Museums sing Erie's praises

Museums sing Erie's praises

There are 3 comments on the St. Thomas Times Journal story from Jun 1, 2009, titled Museums sing Erie's praises. In it, St. Thomas Times Journal reports that:

A highway for pioneers, a livelihood for hardworking folk, a cool place to be in summer: Lake Erie is many things to many people.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at St. Thomas Times Journal.

“we attempt to Clean Up Stories”

Since: Jun 09

www.niemanlab.org

#1 Sep 15, 2009
This letter will be released to the media and concerned citizens if I have not received any written reply within 10 days with positive suggestions for a resolution.

Mr. Paul Groeneveld
On July 8th 2009 you visited my place at 48 Strachan in Port Burwell. You said you had received a number of complaints about my property. The primary concern was the tallness of the vegetation notably my patch of Rye. You said “ rye is a grass and therefore must be under 8 inches tall by law”.

I suggested that you could view each section of my yard and I would show you around and explain my reasons for doing things. You agreed but I did note that the things you jotted in your note book where just things you felt would be against the bylaws and did not seem take any notes on the reasons for my doing things nor did you have any suggestions for improvements. If I am mistaken please write me. Please send me a copy of your notes.

You pointed to what you called weeds and asked why they where so tall? Well thats the way they grow in nature and those particular herbs (stinging neetle) are rather important to me as they form a tea that I drink to lessen my problem with the prostate.(please check the Internet to make sure and/or phone Christine Dennis our local herbalist). And the sunflowers amongst weeds? Well you looked closely.. and found there are weeds but none of them are allowed to go to seed because as you can saw I uprooted quite a number of them and they are useful in the compost pile. And if you look more closely there is clover that I planted there as well. You see the sunflower I am developing is to be used in our area to produce sunflower oil which can be used for fuel, soap, salad dressings, cooking and many other uses.( Do not worry I will not set up business here where people can walk to work, as I know Bayham does not want businesses here.) They are not hybrids unlike the seeds farmers use today, so the seeds can be collected each year at harvest to be next years crop. There are weeds and this is so I can experiment with just how tolerant this breed of sunflowers can be to weeds because although weeds do reduce my yield, I am at least avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides which are a fossil fuel derivatives and poisonous to humans ,insect and animals.. I am also not using commercial fertilizer as that too is based on fossil fuels and harms the soil, Instead I use composting which is recommended for sustaining the soils. Developing a crop that is not a hybrid or genetically modified, that will be suitable to the Bayham area is a long and difficult task and sunflowers unfortunately grow to be over 8 inches tall.

I am quite willing to modify my approach to my property provided actual people who have complaints visit me and voice their concern. We all have different ideas about what a property should look like. We need to make concessions especially in light of climate change and the fossil fuel crisis which has just started in earnest . There is no scientific evidence that lawn cutting is in any way beneficial to the earth and it is certainly very harmful in respect to insects, animals and birds AND THEREFORE HUMANS TOO, as well as doing irreparable harm to the soil with the herbicides and pesticides. Even the gasoline used to cut the lawn creates emissions and noise that harm the environment. So I do reserve some areas of my property for the birds, insects and animals which are so devoid of places to live in our unsustainable landscape. I did show you where there are toads living, now who else in the town has toads? There are countless butterflies and insects here too! If you had noticed there was also a large population of lady bugs feasting on aphids. As you saw I do cut some of my grass with a solar powered lawnmower.

“we attempt to Clean Up Stories”

Since: Jun 09

www.niemanlab.org

#2 Sep 15, 2009
... This letter will be released to the media and concerned citizens if I have not received any written reply within 10 days with positive suggestions for a resolution.

Mr. Paul Groeneveld
On July 8th 2009 you visited my place at 48 Strachan in Port Burwell. You said you had received a number of complaints about my property. The primary concern was the tallness of the vegetation notably my patch of Rye. You said “ rye is a grass and therefore must be under 8 inches tall by law”.

I suggested that you could view each section of my yard and I would show you around and explain my reasons for doing things. You agreed but I did note that the things you jotted in your note book where just things you felt would be against the bylaws and did not seem take any notes on the reasons for my doing things nor did you have any suggestions for improvements. If I am mistaken please write me. Please send me a copy of your notes.

