('course they are still wee little ones... guess things will change when they grow a bit more...) :-(

And Annie, when the commenter's name is in blue, try clicking on that - it should take you to their bio, then you can click on their blog from there. ;-)


Annie said...

ej and Jenny, I am going to get in touch with Jim at Prairie Seeds to see if he has some field peas. Also the Gman is in Alberta right now, so he will check a few places out there...

We save as much seed ourselves as we can.

Jenny, thanks for that tip! I didn't know that...I have Much to learn when it comes to computers!


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