Unapologetically Canadian
Unapologetically Canadian

Episode 54 · 1 year ago

Creating diversity via permaculture with Stefan Sobkowiak


Stefan Sobkowiak spent twenty years turning a traditional commercial apple farm into an extraordinary oasis of permaculture diversity. He's deeply grateful for that abundance, which defines Canada for him. The episode is brought to you by the CAUS crowdfunding campaign at 

My name is Tracy Arial and I am unapologetically Canadian. Hey, tras cereal here and did this is the second week of May, two thousand and twenty one, and this has been the most challenging year for creative entrepreneurs. We are dealing with a global pandemic. We've got got a lot of hope now because everyone's been getting their vaccines. I've got my first dose. Second does comes in July. But we've also been seeing some pretty tragic circumstances with third and fourth waves and variants that seem to be spreading much faster. So on the pandemic side we're cautiously we have to be cautiously optimistic because we've been going through this for more than a year now and nothing works better and making sure that you're doing exactly when you have a lifeworth meaning purpose is a lot easier when you have hope to so I think it's important to keep hopeful and I'm certainly hoping to have just go to a restaurant with friends. My bucket list has become particularly limited these days. It's like going to a restaurant with friends is like the most exciting thing ever anyway. So hopefully that will happen soon. Also, this has the time when you've finished your personal taxes and you still have until June first to do your business taxes. If you're a creative entrepreneur, you probably have a business, although maybe both of them are tied up in one, and then you're already done in congratulations to you. I'm actually in that case for one of my businesses and I've already finished the taxes. The coop is already finished our taxes and so I only have two more businesses to finish their taxes. For nonprofits, and one of them is safe Ms. we have a lawsuit coming up on Monday. So this season is particularly busy for that organization to it's a nonprofit trying to inform people about electromagnetic fields. We also have I also have notable nonfiction, my publishing company, which really hasn't started doing very much yet, but I still have to claim my taxes because when you have a company, that's you do. So those are things that I'm sure you're caught up with as well. There's some really exciting stuff this week in that Danny Annie is giving away his book about online courses away for free. If you want to rate if you want to create an online course for your business, I highly recommend working with Danny and getting his book, which actually needs like a novel. It's almost like it's like the wealthy barber for a like courses. It's a really fun novel, very casual and I think gets a great read. I have a link for it so that you can get it for free for the next five days if you're listening to this right away, and that's in the show notes. And last but not least, in the new section, the copyright law is currently under review again, and if you are a creative entrepreneur, you know that in two thousand and twelve the government made some incredibly bad actually, in one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven, they made some bad decisions about changing the copyright law, and then again in two thousand and twelve they made them even worse, and we are now in a situation where creators actually can have all of their rights taken away from them and just by signing a stupid contract. I think it's time now for the government of Canada to get really ambitious and start standing on the side of creators. I would like to encourage them to create two different kinds of copyright. The first one, which would be dual doctor or author rights, and that would be the one that would be the life...

