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Page 4 DILLON Taw's. - Wednesday July 30 2014 So pleased to know you From time to time, I have the privilege to extoll the virtues of living in Southwest Montana, this week, that opportunity has come around again, inspired by a couple of things over the past weekend. First of all, there was the 2014 edition of South- western Montana Relay for Life, an annual event that I consider to be the gold standard in public awareness and fundraising events in the effort to help cancer patients and support survivors, as well as finance research to find real cures Diana Brown, chair- woman of the local event's organizing committee - along with her very able committee - put forth a really commendable effort to produce one of the best Relay events during my eight (so far) summers here in Dillon. Furthermore, the new venue, the grounds of Barrett Hospital 81 Healthcare, provided plenty of space, access to parking and lots and lots of (now rather trampled) grassy areas for camping. The starry night also made for the perfect background for the hundreds of luminaria lighted in honor of cancer survivors and to remember those who are no longer with us as a result of cancer. There was one other incident - far less public - that occurred early Saturday evening south of Dillon. I had the good fortune to be \rescued\ by two of Beaverhead County's finest residents. After spending many evenings and a good part of Saturday installing a porcelain tile surface - thanks to yet another good soul who helped me out at a time of technical inexperience - on our patio, I decided I needed a break. Since the tile project had sapped much desire to engage in my early morning walks on a daily basis, I decided to get out the bicycle, air up the tires and head out for a ride. I figured Barretts Station would be a good turn -around point and give me a ride of a little more than 12 miles, about a 30 -minute spin. Having made the proper arrangements, in my opinion, I headed off. I was making good time and getting a pretty good workout on the slight uphill from our place to the Barretts interchange. I had some breeze in my face, too, adding to the resistance and enhancing the physical work all the more. Without warning - well, there was that 20 seconds of unexplainable brake squeak - my rear tire blew out the bead about a half -mile short of Barretts. Bang! The ride was over. I turned around and commenced the long walk back. I figured at my pace of 16 -minute miles, I would be arriving back at the house in about an hour and 45 minutes. Oh joy. Maybe some passerby would have pity on me, trudging along under the summer sun. Maybe not. Whether it was the helmet, the coincidental Denver Bronco colors of my orange t -shirt and blue bike shorts (perhaps the shorts themselves?) or my naturally grizzled countenance, the driv- ers of the few vehicles passing by gave me only a wave at best. A little more than halfway back, though, and a cheerful voice chirped out behind me, just as a • woman on a cruiser bicycle pedaled by. \Nice day,\ she said. As I grumbled a reply something like, \Hi well, could have been ...\ a man on a similar bike appeared as well. \You broke down?\ he asked. \Yep blew out my rear tire,\ I replied, some- what discouraged. Instead of pedaling on - his companion went on ahead to mail the letter that was the focus of their cycling errand - he offered to go back to their nearby home and get his pickup and come right back. I protested ... but just a little, and off he rode. A bit later, he pulled alongside with his little truck and I loaded my ailing bike into the back. and off we went, to my great relief. As we made our way the remaining two and a half miles. we visited and introduced ourselves. lbrns out I was rescued by Val and Sandy Prophet. Not only did I get a cheerful ride home on a hot July evening, I made the acquaintance of two of our county's finest. iMuchas gracias! GLEANINGS BY CROCKFORD DICK CROCICFORD VIEWPOINT G, Todd dllhwas teRsured by the high (or al the (oun otdded d 31- d8 y slispellsion [81itint,,), in Doter. Which is exactly when my term ends and I'm retiring. Writers on the Range How to find food for free By An LeVaux1VVriters on the Range The voice on the phone gave me directions to a house in a residential neighborhood. The way she spoke made me feel vaguely like James Bond receiving a secret assignment from \M.\ \The owners gave permission for the tree to be picked, but they don't get home from work until two. Before then, don't even knock on the door because they have two yipper dogs that will go crazy,\ she said. \The tree is really tall, and I think it might be grafted, which means the upper cherries could be better than the lower ones, so if you have a ladder you should bring it.\ My assigning officer had information about 100 or more trees around town, including 23 apri- cot, 52 apple, 16 plum and seven pear, as well as grapes, cherries and berries. Anytime she's out and about, she takes note of new ones, knocks on doors, and asks residents if they plan to pick their fruit. If not, she asks permission to send harvesters like me to do the picking. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, 33 percent of the food grown world- wide - some $750 billion worth -- goes to waste without being consumed. It would take a farm the size of Mexico to produce this much throwaway food. When it rots in a landfill, the gases created account for 6 to 10 percent of all of the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. If global food waste were a country, Grist.org reports, it would be the world's third -largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Most of the focus on feeding a growing world has been on producing more food. A less sexy approach would be to reduce the amount of already -existing food that is being wasted. Enter the gleaners. The act of gleaning is as old as agri- culture itself. In ancient times, poor people used to prowl the fields of landowners after the harvest in order to pick the grains or vegetables left behind. In my college a few years ago, gleaners were just called \scroungers people who gathered in the cafeteria corner where trays were dropped off. If something on a tray looked good, a scrounger would politely say something along the lines of, \Hey mind if I snag that lasagna?