Beef bits - Mar. 30, 2017

By Sierra Inglis

Club Reporter

Rapid City 4-H Beef Club held its March meeting at co-leader Lesley Hedley’s on March 18, our second weigh day. Weigh day was held earlier in the morning. There were some absent members as the original weigh day had been cancelled due to the weather and they had other committments this past weekend. 

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Chutes 'n' Boots roundup

By Amy McAuley and Madi Robins

Club reporters

Rapid City 4-H Rodeo Club, commonly called Chutes ’n’ Boots, has enjoyed its regular meetings, plus several events and activities, since reorganizing in the fall. Our executive for this year is as follows: president Leeza Miller, vice-president Katie Wright, secretary Haillee Addison, treasurer Lauren McKee, historian Kirsty Miller, reporters Madi Robbins and Amy McAuley.

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Terrific and terrible tropical tress

By Patricia Hanbidge

Saskatoon School of Horticulture Principal

Travelling to different places in the world is not only exciting but very educational. The Caribbean region is noted for displaying a very diverse vegetation. This region includes the islands of Bahamas to Trinidad. Currently I am enjoying a being on Canouan Island in St.Vincent and Grenadines. This island is a quiet, peaceful crescent-shaped island with few tourists and excellent reef-protected beaches. Flowers are abundant and you can enjoy a variety of hibiscus, bougainvillea and of course, many orchids. Tillandsia are also present and one only needs to look up into the trees to enjoy a whole host of epiphytes. Although it is fascinating to see the flowers, it is the trees which seem to always capture my attention. 

The tamarind tree is actually native to tropical Africa but is also growing here. One of the local schools has a very nice tamarind tree just loaded with fruit. The fruit is actually a pod which houses the hardened dark-brown seed which is used to create delectable salsas, chutneys and sauces. 

The spiny palm tree is native to the Caribbean and is present in great numbers here on Canouan Island. It is a smaller palm that only reaches five to eight metres in height, but boasts beautiful red fruit which is stunning. 

As this island is semi-arid, there are many trees and shrubs growing which are less than hospitable with thorns and prickles that make hiking in wild areas less than pleasant. To my surprise, there are many cacti happily growing all over the island. Disberocereus Innesii is actually only found here. There are also many plants that belong to the Euphorbiaceae family as well.

One of the most dangerous trees in the world also grows here. And yes it is part of the Euphorbiaceae family. As a method of keeping people safe, you will often see this tree with painted red bands around the trunk. This poisonous tree is called the manchineel tree (Hippomane mancinella). It is also commonly called the "little apple of death" in Spanish or manzanilla de la muerte. It grows up to 50 feet tall and has reddish-grey bark, small greenish-yellow flowers and shiny green leaves. The fruit looks much like an apple that is greenish-yellow when ripe. All parts of the tree contain strong toxins that contain phorbol and other skin irritants which cause severe allergic dermatitis. Standing beneath this tree in the rain will cause blistering of the skin from even a small drop of sap. The fruit, when consumed, is reported to be pleasantly sweet at first, with a subsequent strange peppery feeling which quickly progresses to a burning, tearing sensation of the throat which continues to worsen. Strangely enough, although this tree is toxic to many birds and animals, the black-spined iguana is known to eat the fruit and even live among the limbs of the tree!

On a more positive note, the papaya is also seen all over Canouan Island. It is a large tree-like plant with a single stem growing up to 35 feet tall. The leaves are large and distinctive as they are palmately lobed. The fruit, as it ripens, has an amber to orange hue.

Last but definitely not least is the guava, which is an evergreen shrub or small tree that is native to the Caribbean. It is easily pollinated by insects and provides one of my favourite fruits. 

Hope you enjoyed this article about great plants that grow in another wonderful part of our world — the southern Caribbean!

Hanbidge is a horticulturist with the Saskatoon School of Horticulture and can be reached at 306-931-4769 or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Like us on facebook at Saskatoon School of Horticulture, follow us on twitter @horticulturepat or visit our our website at



Beef bits - Feb. 28, 2017

By Sierra Inglis

Club reporter

Rapid City 4-H Beef Club held its monthly meeting  on Feb. 14 at leader Lesley Hedley’s home. President Wyatt Inglis called the meeting to order. Thijs VandeLangemheen started the club pledge.  Secretary Brooklyn Hedley asked the roll call then gave minutes from last meeting. James Reid gave the treasurer’s report.

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Swyer Massey 25-45 kerosene tractor threshing circa 1919

By Alex Campbell 

Director, Manitoba Agricultural Museum

Among the photos donated to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum is a series of photos taken in the Elton district, northeast of Brandon on the Archie McPhail farm. The date is suspected to be 1919. 

Read more: Swyer Massey 25-45 kerosene tractor threshing circa 1919