...of the author, plus twenty years. Actually it should be plus seventy, like the rest of the world, and that way the author would control it and then they would create a copyright which would be, I guess, Dudda, and in that case that would be no more than thirty years, because if you can't take a crop product and monetize it in thirty years, then automatically that copyright should go back to the original author, and an author is an individual, somebody. Now the problem is now, in since nineteen sometime in the S, companies have been considered individuals under the law. Will Copyright should just change that around and that you need to be a living human being to be a creator, and so that that way, when you have a film that is made up by a collective of creators, or when you have a product that is made up by a company or a collective of companies, it's still the individuals within that company that are named and that hold the long term copyright. Now, if they are employees, then they can actually because the company might not exist after thirty years. So they might they can just sign another contract which is an employment contract. So if they're still unemployment employee of that company after thirty years, then that particular product still gets to be promoted by the company. This would be a good way of turning around some of the multinational corporate negative ramifications in multic natural corporations that we've had for companies and for individuals and take away and put the power back in the hands of living, breathing individuals. So that's what I would like to encourage the government of can did to do the week and if you agree with me, then you can write to your MP or send a note to the industry minister and or Steven Gilbo, the heritage minister, and see if you can actually make this happen, because it's a really important time to make your stand known when it comes to copyright. And that's it for today. My interview this week is with the wonderful Stephensub Kawyak. Stephan is the owner of permaculture orchard here in Quebec and he's been running that part of cooked orchard for decades now and it's an extraordinary place. We go apple picking. We're always members of the farm every year, but he does a lot of really cool training and he has some fabulous youtube channel. It's getting a lot of attention now to so I'll put links to those in the show does as well. But enjoy my interview with steff and now, Hey Steven, fabulous to see you again. Long time no see. This virus is made things a little bit difficult this year in terms of events and stuff in yes, it has. Yes, it has, even though we live in the same neighborhood. Haven't even seen you walk in the dog lately. I walk in the same area as I go along the bike paths of okay. Dog loves to do the search for voles. Yeah, well, there certainly are a lot of rules in the neighborhood, that's for sure. You should take him down to the greenhouse every now and then. We could use a vole hunter nearby, are we? I do. I go down that way too, but I just don't go inside the gates. Okay, anyway. Well, it's anyway. So I guess we should start by talking about what you've been doing this year with the pandemic. How is the farm been going on? I mean, you have a quibel. Are you still coback's only proma culture farm? I doubt it. I doubt it very much. I mean because letting people have any interests. Yeah, a lot of people have been interested for years and it's just maybe I'm kind of the most advanced one, but there is a lot of others. There's some nice examples. I don't know if anybody has bigger.

There's certainly people who are planning or have started or are starting, but that's it's all exactly but the most important to do. So can you talk a little bit about this project of yours? I mean you started it. When you started it it wasn't as well known as it is now. PROMA culture itself wasn't even as well known in Canada. Yeah, I guess it depends when you jumped into the bandwagon, if you like, because I started I remember reading about it in one thousand nine hundred and ninety at the Ecological Agriculture Project The library at MC Gill and I went this is it, this is I want to do this, this is what I want to do, this is great. That was like, you know, it's one of these things that when you discover it, he or you take a course and you go, Oh my God, we're going to change the world now. Yeah, and so my reaction to that was one thousand nine hundred and ninety. And so by the time, as you say, they orchard, you know, there was a it's a process and I understand when people say, yeah, I'm thinking about doing it. You know, it's been five years and it's okay. I was thinking about it for a long time. Yeah, actually, ninety I discovered proma culture. We bought the farm in ninety three, but that was just the whole process of going through and taking a four thousand three organic apple orchard, which was a monoculture, and doing that and to finally realize that this doesn't it. I mean it works, but it doesn't work the way I hope it worked. It doesn't work as an ecosystem. So, yeah, two thousand and six we tore out most of it and two thousand and seven started to replant right been since, and even then when I planted, it's like look, you know, I am so late to the game. There are there's just so many people who have be been doing this. That's not that I wanted to be first. I just figured, you know what, I just don't know who else but there's got to be hundreds or thousands of people doing this and it ended up now it wasn't. So that's just out to do. It takes time, and I mean any kind of agriculture is hard as it is any kind of project period. Yeah, you know to which project you you want to start a podcast. You say, okay, I want to start a podcast, and you just google how to start a podcast. Okay, I'm starting today. That's not likely. I mean you just don't start on the dime. You can have the desire, but it still takes some effort to take some research. It takes some getting into it. Actually, I didn't check. Are you recording? I am. Okay, yeah, so, anyway, finally got to it and finally got it done, at least a part of it done. You know, it's not all done, but it's it's interesting enough. Part of it is done. Yeah, can you talk a little bit about your basically, I love your whole of Grocery Grocy I'Le Concept. Actually, it was really it was kind of an ouch offshoot from having the monoculture Apple Orchard, because what I saw then that made a lot of sense. An orchard isn't a bad idea you know, people think, well, it's not, you know, it's straight rows. It doesn't have to be straight roles, but it was straight rows because you start off on a rectangular backdrop, you know, the most lots are not some odd shapes, their rectangle, squares, whatever, and so it followed that pattern and it became a linear thing. And the other thing was all the trees in a row were planted as the same tree, which now I would say that's not a good thing. But what is good about it was that because they're all the same, they're all planted to harvest on the same date, right, which made a lot of...

