Archive for the ‘Around the blogs’ Category

Finding new food-growing blogs

February 10, 2017

When someone new elects to follow this blog, or someone makes a comment for the first time, WordPress very kindly sends me an email to that effect and if the person has a blog/website of their own, it puts in the URL and suggests I might like to go and ‘see what they’re up to’. Which I do.

So, in the last 2 days I’ve found 2 new blogs which I’ll share with you.

The first is from Tassie (for overseas readers that’s what we call Tasmania—the large island state south of the mainland where they have stunning rainforests, Tasmanian Devils and other sundry goodies—I’ve been there!). It’s written by Louise, who re-located from the mainland to a farm and so not unnaturally it’s called First Time Farmer. I’ve bookmarked it and will become a regular reader. Go take a look.

The second is Mountain Herbs. Here’s what they say about themselves: We like growing perennial edibles and medicinal herbs, berries and unusual food plants. Our cool climate nursery is located in Katoomba, a renowned tourist destination in the Blue Mountains. We are always on the hunt for new and exciting plants.

Sounds good, although I’ve had a couple of disasters in ordering plants to be posted (the fault of Australia Post, not the suppliers—when it is NOT the fault of AP?), but I’m hankering after their pink-flowered strawberry!

When I checked out their blog I found the latest post is about elderberry and the reason why most elderberries fail to set berries here. Mine did just that! It flowered, but I left the flowers to produce berries and they didn’t, so now I know why. Next time I won’t waste them, but will be using them to have a go at elderflower cordial and other elderflower treats.

Here is my elderflower doing its thing in spring. Very pretty and thanks again to Maree of Around the Mulberry Tree who gave it to me (and that’s another blog you might like to check out) :

image

 

Around the blogs

October 28, 2015

The Future of Suburban Food Bowls

A good post here from Green Gavin (if you don’t know him yet, you’re not paying attention), on the future of suburban food bowls. I’m linking to it here, because he mentions peak oil and I bet there are hundreds (no, thousands) of people who have never heard of it or given any thought to the consequences. And since Gavin gets many more readers than I do, I’m hoping a few more readers will be peak oil aware after reading his post.

How Unsustainable is Solar Power

Another excellent post from my good friend Mike at Damn the Matrix. Mike ‘gets’ it; one of the few people who do. Now, I love my solar panels, I really do (installed two years ago, haven’t paid an electricity bill yet and still in credit), but I know they won’t be the way of the future. At best they’ll help us transition from our energy-gorging years on fossil fuels to a lower energy future, but they still need energy from fossil fuels to manufacture and install and they still need resources which are declining globally. As one of the commenters explains, it is our lifestyles that are unsustainable and that’s what has to change. There’s no way an ever-expanding population can continue with its present way of life without fossil fuels. Those who think renewables are the way to go are in for a helluva shock.

 

Around the blogs

August 16, 2015

Some more stuff from the blogosphere this week that I found interesting.

I love this idea! It’s called a Swedish torch or Swedish fire log:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjQRLQTNsJo

There’s lots more on this at Pinterest.

This is from the blog Resource Crisis by Ugo Bardi of Florence. Things in Italy are not so good weather-wise or economy-wise. They’ve had their hottest July ever, with forest fires and non-normal storms, yet their politicians have their heads in the sand, promoting business-as-usual. Sound familiar? Read his latest post here.

You think wind energy will be part of an oil-less future? Here’s a post from Energy Skeptic which details how many resources it takes to make one wind turbine. Did you guess 900 tons? And that’s just resources. How much energy it takes is another matter. Drop that one into your next dinner conversation.

Read also the previous post “Dozens of reasons wind power will not outlast fossil fuels“. Here’s my favourite:

Windmills are too dependent on oil, from mining and fabrication to delivery and maintenance and fail the test of “can they reproduce themselves with wind power?”

That’s the big question about all supposedly ‘renewable’ resources: can they reproduce themselves with the energy they produce?

Oh, and I do love this bit as well:

“And then, after the oil was gone, and there was no way to replace or maintain windmills, they’d sit there, our version of Easter Island heads, of absolutely no use to future generations, not even for hanging laundry.”

When fossil fuels are long gone from living memories and written history, will there be people in a far distant future who will gaze in wonder at the remains of ruined wind turbines and wonder what the heck were they for?

Around the blogs

July 27, 2015

There’s such an incredible amount of information on the Net. I read a lot of blogs….each one has some useful snippet of information that I would like to share. I can only write so many blog posts about what I’m doing in the garden (out there most days) or the kitchen (not in there a lot), so I thought I’d try a regular post about some of the stuff from other blogs that interests me. Much of it will be food-related…..growing, preserving, cooking…..some will be peak oil and energy decline related and some will be just ‘miscellaneous’. I’ll provide a brief note of why I think the site is worth sharing and links to the particular posts. Sort of a shorthand way of reblogging other people’s posts, particularly since some sites don’t facilitate reblogging.

So here we go.

 

Being tickled by soy sauce :

Do you smother everything in soy sauce? There’s a reason. Here’s an interesting post from Stephan Guyenet of Whole Health Source about how soy sauce ‘tickles’ the reward-sensitive centres of our brains.

 

Ginger-turmeric-honey bomb :

Although I’m partial to a nice cup of coffee, I can’t stand the thought of it for breakfast. I drink herbal tea, usually with something I’ve collected from the garden, like lemon verbena. My all-time favourite is a few slices of fresh ginger with a teaspoon of honey, in hot water. So I was interested when a friend sent a link to a recipe for a honey/turmeric mix that promised to be super-healthy. I Googled and found a better one here. Go take a look. The site is worth it for the gorgeous photos alone.

I made it up and tried it and I’m sold. It will be my breakfast drink from now on. I get the ginger and the honey as before, but now I get healthy, inflammation-reducing turmeric and a burst of lemon zest. But be advised: don’t use your best white china cup. Turmeric is all-pervasive.

 

Plastic is rubbish :

I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of plastic I buy. It’s not easy.  I found this site with everything you’d ever want to know about plastic, how it’s made, all the different types, and the shocking reality of where it ends up. There’s a lot to read. When I’ve taken it all in, I think I’m going to try and go a week without buying any plastic; then two weeks; then….. Well, anyway, take a look. This is one of the most comprehensive sites on any topic I’ve seen.

 

A Dying Hen :

A lovely post from Terry Golson at Hencam. I’ve experienced the pain of losing two hens now, so for me this is just a beautiful piece of writing :

This is the reality of backyard chicken keeping. Animals under your care will die. Chickens have short lives. They’ll die sooner than you think. For those of you with only three or four hens, this can feel devastating. Even for someone like me who has a dozen hens and has kept a flock for twenty years, the loss of a bird is difficult. But, it helps to accept your limits as a caregiver. It helps to recognize that within the world of backyard hens, that this is normal. It helps that I know that I have given my animals the best care possible, so that while they’re here, they have a good life. And then it helps to let go and move on.

Terry’s blog is full of useful information for the chicken-keeper. There’s now a remote camera in each of the outside runs, so it’s possible to watch both of her flocks at their daytime activities. I still can’t get over how I can sit up in bed at night and watch a flock of hens cavorting around on the other side of the planet. Technology!!