Monday, 24 August 2015

Living with consequences



Years ago, I read that the average house in Melbourne (which is the nearest big city to this farm) turns over on average once every four years. That is an astounding statistic and it means that on average at least once every four years any house will be available for sale.

Therefore, it may be a fair thing to say that people move houses quite a lot down here. And I’m as guilty as the next person, although to be fair, many of the house moves were made when I was a child and had no influence on such matters.

There are times however, when I’m reminded that in rural areas, many people don’t move houses very often, and you have to be mindful of other people’s opinions of you. The old timers used to refer to this as your - reputation.

People can have such long memories in these sorts of rural places that it is always worthwhile considering how the occasional social faux pas (which is a fancy name for an embarrassing or tactless act or remark) can be recalled decades after the actual event.

The 1970’s were apparently a time for body shirts, jeans with flares, appalling side burns and moustaches, and generally more relaxed attitudes to sex than previous generations.

A few years ago a story was recounted to me of a local person, who back in the 1970’s, was clearly towards the “hippy” end of the social continuum. The story revolved around the mismatch between his freewheeling attitudes to sex and that of the local prevailing attitude. That young hippy affronted some of the locals by offering his services in the most literal sense to a young couple that were having trouble conceiving a baby.

Three or more decades later, that story was recounted to me via the local grapevine. After hearing that story, I made an internal note to myself: Social faux pas = bad and will be repeated three or more decades later if it is considered to be noteworthy. I won’t even mention the nickname given for the now much older gentleman who still resides in the area (the sperm man).

So what has all this got to do with a blog about living on a small holding? It shows that it is important to understand the social currents that a person lives in. If you have the option to move around from: house to house; city to city; state to state; or even to a different country, then you may be able to walk away from many and varied social faux pas. However, if you plan to live in a particular area for a long time, you have to consider your reputation.

Thursdays are generally the days that I pick up the milk supplies for the week, clear the mail box and enjoy a well earned (edit - in his mind!) feed and coffee at the local general store. It is a nice experience and I look forward to it each week.

For all sorts of reasons, well, actually, Doctors orders (apparently too much coffee is a bad thing!), I have had to reduce my long standing weekly milk order at said local general store. In a rural area this is a delicate matter. Not to mention that local businesses should be supported by local people, otherwise they may disappear.

Last week, as I was enjoying my coffee (purchased coffees don’t count!) and a delicious ham and cheese toastie, a discordant note had intruded upon my otherwise blissful experience (and no it wasn’t a screaming infant, which are usually in plentiful supply). I had a complete mental blank and wondered whether I’d paid for my regular supply of milk or the now reduced supply of milk. What a conundrum! Did I dare risk my reputation of serious integrity on a litre or two of milk?

The simplest solution to my conundrum was to ask the proprietor of the general store the question about what exactly had I paid for? The situation was quickly and cleanly cleared up with many a smile and laugh and we all then moved on with our lives and my reputation remained intact. In the city where people move houses more regularly, the matter may have been transacted upon a completely different basis and I have been pondering this issue ever since.

Spring is fast approaching and in the last week, the bees have been very active and are out and about most days gathering nectar and pollen. Many of the very early fruit trees are now showing off their early blossoms too.
A plumcot which is a hybrid plum and apricot cross produced some early blossoms this week
The firewood shed was not completely filled before the onset of winter due to time constraints and as the weather has allowed over the past week or so, I’ve been cutting and storing more firewood for immediate use. The firewood that is in various piles about the farm has been happily seasoning (which means curing and reducing the tree sugars), but it is not as dry as if it had been stored in the firewood shed. Not being dry means that it does not burn as quickly or with as much energy as if it had been stored properly out of the rain.

At the bottom of each firewood pile are logs that are very moist as they were in contact with the ground. Because of the moisture, those logs won’t burn very well at all. They also have quite a lot of very rich looking black loamy soil firmly attached to their undersides. I decided this week to undertake a new hugelkultur experiment with them and place them in a nearby fern lined dry but natural watercourse and see what happens over the next year or two.
Damp firewood and fungi laden logs placed into a natural fern gully / watercourse
The work this week has been all about trees and the surrounding forest, and I spent a full day cleaning up the surrounding forest and burning off all of the excess flammable materials in preparation for the soon to be here summer. However, I also have begun to make good use of the thousands of eucalyptus saplings and begun constructing a picket fence for the blackberry enclosure.
Eucalyptus saplings were used to fence off the blackberry enclosure
And whilst we are speaking about hippies, the editor was at a nearby hippy farmers market and came across a metal representation of a peacock. That metal artwork was installed onto the door of the new firewood shed and I reckon it looks pretty good.
A new peacock metal artwork adorns the new firewood shed
How did the house get here?
September 2011, meant painting the internal walls. Living in a house that you are also painting at the same time is an interesting exercise in logistics and also requires a whole lot of plastic to protect surfaces from the inevitable paint drops which fall everywhere despite your best intent.
The kitchen is readied for painting
Painting is an activity that you want to do once and properly, so I put three solid coats of quality paint on each and every surface and eventually all of the coats were done. Fortunately, September is a bit warmer than the depths of winter so the paint dried reasonably quickly.
The kitchen was now painted
The fruit trees in the orchard looked so small back in those days:
The orchard was looking small and not very productive back in those days
It wasn’t all about painting back then, as I also planted out the strawberry bed with bare rooted strawberry runners which quickly began producing leaves in the deep soils.
Strawberry runners produce leaves that month
As spring warmed, the new raised vegetable beds began producing some useful greens. Also the diversity of bird life started to increase as constant food, water and shelter became available and I spotted this little red breasted robin enjoying the raised vegetable beds that month.
A little red breasted robin enjoys the new raised vegetable beds
And that month, I also spotted a mum with joey (in the pouch) and her slightly older child approving of the compost fed herbage. Observant readers will note the absolute mess that was left over from the days when timber was harvested from this location. We have been slowly clearing this mess up over the past few years and returning it to a diverse pasture (herbage) which provides excellent feed for the local wildlife.
Mum, joey in pouch and older child kangaroo enjoy the newly established compost fed herbage
The temperature outside here at about 8.30pm is 5.5’C degrees Celsius (41.9’F). So far this year there has been 524.8mm (20.7 inches) of rainfall which is up from last week's total of 521.2mm (20.5 inches).

49 comments:

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Yeah, it is not good at all.

Sorry to hear about your neighbours earthworks causing the road to collapse. It is surprisingly easy for people to achieve that outcome and a similar thing is happening here and I can feel it as I walk along the road.

It is like a chainsaw really. Any person can buy one, but to know how to use and care for that particular tool takes a whole lot of experience and practice. Land is really the same thing. I tend not to worry about it as long as the results aren't going to be too catastrophic (hopefully, anyway).

It is funny in a rural area in that some properties turn over very regularly, whilst others have families that have lived there for decades - or even generations. My gut feeling is that if they can last for more than two winters, they'll be around a fair while.

Exactly, you can only see them from the air - which is quite an amazing feat really.

Yeah, I dry out too in such conditions as I've adapted to very humid weather.

Well, you're in good company because we do exactly the same thing here for exactly the same reasons! Hehe!

Of course, you have the added problem of salt laden winds. I've noticed in coastal areas here you're often left with a thin crust of salt on things after it has rained or the wind has been blowing strongly. I swap the salt for dust. Is that what happens at your place?

No worries, I understood. People who are willing to learn and observe and not get dispirited because it doesn't work the way they think it ought to work are always good value.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Oh yeah, it looks very dodgy to me. It is very cheeky to remove a hillside mound because it blocks your potential views. I can't even begin to imagine how such a situation could be repaired?