\ More recently. in cities around the United States, activist groups have emerged to forge relationships with grocers, caterers, restaurants IN THE MAIL THE VIEWS OF OUR READERS and growers at the supply end, and with food pan- tries, homeless shelters and other organizations feeding the hungry at the demand end. Then there are the rogue gleaners like myself, working alone or in cahoots with the likes of the woman who told me about the cherry tree. Begin- ning in mid -summer, it's easy to walk the streets and alleyways looking for trees from which ripe fruit is •droppibg. All it takes is a knock on the door to determine if the homeowner would be open to you picking the fruit. Then, if everything goes according to plan, I have a lot of fruit on my hands. It can be frozen, whole or juiced, or turned into jam or dehydrated -- my method of choice. I prefer dehydrating fruit because it's simple and doesn't involve any extra ingredients. The finished product takes up little space, and I can take it with me on hikes. Later in the season, I'll turn my attention to fall vegetables, like kale, which gets sweeter after a frost. During the last few markets of the season, I'll strike deals with growers to acquire large amounts of their kale before it meets the plough. Sometimes a grower will invite me to come glean it myself, old -school style. But more often they'll offer to harvest a massive amount and sell it to me at a bargain rate. Technically speaking, food that's acquired in this manner isn't \gleaned but \recovered.\ Either way, it's food that wasn't wasted. And for those who don't have an associ- ate like the woman who guided me to the cherry tree, a smart phone can make a good substitute. A new organization called Falling Fruit (Fall- ingfruit.org) is building a worldwide database of urban edibles, including, according to a video on the site, \Apples apricots, plums, avocados, star fruit, citrus, nuts, berries, vegetables, spices, herbs, mushrooms (and) mangos.\ A smartphone app is under development. I loaded the map onto my laptop and took a look. Within blocks of my house, it showed apples, apricots, plums, peaches and grapes. So I took a walk, and there they were. There was also a nice gooseberry bush. Many trees were hanging over fences above the sidewalk. There were no mangos, but I pigged out nonetheless. Ari LeVawc is a contributor to Writers on the Range, a column service of High Country News (hcn.org). He writes about food in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Conservation easements deserve serious attention To the editor. We have a tendency in life to focus on things that are urgent, and, by default, neglect other things which may actually be more significant Take, for example, preserving our agricultural heritage, abundant hunting and fishing opportu- nities, and clean water (just to mention a few). Without vision, leadership, and action to ensure that they are preserved, we are at risk of losing them. Rep. Steve Daines recognizes the fragility of these values and took action July 17th by joining the House of Representatives to pass a package of tax bills that encourage charitable giving. One of the provisions, co -sponsored by Daines, would preserve wildlife habitat and valued land for outdoor recreation, and give Montana landown ers the assurances needed to facilitate long- term land -use planning decisions. The Conservation Easement Incentive Act ( II . . 2807), co -sponsored by Dames, would make permanent the enhanced tax deductions for chari table contributions of conservation easements. As !Mines remarked, \Rising property values and estate taxes make passing down working lands to future generations very, very difficult.\ Conservation easements can help Montana families retain ownership of their land for agri- cultural production Conservation easements are agreements that a landowner voluntarily enters into with a qualified land trust and which establish the landowner's commitment to limit development of their land in order to conserve the property's natural values. Under the terms of a conservation easement, the landowner continues to own and manage the property. The property still produces crops, livestock, timber and other commodities. The landowner still makes all the operational de- cisions and pays property taxes. The goal of the easement is to conserve open lands and preserve the elements of a viable farm or ranch. We applaud the vision and leadership shown by Rep. Dairies in co -sponsoring this bill, for speaking to it on the House floor, and for his role in passing it out of the House. Although it is un- certain when it will reach a Senate vote, we are encouraged by the strong voices of support for this bill from Senators Tester and Walsh, who are Senate co-sponsors. lb learn more about land trusts, conservation easements, and their role in keeping southwest Montana a vibrant center for agricultural produc- tion, outdoor recreation, and the economy, please join us for an informative public meeting pre- sented by Jim Berkey (The Nature ('onservancy) and Bethany Erb (The Land Trust Alliance) Aug. 26 at 7 p m at the Depot Theatre Brooke Erh, Dillon Jim Berkey, Missoula Thou shalt not steal! Hey, it's one of THOSE commandments ... you know, the ones that are on billboards and in bibles and the Quran and the Torah and other holy books. This week's yield from our newspaper ma- chines included at least three washers and three washers ... at least you're willing to risk the wrath of the Almighty just to read the Dillon Tribune! EXPRESS YOURSELF IN THE DILLON TRIBUNE Let other people know how you feel and what you think with a letter to the editor. Letters are subject to editing for libel and good taste, and should be limited to 400 words or less. Letters expressing appreciation for a specific, out -of-the -ordinary action are welcome, but let- ters with lists of names of contributors, donors or volunteers, or letters that solicit funds, will not be printed. All letters must be signed, include a physical address of the submitter, and a telephone number where the writer can be reached during the day (the address and number will not be printed). Un- signed letters, or those using false names, will be discarded. Letters from Beaverhead and Madison counties will be given first preference, while those from outside the area will be considered if, in the view of the editor, they are of local interest. Bring or mail your letter to: 22 S. Montana Street • P.O. Box 911 • Dillon, MT 59725 or e-mail email@example.com DILLON TRIBUNE MAKING HEADLINES SINCE 1881 Dick Crockford, Publisher J.P. Plutt, Editor Kayla Parker, Advertising Cassie Scheidecker, Graphic Design M.P. Regan, Reporter Jesse Alberi, Sports Reporter Jennifer Engstrom, Office Debbie Melle, Distribution A YELLOWSTONE NEWSPAPER All contents are copyrighted 2014 by the Dillon Tribune -Examiner. dba Dillon Tribune. No portion of this newspaper may be reproduced without the written consent of the Dillon Tribune The Dillon Tribune (USPS 1570-6000) is published weekly at 22 S. Montana Street, (P.O. Box 911), Dillon, Montana 59725. Telephone (406) 683-2331. Periodical Postage paid at Dillon, Montana. 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