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News review


EFAO member Dann Harris wants to see more work horse activities and he's willing to help make them happen. Dann attended the one day on farm workshop at the McQuail's in the spring of 1994 He is hoping to get a circle letter going starting in December. The idea of a circle letter is that a group of people indicate their interest in being "in the circle". Then one person starts the letter, sending it to the next person who adds their comments and sends it on. In one cycle each person gets to read and respond to those who've written before. It can be a good way to keep in touch, share information and learn from each other.

If there is enough interest Dann is also hoping to organize some one day hands on driving workshops and some work horse farm tours for later in 1996. If you would like to be part of the circle letter or participate in other work horse events contact Dann at (519) 367-5748, RR # 4, Hanover, Ont. N4N 3C1



The world wildlife fund has produced a video which looks at the impact which hormone mimicking chemicals (which include a number of pesticides) are having on wildlife and the implications for the endocrine and immune systems of all living things including humans. The 24 minute video is available from the EFAO lending library or by calling the World Wildlife Fund at 1-800-26-PANDA, or writing WWF, 90 Eglinton Ave. East, Suite 504, Toronto, Ont. M4P 2Z7. WWF will send the video out free and you can view it and return it or buy it for $10.00. They also have an "endocrine disruptors" information kit containing news & scientific articles, key contacts, education and advocacy suggestions which they will send you for $5.00. This information provides more good reasons to farm without pesticides. As these facts become public knowledge, we expect more consumers will feel the same way.


Many citizens have rallied 'round their concern that the use of Bovine Growth Hormone will be allowed in Canada, and have formed the United Defense Directive Against RBGH (UDDAR) to fight for its ban. They are looking for your support. They are asking everyone concerned to commit to a one week boycott of dairy products, from Nov. 17 to 23. They also suggested that you send a note to Mr. Jean Chretien, making him aware of your concerns and your committment to action. For more information, contact Janette Haase, UDDAR, PO. Box 63, Lyndhurst, Ont., K0E 1N0, Fax # 613-928-2859.


Here are two ways to prepare rabbit that are shared through the generosity of Brian Burke.

Roasted Rabbit

Wrap a whole rabbit in approximately 10 strips of bacon, secure with toothpicks, place on a rack to allow for "run-off" of bacon grease, and bake as you would a chicken. When rabbit is cooked, remove strips of bacon and brown for approximately five minutes.

Braised Rabbit

5-6 lb. rabbit

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2-1 tsp. curry powder (optional)

approx. 10 slices of bacon

2 large onions

3/4 cup of water

1 tbsp. minced parsley

bacon grease or other oil

Fry one sliced onion in bacon grease or oil. Cut rabbit in serving-size pieces, dredge in mixture of flour, salt, pepper and curry powder and brown with fried onions. When browned, remove rabbit and discard fried onions. Then add second sliced onion to pan. Wrap each rabbit piece in a slice of bacon, secure with toothpicks and place on top of onion in pan. Add water and bake 1 1/2 hours, or until tender, in a 325-degree oven. Remove meat from pan, place on platter and keep warm. (Discard or eat bacon, as you choose). Remove grease from pan (handy tip from Brian's mother: simply place pieces of brown paper bag on liquid in pan until all the fat is absorbed and discard the paper) and thicken broth with flour. Pour over rabbit pieces, sprinkle with parsley and serve.


by Vicky Morrison

(One of our new member, trained in aesthetics, gives us some idea of the power of plants in healing.)

`My father took down some bottles from over the fireplace and mixed several liquids in a bowl. He then made a compress by folding a small piece of flannel, soaked it in the liquid and placed it on the man's side. Within half an hour the pains had gone and his face was no longer screwed up out of all recognition as it had been. Gripping the table in my excitement I couldn't take my eyes off him: it was a miracle!

"Papa, did YOU do that!"

"Mon cheri, he who causes the plant to grow is the one who did it"'

Of Men and Plants

Maurice Messeque

Aromatherapy means 'a therapy using aromas'. The aromas come from the plant kingdom- flowers, trees, bushes and herbs. The relevant part of the plant (the wood of the sandalwood tree; the petals of the rose; the peel of the lemon; the leaves of rosemary bushes; berries of the juniper tree, etc.) is put through a process of distillation, where the volatile, odiferous substance is captured. It is this liquid which is known as an essential oil.

Essential oils have many uses although our sense of smell, being likened to our emotions, plays the largest part in recognizing the power of aromatherapy and it is here that we can discover how certain essences have the power to lift depression, or which essences have a calming influence on troubled emotions. Aromatherapy is a mixture of aromas, massage and medicine. (Editor's note: When essential oils are used for massage, they are diluted with a carrier oil. On their own they are too potent for the skin.)

Back to school--Remedies for kids!

Colds and Flu: Stuffiness- eucalyptus oil, put them to bed and put oils on the outer edges of the pillow.

