This is the latest posting from the Bovine blog
September 13, 2010…9:54 am
York Region health inspector demands entry to Michael Schmidt’s blue bus at Feast of Fields event Sunday
It was deja vu all over again for the good folks from Glencolton Farms at yesterday’s Feast of Fields at Cold Creek Conservation Area near Nobleton Ontario. Here’s the story from Elisa and Michael Schmidt:
“Now, you’re either on the bus or off the bus….” — Ken Kesey, via Tom Wolfe, in “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test”.
York Region health inspector Judy Hope has been “off the bus” for four years now and last Sunday she badly wanted to get on. It was nearly four years ago in the Toronto Waldorf School parking lot, in November of 2006, one week after the infamous Ministry of Natural Resources raid on the raw milk operations at Glencolton Farms in Durham, that Judy Hope first demanded to get on to the Glencolton Farms blue bus while it was parked in the TWS lot just off Bathurst Street where cowshare members would come to pick up their milk. According to one eyewitness, when the realization finally sank in that she was NOT going to be allowed on the bus back in 2006, you could “see” the power draining out of her.
Well, September of 2010 presented another chance. No doubt the folks at York Region Public Health had heard tales from previous Feast of Field events at which it may have been mentioned that Glencolton Farms handed out samples of raw milk to people. And to prevent a recurrence they had required all participants in this year’s Feast of Fields to fill out and submit forms in advance detailing what would be given out and where it was from. What seems to have evolved was that not all participants did fill out these forms and maybe the event organizers filled out forms on their behalf and submitted them to York Region Public Health.
And maybe that’s why when inspector Judy Hope, with two of her fellow inspectors, showed up at the Glencolton Farms display about a half hour in advance of opening time on Sunday, they said something to Elisa (Michael Schmidt’s wife) about a form that had been filled out and Elisa didn’t remember anything about this supposed form, and asked to see it. Judy apparently hadn’t brought the form and therefore couldn’t produce it. Elisa maintained that the bus was private property and that only cowshare members would be admitted.
When Elisa suggested that maybe this was something personal — that she had a bone to pick with Michael — Judy denied it. At one point the conflict had escalated to the point where Judy threatened to call the police. Fortunately the conflict was defused by the event organizers who apparently persuaded Judy to back down. However, later observations indicated that Judy then spent the next four hours hiding behind a bush and watching the blue bus and what people were doing around it, while her colleagues inspected the over food providers at the event. A little later, when Kerry (who was there with Elisa serving crackers and cheese) told Judy she looked like she needed a hug, and offered to give her one, Judy finally left.
Michael Schmidt was not personally at the event, but Elisa was in touch with him by phone throughout the showdown.