...sense. And so the grocery store was just taking that idea and adapting it to many different species, so trees, shrubs and perennials and so on, and the grocery stores just that we look to harvest in a ten day window. It doesn't always work that exactly because, yeah, there's a lot of work that needs to be done to know that that's the exact window, but that's the idea that you pick in a you know, in a couple of rows and that's what's in. And the idea of grocery store is you're walking and you're not going to just take apples if apples are ready, because in the same row you might have plums and pears. So you'll take apples but oh yeah, the pears are ready to Oh and all these plums. So you go down the grocery store island, you get a whole cartful. That's the idea, right. You know, you've gotten a few cartfuls. So you know how it's easy to get wrapped up in getting it going. Yeah, yeah, and I have a I've actually I find, I think, with this podcast, in addition to the headshot you send me, I'm going to put one of the apples shots that we have quite a few fun shots from going because I've been a member of miracle farms for many years now and we, you know, the kids grew up there. Actually I have pictures of the kids actually with the ducks. You know, you've had duck, you've had sheep, you've had you know, all those sorts of things, which lead me to the question what's your favorite story about operating your from a culture orgin? Yeah, well, that's exactly what you said about being a member. So my biggest success when I really thought wow, this is this is really come of age. Was One of our members who had like a toddler, just the toddler for little girl who was with them, coming year after year, and so I saw the first year. I mean they were she couldn't barely walk yet and they were bringing her through the rows and so on. And Year after year, you know, the little girl becomes a little girl. And finally, after about what five, six years or so, when she was in first grade, the school had, you know, we have all these go out and do apple picking, right, because it's just an orchard, is just apples. So that's the whole idea. And so the little girl went and she came back that day and the mother asks her, so, how was your day? And Little Girl looks at her mother says, mummy, it was weird. There was just apples, and I thought, Oh wow, that is that is the greatest accomplishment. I couldn't get is that little girl's ideal of an orchard was absolutely what I'm aiming to do, was to make a monoculture seem weird, like this doesn't make sense, this is not logical, it's weird, and that girl's reaction was exactly what I'm aiming for. That you know, yeah, monoculture is weird. It doesn't make sense, and so that was to me how wow that was. That was a lovely day that time. I thought of that when I went wow, that is fantastic. Yeah, and it's interesting because she would have gone probably in the fall right, and some things that are that are growing in the fall. I mean what you have growing at the farm around that time in a row of apples, just apples? Yeah, it's but you have flowers and you have you know, and you go to miracle farms at that time of the year, you know you might have some some black eyed susans and you have the the you know, you tend to have a lot of butterflies around and you know, swallows and all sorts of things about and whatever you go. We see tons of that, different kinds of things. But on the other hand, what are what would you say the...