Sore neck & aching back- lavender oil, massaging on chest, into the lymph nodes in the neck and under the jaw. Use where the body has the ache.

Fevers: Lavender- into luke warm bath 3 to 4 drops

Eucalyptus- wrap feet in a compress (2 drops in a bowl of cold water), renew compresses when warm

Stomach ache: Peppermint- dissolve a teaspoon of honey into 1/2 cup of warm water, and then add one drop of oil, and stir again

Headache: Geranium- compress on the forehead

Sore throat: Tea tree- gargle 2/3 glass of water and one drop of oil

Please remember if the sickiness is very serious or the oils do not seem to be helping, a doctor should be consulted.

Spreading The Word and The Work

A special thank you goes out to the committee who organized and attended the EFAO display at Roots of Bruce. The children received the display and presentation very well, as did the adults. We have received a special note from a member indicating how impressed he was with the display. Thank you. This type of activity helps the organization and spreads the workload.

Another Word Of Thanks

Once again the Directors of the EFAO appreciate the donations that have come in. A special thank you to:

Christine Thomas


Michael Hunter - Bruce AgVise


An Introduction to Ecological Agriculture

This popular EFAO training event was held in several locations last winter under the sponsorship of OATI (Ontario Agricultural Training Institute). OATI's involvement has several advantages, reducing the burden for EFAO volunteers, as well as lowering the cost to participants. The content of the course has been steadily improved over the years and is still delivered by practicing ecological farmers. To initiate a course in your locality, call your local OMAFRA office.

Planting Trees In The Fall Or Not

by Henry Kock

Sometimes there are good reasons to procrastinate. Here's perhaps one of the best ones. There are some trees and shrubs that one should best leave in the ground until next spring. For reasons not fully understood, but recognized through repeated observations, some trees consistently fail to take if they are disturbed by transplanting in the fall. Generally, plants are growing roots at times of the year when shoot growth has stopped. It may be that some trees do not have a fall root growth period and that this is what restricts their transplanting time.

The classic "spring only" trees in the nurseries are Magnolia, Japanese Maples, Cherries and Birch. If the plants are grown in a container the problem is alleviated because no roots are cut and the roots are not loosened from their contact with soil.

Many natives trees and shrubs are on the "plant in spring" list too. These include walnut, hickory, redbud, black locust, black cherry, pin cherry, wild plum, tulip tree, birch, cucumber magnolia, red maple, silver maple, eastern flowering dogwood, alternate leaved dogwood and oak.

Many trees and shrubs do however transplant well in the fall and can be moved as soon as the leaves fall. These include elm, hackberry, ash, honey locust, and sugar maple, as well as shrub dogwoods, willows and viburnums. You can have success transplanting pine and spruce in August, but they must be moved with a soil ball. Cedars can likewise be transplanted in September. It is important not to plant evergreens later than this, in order to allow time for new root growth.

Fall planting should include a thorough watering to settle the soil around the roots and a mulch to prevent the soil from drying. If you are salvaging trees from woodlot edges try to take only those less than two metres, the taller ones do not survive as often nor do they grow much for a few years... by which time smaller ones have outgrown them. Trees take several years before they really begin to function in the landscape so large tree moving usually only increases the work without the benefit.

Skunk Antidote

by Paul Ahrens


(Paul passes on this handy recipe, found in from Popular Science Aug.'95.)

Using the usual tomato juice method, a chemist in Illinois failed to rid a friend's cat of its repellent odour, after it had waged a losing battle with a skunk. He then came up with his own successful concotion:

-1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide

-1/4 cup of baking soda

-1 teaspoon liquid soap

He bathed the cat in the solution and applied a tap-water rinse. However, he warns against putting this potion in a bottle - it would explode.


A Canadian company is looking for farmers willing to participate in phase four of a market survey on the uses of rock dust as a source of phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc.For complete details about the product and the survey, contact: Walter Termeer, Coastal BioAgresearch Ltd., R.R. # 5, Truro, NS B2N 5B3; phone 902 893-9139; fax 902 897-6983.


One of the Agroecosystem Health Project researchers is also looking for participants in her study. Within a workshop setting, she hopes to have people help with four main tasks: developing a list of measurable characteristics of agriculture, human communities and the biophysical environment and group them under common indicators to measure health; identifying the direction of change that has occurred recently; linking the perceived causes of change with the indicators; and discussing the response or possible responses to perceived changes. Many of our members feel "studied to death", but if you want researchers looking at issues that are important to you, it's essential that you start them off with the right information. If you think you and a few other friends in your area can afford a day to ponder this important question, please contact Sharon Fletcher, Agroecosystem Health Project, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Blackwood Hall, Univ. of Guelph, Guelph, On. N1G 2W1; 519 824-4120, ext. 8480.

Copyright 1995 Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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