AN INNOCENT Orkney gardener hit the headlines this week, when she posted an online photo of an unusual weed that had popped up in her garden, and appealed to the Orkney Gardeners Facebook group for advice on what it might be, and indeed what she might do with it.

When multiple replies popped back indicating that the alien plant was, in fact, a fine example of cannabis, and further, that to have such a thing growing in one's garden was not only frowned upon in gardening circles, but also disapproved of by the Courts, some urgent weeding was done.

The subsequent alibi to emerge from the grower of this most northerly outdoor crop of pyscho-active herbage was that she had recently, quite by accident, bought a different bird-seed mix a few months ago. Although the plant had appeared on the opposite side of the house from the bird feeders...

AI in the sky

AN AUSTRALIAN cattle genetics company went up in flames this week, with the unusual side-effect that firefighters tackling the blaze had to dodge a hail of expensive bull semen, propelled into the air by exploding cryogenic cyclinders.

Firefighters were dispatched to Yarram Herd Services’ laboratory in Gippsland, Victoria, at around 3am on Tuesday morning, to be met with the added danger of ‘projectiles’ as 100 or so canisters of liquid nitrogen gave in to the heat and shot literally thousands of dollars worth of pedigree DNA into the night sky.

As funny a picture as that might have painted for the tabloid press this week, a company spokesman pointed out that, with the AI season about to begin, the lab had been fully stocked, and a lot of the material was owned by local farmers, for whom this explosive casting of the seed would be no laughing matter.

Contestants curdle during dairy week

THE GREAT British Bake Off tried something moo this week – hosting their first ever dairy special. Although the contestants were used to turning their hand to many things dairy in other weeks, the fourth week opened their eyes to what the wider dairy larder has to offer. One baker even admitted that they only thought dairy products came from a cow – someone clearly didn’t get a visit from RHET in their schooling days. Cream of the crop and star baker Steph Blackwell churned out three winning dairy delights for the judges but even she crumbled during the technical challenge. The bakers were tasked with preparing ‘Maids of Honour’ - a lemon curd, curd cheese and rough puff pastry tart favoured by Henry VIII – the contestants curdled under the pressure but still a win, win for the dairy industry – an udderly great showcase for the sector.