Hosta Season is Starting 2013 – Maple Ridge BC

In our coastal area of Greater Vancouver, the Hostas are making their way to give us another season of foliage and flowers. If you didn’t get a chance to do that fall clean up, there’s still time to remove those hiding spots for slugs and snails.

Hosta Wolverine - March 15, 2013

Hosta Wolverine – March 15, 2013

My Hosta/Perennial plant sale is coming up soon. I’ll keep you posted – Ken

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Maple Ridge – Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Contest

And the race is on, to see who can grow the biggest pumpkin in Maple Ridge. The weight from 2010 was 130 lbs, so this year… what will it be for 2011? 200…. 250…. 90. The weather will play an important role and perhaps some magical growing formula or pumpkin talk. Here is a photo of my pumpkin as at July 1, 2011 [Canada Day]

Time to have some fun!

August 1, 2011

It is now August and the pumpkin [that's singular] is approximately 7 inches in diameter – a long way to go to 130 lbs. So I’ll continue with the 20-20-20 regime of fertilizer and bury all the aerial roots along the vines. My hope is to have a pumpkin sister real soon.

August 22, 2011

A fine pumpkin sister has now arrived and is 12 inches in diameter. it’s a much nicer shape than the first pumpkin [now 16 inches in diameter. The current challenge is “Powdery Mildew”. The Thornhill Pumpkin Weighin is not until October 22, 2011, so there’s still time to bulk up.

The great weigh in and pumpkin roll happened on Oct 22, 2011. Here is my pumpkin at 200 lbs even.

Next year “300 lbs”

Cheers to all the participants at the Thornhill Hall, Maple Ridge BC

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Pelton land exclusion application denied by ALC

The Agricultural Land Commission denied the Pelton application for the exclusion of select lands from the ALR. In its decision the ALC stated that the request was “inconsistent with the Agricultural Land Commission Act to preserve agricultural land.”

Additionally, in its report the ALC noted that there was “extensive correspondence submitted from the public regarding the application, mostly opposed to the proposed exclusion.” Read the full report here (.pdf). Kudos to everybody who submitted letters and e-mails — you obviously had an effect on the process!

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2010 Pumpkin growing contest winner

The winning pumpkin for 2010 weighed 131 lbs!

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Growing Our Community is back

After a brief hiatus, Growing Our Community is back and at ‘em! We’ll be adding new features and design elements over the next few weeks, so definitely check back frequently for updates.

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Pumpkin growing contest in Maple Ridge

A spirited group of Maple Ridge citizens have embarked on the search for that giant pumpkin. After wise words from Heather aka. the Pumpkin Queen of the “Pumpkin Patch , the excitement has started.

Requirements: Special Seeds Soil of any type plus lots of good ole manure. Water. Laughter and smiles.

Pumpkin progress will be reported over the next several months with the Big Day – October 23, 2010 at the Thornhill Hall for the “Roll the Hill” event plus carving and family fun.

If you want to join the fun, let me know! Ken Hemminger 604-463-9221. Continue reading

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Hellman’s commercial examines food production in Canada

Check out this thoughtful ‘documentary’-style commercial from Hellmann’s that discusses recent import / export trends in Canada:

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Flushing money down the toilet

Change habits to limit tax increases

Over the past decade, Maple Ridge has added more and more homes and welcomed new residents to the community, but taxpayers have been faced with increases in their property taxes almost every year during this period. In conversation and in the media, I continually hear “We must increase our tax base to service our growing community” but I rarely hear, “How can we save money?”. As we have all seen, increasing Maple Ridge’s tax base is a long, arduous, and complex process but it’s important to note that we, as taxpayers, can make money-saving changes to our own behaviours that will benefit the community over the long term.

Recently, I was looking through a flyer from a local building supply company and saw a reference to a municipal toilet rebate program that offers participants $100 when they remove their old fixtures and convert to low flow, six litre flush toilets and low flow shower heads in their homes (applicable only to homes built prior to 2005). There are twelve districts and cities in British Columbia that have made this program available to local residents and it’s been shown to reduce not only water usage, but also the amount of effluent that is flushed down the sewer system. If you look at your 2009 property taxes, you’ll see that owners of single detached residential homes paid $348 for their water levy and $226 for sewer rates. Conversion to fixtures that use less water and produce less waste helps increase the efficiency of our homes by reducing the burden that we put on infrastructure services provided by the District of Maple Ridge.

While I agree that exploring options that would increase our municipal tax base is important, higher tax revenue is not the only way to keep a lid on property taxes in Maple Ridge. Participating in this rebate program and others like it is one of the many ways that residents can reduce personal waste and limit consumption — this type of activity helps reduce the total cost of the services to the community and, in the long term, will contribute to a more reasonable and logical history of tax increases.

I hope this letter flushes out some new thoughts and encourages people to look at other ways that limit consumption and our use of municipal services.

Update: 12 April 2010

Maple Ridge is now participating in the low flow toilet rebate program (.pdf). You can get a $50 ‘utlility tax rebate’ by meeting the criteria described in the official press release from the Municipality.

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