Same here, but it is always worth asking because you never know. They grow them in the South West of France which is quite a bit hotter than here. I may have mentioned this to you before but a local guy here who is of French origin and has a delightful accent just laughed at me when I suggested my ambition for growing melons.

I remember you mentioned Bloom county before and it looked very amusing. The peanuts strip are timeless aren't they? Is there an animated peanuts Christmas movie? Yeah, I always remembered the peanuts characters always playing about with jack o lantern pumpkins which they'd carved for Halloween. It isn't celebrated down here so I sort of wondered what it was all about. It looks like fun.

Smoke can sure turn the sky red / brown and the sunsets and moon when it is close to the horizon are something to see. The funny thing about smoke is that it all depends on where the wind is blowing. Generally that is a good indication of where the fire will run - although all things are subject to change with very little notice. When the 2014 Feb fires almost took out here, there was no smoke at all, even though the fire was very close. I only knew about the fire because the order to evacuate on the state run emergency website.

The documentation is a very good idea - as is the insurance paperwork. You'd be surprised at the stories I heard about people trying to withdraw money from the bank with no ID, or which insurance company were we insured with? That's if people where even insured (half of the houses destroyed or damaged weren't)...

Seriously, cold weather gear is a good idea, because if the weather turns cold, the fire may still be burning and you don't want to be left in shorts and a t shirt - freezing.

The yoghurt is a great idea as increased protein will assist the chickens to recover, but brace yourself as they may drop down to less than that amount. On a positive note, a bit after mid winter when the sun is in the sky longer the chickens will go back on the lay again. I simply reduce my consumption during that time.

Incidentally, I read that there was a large cull of egg laying birds here last year - due to bird flu concerns - which forced up egg prices. Now I'm not saying that this is true, but there was some talk - which I cannot confirm - that the couple of families involved in that industry were being investigated as the supply of eggs was apparently deliberately reduced to force the prices up rather than any concerns surrounding the health of the birds.

Thank you for taking the time to read the story. Cathy is an outstanding author and I hope that she publishes that story.

Did you get an answer to your question?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Deborah,

Thanks for the correction.

Great to hear that your local stores are stocking a greater variety of produce. Do you have fresh food markets in your part of the world or is it all shops such as supermarkets?

That would be an excellent treat as pumpkins have a high sugar content and they would be very sweet. Yum! Is it the skin or the flesh of the pumpkin that they candy?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Helen,

No worries, I understood what you meant. About four years ago here, the prevailing weather conditions turned very moist, but that didn't stop the summer of 2013/14 from having very little rainfall for months on end. It is just very variable and seems to be getting more so with each year.

The ground is a great place to store rainfall as it only ever moves through the water table very slowly. I collect run off from at least 400m of roadway and pipe it onto the very top of the shady orchard. Honestly, I rarely have to water those fruit trees over summer.

Exactly, everyone loves to get involved when there is farm work to be done. It is very social and like you I always provide food and water in such an occasion. You know it is funny, but every time city friends turn up here to visit, I put them to work on all sorts of stuff and the guys love it. I suspect that city life can be very emasculating and they really have an enjoyable time just doing projects around here and learning stuff.

Starting small is always a good idea. Can you incorporate what you have learned to date with your previous garden? Also soil can always be improved through manures or green manures or even just deep ripping it and seeing what weedy (pioneering) species grow in the newly aerated soil.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi rabidlittlehippy,

Nice to hear from you and I will contact you directly!

That is great advice and thank you. Yes, I grow most of my cherries, pears and apples - plus the cold loving nut trees such as hazelnut, chestnuts and walnuts in the shady orchard.

Oh yeah, fresh cherries by Christmas is a true delight! They usually ripen here from that time until late January. YUM!

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Yeah, a lot of the moving around ... and, of young people running off to parts unknown, is all about going somewhere new and reinventing one's self. Also, in the small places where there isn't much turn over, you not only carry the weight of any faux pas you may have committed, but the weight of the family reputation. Blah!

Watch out for a creosote buildup, with that kind of green, wood. But, you know that.

The peacock is quit a zinger! He sure dresses up the wood shed.

Our robins look quit a bit different from your robins. Ours have an orange breast. Not much white. Mostly just orange and brown.

I love Halloween! I have all kinds of Halloween tat that I scatter around. Pumpkin carving has become quit an art. Thank you Martha Stewart :-). Back when I was a kid, living in the city, we used to work a huge area, with home in the middle. Every time we filled a shopping bag with candy, we could circle back to home to dump it out and head out, again. A lot of it was tossed in the freezer for consumption, months later. Not so much of that, anymore. Helicopter parents worried about children being snatched, or nasty stuff in the candy. The paranoia far outruns the reality. But, urban legends, being urban legends ... I live so far out I don't get any trick-er-treaters.

Continuing the First International Chehalis Australian Film Festival, I watched "Shiralee", last night. Bryan Brown. Now there's the kind of actor you don't see much, any more. He's more like the Robert Mitchums and Burt Lancasters, of the past. I noticed that he's married to Rachel Ward (Rain Shadow). Seems like a good pairing. :-) Lew

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

I love the peacock.

I believe that there is an ancient middle eastern story about a man who farted. He had to leave the country due to the overwhelming shame. Many years later he returned, only to hear the story still being related. I wonder whether Lew knows it?

Property turnover can be rapid here. Unfortunately the 2 year thing doesn't seem to apply. My 2 new sets of neighbours replace people who only gave up after about 8 years. In both cases it was the wife who had had enough.

I have now been given some turkey eggs. A bit larger than chicken eggs, though considerably smaller than goose eggs. They are more pointed at one end. I fried one this evening. It had a very hard shell. Yolk to white ratio about the same as for a chicken egg. Possibly less taste than a chicken egg. Not sure as I slightly over fried it and thus had a yolk that had set. I reckon that for cake baking one turkey egg would equal 1 and a 1/2 chicken eggs.

My son says that it is the water birds that have a greater yolk content. I wonder why; do the infants need to be fatter?

The neighbour damaging the road, has created a scene similar to the disaster you pointed us to, albeit on a smaller scale. His land starts against the dirt road and slopes quite steeply down from it. He has removed all the trees and hedges between so there is just dirt sloping down from the road. It has been tipping down with rain. I reckon that if a large lorry, mistakenly following its satnav, tries to come past it could break the edge of the road and roll down to the fellow's house. He is a civil engineer for goodness sake!

Inge

TalkingTrees said...

Hello

Your story of long rural memories is so true. Since arriving in this valley we have been regaled with some astonishing gossip about neighbours arising from that very period of history. It was not so much hippy behaviour but was definitely the product of the sexual revolution. We also had a colleague who did research into such things as wife-swapping, knew of SP bookmakers and on and on. Fascinating but sometimes such stories are offered in a completely malicious way and many of these stories are twenty, thirty, forty years old and have been embellished over long years. We keep our tongues behind our teeth in these circumstances and avoid the worst gossips. We have developed strategies for avoiding certain topics of conversation or the repeating of certain stories. A short list of topics of conversation to move on to, rainfall figures, kids school and sport, innovative farming practices or whatever else might work to avoid the negative side of information sharing and community life.

The peacock on the shed is a clever use of metal art. Your editor has a good eye. Our sheds are, on the whole, too tumbledown to accept decorative elements.

