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Peter Finch
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I watch and wonder as Nature goes her merry way. I plan, plant, nurture, and harvest on our tucked-away plot, reflecting in the off-season on the endless joys and rewards of sharing a natural organic lifestyle with Gundi.
I watch and wonder as Nature goes her merry way. I plan, plant, nurture, and harvest on our tucked-away plot, reflecting in the off-season on the endless joys and rewards of sharing a natural organic lifestyle with Gundi.

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View to the southLake Atitlan speaks to me, in so many ways. Her voice is clear and pure. This is a place to come to cast off the old, to breathe new life into jaded minds, to rejuvenate tired bodies, to elevate mired souls. She liberates, beguiling, transformative.The people here are almost all indigenous Mayan. They speak their own languages, the women and girls all wear traditional dress on a daily basis, and they welcome the sprinkling of outsiders who come to share in this elevated landscape and aged culture. Of course, the bigger towns like Panajachel, Santiago de Atitlan, San Pedro la Laguna (where we are staying) have modern-day trappings such as restaurants, bars, tour operators, catering to travellers and tourists, but the markets, churches, most stores service the local population above all. The hustle and bustle of these small towns on market days is accentuated by vibrant colour and hearty banter.We get around by walking a lot and taking $2 tuk-tuks when loaded down with shopping, tired, or just lazy. They are everywhere and ever-ready. Our AirBnB-rented chalet is a twenty-minute walk south of town along a paved road. It is perched above the road in a private garden overlooking the lake. At night, we look out over the gently-twinkling lights of the villages along the north shore. By day, the speedylanchas ply the waters connecting each village and town. Using them, we have visited San Juan, San Marcos, Jaibalito, and Santa Cruz in our two weeks to date. More on them in due course...Yesterday, our outing took us south to the end of our road and along a dusty trail prompted by magnificent views over the mountains, volcanoes, lake and shoreline. The vegetation is sere in this dry season with many trees flowering and coming into bud and leaf. Volcan San Pedro hovers over us, its slopes a kaleidoscope of greens thanks to its natural state. Each tree and plant finds a niche. The sky above is radiant blue, but white cloud invariably collects around the peak as it does now.Our pathway is clean and clear but for some horse droppings. The old rubbish dump is no more, and the signs prohibiting dumping are adhered to. The locals here are very waste-conscious as they protect their lake's fragile eco-system. No plastic bags, little bottled water, no paper in the toilets. Ceramic water filters purify water from the tap.Our road is called Calle a la Fincaand, sure enough, the trail leads to an abandoned coffee estate. Built in the 1930s using solid stone construction, with an almost football field-sized drying area, production ground to a halt (excuse the pun) in the 1980s, perhaps due to a slump in price or competition from other growers as global consumption took off and corporate conolidation took hold. Two families are now custodians of this enclave. Just down from their simple abodes is a rocky cove where we chose to be baptized by the waters of Lake Atitlan. The waters were fresh and invigorating, the vista panoramic.View towards San Pedro, to the northTomorrow, Atitlan will reveal herself in another way.

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Celebrating Winter, A Farmer's Perspective
In
celebrating the seasons, we celebrate the cycle of life. Now the winter
solstice is behind us, the days are already getting longer again, although
winter is just beginning. Outside the window, a gentle snow is painting the
landscape white, in festive fas...

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Hubris
Smugness,
exceptionalism, complacency, hubris… have so much to answer for, especially at
a momentous moment such as this. For
months, we have been in a bubble, consumed, mesmerized by two obscenely rich and powerful
people vying to rule over us, even if fro...

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Dry Summer Challenges
Today's field contrast: on the left, unwatered corn, beans, zucchini, on the right, watered arugula This
is one hot, dry summer. For a multitude of farmers across large swathes of
southern Ontario and many other parts of the world – conventional, GMO and
or...

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Future Resilient or Consigned to the Past
Photos from my drive home from selling Rolling Hills Organics produce at a Toronto (Evergreen Brick Works) farmers market yesterday afternoon. Took the scenic route along the lovely, up-and-down County Road 9 through Port Hope township and the rolling North...

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Forever Young
(Note to self on turning sixty, courtesy of Bob
Dylan, with whom I share a birthday; Happy Birthday, Bob) May your hands
always be busy May your feet
always be swift May you have a
strong foundation When the winds
of changes shift May your heart
always be j...
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