Agriculture

It’s Either Wine or Sunflowers, Eh

The expanding social competition among vintners to be super-elite seems to be at blame. This will be one of the few balsam roots you’ll see this year above Okanagan Landing, some 5,000 acres of habitat for them.

You will see this new fence, though.

The City of Vernon has a “wildlife corridor” policy, which doesn’t apply to 2,000 acres of farmland, it seems, land turned into a road system to access the 100 acres or so desired for vineyard production, and which includes vital mule deer range, especially for pregnant does on early spring forage. It’s all blocked off now, using the “right to farm” legislation, which is a blue print for farmers to do anything they want. There are reasons for the legislation, but flaunting wildlife needs is not one. They are in jail.

I passed by 100os of balsam roots like this today. The ones with flower heads are rare. So, the next time you sip your $21 plonk, remember that the social status behind it has a cost in the liveability of your life. Oh, and expect more of this:

Coyote Kill (Yearling) in the subdivision

There’s nowhere else to go. It has to happen in your front yard. The flowers were spared by deer grief, it seems. So, the next time you worry about problem deer and problem coyotes, remember your friendly local vintner and raise a glass of plonk to him. He’s brought the world to you. But he’s not springing for flowers. You’ll have to ship those in from Colombia.

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