We use poly pipe hoops and shade cloth over our vegetable garden because of the high summer daytime temperatures. This set up, along with mulching also conserves some moisture We have had plums stew on the trees here some years. So the first order of things for the new garden is the design. Some kind of mandala rather than all straight row beds. I had a spiral garden at our previous small farm and a sun. The spiral was excellent for perennial and self-seeded plants and created its own tiny microclimates along the curves. I'm hoping that by beginning in a more tentative way some of the problems of new ground will be encountered more gradually. The question of time and energy is part of beginning in a small way, too.

Inge, I meant to say that Talking Trees is the English translation of the Australian Indigenous people's words for Casuarinas, which have pine-like needles and so talk when a breeze blows. I grew native trees in a small nursery for a few years and called that business Talking Trees and now our property name is Talking Trees.

I am enjoying the story of your house. We have an old farm house/miners cottage that was the first home here, brought to the farm from the village of Glen Davis that was flooded by a dam and many of the houses were sold for removal. It has just had the asbestos cladding removed. It is insulated and covered in insulating paper awaiting some new exterior walls. It will become a music studio, eventually.


Cheers, Helen

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Exactly, a fresh start and reinventing one's self. That is the exact reason why my mate's wife decided to up sticks and move to Ohio. All respect to them for giving it a bash too and I hope that it works out. Sometimes, you need to hit the reset button. Unfortunately, we only ever get one life.

That is way too true as well. The family can drag you down into the quagmire, without you actually doing anything at all. I'm starting to see that we are creatures that are very much shaped by our social hierarchies.

Thanks for the reminder. I do actually have to climb up onto the roof and check the wood stove flue for creosote build-up. Some people around here burn green timber - which is a mugs game - and it can occasionally end up with a chimney fire. Not good. I remember one particular household that seemed to have a chimney fire every single winter... It is a beautiful house too - very quirky and lots of different roof lines as if the whole thing was constructed a little bit at a time.

That peacock adds a touch of class to the place! ;-)! The tail feathers have glass that reflects the sunlight in the afternoons. The place was socked in by cloud all day today so it was quite grey and misty today. It looks as though it may continue into tomorrow too. The weather is the tail end of a truly monster storm that ripped through the state to the north of here: NSW weather: Dozens rescued, more than 1,600 calls for help as residents prepare for possible evacuations. 14.1 inches of rain in less than 30 hours is an absolute disaster, oh yeah and add in a tornado for good measure! The photos are impressive.

Given the heritage of birds, they're probably from the same genetic pool. The robins are great birds as they flit through the vegetables cleaning up every single insect in sight. They make my life much easier than it would otherwise be.

Thanks for the story on Halloween. It sounds like a lot of fun and you played the game brilliantly. Nice work. Yeah, everyone worries about stranger danger and crazy urban legends, but far more than often the real threats lay much closer to home.

Hehe! Nice one! Bryan Brown is an awesome actor, of the old school variety. As a suggestion and you are under no obligation, I recommend the film (with much trepidation) Breaker Morant and also the Odd Angry Shot. They make a very picturesque couple! Nice to hear that the Chehalis Australian Film Festival is continuing!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Thank you, it is amazing what turns up in the hippy markets down here. The peacock certainly adds something to the firewood shed. So many things here are utilitarian that the editor works hard to give things a softer edge. The metal dragon will hopefully be a ferocious beastie, whilst the peacock is a far more gentle spirit. You have to have both of them!

Haha! Too funny. That would be a bit of a problem in polite society. Actually I took inspiration from Sir Paul McCartney who can be seen on YouTube telling a dirty Irish joke about a goat (warning - definitely not family friendly). When I was at the haunted pub on Saturday night with my Kiwi mates, they recounted that joke after a good pint of local cider. Sir Paul, however needs to work on his joke delivery I believe...

I did notice that Lewis had ignored that request, but it may also be a time differential thing?

That is very true too. If you live in a remote place like we do, you sort of have to engage with it "boots and all". There is little room for princesses in such environments, but the women that do enjoy living in such an environment are well beyond that social station and I approve of them wholeheartedly. I've been wondering about that issue that you raised and I wonder whether people try and transplant a city existence into a very rural and remote area and they ignore the very real freedoms that are under their noses all the time.

Thanks for the update on the turkey eggs. Fascinating. The thing with chicken eggs is that I find that the feed affects the taste of the eggs. I once made the mistake of gifting a dozen eggs to a friend who complained that they tasted too strongly and too sweet. That was unfortunate as they may have wasted the eggs, but I realised that a few weeks before I'd fed the chickens a whole lot of over ripe pineapple and that perhaps caused the sweet taste. But still, the eggs are precious.

That is very interesting and I don't know enough about those eggs to even begin to form an opinion. No doubt that he is correct though.

Oh no! Protect us from the folly of our neighbours! I don't even know what to say. The winter will really test the matter, and I hope that you are well clear of the disaster zone. As a general rule, I never leave any areas on the property without plant or mulch coverage as to do otherwise is a total disaster.

Cheers

Chris



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Helen,

Oh yeah, the gossip is frightening. At the back of my mind I always keep the Golden rule of "do unto others" as a useful guide in such circumstances. Mind you, this recent blog was about local gossip, but it was purely for illustrative purposes only (that does sound like some sort of dodgy legal disclaimer, doesn't it?).

It probably was a product of the sexual revolution, although I'm a little bit young for that as I was only a child during those times. On a funny side note, someone I'd known for many long years was stirring me up about that sort of activity up in this part of the world, so I decided to completely out-cool him and say: "Really, I must be missing out". And there the matter rested.

The SP bookmakers were quite the source of revenue for the underworld well before they got into the pills and weed. The author/journalist John Silvester has written extensively about that subject and it makes a fascinating story.

That is a very clever strategy. I was discussing an author recently with Inge: Alexander McCall Smith, who wrote a delightful series of books: 44 Scotland Street. The guy really tells a beautiful story and some of the characters are forever mentioning Australia and farms - not that they appear to have any idea, but it is charming. Anyway, the story mentions 2 topics: Property, School zoning and Children which can take anyones mind off a more unpleasant topic.

Tumbledown is another description for waiting to be recycled! In about a month or so, I'll get to the first shed here which was a bit of a pheonix operation.

The shade cloth is a good idea, but the poly pipe here gets way too hot and sags over - that is why I use steel instead. A mate uses telstra conduit which is very strong, but I don't know how long it will last in the extreme UV over summer?

Those are all good questions and I don't believe that there is any correct way to build your garden. Inspiration is the key to that.

Thank you. Your intact miners cottage sounds like an excellent purchase. A music studio is an excellent project. Out of interest, what sort of instrument can you - or hope to - play? I have struggled to find the time to practice the guitar and have hit a roadblock with reading the music. Music is a hard master.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Thank you for taking the time to read the story and provide your excellent comments and feedback. I respect your honesty too.

Your guide to the art of negotiation is very wise. Always leave the crowd wanting more! I didn't make that motto up, but read it somewhere recently and it seemed like good advice.

Thanks for your perspective. I was sort of hoping for a coherent series of linked 5 short stories rather than a sweeping narrative. Like a couple of small snippets into the lives of the people in the stories. I can't write long fiction as my brain doesn't function that way without a whole lot of practice, which I don't have time for. That is very interesting how the publishing industry works. It sounds more or less to me like a teaser for a novel?

