Green Wizardries: Getting Ready for Spring


Green Wizardries, Getting Ready for Spring by Maxine Rogers

The Liberal/NDP Federal Government under Trudeau and Singh has decided to make our lives easier by relieving us of a lot of money.  They are increasing taxes on workers to support the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance.  They are also increasing the Federal Carbon Tax in a way that will cost Canadian families between $377 and $911 in 2024/25.  In case this makes you feel the need for a stiff drink, have it now as they are also increasing taxes on alcohol.  Don’t wait for the alcohol-tax hike.

I wonder what they need the money for?  They do not seem to intend to use it to care for the many, many Canadians now forced out of housing and living on the streets in leaking tents in our notoriously cold and savage winters.  They do not seem keen on restricting the supply of deadly opiates that are flooding into Canada and killing citizens right and left.  I know some people thought that a safer supply of drugs was the answer but we have tried that in BC and it just led to an even higher rate of overdose deaths.  

No, if you want to help people who have a drug problem, the secret is to get them into housing (so they feel less desperate and abandoned) and to offer them detox facilities whenever the fancy of getting off junk strikes them.  The wait list for detox treatment is many months long.  Do you think they need the extra money to save Canadian lives?   Not a chance.

What they really need the extra money from the Carbon Tax for is to pay for Justin Trudeau to fly about the world in a private jet, going on holiday to the Caribbean while we have a beautiful summer in Canada.  I guess he needs to get away as Canadians so resolutely and vocally hate him.   Oh, and Trudeau has pledged to give 9.5 billion Canadian tax dollars to the war effort in Ukraine to get lots of healthy young people killed or crippled because who needs healthy young people?  

So, you are going to have less money to spend, not much water this summer and you have a Federal Government that seems intent on depriving you of housing, civil rights and even your life.  Well, governments are like that.  Ask any Russian or Cambodian who is old enough to remember the Terror their Governments unleashed on their own people.  

We can’t do much about Federal Policy but we can support each other.  The first thing to do in a crisis is to protect yourself.  That means there will be one less person needing to be rescued.  You will also be in a better position to help others.  

Start a budget that allows you to save some money every month, even if it is only a little.  Begin to buy food in bulk as this is vastly cheaper than buying small packets of ultra-processed foods that contain little to no nutritional value.  Bulk whole foods are your best value for nutrition.  Donna’s store by the Bistro on Denman is an excellent place to shop.

Start a garden or increase the size or fertility of the garden you have.  I was speaking with a neighbour who has a good professional job that pays well.  She said she had begun to garden years ago because it was fun but now she has to garden in earnest as she can no longer afford to buy all her food.  

Take good care of your health.  Get out and walk in nature, sing, recount all the things in your life that you feel grateful for.  Do nice things for your friends, family and neighbours.  All these things make people feel better.

Start some seeds inside your house.  March is the time to sow indeterminate (tall) tomatoes.  I like the Italian Stallion Roma tomato from Salt Spring Seeds.  They crop heavily.  One year, I gave some Stallion seedlings to a friend who lives in a tiny home and she was able to get a whacking-great crop from the plants she raised in pots.  It is also time to plant peppers and eggplants indoors but you really need some extra heat to get these fellows going.  You don’t need to have a greenhouse, even a temporary plastic poly tunnel will give you the heat you need to grow a worthwhile crop.  

If you have the space inside, this is the time to start broccoli and cauliflower.  I never seem to have any luck with cabbage so I will only start a few of them to see if I can learn how to grow them.  It is time to sow lettuce and other leafy greens in the garden.  Remember to plant only a few small rows at first or you will have a garden of lettuces all coming ripe at the same time.  The better idea is to plant spring greens every two weeks in small batches.  Chit your seed potatoes.  That means expose the seed potatoes to bright light in a cool window until they develop dark, green sprouts.  The seed potatoes should be planted out starting in in late March.  Good luck!