I bought this book because I was looking for resources on companion planting to help me decide what plants to use to create guilds. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed. While this book does contain information about companion planting, it's only a very small section in a much larger text that is organized into sections of related gardening terms followed by alphabetical listings encyclopedia style. Each heading only has a very small blurb and doesn't go into much detail. While it's a nice reference to have on hand, it is not at all what I was looking for or need and I felt the title was somewhat misleading. Instead of being called Roses Love Garlic: Companion Planting and Other Secrets of Flowers , it should have been called A Laundry List of Gardening Tips with Brief Mention of Companion Planting. In fact, since it didn't have much more mention of companion planting than most other gardening books, I don't see why it was mentioned in the title at all.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Gaia's Garden presents ideas for creating a garden space that looks, feels and behaves as if it happened naturally, instead of being planned and groomed by civilized folk. This doesn't mean it looks unkempt, but that each plant within a garden group exists in a relationship with others in a mini ecosystem. This type of planting produces healthier plants and greater yeilds while preserving or improving the health of the soil and reducing the amount of work it takes to maintain established beds. (Though the amount of work it takes to establish them in the first place is not reduced by any means.)
Although I think that the book could have been simpler in its execution (although it promises it won't read like a text book it does in some places) and it digressed a little too often for me (examples are nice, but I got tired of them) I was very pleased with it. It was both informative and inspiring.
Monday, December 1, 2008
And now I begin.
So, basically, here's what happened. Ms. Canada Plus is a Wiccan (cool, huh, I thought so) and the Ms Toronto Tourism pageant invited her to be a judge. But when she submitted her bio, presumably for their marketing materials, she mentioned tarot cards under "hobbies" and they withdrew their invitation. (Which is very silly, because if they just looked at the Miss Canada Plus website, they would have seen her bio there, could have decided then, and would never have needed to embarrass themselves by issuing the invitation in the first place! http://www.mcpp.ca/candidates.html)
"We just got her bio a week ago and we don't agree with it," said Karen Murray, Miss Toronto Tourism pageant director. "We want someone down to earth, not someone into the dark side or the occult."
Grammatical nightmares not withstanding (How does someone not agree with a bio? A bio is not an opinion to be disagreed with.) How does Tarot cards make someone not down to earth? I dunno, there are a few headintheclouds Pagans, probably alot, but there are quite a few down to earth Pagans too. I like to think of myself as down-to-earth and I read Tarot cards. My atheist lover and I read each others cards before we go to bed at night. It helps us wrap up the day, put things in perspective and communicate with each other about the things that are on our minds and make plans. Very down-to-earth, practical stuff. And the "dark side of the occult"? If this lady thinks tarot cards are the "dark side" of the "occult", she doesn't know much about the occult, does she?
A letter to the Miss Candada Plus people said "We need a judge who has an upright reputation and we would be proud to introduce to the audience,"
It is my understanding that these pageants only award the Miss Somebody title to people who they feel is "upright" and has a clean reputation. It would seem that the Miss Toronto Tourism people do not think the Miss Candada Plus people are capable of determining who has a clean reputation, because they went on to explain:
"Our board of directors has eliminated her as a judge as tarot card reading and reiki are the occult and is not acceptable by God, Jews, Muslims or Christians. Tarot card reading is witchcraft and is used by witches, spiritists and mediums to consult the dark world."
The letter went on to quote a couple of passages from the Bible, including one from the book of Leviticus that warns, "Do not turn to mediums or seek out spirits for you will be defiled by them."
"We hope that Stephanie Conover will turn from these belief systems and will repent from her practice of them," the letter reads.
Now, this confuses me slightly, because we're talking about the Miss Toronto Tourism pageant, not the Miss Good Christian Pageant, so what's the deal here? The article is quick to point out that the Miss Toronto Tourism pageant is independant of Toronto's tourism department, and bully for Toronto then, because if it wasn't we'd be looking at a clear case of state-sponsored discrimination. As it stands Murray said her group doesn't get government funding and has the right to decide who acts as a judge in their pageant. and that's the truth.
What I don't understand is how the crazy Christian lady feels vindicated: Murray insisted Conover is "trying to stir up trouble" by raising the issue in the press. "She's obviously a very vindictive person," she said.
No lady, the public has a right to know that your pageant is discriminatory. Will you snatch the crown away from Miss Toronto Tourism when you discover that she reads Tarot cards? Since there is absolutely nothing about Miss Toronto Tourism that would cause someone to even suspect that someone into things Christians don't approve of would be automatically disqualified. I mean, check out the website, it doesn't say anywhere that you have to be a follower of an Abrahamic religion http://www.misstorontotourism.com/
Check it out
1. Canadian Citizen
2. Single, not married or living common-law
3. No dependents
4. Good health
5. No criminal records or criminal offences
6. Height of 5 feet and 0 inches and up
7. Good Will To Others
8. Good character
9. Born female.
10. 19 to 27 years of age.
Nowhere there does it say "Must adhere to the principles laid for by the God of Abraham."
What we have from Miss Conover is a public service.
If you're going to run a Christian pageant, call it that. But they're not religious says Murray:
Asked if her group is a religious one, Murray replied, "We adhere to God's principles. We're God-fearing. I wouldn't say we're religious." Isn't that a little contradictory, I dunno?