Haha! Was my sneaky plan that obvious? You know I was originally intending to write a story with lots of detail about nature magic and healing damaged landscapes - sort of like an Earth magic guide, but with a woven story based on some of the techniques that I use here at the farm, but projected 1,000 years into the future. Circumstances dictated otherwise, so I changed tack and came up with another idea altogether which is this story. The final chapter will bring some of those ideas into play and wind the story up with a good death. Why not, hey? I was actually wondering whether my original idea was going to bore the socks off people, but it is really hard to know in advance and I enjoy writing fluffy pieces more than serious works? And it is a lot of metal effort to produce a story. I'm in a bit of awe at people that can produce a coherent book.

It is very astute that you picked up on the fact that I'm writing the story to the audience. I don't even know who is selecting the stories anyway, but there is a fair bet that JMG has some input? Dunno though, as I don't recall any promises made in that regard and I don't assume the answer in advance.

No! Your two cents is worth far more than you think. ;-)!

I've booked Saturday afternoon to sit down and finish off that sucker so hopefully I'll get it up on the other blog that evening - which is before the deadline, just.

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - OK. Two non sequiturs that have left me quit at sea. Old and senile, here, you know :-). "Did you get an answer to that question?" (What question?) "Lewis had ignored that request." (Mum taught me better). :-). If it's about the middle eastern fart joke, no, I hadn't heard it. Of course, just to embroider it, it would be even better if the man came back after a long time, was hearing about this horrible faux pas, and suddenly realized that they were talking about him!

Well, I hope your friends move to Ohio, goes well. Winters can be brutal, there. Club Orlov has a post, today, about a Russian man who lived in America, for awhile. Does not bode well. The weather disaster you linked to, looks awful. The picture of the man leading his cows to safety reminded me of our last big flood. Horrible stories of cows drowning in barns and the owners being helpless to aid them. They've built some "cattle pads" in the flood plain, since then. Raised areas to run your cattle onto, in case of flood.

Just out of curiosity, I Googled "Egg prices" and "Egg prices, conspiracy." Well, there's no getting around the fact that 48 million birds have bit the dust in the midwest due to bird flu. They expect it to move into the south along with the migrating birds. But, there was also some articles about the egg producers having predicted a big price jump. California (big chicken farms) has passed a new law increasing the size of chicken cages in industrial farms. Speaking of which, the chicken farm that burned down here? No reports on number of chickens killed, or, if they were egg or meat birds. Our local paper is so lame. 8 chicken barns were burned. Each one was 40 x 500 feet (12.19 M x 152.40 M). I'm surprised I couldn't smell singed feathers, from here.

I suppose you heard a huge chunk of Greenland broke off. 70 some square miles (180 sq. km) ... and, 4,000 feet thick (1219M). Hope it doesn't hit Inge's island, and sink it! :-). I suppose it could be towed somewhere, and used for fresh water? California? Probably wouldn't fit through the Panama Canal.

I'll check for those films in our library. I think they have "Breaker Morant." Probably, not the other. But, our system is endlessly surprising. I've also watched a few episodes of an old BBC series called "The Good Life." Titled, here, "Good Neighbors." It's from 1977. About the height of the back-to-the-land, sustainability era that JMG is always banging on, about. :-). A suburban London couple decide to go back to the land ... in their suburb. Pigs, goats and chickens in the back yard! Plow up the front yard for veg! Their clashes with their slightly snotty, very conventional neighbors. The extras on the dvd were pretty interesting. From this point in time, looking back. I guess the series was wildly popular, across all social classes, in England, at the time. It's kind of a one joke sit-com. I'm not watching the whole thing. Just an episode, here and there, until it's time to take it back to the library. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Haha! If you're senile and forgetful, them I'm well on my way to that place! What were we talking about again, I forget? :-)!

Language is a funny thing and it is constantly evolving and changing. Since we talked about the whole: "Yeah, Nah" phenomenon, I've found myself using that phrase. The standards are dropping... Oh well.

That is the general conclusion with such jokes. It is rather unfortunate that it isn't actually a joke though. People really do have long memories up this way. I'd hate to think what social faux pas, I've made in my time. Once years ago, I was a few minutes late to a fire brigade meeting because I was picking blackberries along the way. Unfortunately I was caught in the act and received a phone call and the reputation surely took a nosedive. How young people deal with social media where a dumb night ends up recorded on some hard drive somewhere only to be recalled by an employer much later is well beyond me. I feel for them.

Thanks for the link. Dmitry is a good writer and I enjoyed his descriptions of the collapse of the Soviet regime. He's not writing about himself do you think as I thought that he had ambitions to head back?

The weather related disasters are continuing there today with major floods. The photos of the dams overflowing were very worrying. The idea with the cows having somewhere that is on higher ground for them to retreat too is a very good idea. River flats may be rich country, but they got that way by the actions of constant floods.

48 million! Oh my, I thought that it was bad, but I didn't realise just how bad it was. Oh my. Wow, the losses at your local poultry farm would have been massive too as those are very big sheds and stocking rates are way beyond yours or my place. It is a messy job. I know the local earth moving guy who had to dig the trenches for the duck bird flu outbreak near here and it is heartbreaking to hear about it. The quarrantine people were all over it and the farm was shut down.

Have you got a link for the Greenland chunk that broke off? We don't often hear about such things down here, but certainly big chunks fall of the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet regularly. I found this link to a recent Greenland glacial calving. Didn't they use to tow ice bergs to ports for their ice?

Breaker Morant was a good tale and I reckon it marked a change in our culture. Jack Thompson is a good actor too.

Well, that takes me back. The Good Life was such a fun show and it did sort of highlight the difficulties and successes with the whole back to the land movement. It was the same running joke through the whole series. I watched it as a very young child and it did leave an impression on me - certainly more than some of the other BBC shows that I was subjected too.

Hehe! Banging on - yes, I did use that didn't I? Well, it was meant in a nice context. You know, there really was a shift in culture back in the late 1970's early 1980's and even as a young child I caught onto it. I reckon people breathed a huge sigh of relief as they put the problems off until a future date. People worked less back in those days, and whilst they had less stuff, there was a whole lot less indebtedness. I fear debt because whomever controls the debt, controls the asset and it is disturbing to witness on such a large scale. I don't really talk much about this sort of stuff here, but people are genuinely getting squeezed financially by the system and most people are responding by taking on ever larger debt so that the appearances can be maintained.

I much prefer standing out here in the orchard as night is settling in with the chickens scratching around. It looks as though it may rain here a bit which would be nice.

Oh yeah, I digress (we're both guilty as charged!) but I may have got a photo of the owl last night. I'm not sure how it turned out yet.

Cheers

Chris


Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

I had a read of the article that you suggested on Dmitry's blog.

As a general observation, it is my gut feel that for the individual in question is that he will always suffer dissatisfaction of one sort or the other. That is how he appears to me in his letter. He is literally trapped in his own mind and he lacks the resources to escape from that trap.

I know that sounds a bit harsh, but if you took me out to a farm and showed a tumbledown wreck of a farm house, I'd look at it and go, you know what - with a bit of rebuilding and some ingenuity, a bit of hard work, we could use all of those materials to rebuild a smaller house, whilst discarding all of the damaged materials or saving them for some other purpose.

The guy in the letter, all he would see at that farm is a house that has been wrecked, and then he would walk on.

Even when things are dark and gloomy, we can still share a yarn and have a laugh at the sheer craziness of it all. And then afterwards, we can tend the chickens, glean some fruit, pick some vegetables and pat the dog and cat, because despite it all, we're still alive!

Oooo - that's a bit heavy, that is! ;-)! Hehehe!!!

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Still pouring with rain here.

I absolutely agree about looking at something/property that is broken down and thinking what one could do with it.

I loved 'The Good life', I believe that Margot was meant to be a very minor character but proved so popular that they had to keep increasing her presence.

