"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

Henry D. Thoreau





Design & Build: Clay Pizza / Bread Oven 

Traditional clay ovens date from antiquity and are both beautiful and effective to this day. One of SETIs long time members has built one of his own, and has documented the process for our benefit. Download the PowerPoint slideshow below for a walk-through of the process, from design to completion!  


Genetically Engineered Food

For those concerned about or interested in the issue of glyphosate use and glyphosate contamination here is some more information. We have devoted two columns to this issue "What about GMOs and GE Foods, and "Response to CropLife".

Dr. Vrein has also responded to CropLife. Here is his response:

Mr Ted Menzies, President of Crop Life  Canada , has not been made aware of the Food Safety and Sustainable Agriculture Forum that took place last month in Beijing.    Over 300 scientists from China, the USA, the UK, Russia, France, Denmark, Germany, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and Peru, met to review and discuss scientific studies of engineered crops and food.  These were not anti GMO activists and conspiracy theorists with an agenda, they were biologists and biotechnologists, and medical doctors and veterinarians,  and there were also farmers, and social and food safety activists,  and representatives of NGOs.   The broad consensus was that the RoundUp Ready technology that was invented to boost the sales of the herbicide RoundUp is not sustainable because of the chronic toxicity of the herbicide.  The technology has been very successful and revolutionized agriculture since 1996, particularly in North America and a few countries of South America, but it is deeply flawed.  This chemical is now spread (and sprayed) all over the food supply in North America and a few other countries, it has become as common as a food additive.  It is also in the air, the rain, the water and of course it bio-accumulates in our body organs.  There is a large body of science showing severe chronic toxicity in animals and pointing the finger at many of the degenerative and inflammatory diseases that we have seen become epidemic since RoundUp has been sprayed on RoundUp Ready crops.  Many countries including political allies of the USA (64 at the last count) have now legislated some form of regulation of engineered crops and foods, or banned them altogether.


The fact that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada personnel seem to have caved in to political pressure or lobbying to keep ignoring the latest science is not reassuring at all.   Studies from the US Department of Agriculture show that engineered grains are depleted of metal micronutrients.  Just like they would if they contained residues of a powerful and broad spectrum chelating agent that binds the missing minerals.   Studies from many countries show that glyphosate is also antibiotic (at one part per million, as cited on the 2010 US patent).  Does this mean that people are fed low level antibiotics like industrial chickens and cattle?  Business as usual is not acceptable anymore, this was the strong message from the Forum that took place in Beijing last month. 

Cui bono ?  Mr Ted Menzies finds it disconcerting that I am not getting paid and still consider it my civic duty to protect the health and safety of Canadians and raise the alarm.  Who is this technology good for if it depletes the food of essential mineral nutrients and threatens our health?  

Tony Mitra has responded:

As a concerned citizen, I write to you drawing attention to apparent misinformation posted by Mr. Ted Menzies, President of Croplife, in his letter as published in your paper recently.

Dr. Thierry Vrain speaks primarily about Glyphosate, the active ingredient contained in Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide, and not GMO or gene transfer technology. Mr. Menzies sidesteps the main presentation about the effects of RoundUp herbicide in our food and environment, and attempts to falsely drag Dr. Vrain into a debate on if GMO is good or bad. Is that not falsification of facts?

I would encourage Mr. Menzies to provide peer reviewed science papers that actually prove that presence pesticides in general, or Glyphosate in particular in our food, is good for our health.

I would further like Mr. Menzies to either provide proof that Glyphosate is not an antibiotic although it is patented by Monsanto to be such, or that glyphosate does not damage the micro-biome in our gut in spite of being an anti-biotic.

I would be delighted if Mr. Menzies can further provide data where Canadian citizens can have their blood, urine, and food tested for presence of Glyphosate, to check if levels of this poison has crossed minimum safety limits imposed by USA, by Europe, and other countries. I would also encourage Mr. Menzies to furnish data on what safety limits the Canadian Government might have set on presence of Glyphosate in our food, and if Croplife, or Health Canada or anybody has conducted thorough testing of Canadian food for presence of Glyphosate and if so, where those results are available.

Lastly, I would recommend that Mr. Menzies actually attend one of Dr. Vrain's talks and try to absorb the content of his presentation, and then write his views on it.

While in Manitoba these two presenters also spoke at The University of Manitoba, and in Lac du Bonnet. Check page 9 in this edition.

Here are a few links for those wishing to do more follow-up


tony.mitra@gmail.com Tony welcomes contact.

Dr. Vrain references this documenthttp://earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/gmo-myths-and-truths It is a free download.

The best lecture we have been able to find on YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXLCJLrZv8w. If you find another good one, let us know. There are also many interviews.



Owning Eating

Andrea has been an instructor for several of our Reskilling Workshop series "Making Old-Time Skill New Again". We strongly recommend that you check out her blog "Owning Eating" for recipes, thoughts and experiences of eating in Southeast Manitoba. 


Food Processing 

Food can preserved in many different ways. The best web site we have found dealing with this topic in an overall way is The National Centre for Home Food Preservation

Cold Storage

Some vegetables can be stored very well at home in a proper storage facility, commonly called a root cellar. Check http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/store/wisc_vegetables.pdf article for a good introduction. Locally Gabriel Gagne 346-9615, and the people at Northern Sun Farm 434-6143 have experience in this regard they are willing to share.


It may seem strange to us that, in earlier times, people knew how to preserve vegetables for long periods without the use of freezers or canning  machines. This was done through the process of lacto-fermentation. Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits putrefying bacteria. Starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits are converted into lactic acid by the many species of lactic-acid-producing bacteria. These lactobacilli are ubiquitous, present on the surface of all living things and especially numerous on leaves and roots of plants growing in or near the ground. Man needs only to learn the techniques for controlling and encouraging their proliferation to put them to his own use, just as he has learned to put certain yeasts to use in converting the sugars in grape juice to alcohol in wine. Locally Gabriel Gagne 346-9615, and the people at Northern Sun Farm 434-6143 have experience in this regard they are willing to share.


Jack has some very worthwhile experience with Solar Drying here.  Also Gabriel Gagne 346-9615, and the people at Northern Sun Farm 434-6143 have experience in this regard they are willing to share.
Home Canning and Freezing
Bernardins have an excellent resource on home canning

Community Supported Agriculture 

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a food system where the food consumers partner with the food producers. In this way there is conversation about production methods (usually, but not always, organic), a sharing of the

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