Royal press release: Cabinet changes made to prepare for new programs


His Majesty King Adam I, with the agreement of his ministers, has changed the composition of his Cabinet in preparation for upcoming government programs to be announced.

The King has accepted the resignation of Kara, Duchess of Bellevue, as Minister for Culture and appointed Queen Laurel to the post. The Queen is expected to lead cultural development projects, including efforts to increase citizen participation in national holidays and to document and share knowledge of Überstadti cultural practices. The King expects that she will also promote the formation of cultural and religious associations among citizens.

The Duchess of Bellevue is now Minister for the Economy, a role customarily filled by the King. She brings her practical knowledge of Überstadt’s economy to her new office, especially as a worker in the Tellus Horticultural and Erganê Artisanal Cooperatives, as well as extensive experience in local Tellus administration and household economics. She automatically joins the Commission for the Common Economy, the body that governs the economic union of Überstadt and Sandus. She will contribute to further economic development across the Common Economy and oversee improvements to horticulture in Rosewood.

By law, these appointments are effective immediately but must be approved at Parliament’s next meeting to be made permanent.


Cool weather causes Rosewood harvest to lag, but gardeners optimistic

SEATTLE – An unusually cool and cloudy spring and summer have stunted fruit and vegetable production in Rosewood, halving the year-to-date harvest versus this time in 2021.

This year’s spring weather in the Puget Sound area has set records for rainfall and low temperature. Tellus Horticultural Cooperative workers who tend Rosewood’s gardens observed that insufficient sun led to sluggish plant growth and late fruiting compared to previous years.

Official harvest tallies have reflected this delay. By 9 July 2021, workers had hauled in nearly 8.3 kilograms of produce. By the same date this year, half that amount has been recorded – about 4.2 kilograms.

Despite weather-related setbacks, the Economy Ministry and the Duchess of Bellevue, who oversees horticulture in Rosewood, have expressed optimism that 2022’s harvest will catch up to those of past years. As measured since the date of each crop’s first harvest, pea and raspberry yield is comparable to past growing seasons, while strawberry production has increased.

Raspberries being weighed in Rosewood after picking on 6 July 2022

Other fruits and vegetables growing in Rosewood this season include zucchinis, cucumbers, blueberries, and several varieties of tomato. Various herbs are also planted. Rosewood, Überstadt’s current capital, is the country’s agricultural center and plays a leading role in the Tellus cooperative active in both Überstadt and Sandus.

Tomatoes and various herbs growing in raised beds in Rosewood’s Tellus gardens

Economy ministry releases 2021 horticulture report

AUSTIN, Texas – The Ministry for the Economy has released a report on Überstadt’s horticulture in 2021. It is the government’s first official summary of domestic production since the formation of the Common Economy with Sandus in 2019.

The ministry reported that gardens in Rosewood yielded 20 kilograms (44 pounds of food) in the 2021 growing season. The most abundant product was red raspberries, accounting for roughly 37% of the harvest. The report highlighted recent crop diversification enabled by a move toward container gardening for vegetables and other non-berry produce.

Garden workers distributed the harvest among citizens and their friends and neighbors. They froze some berries for use at major holiday celebrations and plan to explore more ways to preserve surplus produce next year.

Since the ratification of the Second Common Economy Treaty earlier this year, all horticulture in Überstadt has occurred under the auspices of Tellus, a cooperative operating in both Überstadt and Sandus. In an introduction to the report, King Adam discussed the importance of horticulture in both Überstadt’s national economy and the shared Common Economy.

New trellis for Rosewood’s raspberries

ROSEWOOD – On Thursday evening, workers from horticultural cooperative Rosewood Fruits finished construction of a permanent trellis for Überstadt’s raspberry crop. The new structure will support the plants as they become heavy with summer fruit.

The trellising work began the previous Saturday, with the work being done intermittently until the project’s completion. The structure consists of two vertical posts with crosspieces, with wires running from one end of the hedgerow to the other. Ornamental caps for the posts remain to be installed.

King Adam has led a push for better raspberry-growing practices in the last several months, making the crop central to his agricultural policy after two consecutive years of its being the most productive plant in Überstadt. He oversaw the thinning of the berry patch’s canes in the fall, and has scheduled an application of compost in a bid to produce larger fruit this year.

Below: the new trellis in front of the Royal Residency


Record berry haul in Rosewood

BELLINGHAM, Washington – Figures released by the economy ministry indicate that this year’s harvest of berries in Rosewood’s farms was the largest recorded, with raspberries proving by far the most successful Überstadti crop.

The total mass of all crops weighed by officials over the summer was 3.1 kilos, with 2.8 kilos combined of berries. Raspberries alone accounted for nearly two-fifths of the total harvest, at more than 1.2 kilos. Other crops included blueberries, huckleberries, and strawberries, as well as snap peas. Two volunteer stalks of wheat also grew, the berries of which are now in storage.

Although the scope of agriculture in Überstadt is far too small to contribute much to meeting residents’ nutritional needs, this year has seen domestically-grown fruits play an important symbolic role in national life. Fresh, domestic produce became a common evening snack in the capital. Both wild and cultivated berries featured in popular desserts, including at the Royal Family’s celebration of the Harvest Festival.

Small-scale farming may be more significant to the country’s culture than its subsistence, but Rosewood Fruits cooperative workers are taking steps to improve next year’s raspberry yield even further. They recently properly pruned the canes for the first time, and are preparing plans for trellising and fertilization.