Haven't heard of the Greenland break off.

@Helen Thanks for the casuarinas explanation.

Inge

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I have found the story 'The Historic Fart' it comes from the 1001 Arabian Tales.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Yeah, language is a funny thing. I pick up turns of phrase, so easily. Accents, too. I find myself using "dunno", a lot, recently :-).

The Net used to give an illusion of privacy. Sure, it's almost possible, but you have to go to great technological lengths to (maybe) have privacy. We have quit a scandal building over here. Some dating site for married people was hacked. B list politicians, celebs and religious leaders (or their spouses) are running for cover.

Oh, Orlov is floating around on his boat in Boston Harbor. It's his escape plan. He frequently runs far north or far south. I've found his books pretty interesting. And, his sense of humor, wicked :-). Your right about the guy that wrote this weeks post. Never happy, anywhere.

Couldn't find the link to the article on the Greenland iceberg, I saw. Here's another one. The estimates of size vary all over the place. A "Greenland Iceberg" Google search turns up a number of them.

http://www.weather.com/science/environment/news/greenland-glacier-sheds-ice-chunk-size-manhattan-largest

The library didn't have either movie you recommended. Sad. I see the second season of "A Place to Come Home To" is winging it's way to me. ought to be interesting, as season one ended on quit a cliff hanger.

Well, time to play with the chooks and head out for my weekly trip to the Little Smoke. Lew

PS: Speaking of tumbledown wrecks that have potential, saw another article, yesterday, about farms and whole villages for sale in Spain for very cheap. Some haven't had occupants in a decade. I've seen similar articles about parts of Italy and, even France.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis and Inge,

One of the Sydney dams has started to spill. 400mm (15.7 inches) of rain since Monday...

NSW weather: Warragamba Dam in Sydney spills; floodwaters to remain in Shoalhaven for 24 hours

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

I hear you about the rain. Just out of interest, does your forest soils absorb all of the rainfall or does any of it run across the surface? Here the the only area that rainfall runs across the ground is the human surfaces such as roadways etc. Incidentally, how are the neighbours engineering works holding up?

The tail end of the big storm that I mentioned above has worked it's way down to the south, but I'm just a bit west of where it seems to be curling back on itself before heading east again. It is a big storm!

I loved the Good Life too, such an inspirational and fun show. I even have vague memories of a methan digester in their backyard at one stage. Oh how, the neighbours were so uptight!

A sad tale and thanks for the reference: The Tale of Abu Hasan and the Fart – 1001 Nights

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Dunno, what you mean? ;-)! I pick up the language of different places too and pitch my language to the particular audience. If you like dunno, then you it has a grammar friend called "youse" - pronounced "yoose" which roughly translates as: you people. In the context of a discussion you would say: What's going on with youse guys? That question roughly translates to: I was just wondering what was occuring with you and your friends (of either gender). "Guys" is a strange word too because it used to refer to the male gender, but then people started using the word as follows: How's it goin guys? Which roughly translates to: Nice to meet you, how are you two (or more) people feeling today?

We could have hours of fun with this stuff! ;-)!

Oh yeah, the editor has been delighting me with tales of all of the very strongly opinionated (esp. Vocal Christian Family Values types) for the past few days. JMG would probably quip that what they contemplate, the immitate! Apparently, there were 38 million of them on that site and what is really weird is that I believe 213,000 of them are in Melbourne - that's like 4% of the population here! Everyone delights in a good scandal!

Orlov leads an interesting life, no doubt about it. That guy had a darkness to his soul. All respect for taking that darkness elsewhere, but it doesn't make it go away. I've met plenty of people like that over the years.

No worries, its pretty serious stuff all the same - I think a chunk that size broke away from Antarctica recently, but I can't remember the details? Yeah, I saw that article - that is one huge iceberg!

That's no good about the movies. On the otherhand, you have the best library system. They are really that good relative to down here.

I hope that your chickens are coping well with the smoky atmosphere - it makes me a bit hayfevery, but nothing serious. Unfortunately, the smoke from eucalyptus forests is also a bit fragrant which is both pleasant and unpleasant at the same time.

The Acacia (wattle) trees are in full bloom here right now and there are massive splashes of bright yellow right through the forest and the orchard smells mildly fragrant. I believe the silver wattle is used in perfumery in Europe and I can see why as it is quite nice smelling. They're smart trees to produce blooms at the end of winter in this climate.

Enjoy your trip into town.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Ooops! Thanks for the heads up on Spain. Interesting stuff. I used to have email contact with a guy in Portugal through the Permaculture people and he asked me what I would do to obtain a farm given his circumstances and I replied by saying: Do something unexpected! Well, there's an opportunity if I saw one - funny other people don't seem to like opportunities because they turn up at the door wearing overalls and looking like hard work! (I read that one and it always left an impression on me).

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

The rain water is now lying above the surface; the leaf litter tends to hold it in place. Water is racing through our ditches and down the road. Neighbour's non-works are holding up so far but it would just take one giant lorry! Met the postman yesterday. He has to come past this lot in reverse up to my postbox (the last one). Surprise was expressed at what was going on.

Abandoned Spanish villages: They do look extremely tempting, however there are laws about descendants right of inheritance. An obscure descendant could turn up.

Inge

orchidwallis said...

Hello yet again

Thanks, I have now re-read the story of Abu Hasan. Poor man!

Inge

orchidwallis said...

And again

Why on earth did I write 'poor man' it should have been 'poor bride'; there is a whole potential story there.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Inge - I got the whole run of "The Good Life" from our library. I don't know when they created them, but the "extras" on the last DVD were very interesting. Yes, Margot's character was just a voice (off stage right) in the first episode. They also had an interview with some fellow in the present who is currently living "The Good Life." He gave it points for not glossing over (too much) the hours and work involved. Chris is right: shows up in overalls and looking like hard work.

Yo, Chris - "Youse" and "Youse guys" show up pretty early in films as a Brooklyn accent. Everything from film noir to a couple of series done in the 30's. "Dead End Kids" and the "Our Gang" series. Sometimes I refer to "Kids." My friends in Idaho ... even though they are just slightly younger than me, I'll often ask something like "How are you kids doing?" Some of the Australian films I've been watching ... it's kind of charming, but a bit disconcerting, when a character tacks "that" onto the end of a sentence ... seemingly out of nowhere. :-).

Of course Orlov is dark... he's Russian! :-). A couple of weeks ago, he did a whole post on the Russian character. Interesting stuff.

Well, our library system IS good. But, they fall down, occasionally. All copies of Galbraith's "The Great Crash of '29" seem to have strayed. A few months ago I decided I wanted to re-read "Small is Beautiful." Not even listed. There have been no new non-fiction, fiction or dvds, added to the lists, this week. Either the cataloguers are on vacation, or, recent tweaks to the catalogue software has raised havoc. Apparently, we're to be treated to little pictures of the book covers, next to the titles. In the never ending drive toward "graphic richness." Also known as "Slow to load." :-) Grump, grump, grump.

Well, spring is coming to your part of the world, and it looks like fall is coming to ours, this week-end. 80% chance of rain, tomorrow. 100% on saturday. Maybe even 1-2 inches of rain. Possible winds. What a relief. I thought there was a change in the works. I've had to break out the ratty old sweater, scarf and stocking cap, nights and mornings. Lew

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

I lost a comment somewhere. I wonder where they go?

The peacock is gorgeous. You have a lot of masterpieces at your place. I'm sure that you would create your own art pieces (other than all the buildings and growings) if only you had the time.

