Sharing knowledge at the personal level Up Front

By Bryden Winsby T

here hasn’t been a time in human history when so much information was available to so

many humans. In my own case, part of what I do in publishing would not be possible without the Internet — or at least it would be a whole lot more difficult. Aside from agricultural magazines, I produce several products related to occupational health and safety, a field in which I first got involved about 17 years ago. At that time the Internet was going strong, but it didn’t contain nearly the amount of OHS subject matter that it would within a few more years. The company I worked for at that time maintained a library of relevant publications and many were periodicals requiring expensive subscriptions. Today, those subs would be useful, but aren’t necessary. My work doesn’t delve into complex topics but is aimed at providing workers and employers with general knowledge of safe work practices and policies. The worldwide web has plenty of material to work with at no charge.

One thing I don’t rely on (but appreciate when it happens) is personal contact with experts on a particular topic.

Such contact was lost to a huge degree back in the day when the province chopped extension services to assist farmers and ranchers with production, marketing, business and financial planning information.

Fortunately, entomologist High Philip wasn’t part of the purge and has been a font of valuable knowledge for fruit growers about insect pests and how to control them. His value and enthusiasm were such that he carried on for years after retiring from his government job. This issue’s cover story by Associate Editor Judie Steeves will give you insight into why Philip has been a personal resource that the Internet will have a tough time replacing, if it even can. Elsewhere you’ll find a profile of another valuable contributor to the industry, James Calissi, cousin of Pierre Calissi, a very notable and affable grower whose untimely death occurred as this issue was being put together. James today devotes a lot of time and

4 British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2018

energy to the highly detailed process of rootstock acquisition, but his career also has involved playing key roles in resurgence of the cherry industry and marketing of the accidentally discovered and very successful

Ambrosia apple.

Otherwise, there is lots more, from a piece by Contributing Writer Susan McIver on the diversification of Maged Said’s bottle washing business and coverage of the cherry growers’

AGM and tree fruit hort symposium, to the need for more neighbourliness between farmers and the public and winemaking guru Gary Strachan’s look at how to cope with (but not necessarily abandon) mouldy grapes. He also describes the need to take measures early in the season that can mitigate the prospects of mildew infestation appearing in the summer. Have a happy spring, everyone!

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