...biggest failure has been? You've been doing it now since one thousand nine hundred and ninety three. Yeah, I mind you, from ninety three to two thousand and sixty were be weird. You were building the traditional act orchard. The real permaculture version has been since two thousand and six really, although before that you were still running an orchard, which is not easy to do. Yeah, but you know, yeah, it wasn't much like I start thinking of it, I always say now it would have been far easier to have started with the scratch, you know, a blank slate, right, if we had bought a place and it was just a field, that would have been way easier. But I wanted the idea of fruit trees because I thought well, you know, I'll just mix it up. And Yeah, it wasn't that easy. Plus we, you know, we had sheep and when I had say, we had cheek be even before you came, we had hundred cheap at one point. Yeah, a hundred cheap. There's nothing that's growing underneath other than grass and clover that that will survive because the sheep will. And we had we had quite a bit of shrubs starting just naturalizing, growing and within two years it was gone, like you could kick the shrubs over. Everything was so sheep are great to control vegetation that you don't want, especially shrubby stuff, but it's not a good way to replant and have sheep in there. There is a sequencing of when you would put things, but definitely the most challenging and the biggest failure I to just say is that I took so long to start, like I can remember in twozero and I was ready to start, like I wanted to start, and it didn't happen till seven years later. Yeah, you know. I mean I knew I needed to change the orchard. I knew I had to. But that's why I say would be easier to have started from scratch, because scratch then you just plant, but because I had an orchard, I had to now pull out this orchard and then replant. So it was a big added step right right anyway. That to me that failure. You know, there is no failure, there's feedback, but I can now tell people that, you know what, start on an empty space. It's much easier. It's just from experience. I know I did. I had a series this fall on my youtube channel on the biggest mistakes and when I started recording, I wow, there's a lot of mistakes. YEA more than one video, more than two bays. So I ended up with four videos on different mistakes because, and these were the biggest ones, it wasn't you, it wasn't all the mistakes, because I couldn't even remember them all. Usually I make them twice, so that's the other thing. And when I do it the third time I go okay, yeah, that was wrong, because I did learn it, I forgot it, I did it again, I forgot it. And if you've been at it for thirty years, I find a lot of mistakes. Have about a ten year memory span and that's one of the reasons I started the youtube right was now I'm documenting it, people are watching and they can remind me that didn't you say? That didn't work. And if I say something and I go, you know, and I'm thinking of doing that, and somebody will remember that. Didn't you say? You know that that didn't work, like well, AH, what are the for mistakes on those? Oh Gosh, I have one just on nursery mistakes, because there was a lot of mistakes with the nursery. One on the design, so how we laid it out and so on, the mistakes involved in there. And then there were two others. You know, the only people who don't make mistakes are people who don't do anything that's right. That's that's why to meet there is no mistake, and mistake means you're just you're doing something and you adjust and and that's all there is to it. Like, well, I think the school system. Sorry, sometimes mistakes are just because of timing right.

Sometimes something that work before might work now, right. Yeah, yeah, like, for example, somebody asked me today would pop pause work, and I said, well, if you're in an open area and you're planting an orchard, I wouldn't plant pop pause if unless you're really farther south, right, just because pop pause don't tolerate that open situation. They need some shade and they need to shelter. And Asian pairs, we found was the same. They never worked in the beginning, but they work much better now that they have protection from the other trees. And so what do you have tips for people who are starting other than yes, and blank slate, just start now, really it, honestly, that's you know, because I know that. That's why I say start with two trios. What's a trio? Trios three trees. So you have two fruit trees and a nitrogen fixing tree or shrub. That's a trio. And if you double that, so you have two sets and there is a huge advantage to that because it's like, come on, six trees. That's nothing. I want to put in an orchard. Yes, you know how many trees? Of Maybe two hundred? Will plant six this weekend. Well, now it's a little late in our climate, but you know, if it's the right time of year, just plant six trees this weekend. That's close to when you get excited, because unless you do something, I always find that, you know, an idea has with it a dose of energy. Yeah, and you learned something like I remember when you went through the permaculture course. You know, men that that last day when you're finishing, I mean you have such a huge ball of energy to want to do something. Yeah, and with time that ball kind of, you know, deflates. And then when you go five years later, I want to do something. Well, now you know, your ball of energy is kind of deflated and that's like yeah, that's why. Really and if you have two trios, you've got the hardest part done right, because I remember a high school teacher used to say, you know, starting is fifty percent of the job done. And now with, you know, forty years, fifty years of seeing that in action, it's absolutely true, because if you started it when you could have started it, because there is a time you could start. It's not that big of a job. You could start if you'd started it then by now, which could is often two, three, five years later, well, you're already you'd be eating from the trees. Yeah, you know, it's like, yeah, those trees, they're producing like crazy already. Exactly. So that will be a motivator because a lot of times in the beginning it's it's not discouraging, but okay, the trees they're okay, it's growing, but nothing's happening. There's no flowers, there's no fruit in the tree yet. You know, you're just waiting and waiting and waiting till something happens. So just start very small, and that's a permaculture principle, you know, slow and and small is is the way to start. Yeah, well, I'm actually one of the Prema culture principles too, is just to look around first and Yep and and and actually watch what's happening and come up with your design based on what you actually see. And that's an interesting concept. I number. When we moved into our house people kept telling us that, but there are certain things you want to do anyway. It's like, and I credit that from a culture course actually for the work that we've done on the greenhouse, because that was, you know, it was much easier to get moving when you already know a bunch of people who are interested. So and there weren't they? You know,...

