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Wednesday, 02 December 2015 15:06

There is much we can do to support local

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What a dismal future we have. Oil fields running out of oil; possible drought from climate change; about 13 per cent of Medicine Hatters living below the poverty line; a record high of suicides this year; homelessness; food bank shelves empty; thousands unemployed; and the provincial budget comes out and our once wealthy province runs a $5 billion deficit.
But cheer up. We are the Sunshine City. We have sunshine, we have the river right through our city, we have good soil, we have great people. We  can  grow just about everything so we will never starve. With a long range plan everyone in Medicine Hat and Redcliff, in fact, the entire district of this province, can live a very good life.
Many products are made from plastic. Plastic is the main ingredient of oil “leftovers” These ingredients will be needed for some time to come.
The tar sands productivity can be very busy over the next “transition to alternative energy “ years. We need some of this oil for the eastern provinces and for the many plastic products that will be required until some alternative is invented for them. Oil (refined in Alberta) will be required for some time, to keep our houses warm, and cars running, until the alternatives are available. Some company must think that electric cars are in the near future, as these companies are already putting in “plug-in” stations along the U.S. border and Saskatchewan.
Wind power is already lined up for Medicine Hat, and solar has a good start.
Some greenhouses and some businesses, and some homes are already using solar heat. When many more are hooked up, we could depend on solar energy.
Why are we still buying vegetables from California and Mexico when so many nutritious and fresh veggies are available,year around, right here? In Redcliff we are growing veggies eight months of the year. Heating can be a big expense for our greenhouses. Alberta has for many years given many subsidies to the oil industry. With a little help from the province and more solar in local homes, we could subsidize the greenhouses, and they could pay better wages to the local workers and students. They could stay open longer in the year and  grow a larger variety of products. We used to grow many flowers here and did not have to pay the transportation costs and had a longer-lasting product.  
 We have a long growing season in this district and could export many carrots, onions and potatoes. We could dehydrate more, products for export. The farmers here used to mill their own grain, so we could restart this process on a large scale and use our own grain. We could use some of our home grown peas, beans, lentils, for local use.
Many berries, full of antioxidants, are grown here. They grow in back yards, on farms and even along the roadside. Wouldn’t it be possible to ship these across Canada as freezer food, or jams or juices.
The Glass Factory was big business in Redcliff. The basic ingredient  for glass is sand and there must still be plenty around here.
Maybe we could restart up the glass factory and make, glass bottles to ship our new products across Canada with loud and lively labels advertising our area.I think this area has an exciting future. Redcliff needs water treatment and waste water removal, Medicine Hat needs more greenhouses.
Let’s all get together and make this dream come true, along with our local farmers.
Grow local, buy local, work local and support local endeavours.
Evelyn Schuler, Medicine Hat

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