Thursday, November 27, 2008

Reaping that which is possible

Today's harvest: broad beans and snow peas.

When growing food ceases to become a lifestyle choice (a mediation), but a life conscious act – or, rather a collective act for community health and defiance against governments who support industrialised agriculture – our society will begin its slow walk away from a culture of abuse to one of sustainability; one that fixes carbon, not one which burns it; one that produces no waste because everything is used and re-used in a closed-cycle ecology. Until that time government proclamations about the environment are empty and off the mark.

The food needs to be walking distance (relocalisation) and human brutality direct and seen for what it is, not disguised on the shelves of supermarkets. Our council tips need to move from methane producing toxic dumps to aerobic compost heaps and community gardens.

All of this is possible if enough of us stop waiting for governments to act or watch them lead us in the opposite direction (John Brumby). Which leads me to my current read (a gift from Jason), which I highly recommend:

David Graeber, p23 –
Sexual relations, after all, need not be represented as a matter of one partner consuming the other; they can also be imagined as two people sharing food.
More on Possibilities later.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nothing more, nothing less

There is nothing more self-determining, anarchical, pleasurable, poetic, subversive, exhilarating and intensely rewarding than growing your food. Today I planted 6 varieties of Banksia, two Blackwood wattles and about twenty stalks of sweet corn in the free soil, now weeded and mulched, that council dropped off last week.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hairy soil (for Peter O'Mara)

We had two truck loads of unwanted soil dumped by council workers who were moving earth in our street. Unwanted because of the weed factor. The soil was originally brought in by the council only 6 months ago to top dress the nature strip, it then became overgrown and complaints were made. I thought that it was better the soil stay in the area than be transported away again and asked Paul the truck driver, who used to run the Trentham hardware next door to my old bookshop, if he could bring it down.

Pete turned up and said 'what's with the hairy soil?'

We are beginning to go through it with the pitchfork, separating all the grass and thistle and other organic matter into a separate pile. We will then cook it in a compost to kill the seed. The filtered soil will be used to top dress the property before being mulched to improve the overall humus and grow more food.

A nice little self-serving exercise within this hairy ecology.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Compost & Cos

Today I killed Bill. She wasn't getting better with the garlic water and we couldn't justify the expense of a vet, nor the fantasy of industrial pharmaceuticals. I killed her as part of redressing the compost area, which looked like this at about 5pm. 

At 4.30pm I brought the black and white bins, full of kitchen scraps, back from Ben's cafe, laid Billy to rest at the base of the right-hand bay, tore up several cardboard boxes and placed them over her. I then wet down this elegiac layer and heaped on Ben's scraps, straw from the coup and Meg's day's weeding material, before covering up both bays to cook the compost.

The bay on the left (above), that I last turned here for Hamish Morgan – who today sent more reference humus: Katherine Gibson's 'The End of Capitalism' – is almost ready for use on the garden.

I picked our finest cos lettuce (above right) and returned Ben's bins, proudly presenting the first exchange of our casual gift-ecology.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We're a little worried about Billy. She hasn't been looking that great of late. Our friend Jo said it sounds like she has a respiratory infection – budding vets and other chook experts can see Billy's condition for themselves here. On Jo's recommendation we have put a solution of boiled garlic in their drinking water. If Billy has not improved in the next day or two we will take her to the vet. Cuba and Dirt on the other hand are fighting fit – as demonstrated by their day's joyous offerings.