And here is becoming a bit more of "the life -- style -- life of riley".
So here's' an update:
With the sweet rains things are moving along nicely at Little Cuba and maison'd'ave is harvesting some salad greens already while we wait on more stuff to root deep and kick in.
The projects are forcing me back to the books to research the wherewithall and in the hands on DIY process I'm enriching my environmentalistic skills and understanding.
David Murphy's book , Organic Growing With Worms has occupied me this week and the iconic figure of Peter Cundall writes in regard to it:
"This is an amazing, inspiring book..it should be on the bookshelf of every farmer, gardener, conservationist, scientist or anyone who comprehends the environmental dangers now threatening all life forms on earth."Allowing for Cundall-speak -- and we all know how effusive Peter can be! -- the octogenarian is right! This is a very important book because it gives you a dirt and biota view of the planet and in so doing, offers a few key pointers as to solving not only soil degradation but the task of carbon sequestration and roll back. It challenges a lot of the rationale for --and presumptions that underpin -- broad acre farming.
And the star of the show is the humble earth worm.
So this project -- this Permaculture enrichment -- is very instructive for what may be the perspectives for the big picture here on Planet Earth.
So I thought I'd offer a narrative....
How green am I?
I come from a family of green thumbs and gardens have been a major preoccupation especially on my father's side of the family.(My grandfather had no lawn whatsover in suburban Glen Iris -- just terraces of vegetable and fruit gardens tiered on the side of a hill)
My mother's family, being constrained by the rather annoying fact that my grandmother owned five children and was widowed twice in quick succession (the first time by WWI-- never owned, in effect, a pot to piss in and the family was pauperized after moving to suburban Sunshine on Melbourne's west to work for H.V.McKay.My parents used to grow vegetables in the post war years and later as retirement set in were enamoured with Cottage gardens especially as they lived in cooee of Heronswood -- home of Diggers Seeds in Rosebud on Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula.(My relatives on my mother's side where mostly dairy farmers...)
But this hobby became almost an obsession for my mother -- until recently. What mattered was that you had a garden and that the house was almost secondary. You laboured , ate and recreated there...and you always talked about what was happening in the garden, what was growing or blooming or was harvestable.
Since I spent most of my adult life moving from rented premises to rented premises the garden thing was an occasional steal. I did what I could but I guess my major indulgence was in Alphington (on Melbourne's northside)when I lived above a newsagency. I bred rabbits downstairs and grew herbs and vegetables on the veranda above the downstairs shops.
When the rabbits got out and moved underneath the local fish and chip shop I had to rein in my organic carefreeness. I was raising rabbits for meat by the way.(Darn tasty they were too!)
Later when we got our own place here on Brisbane's northside -- I did the full bit and Permacultured the place with a simply fantastic cottage garden out front. I did the kosher DIY: mandala vegie garden, paw paw and banana circle..I skilled myself up on the cultivation and use of bamboo. And since I always had fish ponds when I was growing up -- I had them too.
But this time around residents in the units next door threatened me with legal action for creating a irritating noise throughout the night. This noisemaker was Limnodynastes tasmaniensis -- the Spotted Marsh Frog . So I had to fill in the pond!
Later me moved ...here
So I'm back getting dirt under my finger nails after basically being distracted for a 8 years by matters politica and domestica -- with my ill health being the major handicap to green thumbing.
Two green thumbs on the go
So now there are two greenoid projects: "Little Cuba" -- driven by a Permaculture template and the Natural Swimming Pool project which is looking more and more like an aquaculture exercise: ergo -- vegetables.
So these are my domestic projects engendered as exercises in sustainability--and already we're planning the worm farm and the chook pen and learning more and more en route.
(Yep! Done both before. I'm a bantam boy and the worm thing takes a bit of research to do correctly. But when you get onto it you begin to comprehend a few key potentials in way of waste management and carbon control. You also begin to comprehend and embrace a core ecological logic that we have to find ways to generate everywhere as a social and economic rationale. That's the clincher.Which brings me to the question of diet and nutrition
Forget about this "act local' melarky -- we just gotta make it standard operating procedure everywhere and we gotta do that ASAP.
There's been so much written about food as a political act that it is almost de riguer. I've written some my self as a way to combat the dogmatic fetish that seems to have grown up over the issue of vegetarianism. (see here too.)
I've been very opposed to such sham solutions both to questions of the environment or aggression...But in one aspect my views have shifted.
While broad acre farming ravages the earth (see this my review Coming to grips with the rural crisis)it is a conundrum not easily challenged as it seems that there are key issues of basic nutrition at stake--and how else can we grow enough wheat, rice, corn or potatoes to fill our stomachs?
These grains are absolutely essential aren't they?
That's where its worthwhile to consider the challenge posed to us homo sapiens by the physiological underpinnings of the Glycemic Index.
You say:????? What the...! What am I going on about?
I'll have to return to this theme at a later moment but please accept my suggestion that Permaculture and the science and logic of the GI Index are very much related to one another.