...basically as soon as you start getting getting an idea in your head. I mean part of me that the time when we met. That was me building my Canadian life, you know, where you get to be outside in the summer and and inside writing in the winter. You gotta be outside in the winter, otherwise it's six months of the year you're inside. Yeah, I've always cross country skied, so it's not like I don't go outside in the winter, but I just wanted a life that was designed to be look more like the traditional, you know, farming type of life. You know, where you you're outside, you're doing you're growing food, you're being part of food, and then you're and then you're inside being creative and your you've got some real creativity in the last few years. You've been doing some fabulous videos. You've been doing some are you still doing your book, because it's coming along. Yeah, actually it's had a publishers in France now because I've got the French, the French version. They said it's about a year. And I got around not having to write, which is my deal with them. I said, look, I'm interested. So what I gave them was I gave them the English manuscript. Right, I gave them there was there was some interviews. I did that. I said, you know, look the stuff that you know, the informations there, right. And so she said, look, will do it as a translated from the book, part translated question and answer series, part hmm, and taking parts from videos and the film. So I said, you know what, let's do that. And next summer she'll have a photographer come by through the season and take, like you know, one day in four times in the year for one day just to document what they're trying to show. I said that's that's because you know me. If it comes down to me writing, God, it's I don't know me and writing. I kind of remember a high school teacher who, when I thought I had written the best piece I ever wrote, like you know, I sweated over that thing to write that what I thought was the best writing I ever did. HMM, and she totally said, like this is a piece of crap. Oh my gosh. When I was six, I was so deflated I thought what this? If this is the best and this is crap, then I give up on writing, like it's useless because I just that future conversation, because that's really there's no way that that should be FIF aout of writing. That's like that's not okay, because everybody has a skill, like doesn't matter what kind of what you write, you probably you had. There's a skill there. The worst writer I've ever read is also the best person in terms of dialog because the reason that she wasn't a good writer is that she wrote so accurately what was happening that it was hard to pull the story from it. So there's always something you can start with. That could it. She could have told you what you were good at, and so I know now my style is more narration exactly. So for me to write, I wouldn't right now. I would dictate, dictate it and transcribe and that and have somebody like you clean it up. That's that would be the easiest way, because I can't. You know, I'm not organized. Like, don't ask me to organize all my thoughts at you know, my son, my son does the same when we try to do a video, he says, pops, you gotta be you gotta have it organized. What is organizing? When that when you have the ideas dancing in your head like like a band, you know, going off all the time? It's not obvious. Yeah, who had one more question? I did because I'm this is this podcast is called unapologetically Canadian. So I wanted to know do you consider yourself can Nadian and what does that mean to you?...

