Home Month and Year May 2021 Parker’s Pen – May 2021

Parker’s Pen – May 2021

David Parker

The April edition of Canadian Geographic not only contains a photo of a fashionable couple wearing masks to ward off the Spanish flu and an interesting article on the iconic schooner Bluenose, but also names our national bird.

Couldn’t help but notice that on the map, the range of the Canada Jay takes an upward swing from the southern areas of Manitoba and Saskatchewan to omit all of Southern Alberta. Our national bird doesn’t visit Calgary.

Wise men from the east strike again.


In another sleight to our provincial architecture professionals in ignoring their experience and creativity, Olds College has chosen a Toronto-based firm to provide it with a master plan for the institution’s future growth.

I’m not one for too many rules but isn’t it time that any project financed with government money be favoured towards local firms, especially in these tough times. There are certainly many across this province who are very capable.

And Olds College has certainly benefited from corporate Calgary. A full fleet of John Deere equipment is being used as part of a five-year agreement by Cervus Equipment to collaborate in the operation of the college’s Smart Farm.


Sticking with agriculture, despite exciting headlines all about technology being the new Alberta Advantage, oil and gas and agriculture are still VIPs in our economy.

Reading a very informative and rather exciting book called The Food Explorer, the adventures of David Fairchild, a globe-trotting botanist who transformed what America eats, I was struck by a quote from an 1887 copy of The Progressive Farmer.

‘There is a screw loose. The railroads have never been so prosperous, and yet agriculture languishes. Banks have never done better, yet agriculture languishes. Manufacturing enterprises never made more money, yet agriculture languishes. Salaries and fees were never so temptingly high and desirable, yet agriculture languishes’.

Our land is a wonderful resource that perhaps should draw more attention.

Interesting to note that a UK company has located its Canadian office and plant in Calgary to take advantage of our excellent transportation infrastructure and proximity to its raw product – yellow peas.


Like many others I’ve taking the opportunity to take a few drives to get out of the house and was very pleasantly surprised heading west out of town, to see the construction progress at the new Farmers’ Market in Greenwich Village.

You really have to concentrate to wind your way through the massive Stoney Trail lane changes past half completed bridges to join up somewhere – we trust – but you can’t miss the 50,000-square-foot indoor market. We all look forward to the northside Farmers’ Market that will be home to 70 local family businesses, creating some 200 jobs.

Conjures up memories of those colourful markets in Barcelona, Lisbon and Florence where freshness gives off a wonderful aroma.


Final Words: With a good friend, no road seems too long.