• A three-pack of garlic from China, 77 cents. Three B.C.-grown heads of garlic, $7.50. Asparagus from Mexico, recently $1.48 on special. Brad DeMille, co-owner of DeMille’s Farm Market in Salmon Arm, provided a little vegetable show-and-tell as part of a panel on community food systems at the recent Southern Interior Local Government Association Convention. The message: If people in the Southern Interior want to keep eating in the face of supply-chain disruptions, heat domes, atmospheric rivers and pandemics, then supporting local food production is a must. “You expect it (asparagus) to be $1.50 and when you see $5.50, you think we’re ripping you off. This is what it takes to get it to market.” DeMille pointed out that Canada used to be a leader in producing frozen vegetables, great for the winter. “We’ve reduced ourselves to the cheapest thing we can buy. And then complain that things are going up.”
• Preliminary results from a referendum on incorporation indicate South Shuswap residents can expect their electoral area to be divided in two. Those results, released by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) following general voting day on Saturday, April 30, showed a majority of participating eligible voters were against the proposed incorporation of the municipality of the District of Sorrento-Blind Bay: 2027 opposed and 272 in favour.
• The children who did not return from the Kamloops Residential School were honoured at Salmon Arm West Elementary by students and staff in a way that would recognize them for years to come. On April 28, students planted trees in the field behind the school, following a ceremony at the school’s Shannon Sharp Learning Circle. in an invitation. Knowledge keeper John Jules spoke to students and guests gathered. He said he attended residential school but was fortunate enough to keep his language. “Today’s the time we remember the young ones that went on to the residential school that never returned home,” he said.
• A silver medal earned in the first week of May proves Mike Strotmann knows a lot about soil and how to plow it. A competitive plowman, Strotmann represented B.C. in the Canadian Plowing Competition, which took place in Rivers, Manitoba, from May 2 to 4. The 61-year-old Silver Creek hay farmer won silver riding his own 1972 John Deere tractor with a Kverneland, two-furrow, competition plow of the same vintage.
• Devastation, sadness and heartbreak were widespread following a fire that destroyed the guest wing of Quaaout Lodge in Skwlax, Secwépemc territory, in the Thompson-Nicola region. Fire broke out in the early morning of Sunday, May 22. “This has been a traumatic incident for everyone involved, from our guests to our employees and especially our community members,” said James Tomma, Kukpi7 (Chief) of the Little Shuswap Lake Band (LSLB). “Thankfully, and most importantly, there were no fatalities or serious injuries.” Tomma assured Quaaout Lodge will be rebuilt. “Quaaout Lodge is an important part of our community. It’s an engine of economic development, but also the cultural heart of the community. Quaaout means ‘when the sun’s rays first touch the water,’ and there will be a new dawn for the lodge and for our community.”
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