Absolutely, yeah, I'm very pleased to be Canadian. Actually, you know my'm I'm first generation Canadian. Both my parents came from Poland, and I think that's very well. You could almost, you could literally say who isn't from somewhere at some point? Like, honestly, even the native America, you know, the native Americans, or native Canadians, the aborigines, the aboriginal people, they they weren't started here like they've been here the longest, but they themselves came from somewhere, like the origin of man was not on North American continent, and so it's just a question of look, everybody's comes from somebody. It's a melting pot, as is the US. The same thing, and so we come from somewhere, and that's that's actually I find it's it's a big benefit because, like my cultural background has shaped the way. I think you know, the reason for the farm partly is like some of my memories that are quite vividst I remember our our cold celler, you know, men in the fall time it was packed. There was enough food. We always had like you could have had anything happened. We had six months of food all the time. This is because my pardon me, where was this? In? In the Lower Laurentians? Oh Lord, Lamentians. That's why they came. But tell me a little bit about your history in terms of you said you were what? My parents both came right after the war. Okay, they both came on contracts. That time. The government was always looking for workers. They just needed people to work. So my father worked on the railroad for a year and cutting forest and my mother worked in and garments sewing and and so on. So they both came. They both didn't know how to do that, but it was just they needed people who could work, and so they did that and they ended up both coming back to Montreal. They didn't know each other. They met in Montreal and the they both came from farming backgrounds in Poland. So they thought we really don't want to live in the city. So they found the place that was at the time kind of really in the Booney's, you know, but now it's amazing severe. No, not even that far it was. It was east of St Jerome. Oh my gosh. Yeah, but part of this did he know exactly? Now it's like, I look, I've been by there a few times and it's like this is a suburb. Now, you know, people are but at the time my sister got lost at one point in the forest because it was such a huge forest that you could get lost. And so it was, you know, really and I can remember one day sitting there, my father said, you know, one day the city will be, will be reaching up to here, and it was like that's impossible, like that can't be. I couldn't imagine that. And you know, in sixty years just about it really has. It's amazing how sprawl happens anyway. Be Canadian. Yeah, that's really what it means to me. Sorry what you said. What does it mean to you? It's yeah, it means you know, we come from all different backgrounds and I think that diversity is is very important. We excuse me, yeah, we're not. It's the diversity that makes that. You know, Canadians think the way we do. We know we're all super privileged like Gosh, and if we don't, we need to be reminded that. Look, this is an incredibly you know, such an incredible country to live in. I was just answering somebody...

...yesterday about I said yeah, but they were talking about the tax situation in the US and I said yeah, but I said you didn't. You didn't factor in health insurance, which I said, you know, in the US, when you say health insurance, will insurance means it just ensures that it's a hidden tax. Yeah, because it's it's such a big cost. And they said, yeah, you know, our taxes are lower. I said they only appear lower, but if you factor in what your health insurance cost and and the whole thing about, I mean Canada's not about it's only the US that is not. You know, that's still runs in a private system for profit for health. That's like, that doesn't make sense. Why does health care become a for profit situation? Like their healthcare cost per person are more than double with all the g twenty are so anyway. That's one of the aspects, but we're definitely unapologetically Canadian and proud of it, that's for sure. We're so fortunate. It's a funny then you talk about diversity, because your whole life is about diversity, diversity of crops, diversity of people, diversity and in lifestyle. I mean it's really it's been a privilege to be working with you for so many years. It's really a really appreciate it. was there anything that I didn't talk that we didn't talk about, that you really wanted to mention? No, I don't want to open another can of worms because there's so many things we could go into. That's that's right. Actually kind of curious on your you know, she mean Ma. I don't know what your would that be. What's Your Your Road Map? How you like? You got into permaculture living in the city, and you know, how did that come about, because you also got into this and went down a rabbit hole that well, my might like. I said that the first part of it was more of an ecological idea. I was getting involved locally on ecological projects and trying to do a garden at the church and all sorts of things, basically trying to expand ecology and diversity around me. And what I really like you, I have a value of making sure that there is diversity around me, and that includes diversity of plants, because I think we don't have enough greenery in the city and we don't have enough food, for sure, and and it's just important. So permaculture sort of got me a chance to do both of those things, which is create a life which is Canadian in that the outdoors is not just part of my recreational activities, but it's also part of my work activities. I wanted to combine them and then that sort of led to the greenhouse project where we're we took this old because I also believe that heritage buildings should be kind of continually used, and so it was being used for green for blue boxes at the time, and now it's full of plants and we're taking our acroponic system and hopefully moving it outdoors so that we can put our community garden inside too, so people who actually members, who want to have indoor space can actually have indoor space. So and then that's part of what this podcast is about. To like, what does it mean to be Canadian. Each one of us has our own definition of that and and I think that that actually connects this piece. Is like the live local and then be global. Unless you actually appreciate where you are and what you're doing as a low in your wherever nit you live, it's really hard to be, to be really active in the international world.

