Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – A plastic-film-less food shopping journey – May 7, 2010 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – I have begun the plastic-film-less food shopping journey.  I said in the last Earth Matters column that I would begin mid-May…well I started early.  I was concerned about being able to find a nutritious whole grain bread without plastic to replace a wonderful product that we currently purchase off the shelf in a plastic bag…my concerns were quickly put to rest on my first visit to a local grocery store who said that I could phone ahead my bread order and the bakery would be happy to bag the bread and package in paper.  That was easy.  Next stop the deli counter for some sandwich meat…I made a stop at the meat counter for some butcher paper before going to the deli for the sandwich meat.  They happily wrapped my order in the paper I gave them.  I contently left the grocery store with only packaging that I could deposit in my recycle bins or that would at least degrade within my life time.  THAT WAS EASY!  I will keep you posted on how things proceed.

It is absolutely amazing how quickly things are growing, changing and blossoming. We have enjoyed fresh asparagus, parsley and chives from our flower beds.  The rhubarb is calling to be harvested for some fresh pie or cake.  The tulips are bright and beautiful and the scent of lilacs and bleeding hearts are perfuming our backyards and fields.

The Apple trees are in full blossom and judging by the blossoms on the Nan-king Cherry bush and the Cherry tree a bumper crop of red delicious morsels will be enjoyed by us and the various birds which share our yard for the spring and summer season.  We do not use pesticides so we do have tent caterpillars nesting and growing in our apple trees.  I know that these caterpillars are a wonderful food source for various insects and birds.  I trust that a healthy environment is best and nature is capable of looking after the checks and balances and does not require our interference.

Speaking of nature I had always thought that the Peony required ants to blossom.  This is incorrect.  Although the Peony attracts black ants because of the plants sweet secretions, according to ‘The ants are not absolutely necessary to helping the peonies bloom, but they are helpful and do not harm anything. Most gardening experts advise against trying to kill the ants.”

On a brief visit to the Lionel Chevrier Building on Water St. this morning it was impossible not to notice the aromatic delight upon entering the atrium.  They have a yellow rose bush which has just begun to bloom.  The intense wonderful aroma is heaven.  Do stop by and smell the yellow roses.  Absolutely scrumptious.  This is a public government building…it is yours.  They have benches; bring a boxed lunch and just enjoy the surroundings.  It’s free!

The South Nation Conservation Authority, (38 Victoria St., Finch, ON) will be hosting an Open House June 17th from 1 – 5 pm.  The afternoon will feature tours of their office building, environmental displays and will feature the artwork of local environmental artists.  I will be participating with my environmental art.  Do stop by and say hello. This is a family friendly event. Everyone is welcome!  For more information about this organization and the important work that they do, visit

Last but not least, many trees and brush areas have been cut and cleared in the area over the last year to make way for cash crops, new construction and hydro poles.  Please consider lending a helping hand by planting a tree or two.  Spring is the perfect time for planting.


  1. Why an event such as this, again held on a week day when the general population is at work. June 7th from 1 – 5 pm,.

    I guess it is one way of not having to field questions outside of your circle.

  2. Wow beautiful pics! I love the spring when everything grows! Just enjoyed fresh asparagus from our garden. Thanks for sharing your shopping experience. Inspires me to start too:-)

  3. Hi Smee, I would be happy to field questions any time, from anyone. I do not have all the answers however would be happy to look into a topic for you and to perhaps direct you to an appropriate resource. I am certain The South Nation Convservation Organization would be pleased to help you any way they can. Your question about the timing of the open house would be best put to them…do realize that this open house is taking place during their normal business hours. They are also available during various public events such as Home Shows, Area Fairs, etc. May I suggest contacting their office to find out about the various week-end events they will be present at to personally address your questions. They had booths and representatives at the Kemptville, Long Sault and South Dundas Home Shows in the past month. All of these public FREE shows spanned Friday evenings and Saturdays.

  4. Hello Monica, Thank you for taking the time to comment. Inspiration is a wonderful thing…pass it on!

  5. Thank You Jacqueline
    I noticed the booth at the Long Sault trade show but it may have been break time as it was unoccupied. I did however get some good gardening information and a stick *l*

    It is more then just asking questions one on one. I strongly believe all this environmental stuff is nothing more then a ruse for a new industry trend. Actually I don’t think it is I can show that it is.

  6. Smee: Of course this “environmental stuff” is an industry trend. We live in a capitalist society and everything is an industry trend, including the manufacturing and usage of plastic. Someone is bound to make money off of this, but in my opinion it is better than maintaining the status quo and allowing people to get rich by poisoning the earth. If you choose to support industries and businesses that insist on using plastics, which we know last a long, long time in our land fills, and cost vast amounts of money to recycle that is your choice. But keep your logical fallacies to yourself, and lets not pretend that environmentalists are the only ones trying to make money.

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