Your mention of hugelculture is an interesting coincidence as I was just looking at a bunch of rotten logs and such that we have handy and was contemplating (and, hopefully, imitating) that project idea.

How cheery to see the plumcot blooming! Do you ever do any grafting? I saw recently that you can graft squashes (onto other types of squashes) and tomatoes (tomato-to-tomato). That sounds like fun.

You scared me that you ran out of ready-to-hand firewood; perhaps you won't be needing as much soon.

I liked your comment about how you would react to the situation (broken-down farmhouse) in Dmitry's article. That's how I try to view circumstances, too. Lemonade out of lemons kind of thing. I always read his blog; I've learned quite a bit of useful stuff, but, yeah, it can be pretty dark.

Pam

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

From the sounds of it, your leaf litter acts like a giant sponge. Many alpine areas do a similar trick but with the actual vegetation and that vegetation slowly releases the water over the summer months. That is what keeps the rivers and creeks that originate out of those areas running over the winter.

However, just guessing, I reckon the leaf litter breaks down over summer in your forest and as it does it releases the water held. High up on the main ridge here that is sort of how the forest works and the slow movement of the water keeps some of the creeks running over the summer here. I reckon ice packs work differently again and it is interesting to consider all of the different approaches that nature has come up with. Still, you do get summer rainfall too. It isn't guaranteed here and you just never quite know what the summer will bring.

Those property laws sound like a total nightmare. But then you can buy land here with the right to build a dwelling and get refused when you actually apply for all sorts of reasons.

That is so true, the poor bride was completely forgotten in the story. A clever young lady would take over the business interests in such a situation, I mean what else could she do in such a culture - through no fault of her own?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

They certainly didn't upsell the concept in the show. Funnily enough I was always recall that the backyard looked muddy. Like really muddy. What's with that? I do everything I can to avoid creating mud as you never quite know what interesting events can result from that mud. I've never heard of landslides around here, but certainly tree roots can be undermined and the trees then start to fall over. The council cut the roots of one tree when they graded the road and it is now gently toppling over a little bit at a time. Hopefully it falls when there is no animals underneath it...

There is quite a lot of crossover in the language spoken. I hadn't noticed people tacking "that" onto the end of a sentence. That is an interesting point though and there are often regional differences too. In South Australia they pronounce the word "chance" very differently from the rest of the country which pronounces that word with a much flatter accent. In a funny one our New Zealand friends can sometimes be heard saying: "Choice, bro, Ay" which roughly translates to: "Excellent decision, my friend". Someone once told me that they add the "Ay" to the end of spoken sentences in Canada? Dunno. (thought I'd slip that Dunno in) ;-)!

Ah, we have very little exposure to Russian culture down here, so that was probably completely lost on me. But of course many eastern European cultures have a dark outlook on life.

Really. Isn't that funny how someone comes up with an idea like that and it tacks on a little bit more additional complexity and then the system starts to strain under the load and the cracks start to appear. But they'll get those images on the catalogue up for display shortly. Card catalogues seemed to work pretty well for me back in the day - just sayin...

A fine grump. Grump away, it's all good! ;-)!

The Tax Office down here has some of the biggest and most powerful computers in the southern hemisphere and they constantly keep tooling with their systems and you can see the cracks appearing. It is an unnerving thing to watch from a distance, because it previously worked fine.

Dunno about spring as the tail end of that monster storm is making its presence felt here and - it's my turn for a grump - I had a huge amount of trouble starting the wood fire this morning. I eventually had to go right back to basics. The sheer humidity down here is just making it hard for anything outside to dry out - including the firewood that isn't in the firewood shed. Oh well, it eventually started with a lot of gentle coaxing.

Enjoy your ratty old sweater and the now cooler and damper weather. I've long since suspected that the smoke particles from bushfires collect in the atmosphere and attract clouds which brings cooler weather and rainfall. Just a gut feel.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

The lost comment may have fallen behind the couch? Hehe! They do disappear and I've been copying them before posting for quite a while now for that very reason. If you're using windows the Ctrl and A key will select all of the text + the Ctrl and C key will copy it to the clipboard. It may help.

Thank you, we're pretty chuffed with that peacock. It was quite the find. Exactly, it would be nice to get some more time to do some more frivolous activities, but time waits for no person. Speaking of which I ended up in an Ikea shop last night looking for some storage for all of the paperwork for the business here and by the end of my time in that place, I felt shell shocked and was a bit horrified at the apparent quality of some the stuff there. All that has meant that another project has been added to the long list.

Yes, definitely use those logs that way. The trick I reckon is to keep them facing downwards with the rotten side in contact with the ground. Over the top I've begun placing manures. The whole thing should produce lots of mushrooms which means the fungi is breaking the cellulose in the timber down into rich black loam. I'm intending to line that area with ferns as they naturally occur there anyway. Please let me know how your project goes.

I haven't really done grafting as I don't have any access to root stock. I tend to grow seedling fruit trees instead as giant apples or even a massive citrus aren't really a problem here as there is a lot of space for them to grow into. Generally people graft so that they can guarantee the fruit produced and keep the tree small by selecting dwarfing rootstock. The birds and animals enjoy a lot of the produce here, so I don't really need small fruit trees.

Yeah, they graft tomatoes onto potatoes as they are in the same family. I could potentially graft a tomato onto a kangaroo apple which would produce a monster and cold hardy tomato... Never thought of that before.

It scared me too as it the coldest winter here in 18 years. Honestly, I have many years supply of firewood, but it isn't in the shed, so it is damp... I just ran out of time before the wet weather hit here. What a nightmare and I'm starting to find the firebox is harder to start, which means I have to keep it cleaner. I got spoiled with all of that dry firewood.

Thanks and exactly: Lemons to lemonade (or lemonade citrus fruit to really yummy lemonade!)

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Ooops! Forgot to mention that I really hope that a lorry doesn't test that guys earthworks. It is not as if failures don't occur in the building industry is it?

I always reckon mud is a sign of failure in management in an environment. Unless it is a post snow and ice thaw when it would be expected to be seen. Although I would have thought that plant roots would have remained intact in frozen ground? Dunno, I don't have any experience with those conditions at all.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

We have something called 'outline planning permission' here, which land or a property can be sold with. I don't think that that can get rescinded (I could be wrong). But what you can actually do with it later is no doubt open to endless argument and negotiation. Always apply for more than you want.

Mud occurs here where there are building works or all greenery is removed. I remember a workman having to be pulled out once near here. The beach is dangerous in places as well if people walk out at low tide. Horses have been stuck as well as people.

Had a visit yesterday from my previous neighbour who is a great friend. He said 'what a mess' vis a vis his old dwelling.

Do you have to provide ID when doing any banking? It has become a nightmare here.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Lost comments go the same place as lost socks. :-). If you have a cat, like Nell, around, they generally end up in her food dish. With holes gnawed through the weave. :-). I have to be very careful to bury my socks under the rest of my clothes when I go to bed.

It's kind of like mud. Live and learn. You put up with it for awhile, then loose all patience and do something about it.