Überstadt joins ag pact treaty

BELLINGHAM, Washington – On Sunday night, King Adam gave assent to the International Agricultural Development Pact Treaty, an agreement forming a loose organization of states seeking to share information to develop their agricultural sectors.

The group’s foundation was led by Leylandiistan & Gurvata, and Überstadt joined at the invitation of Roseland’s premier. The pact has six founding members, all of which are in the midst of improving their domestic agriculture.

The king says that membership in this group will help Überstadti growers learn from the experiences of nations with more advanced farming operations.

Bellingham farming plan hits obstacle

BELLINGHAM, Washington – The Überstadti government’s proposal to establish an agricultural colony at Western Washington University has hit a roadblock. The community garden in which the kingdom applied for a plot has no available land.

King Adam decided last month to seek a parcel of the Outback Farm to annex as a colony and use as an agricultural center for Überstadti citizens living in Bellingham. After applying to the farm’s authorities last week for rights to a plot, he was informed that none was available. The Outback management placed him on a waiting list of applicants.

Bellingham’s Überstadti population does not need to farm for food, but all expressed an interest in working the land to grow some of their own produce. The king also noted that work done in a colony within the Outback, which only allows organic growing practices, could have helped develop more environmentally-friendly techniques to use at the farm in Rosewood.

Überstadt’s government is hopeful that it will be able to establish its farm colony in the near future, and is investigating other options for agriculture in Bellingham.

Final Rosewood crop list announced

ROSEWOOD – The Überstadti economy minister has announced the final list of this year’s crops being grown in western Rosewood.

The list includes only cultivated plants, excluding berries that grow wild elsewhere in Überstadt.

Rosewood Fruits, the kingdom’s agriculture cooperative, maintains nearly 200 square feet of garden space in the nation’s capital, the largest portion of which is the long-established vegetable garden space of the Überstadti royal familiy. This area formerly produced a wide variety of edibles.

With several failed crops in recent years, however, it is now home only of tomatoes, basil, and raspberries, the latter of which were planted despite doubts earlier this year stemming from an anticipated drought, which will probably not affect the Puget Sound lowlands directly.

The economy ministry expects two nearby blueberry bushes to yield their greatest harvest ever. In two small beds adjacent to the Royal Residency, strawberries and peas are being grown.

Yarn pricing deal reached as Doria considers exporting crafts

ROSEWOOD – Überstadt and Doria reached an agreement Tuesday on the pricing of Überstadti-dyed yarn, despite initial disagreement over the material’s value.

King Adam I and Dictator Dorian Grimes met at Überstadt’s consulate in Lynnwood, Washington to discuss the price of yarn reserved for sale to Doria for use in crochet projects.

Ms. Grimes and the king had attempted to negotiate a sale several days prior, but the Dorian leader’s initial offer was rejected as being too low when compared to value calculations reported by Überstadt’s economy ministry. These estimates were based on the price of the uncolored yarn, chemicals, and equipment used in the dyeing process, according to the king.

The consulate meeting had not been previously planned, but was instead held out of convenience, as the two leaders were already there on other business.

Following an explanation by Adam of the determination of the yarn’s value, Ms. Grimes agreed to increase her offer. After discussing the probability that the material would be used in handicrafts made for sale on the Internet, she agreed that Doria would purchase at least one skein, dyed with ivy, for $12.

Should a second skein to be dyed with onion skins appeal to the dictator after its completion, both will be purchased for a total of $20.

Immediately upon reaching an understanding, the leaders drafted and signed a communiqué detailing the agreement, which will also guide future pricing.

This deal was reached as Doria moves towards the possible establishment of an online store for selling domestic goods, mostly crocheted projects, which Dorian artisans are producing at an increasing rate. Überstadti yarn, dyed using plants, will probably be used extensively in such products offered for sale.

Drought anticipation may thwart Rosewood berry grow plan

ROSEWOOD – As snowpack remains critically low in the Cascade Mountains, anticipated water supply issues may lead to the one-year postponement of a plan to convert most agricultural land in Rosewood to berry patches.

Northwestern Rosewood has long been the agricultural center of Überstadt, but soil quality and weed problems have led to a decline in the production of traditional crops, such as zucchini and tomatoes, in recent years. On the other hand, newer plantings of assorted berries have been very successful in the last two years. The climate and soil of the Puget Sound basin are widely noted among horticulturalists as compatible with the growth of most berry vines and shrubs.

Repurposing the decades-old beds to host berries has been a popular notion for months, especially after the summertime release of agriculture data from the Ministry for the Economy indicating the major success of the expanded cluster of blueberry bushes. The proposal gained official support at the State Opening of Parliament last month, when the King endorsed it in his Speech from the Throne.

The stewards of the Royal Residency, who have legal support for their substantial influence over land use policy in Rosewood, also supported the plan, with the Baroness Rosewood being among its greatest proponents.

It may prove unfeasible to sufficiently irrigate any new shrubs, however, especially during the summer. According to the Washington Department of Ecology, the mountain snowpack which feeds the water supply of the central Puget Sound region is at 9% of its ordinary levels. As a result, municipal water prices in the area will increase and regional irrigation will probably be subject to rationing. This would make it problematically expensive to water the new plantings enough to establish them and produce fruit, even if limits on such water use were not declared.

The King has reaffirmed Überstadt’s commitment to ecological health and the wise use of resources, and has expressed his willingness to postpone the berry venture if necessary. The public at large is also very supportive of whatever action is necessary.

The issue will probably feature in Discussion Time of the February and March meetings of Parliament.