You know, I know a lot more about the international treaties because I'm a writer and I care about copyright and all these things that actually go to international meetings. If you are a Herma culture person, you know that there is a world ecology that has to be protected. So everything. If you can be really local, then you don't have a choice but to have a bigger vision. So that's sort of why. That's what that's my aim. So that's why I talked to everybody about that's why I want to explore Canadian identity. Is What because it like we've you know you. I didn't know how this interview is going to go, even though I've known you for years, but it's just interesting that it turned into, you know, this huge value of diverse city. You know, we've never talked about why you're Canadian. We were in talking about the fact that you whether I didn't know because we live in Quebec, so I don't always get yes answer to that question. Yeah, sometimes, sometimes, when people are not Canadian, they or they don't consider themselves Canadian. They have fascinating answers too. Yeah, and it doesn't mean because you're born yes, you're born here, you're Canadian, but like my parents, weren't born here, but boy, they were definitely, you know, very happy to be Canadian. They realized, having gone through the war, they realize, wow, this is such a privileged you know. So what we have here is incredible, incredible, and I do feel sad when people criticize a lot. It's like just travel a little bit, you know, just go outside. You'll forget your bearings in whatever field you're in and see that we we have a lot going for us here. I mean when I go to Europe, this year's the first year and seven years I haven't gone to Europe for a tour and when I speak in Europe people don't grasp how big Canada is, like, you know, they really, they just don't. Like I usually say a joke because, yeah, if we're Canadian, we know what a forest is, and so I say yeah, but you don't have any forests in Europe. Everybody gets like what I said, no, you don't have forests. And I say where could you go that you could walk for a week and not see another person and really know that you're totally lost. Oh well, maybe, do you know? They're all thinking there might be a place. Yeah, I said, come on, I said we I could go an hour, you'd say an hour north of us, and there's a good chance that, yeah, I might hit a logging road, but I don't know which way to go and look, that's forest. If I go to two hours north, then yeah, I could travel from two months and, you know, be totally lost. So you talk about the Trans Canada highway. I mean it's interesting because there are sections of the highway that weren't built for about thirty years and after the actual highway we've officially opened, because it took them that long to engineer the potential of getting across various crevices and, you know, through various forests, you know, and they give you lots of warning you better get gas because there's no gas station for a hundred fifty miles. Yeah, that was a where some of the cross because I've done a lot of I can across across between Manitoba and Ontario and man that that rote that the highway in that area is death or it's like rocks, trees and that's it. I went through... in a snowstorm. Oh No, no, I was driving to us, driving to Manitoba for I I worked in Mantoba twice and it was the biggest snowstorm of the year. It was middle of April and it was the biggest snow I it was tulips were blooming in Montreal and I headed that way and as I was driving it's like, hmm, you hit North Bay and you go how the rivers are really swollen. It's flood stage, so there's lots of snow melting and then you get the cappus casing and there was three feet of snow on the ground. I said, it's middle of April when the snow leave here? And that's when I hit the start of the snowstorm. Oh No, and as I was driving through they kept announcing Trans Canada's closed, that whatever, and I'm thinking I just went through their twenty minutes ago. And so I drove through the snowstorm for ten hours. When I stopped. I was basically locked like this. Oh, I'm sure, like I remember getting out and sitting in a truck stop and I sat down and I was kind of like I couldn't even put my hands down to put you know, to eat. I was because it's so mesmerizing, the snow going over the hood for ten hours. So, yeah, I fell asleep to survive that. Yeah, because I did some stupid things. I passed the snowplow at one point. I thought, wow, that was dumb, that was really dumb. You know how you always know these things are stupid after you do them. Well, you're you're in a trance. You're just like mesmerized for following something for an hour that you don't you think, okay, I think this is a good chat, but you know, you can't see anything past the snow plow. Yeah, and so I thought, yeah, that was dumb. If there was a truck coming, I was toast, you know, just just anyway. Hopefully. Anyway. I'm just glad. Thank you very much for your time. I Love I love speaking with you. It's always great and apologetically, maybe in this week is brought to you by coop codes that we create communities to help people live locally. If you want to buy local, if you want to cook or if you want to grow, you on food. You want a partner with Coop Code and our cry funding campaign is on right now.

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