Canadians end some sentences with "Eh." Usually, with a bit of a questioning tone. Eh? I think it indicates "What do you think of it?" Some Canadians are easy to spot as they pronounce "about" (ab-OUT) as A-boot. New Englanders, notoriously people of few words, use nayup for no and ahyup for yes. I find regional dialects endlessly interesting. Of course, what with mass media, that's all being lost. People that study this can sometimes nail a person's origins down to within a street or two. There's a hot debate as to if the Pacific Northwest is the most accent-less part of the country. Just for fun, here's a dialect map of the US.

http://robertspage.com/dialects.html

Oh, I love the old card catalogues in libraries. I once wrote a paper for a library class extolling the virtues of the old card catalogue. Got a good grade, but everyone thought I was a bit daft. They're so invested in the on-line catalogues by now, that there's no going back. Until the Revolution :-). Or, as my old grandfather used to say "There's going to be a Revolution in this country!" Imagine that sentence in dialect :-). You used to see nice oak library catalogues kicking around. Not so much, anymore. They're pretty useful for storing things, other than catalogue cards.

Well, we had a light rain, sometime during the night. So, I missed dancing around in it. The forecast is for showers, and some heavy rain for the next week. I looked at the radar image, this morning, and it looks like there's quit a bit of rain on the northern coast and Olympic mountains. They need it. There's quit a few large fires up there. Lew

Cathy McGuire said...

Nice post, Chris! yeah, I'm getting used to the fact that people all know each other around here and remember things... I wish my memory was better - I'm sure I've spoken with folks at stores as if I'd never met them when I have... and just this week I was selling eggs to the local feed store, and the wife was chatting with someone so the husband gave me the money - all silently so as not to interrupt. When I got to the truck, I realized it was $1 more - I couldn't tell if he was thanking me (since they have been low on eggs during moult season) or just got it wrong. I mulled it over as I dumped my trash at the local dump, then decided I had to go back and ask, or I wouldn't rest... turns out he'd made a mistake - that would have gotten him in trouble with the missus, and me tarnished for not returning the $$. Luckily, it was resolved and probably increased my rep with the store. :-) (Girl Scout training doesn't go away... that and Catholic schooling... ;-})

Thank you Chris and Lew for your compliments - it was wonderful to see how many folks read the novel all the way through - and even how many started it! (about 10% finished... probably means I need some more work up front - or maybe it wasn't their type of book... or maybe, like Chris (and me), they hate reading books on the computer). I need to sit down with it again and work on polishing, using the feedback I got. I just finished putting together a poetry anthology for a group I'm with, and I'm teaching food preserving and poetry this fall (just a total of four sessions), so with that and harvest, I'm suddenly feeling very busy!!

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

The outline planning permission is a good idea as property owners here and potential purchasers are very much in the dark. Applying for more than you require later on is known down here as an ambit claim and property developers use that all of the time to scare people into accepting what they actually want to build (i.e. Propose 32 storeys when all you want to build is 16 storeys).

I'm unsure, but should I have to rebuild here, I may go in the other and unexpected direction of asking for less. There are quite a few advantages to that strategy - especially if the house here is destroyed by a fire (what a joke on the system - that would be).

Really? Wow, that would never have occurred to me as a potential risk with mud. In the blackwood and myrtle rainforests to the south west of here, there are occasional peat fires that can burn for months on end and sometimes people have unwittingly stepped into them. The results are not good.

Sorry to hear about that. Sometimes, you cannot go back regardless of circumstance. I once revisited an old house that I'd repaired from a very poor state to a delightful state, and it was a bit of a shock to see that the new owners had not maintained anything. Sometimes, I believe people are a bit shocked to discover that they have to maintain brand new houses. There are a lot of nomads out there.

No ID is not required when visiting a bank branch here - in fact, they know me by name and sight. You do have to provide a 4 digit code for their computer systems though. Is that an option for you?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Hehe! Too true. Who knows where Nell may have taken those lost comments? Did you check under the stairs as they may have fallen there? Oooo! Not good, wasn't a stairwell into a basement a pivotal plot point in the Amityville horror? I don't know about you, but if disembodied voices started telling me to get out of the house, I believe that I would seriously consider their issues and take appropriate action. Ahh, we've dropped into the realms of silliness again... :-)!

Nell, is very naughty! ;-)! The unexpected can add a touch of the improbable to your life.

Exactly, mud is a failing. There is a farm not too far from here where I met Joel Salatin at a talk and they have pigs free roaming in forest that is surrounded by movable electric fences and the pigs looked very happy.

Yes, I've heard of the A-boot. The Eh is also seen in people of Italian and also Scottish descent down here. It is endlessly fascinating isn't it? I didn't realise that the New England people were a bit hoity toity! The dialect map is very interesting. What stands out to me is that the more economically isolated an area is the more interesting its local dialect becomes (or maintains from the past).

The sheer volume of US culture that we see and hear down here affects the culture here for sure. And what is interesting is that occasionally you'll hear an Australian accent on a US program and it will sound very strange to my ears. As an interesting side note, we're often presented as caricatures in such programs and it is definitely fun to see that.

The old card catalogues were very beautiful things down here too and there are often places selling old antiques which promote the beautifully constructed hardwood cabinets and draws as useful for storage. A mate of mine has old factory stackable steel boxes to store things in and they are also beautifully made. A shame though that they're all not used for their original purpose. Some of the very best timbers went into that public furniture.

Well done for even raising the issue.

Enjoy your rain and may it put out the fires in those areas - that is how it works here at any rate.

The recent visit to the Ikea shop was such a bummer (and an assault on my senses) that I went out today and purchased enough materials to construct a custom shelving unit and it was half finished by the time the sun set today.

Hopefully there is a bit of sun here tomorrow? The dogs are getting a bit feral as the weather has been so inclement. It actually snowed this morning it was so cold. The tea camellia is still struggling through the winter though!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Cathy,

Thank you and may you enjoy navigating through the intricacies of your local culture!

Exactly, small wrongs can grow in time and the telling so it is always wise to listen to the social currents that you swim in. Actually, you won brownie points by fixing up that error!

My pleasure, you are an excellent story teller and far surpass my meagre skills. Respect.

Enjoy your busy time and may you build many social relationships with the food preservation skills course.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I think that our mud must be the mud equivalent of quicksand.

On the whole if I sell something, I let go. This is just as well as I have sold to most of my neighbours. Having said that, I am glad that my husband never saw the buildings that he built destroyed.

IDs for banks: I have had to provide this even when I have been well known for years. One bank was fine with the 4 digit no. from a debit card. Everything to do with money is becoming stricter and stricter to the point of idiocy.

Meanwhile it is still raining and I have dug up more potatoes before they rot in what has become a pond. Actually some of them have rotted already.

Inge

Chris said...

Hey Chris
I searched your blog but couldn't find an answer to this. I have a ton of apples that have moth holes in them. Could I use those nasty apples to make vinegar? I made some apple vinegar from nice looking cores but I'm wondering how far I can push my luck :-) Any thoughts on using those questionable apples?

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Late today. I just brought up your blog, this morning, and the power went out ... for 8 hours. Wind gusts to 35mph (56.32 Km ph). I took my brisk morning walk in it and it felt wonderful. Buckets of rain, later. We haven't had a good wind in months. Nell usually stampedes over the top of me to get out in the morning ... not today. She spent the day hunkered down in the interior hallway. LOL. This always seems to happen on week-ends when the PUD (Public Utility District) isn't at full staff. When I called in the outage, the nice man sounded so harassed. They really do a darned good job, in our part of the world.

Well, maybe the Australian accent you hear in films is from some other part of Australia ... your country is as big as ours and probably has some out of the way dialects. Or, it's an actor shooting for an Australian accent, and not quit getting it right :-).

Yeah, most modern furniture is chipboard and veneer junk. Give me a nice old piece from a thrift store, estate sale or auction, any day. Sure, they used veneer in the old days, but the wood underneath was solid. As I've said, recently, nice old furniture is going begging at auction.

