Friday, July 23, 2010

Swinging "Cow Wash" Means Happy, Healthy Cows and More Milk

by Jaymi Heimbuch, San Francisco, California

Everyone loves to get their back scratched. And for cows hard at work in dairy farms, a little rub against the "cow wash" goes a long way for getting cleaner both cleaner and calmer. The swinging brush stimulates blood circulation and improves milk production, while also relaxing the cows and helping to keep diseases from spreading. The invention by DeLaval is already popular in Swedish farms and is now making its way to the UK. Check out a video of cows enjoying their brush-up... read more story at

Dairy Farmers to Canadian ice cream lovers ...beware of imposters

'Frozen dessert' is not ice cream

MONTREAL, July 22, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Summer is here and Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is once again warning Canadians to beware of imposters masquerading as ice cream. They are urging all ice cream lovers to visit to get the scoop on how to make sure they are buying real ice cream and not 'frozen dessert'.

There was a time when everything in the ice cream freezer was made from milk and was clearly labeled 'ice cream'. Recently, some manufacturers have removed the 'ice cream' label from major brands, replacing it with the term 'frozen dessert'. These products likely contain palm or coconut oils instead of cream. As a result, consumers are often completely unaware that the brands they buy are not ice cream. Instead they are buying a product that contains oils that many people are trying to avoid in their diet. Real ice cream is made from milk including ingredients derived from milk such as cream, skim milk powder and whey powder.

"There is nothing more satisfying on a hot day than delicious, cold, real ice cream made from 100% Canadian milk," says Solange Heiss, assistant director, marketing and nutrition communications at Dairy Farmers of Canada. "That's why Dairy Farmers of Canada is urging Canadians to look for the 100% Canadian Milk symbol on ice cream packaging and make sure it says ice cream not 'frozen dessert'."

DFC launched a new contest to help Canadians recognize when they are purchasing real ice cream and when they are buying 'frozen dessert'. Canadians can enter the contest for a chance to win a $10,000 trip to Jasper with their family at participating grocery stores, dairy bars and ice cream shops or on the internet at The website also links to the 'Make Better Choices' Facebook page where Canadians can upload their own funny videos and photos on the general topic of 'making better choices'.

Look for the 100% Canadian Milk Symbol

Dairy products bearing the 100% Canadian Milk symbol certify the origin of the milk used - renowned for its high quality, purity and great taste - and buying it supports local dairy producers and the economy. Dairy products made from 100% Canadian milk are rich in essential nutrients and are part of a healthy diet.

About Dairy Farmers of Canada

Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) strives to create favourable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry, today and in the future. DFC works to maintain policies that foster the viability of Canadian dairy producers and to promote quality Canadian dairy products made from 100% Canadian milk as part of a healthy balanced diet. DFC is completely funded by dairy producers.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Growing and Harvesting Tips

from the Old Farmer's Almanac

... As melons come in, place a board beneath them and the ground to keep them off the moist soil and to prevent insects from attacking.

... Beans have the best flavor if you harvest them in the morning.

... Are your tomatoes setting fruit? If it's over 90 degrees F, tomatoes don't do well; try shading them to reduce the heat.

... Keep plants moist but do not overwater (even in dry climates). Water slowly and deeply; let soil dry between watering. Wilted leaves in the morning is a sign of too little water.

... When you pull carrots, cut off the green tops; if left on, they will make the carrots limp.

For more harvesting tips, see our Ripeness Guide and our all-season Plant Guides for your common vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

Succession Gardening

Planning a second (or third) vegetable crop once you're done harvesting? Our succession gardening chart shows you the last planting dates for your area. Get free chart.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

In Toronto, a Backyard Transformed into an Urban Farm

by Alex Davies, St. Paul, Minnesota

In New York, a group of twenty-somethings who live together make up a hit sitcom. In Toronto, they make up Trinity Reach Farm. Let's call it The One Where the Gang Makes Their Backyard into an Urban Farm. An urban farm where they raise chickens, grow herbs and vegetables, smoke fish and meat, make cheese and brew beer and cider.