You pointed to what you called weeds and asked why they where so tall? Well thats the way they grow in nature and those particular herbs (stinging neetle) are rather important to me as they form a tea that I drink to lessen my problem with the prostate.(please check the Internet to make sure and/or phone Christine Dennis our local herbalist). And the sunflowers amongst weeds? Well you looked closely.. and found there are weeds but none of them are allowed to go to seed because as you can saw I uprooted quite a number of them and they are useful in the compost pile. And if you look more closely there is clover that I planted there as well. You see the sunflower I am developing is to be used in our area to produce sunflower oil which can be used for fuel, soap, salad dressings, cooking and many other uses.( Do not worry I will not set up business here where people can walk to work, as I know Bayham does not want businesses here.) They are not hybrids unlike the seeds farmers use today, so the seeds can be collected each year at harvest to be next years crop. There are weeds and this is so I can experiment with just how tolerant this breed of sunflowers can be to weeds because although weeds do reduce my yield, I am at least avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides which are a fossil fuel derivatives and poisonous to humans ,insect and animals.. I am also not using commercial fertilizer as that too is based on fossil fuels and harms the soil, Instead I use composting which is recommended for sustaining the soils. Developing a crop that is not a hybrid or genetically modified, that will be suitable to the Bayham area is a long and difficult task and sunflowers unfortunately grow to be over 8 inches tall.

I am quite willing to modify my approach to my property provided actual people who have complaints visit me and voice their concern. We all have different ideas about what a property should look like. We need to make concessions especially in light of climate change and the fossil fuel crisis which has just started in earnest . There is no scientific evidence that lawn cutting is in any way beneficial to the earth and it is certainly very harmful in respect to insects, animals and birds AND THEREFORE HUMANS TOO, as well as doing irreparable harm to the soil with the herbicides and pesticides. Even the gasoline used to cut the lawn creates emissions and noise that harm the environment. So I do reserve some areas of my property for the birds, insects and animals which are so devoid of places to live in our unsustainable landscape. I did show you where there are toads living, now who else in the town has toads? There are countless butterflies and insects here too! If you had noticed there was also a large population of lady bugs feasting on aphids. As you saw I do cut some of my grass with a solar powered lawnmower.

http://continuo.com/sustainable%20living/Yard...

“we attempt to Clean Up Stories”

Since: Jun 09

www.niemanlab.org

#3 Sep 15, 2009
I eat what I grow much like the people who lived here 50 years ago. And to nourish the soil I need to have a compost pile as is recommended by good governments. And you did note that there was no smell but I think you forgot to write that in your notebook. Gwynne Williams my neighbour at over 80 years old tells me of purchasing eggs from a neighbour in the recent past.( I now supply her with veggies and eggs at no cost) It surprises me that the food banks are overwhelmed with the need for food yet very few out of work residents have gardens and chickens. Should we not be encouraging gardening and chickens?

The only real complaint you seemed to have was that it did not look nice. Well what is nice to me may be different to others who do not care about the environment and our health but as I said earlier I am willing to make concessions if there are some good written criticisms and suggestions. Please remember I am trying to find solutions to climate change and the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable sources. The frightening part is that I have no solutions after 5 years of study and hard work. Fighting me every inch of the way are poorly thought out bylaws when thinking of our future.

Being offgrid is a decision I have made to follow our governments and scientists guidelines to lessen our emissions and be more prepared for a very different world as our addiction to fossil fuels and an unsustainable lifestyle is leading to an unlivable planet. This is a major undertaking to lessen our unsustainable practices which have unfortunately become law over the last few years with such stupidities as to not allow clothes lines, and lawns not over 8 inches tall etc. These laws are purely discriminatory and are easily defeated in court with the backing of scientists and climatologists. I battle various inspectors who visit me but fortunately I have been highly successful in winning every case so far.

You also noted the license plates of my vehicles residing outside the garage as I was busy replacing a gas engine with a vegetable oil fueled engine in the garage. I do not see any reason for these complaints as all vehicles are running have been recently moved to those places and are not an eyesore. This smacks slightly of some vindictive action. If you look around Bayham there are quite a few unlicensed vehicles (including motorhomes and trailers) in peoples yards even without garages for them as they cut down their expenses by choosing not to drive a second vehicle or simply cannot afford any insurance. Would you like list of all of those places?

I do have a suggestion for you. Ask those who do complain to write down their complaints and their reasons for them, even some scientific reason would be very helpful. You might even ask them if they have approached me to understand why I am doing what I do. They should offer to write down suggestions as to compromises. This would be a more positive approach than just trying to enforce an outdated unsustainable law that makes little sense for the direction we are headed in areas of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and healthy living.

If there is one inspector that I do admire it is Bill Knifton who I can work with. He takes time to offer good suggestions and has a genuine interest in what I am trying to do.

I hope that any intelligent bylaw officer would see problems with the laws in respect to our environment and needed change in our unsustainable lifestyle to assure a future for the planet. I would hope that he would advise his superiors of these issues.

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