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We’ll all go down together. That’s a line from a Billy Joel song and it’s something a business owner said last week when we were talking about the state of the oilpatch.
Or words to that effect. If this is the end, he said, then at least we’re all going there together. Let’s hope it isn’t the end. It might be the end of something, but usually the end of one thing is the beginning of another. That’s at least a helpful way of looking at it. But in the meantime, hundreds of people are losing their jobs.

A lot of things are changing and not for the better, but other things continue in much the same way as they ever did. The return of waterfowl is one of those things. Lesser Slave River is packed with ducks and geese, on their way north for the season. The snow is melting (knock on wood). Soon enough, leaves will be coming out. We’ll go out on a limb ad predict a bigger-than-usual year for gardening. That of course will mean brisk business for those who deal in topsoil, plants, seeds and other gardening stuff.
Gardening makes a lot of sense at any time, but a lot of people don’t have time for it or don’t think they do. But with more people than usual having more time on their hands, and stuck at home, why not get some veggies/flowers/fruit trees going? Feelings of insecurity about food supply might spark some of this as well. Let’s get on with it!

Speaking of growing edible things right here at home, The Flipside in Slave Lake – having gotten planning permission from the TOSL recently – must be going full bore on its micro-greens business by now. We’re not sure what stage it’s at, but Mr. Phelps told us (and town council), the greens only take 10 days from germination to harvest, and they will be available for purchase in whatever amount customers order. This is presumably by the kilo. Fresh, nutritious stuff, grown locally. Does it get any better that?
If it does get any better than that it would be somebody’s big, fat, juicy, red tomatoes – also grown locally. We happen to know Mr. Green Thumb (AKA Gordon Ferguson) is up to his elbows in his big greenhouse over in Gloryland, pampering his first tomato crop of the season. The only question (or questions) is when, where and how much.
So we called and asked him. The first of the small tomatoes he figured would be ready to pick in a couple of weeks. Early potatoes were coming on gangbusters as well. And get this: he’s doubling the size of his greenhouse, so we might see all kinds of fresh local produce for sale in coming years.

Sad to see the end of Strawberry Service, a lot of people are saying. It had been there a long time (over 60 years!), and went through various ups and downs, owners and styles of business. Lately had been one of the down times, we hear. Of course you could say the same for a lot of businesses these days. Most of them don’t go up in smoke, though.

Okay, Pastor Peggy Yetman of Slave Lake’s Wesleyan Church took the trouble to let us know what sort of online activities she is offering, so here we go: Trivia Tuesday, Warmhearted Wednesday, Tadpole Thursday and Find Out Friday are the titles. We could tell you more but we don’t want to do all the work for you! It’s all on Facebook, of course.
“We are now in our fourth week,” says Pastor Peggy, “and plan to continue until such time as the restrictions are lifted and people are back to work.”

If you like doing surveys – maybe even if you don’t – there’s one asking about COVID impact. It’s being done by the Canadian Mental Health Association. You can find it online right here: .

We heard at least one property owner in the Swan Valley was getting nervous about the possibility of flooding last week. But by the time we got around to calling the threat had subsided. So that’s good news!

Nobody wants another flood. That especially goes for the folks at Marten Beach, who have been swamped two summers in a row.

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