Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I read an article in Warm Earth tonight, written by Joel Salatin. Others with an interest in sustainable agriculture will know the name. He runs Polyface Farm in the US, a sustainable, humane polyculture that is one of the growing number of places that is showing people that chemical agriculture is not actually all that great.
Anyway, it's about sound science, and our worship of science and scientifically gained results, and our acceptance of those result over good old common sense. I love this part-

What are the new darlings of sound science? Irradiation, genetic
engineering, more concentration, less domestic production, and a Wal-Mart on
every corner stocked to the hilt with amalgamated, extruded, reconstituted,
chlorinated, adulterated, manipulated, constipated psuedo-food.

Describes the stuff at the supermarket perfectly.

And don't even get me started on media misrepresentation of sound scientific research, gah.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I speak for the trees!

Our block has about 300 avocado trees on it. This was rather peripheral to our decision to purchase, but we did decide to look into it to see if it would be worth putting the effort in to get the rather neglected trees back up and producing. After many phone calls and much research, it isn't. Avocado's time as a high return crop is over, there's no way to do them organically and ours are infested with phytopthera and anthracnose. Luckily I haven't seen any signs of fruit spotting bug or fruit fly as we're going to have enough problems with disease spores in the soil and dams as it is.
So, D took his axe and we all played at the Lorax today-he was obviously the Once-ler and the kids were all being the Lorax, yelling 'I speak for the trees!' and pretending to knit Thneeds. We're hacking down the section of them that's closest to the house, as that's where we'd like to put the beginnings of the food forest and the permanent chook run. The quicker we get them out the quicker we can start to rehabilitate the poor soil and plant some pioneer legumes and a green manure. The kids all picked the ones they could find (they're hidden in there above) to feed to the chooks-none of us eat the things.

Now, normally i'm a tree fan, but chopping these down is immensely satisfying. They've been nothing but stress as we've chased down the DPI and other places for info trying to make the best decision. Plus, a lot of them are like this rather pathetic specimen-as the roots rot the branches die back to match the root area. D has been able to push over or uproot a couple of them.

I've never been so glad that something failed!