Trinity Reach Farm, recently profiled by Vidafine, was founded in the spring of 2009 by four young restaurant employees, Paul, Dave, Chris and Jacob. (Chris left the farm at the beginning of June; his room has been converted into a dining room.) Soon kicked off the roof by their landlord, the group moved into the apartment building's backyard, where things really took off, as they write in their blog:

Ideas began spilling out at a rapid pace. A smokehouse; chicken coupe; fire-pit; compost... perhaps fueled by a few too many home-brews, our small herb garden had turned into a full-fledged small-scale urban-farm, overseen by three inexperienced twenty-somethings.

And although raising your own chickens is technically illegal in Toronto, an otherwise very forward-looking, green city, the urban farmers haven't had any trouble with the neighbors or the law. Vidafine writes:

The team at Trinity Reach Farm isn't here to present anything revolutionary, they are just looking to use their talents and interests to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Ultimately, producing your own foods is fun, and enjoying the fruits of your own labour definitely tastes better!

... read more story at

The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth Begins!

CALGARY, July 9, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - The 2010 edition of the Calgary Stampede, one of Canada's most famous tourism icons and one of the world's great urban festivals, kicked off this morning with the spectacular Stampede Parade.

More than 220,000 visitors from across Canada and 70 other countries are expected to visit Calgary for this year's city-wide celebration, Juy 9 to 18. With fireworks exploding and jets soaring overhead, the Parade was officially set off by Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper along with the Stampede Parade Marshalls Jet and Cord McCoy, real-life cowboys and celebrated contestants from the CBS show "The Amazing Race". An estimated crowd of 350,000 people lined the streets of downtown Calgary for the Parade.

Known as The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, with 1.2 million visitors once again expected to spin the turnstiles at Stampede Park, the Calgary Stampede offers a unique set of experiences:

- the Calgary Stampede Rodeo, the most famous rodeo on the planet;
- the GMC Rangeland Derby, the world's premier chuckwagon championship;
- one of the world's leading western art exhibitions;
- the world's largest and most unique agriculture showcases;
- unique First Nations exhibition and encampment;
- an Evening Show spectacular that includes an amazing fireworks display;
- one of Canada's largest music festivals, and
- city-wide festivity that involves Calgarians pulling on cowboy hats and boots to participate in Stampede pancake breakfasts and barbecues in workplaces and neighbourhoods across the city.

These features are why BBC World called the annual Stampede festival the No.1 thing to do in the world in July and Mastercard Canada's 2007 Priceless Index called us the No.1 attraction or event in Canada for tourists to see.

"We have an exciting 10 days planned for Calgarians and the thousands of visitors who come from around the world," said Dr. David Chalack, Calgary Stampede president and chairman of the board. "People know they can come to the Stampede for a fun and exciting summer vacation and this year will be no different."

The Calgary Stampede is a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values. The Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through its world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities. For more about the Stampede, visit

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rural Doctors Call for Better Rural Health

SHAWVILLE, Quebec, July 5, 2010 /Canada NewsWire Telbec/ - Today a study published in the Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine, found that one in 7 (14%) of rural physicians planned to move from their communities within the next 2 years. Given that we already know that physicians are under-represented in rural communities, this finding risks making a bad situation worse.

Society of Rural Physicians (SRPC) President, Dr. John Wootton, said

"Canadians living in rural and remote areas are the mainstay of our country's resource producing economy, and deserve equitable access to health care."
The studies' authors reported that the rural doctors might stay if they had a more reasonable workload, and professional backup.

Dr. Wootton outlined a number of specific SRPC suggestions on how Canada and the provinces can do better to address rural Canada's needs.

The federal government can introduce measures to increase the number of students from rural Canada in medical school. Most current medical students come from affluent and urban backgrounds and most will choose specialty practice in the cities. Rural origin medical students are much more likely to enter into rural medical practice while only one in twenty origin students do so.

"This survey shows that while a wide array of incentives are being used to attract physicians to rural areas, more consideration needs to be paid to the factors that will encourage them to remain there," said Dr. Anne Doig, President of the Canadian Medical Association.

The study also found that the opportunity to provide comprehensive care and practise the full set of skill for which they have been trained is one of the things which attracts generalist physicians to rural Canada. By supporting generalist training and providing communities with local hospital services, provincial governments can create conditions to encourage more physicians to enter rural practice. Further programs are however needed for those who need special training in surgery, maternity care, anaesthesia, endoscopy, cardiac care, geriatric care, aboriginal health and others areas.