Archive for February, 2013
Much has been written about the troubles plaguing the Australian dairy industry.
Since the introduction of $1/litre milk in supermarkets, dairy farmers have been going to the wall, unable to remain viable with such low paybacks for their product.
The chainstores continue to say they are not responsible for this and that their cheap milk price is not to blame because they’re the ones taking the cut on profits. Coles recently released this explanation on You Tube, explaining their side of the story.
Make of this ’explanation’ what you will. Coles says only 4 per cent of Australian milk ends up in Coles-branded containers and that they still stock the full range of milk on shelves. What they neglect to say is that most consumers, when faced with the choice of $1/litre milk or the more expensive branded milks, choose the cheap milk, thus reducing the market share of the branded products.
City-based consumers have often asked the question, ‘If the price isn’t good why don’t farmers just say no?’
This miserable, crazy weather just keeps on coming. The clean-up from the Australia Day weekend storms is in progress and the damage bills are still being tallied.
But just because you don’t live near the damaged farms, don’t think you can’t help in the recovery.
I’ve written previously about the Help Qld Farmers website and now there’s a handy A4 printout of Qld-grown brands.
Print it out and take it shopping with you and where available, buy QLD.
Have you ever felt the urge to smash a watermelon with your head?
Nah, me either.
But it seems there are plenty who do and you’ll find them at Chinchilla this weekend for the bi-annual Chinchilla Melon Festival. Apparently the record is 47 melons in 60seconds. Sad news this year though … the organisers have put a stop to the melon head-bashing competition, something to do with potential risk to competitors’ brains. You will however be able to witness melon skiing, melon bungee and the melon ironman race.
The festival is timed to coincide with the watermelon season … Queensland melons are harvested between December and mid April each year.
I interviewed Chinchilla melon grower, Terry O’Leary, a while back. He explained the intricacies in breeding seedless watermelons. While you and I may love eating seedless varieties they are actually inbred … and need a seeded melon to survive.
And if you think growing melons is as easy as throwing some seed in the soil, think again. Terry says they are a tricky crop, which is always throwing up new challenges.
Terry supplies melons to the central markets through the Select Melons Grower group.
Check out Terry’s blog Melons Cause Insomnia
Read on to follow the Paddock to Plate journey of a watermelon.
My five-year-old recently discovered an old trophy of mine, collecting dust in the spare room.
It was a journalism prize and one of very few trophies I’ve ever won in my life. A sportswoman I am not.
‘Why did you win this,’ he asked.
Because I was judged best on the day, I told him.
His face went all serious and he said, ‘But that’s not fair, what about the other people in the race, why didn’t they get a trophy?’
For the next five minutes we debated the merits of mummy winning a trophy and the other contenders going home empty handed.
My son remains unconvinced of the strength of my argument – that I was judged best on the day and was subsequently awarded for my effort.
That’s because he’s been raised in this brave new world where every child wins a prize.
There are no winners and losers in his world, it’s all about being involved; having fun; trying your hardest.
All admirable qualities, I agree. But real life isn’t like that. At what point should we introduce our kids to the harsh realities of life?
Do you ever worry that your kids aren’t like other people’s.
That their behaviour isn’t ‘normal’ … whatever normal is.
I have these thoughts from time to time … usually when I’m in the midst of a particularly gruelling schedule of work, school, homework and extra curricular activities.
It’s been a bit hairy here over the past week as I’ve juggled one son at a new school, one son starting school for the first time, a new bus schedule, some new extra curricular activities, work and an absent husband.
As I listen to my boys talk about shooting, guns, killing, taking people out, and as I try to stay clear of their play fights I have wondered from time to time … is this normal? Do other people’s sons do this? I may have also silently wished that they sit quietly in the lounge room and have a tea party (Deluded? Me? Surely not!)
I hate guns. Have never held one, want nothing to do with one. I have tried to limit the use of toy guns in the house and have – with limited success – tried to limit the boys’ exposure to shows which glorify killing.
On the weekend things came to a head when our youngest son started muttering something about ‘acid in your face’. What did you just say, I asked him.