Police talk with farmshare members at a raid yesterday in Thornhill. It was raining.
It was a dark and rainy afternoon in Thornhill — a sleepy northern suburb of Toronto — when around 2 pm yesterday Sept. 29th, five York Region health department officials and two police arrived at the church parking lot where Glencolton Farms Farmshare members have been coming each week to collect their milk and other dairy products from their farm.
Glencolton Farms and Michael Schmidt
Glencolton Farms has been closely associated, since the mid-1980s with farmer and raw milk food rights advocate Michael Schmidt, though in recent years it has been reconstituted as a cooperative with shareholders, each of whom have invested $2,000 to buy a legal joint-ownership share of the entire farming operation.
The logic here, is that just as no one questions or takes any issue whatsoever regarding the widespread practice of farmers and members of their household drinking raw milk from their own farm’s bulk tank, so also this group of urban raw milk fans should be able to own a farm together and drink the milk from their own farm’s cows.
Last Tuesday’s Raid
According to Michael’s wife, Elisa, the officials arrived right at the start of the distribution and at first wanted to seize all the milk. They were eventually persuaded to just take samples. However, Elisa told them they would not be allowed on the van without a search warrant.
From 92.3 The Dock.ca:
“An appearance at West Grey council did little to calm the fears of several Durham area residents, regarding surveillance cameras found along Concession 2.
Dairy farmer Micheal Schmidt questioned the legality of installing such cameras on public property without giving notice to the municipality.
Mayor Kevin Eccles and the rest of council admitted they didn’t know but they’re standing with the police on this one.
Police Chief Rene Berger has told Schmidt he knows who owns the cameras and there is no criminal intent and that should be the end of it. Continue reading
By Michael Schmidt
Frames from a hidden camera spying on innocent citizens going about their business on a nondescript country road in Durham county? Reposted from Michael Schmidt’s social media (FB) post yesterday about the discovery of a roadside surveillance camera near his farm. What shadowy characters or agencies could be behind this and what could possibly be their motive?
All seems good in the country. People enjoy driving on country roads, especially Concession 2 in West Grey, where apple trees, fields and green pastures are part of a landscape of rural innocence. Kids bike to a little country school, people strolling, walking and jogging in the fresh country air, dogs barking, coyotes howling at night and roosters announce the beginning of a new day.
That changed on July 25th, when we discovered a strange little box mounted on a little apple tree a half mile south of Glencolton Farms. It was a rather creepy discovery and it got even more creepy when, two days later, we discovered yet another box a few hundred yards north of the farm. Continue reading