Saturday, March 12, 2011

More on Minto (of Minto-Brown fame)

John Minto (Oregon pioneer)Image via WikipediaEnrich and Beautify the Earth

From the book titled John Minto: Man of Courage 1822-1915:
John returned jubilant from the 1849 gold strike with enough 'yellow dirt' to make it possible to buy the finest in rare fruits and flowers to plant on his acreage. When a Methodist minister came upon him three years later as he was loosening the graft bands of a crabapple tree on which he had worked six varieties of popular apples and he was singing at his work, the minister remarked: "You seem happy, Brother John." Yes, Brother Roberts," he answered. "Just now I would not swap with Adam before his fall," the preacher made no reply.

"Perhaps he thought me irreverent," John remarked later, "but I had no such thought, and that had been the experience of my life when working to enrich and beautify the earth."
John Minto lived to 93 and he was a poet who wrote the following to fill a need for songs for the Salem Grange:

Come to the grange with me, Love
Come to the farm with me
Where the birds are singing and the flowers are springing
And life is happy and free.

To thee, Ceres her bounties shall bring, love
Promona and Flore shall give
Of their fruits and their flowers, to crown the hours
Of the life on the farm thou shalt live.

While the bread-grain is in the field, Love
And the fuel is cut from the grove,
Neither cold nor want shall thy night dreams haunt;
Only plenty and comfort and love.

We'll build our home by the hill, Love,
Whence the spring to the brooket flows;
On the gentle slope where the lambklins play
In the scent of the sweet wild rose.

In the labors, joys and cares of the grange, Love
In the shelter and shade of the grove,
Life's duties we'll meet in companionship sweet,
And there rest from our labours in love.
John Minto was an innovator in agriculture with some firsts in grafting fruit trees and sheep ranching, and served prominently in the Oregon Legislature.
Speaking of the Grange, don't forget tonight's dance to benefit the Grange!

Great new find: Cog-itate

A new blog I hadn't seen before -- excellent. With this VERY sad and sobering message.

Note that you are NO SAFER if you are driving while using a hands-free cellphone than with a handheld. IT'S NOT YOUR HANDS THAT ARE THE PROBLEM, it's your divided attention. Cellphone conversations are nearly as bad as texting, because the person you are talking to demands your attention without being able to see what you're seeing (road conditions etc.)

Here's the message for a lifetime: HANG UP AND DRIVE. Period.

Another look at getting around

From the wonderful folks at Straub Environmental Learning Center:
Tuesday, March 29, 2011, 6:30-8:00pm
Sustainability Workshop

Transportation: The Alternatives!

We’re kicking off this year’s workshop series with a lesson on alternative transportation. With the price of gas continually climbing, the need for other, more sustainable modes of transportation is becoming exceedingly important.

This workshop will highlight some available modes of transportation in Salem: biking, busing, walking and carpooling. Representatives from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), the City of Salem and Cherriots will be present to give some helpful tips on sustainable commuting. The Sustainability Workshop series is open to the public.

Classes are free, but registration is required due to limited space. RSVP to Alexandra at 503-391-4145 or email

All workshops will be held at Straub Environmental Learning Center, 6:30-8:00 pm, unless otherwise noted. For a schedule of the entire series, click here.

Late but in earnest! Help rid Minto-Brown of invasive Scotch Broom

Sorry for the late posting, but here's a great effort worthy of support.