My neighbor told me, today, that a cougar was seen just down the hill from me on the county road. AND the loggers down in the canyon, behind my place have seen tracks of a mama cougar and kit.

My bank (credit union) always asks me for my birthdate and the last 4 digits of my Social Security number. If I say it fast, and don't think about it, I can remember it :-). Even though they know me and I hand them my debit card. Large transactions ... say, anything over $500 and I need to show ID. Driver's license. Deposits in excess of $10,000 are reported, by the banks, to the Internal Revenue Service. The tax people.

In general, there seems to be a lot more snoopiness from the Government into banking issues. Of course, their excuses are to avoid fraud, money laundry by organized crime ... funding terrorist organizations.

There used to be a thing called "reasonable expectation of privacy." Several court cases were fought over it. Not so much, anymore. Drones are becoming a real problem. A fellow shot down one, back East. It was oogliing his teenage daughters who were sunbathing behind a 6 foot privacy fence. He was charged with discharging a weapon in the city limits and destruction of property. This last week, a Benedictine monk was sunbathing on top of a 200 foot tall wind generator. Poor man is all over the internet, today. I'm sure he had an expectation of privacy. Grump, grump, grump and "You kids get off my lawn!" :-)

Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

It does sound that way, doesn't it? I'd never thought of mud like that before. The mud must have an awful lot of organic matter in its components to act that way? It is a bit scary really.

That is a fair call. He may have had a completely different perspective than you on the matter and a dark cloud may have followed him due to those property sale transactions. Having said that the neighbour next to the inner city terrace I fixed up and sold recently had her property in as a "property of the week" in the newspaper. After I sold up there, she had somehow managed to obtain permission to build a roof top deck overlooking the bathroom and main bedroom. Also what was interesting about her build was that somehow she had managed to construct a double height brick wall on the boundary which would completely overshadowed the garden that I had planted for at least 9 months of every single year. And then she moved on leaving a trail of destruction behind her...

You are absolutely correct, in that you have to let it go. I saw the photos on the Internet and in the newspaper and simply applied a zen like attitude and got on with my life.

That is weird, but is probably the precursor to interesting events. The banks here now stipulate non exit policies on term deposits in their legal terms and conditions. My take on that issue is that they fear a run at some future stage? Dunno, but that is what I take from that excessive terms and conditions.

Oh no! Do you save seed tubers from your potatoes or do you obtain new ones every year? They grow like weeds around here and even set seed, so it will be very interesting to see what comes of that over time?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Chris,

A thoroughly excellent name!

I believe that if the occasional insect ends up in your apple cider, it is not a drama. Most insects are edible from what I understand and the alcohol - even in apple cider vinegar - should hopefully be enough to kill any nasties. When I'm making cider (or vinegar), I tend to cut out any insect riddled bits and feed them to the chickens who enjoy the extra protein from the insects. Is that an option for you? A compost or worm farm is a good option too.

Have you considered cutting open the insect hives in the fruit and trying to identify exactly what the species of insects are? That may assist with management of the orchard or wild fruit trees that the fruit came from. Wild seedling apple trees are really massively hardy.

Incidentally, there are yeasts right through apples, but it is the skin that has the largest and most diverse quantity of yeasts, so hopefully, you can get some of the skins into the mix. You never know if your area has excellent yeasts and you may even have a seriously top notch yeast for cider or vinegar making in your general area. We just don't know.

Potatoes are exactly the same.

Cheers

Chris

Jo said...

Helen, I love the name of your property, as I love the sound of casuarina trees, the most soothing whispering song I know:)

Chris, you are a busy bean as always and I loved your cautionary tale re keeping the reputation intact. What does it say about city life that we can get away with anonymous bad behaviour??

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

It sounds as if autumn is starting to kick in up your way. I do hope that you have a gentle autumn and winter as it has been surprisingly cold down here this winter. It even snowed here yesterday... Go figure...

Nell is a wise soul. Good to hear that you get out for a regular walk. I enjoy the nighttime walks though as that is when all of the wildlife puts on a show down here. However, Nell is in good company because with the very cold week here, Scritchy hasn't left the front of the wood fire. If she isn't careful, she may well become leather with all of that drying...

That sounds about right here too. Weekends are when every household and their dog wants to run electric cooling or heating and that is when the troubles hit here for the grid too. It is great that you can actually get onto a person, as I believe people here are directed by an electronic recording onto the suppliers website.

Too true. Tell you a funny story about that. The classic - and also massive hit - 1991 film "Point break" ended up in Bells Beach which is to the south west of here. It is a generally mild beach, but because of the roaring 40's, the prevailing westerlies and the narrow and very shallow gap (which used to be a land bridge, by the way) between the mainland and the massive isle of Tasmania they get the occasional truly monster storm and surf. Back to the film though, which was filmed somewhere completely else, they had a US actor trying to reproduce an Australian accent in a possibly US location and not only did the final scene look weird (as it looked nothing like Bells Beach), it sounded weird to my ears too! I read somewhere recently that the film is currently being remade.

Exactly, the same thing happens here too with second hand stuff. I'm just grateful that no one seems to notice as that means more for us. Incidentally, I ended up building a custom unit using materials from the hardware store and not only is it made of solid timber, but it is also much stronger and - even with enough extra hardwood materials for the new bee box - was half the price of the new stuff. Go figure that one out...

Yes, large transactions here are reported to a government authority (not the tax dept though) and may be investigated. Really? The four digit number down here seems to be enough to do most things and they know me by sight and name too.

Haha! That saying it fast reminds me of learning to play music - the less you think about it, the better you are at it. Makes you wonder just how many of those auto-pilot things we actually do on a day to day basis?

I wonder about those excuses because money laundering goes on all the same... Down here, I've read that a large sink for that is the country horse races, but I'm no expert in such matters.

The law often reacts to social circumstances rather than being proactive or - more wisely - generalist in nature. Drones are a nuisance as they are just so cheap. My understanding of the law down here is that they are perfectly acceptable as long as the drone is not being used to photograph or otherwise film an event or situation that would be illegal to do so. You know someone down here sooner or later is going to get into a huge - and also a lifetimes worth of - trouble for using one of those things that way.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo,

Thanks very much! I do enjoy keeping busy and there are just so many things to do and going on that there is never any shortage.

Exactly, what does it mean? I reckon our current culture in urban areas spends an inordinate amount of energy trying to avoid that particular issue. Community for some is the equivalent of a very large and impenetrable fence. I respect the fact that you enjoy many local activities and share knowledge with those people.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis and Inge,

You two are in for a total treat tomorrow as I had a most unusual and unexpected guest today. I'll tell the full story tomorrow, but in the meantime, here is a little teaser: This poor little guy was called in.

Now Lewis, I'm not saying that you are responsible for the unexpected visit today, but we have been discussing visits by bears an awful lot here recently! Hehehe!

It was a very delightful encounter and it looks as if the little fella will be OK - hopefully. More on this tomorrow in: How much can a Koala Bear? Apologies in advance for the groaner! ;-)!

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Oh, how cute and furry! Maybe it will adopt you and become the house koala? Looking forward to tomorrow's post.

When the weather gets nasty, Beau usually takes to his dog house (need to remember it's time to put extra straw, in there.) Yesterday, he was up on the deck, enjoying the wind and rain and doing his happy dance. I guess he was just as tired of the dry as the rest of us.

Oh, it's been pretty much proven that we run a great chunk of our lives on autopilot. Since dabbling in mindfulness and meditation, it becomes pretty stark. To me.

So far, here, drones seem to have the upper hand. I've read a couple of articles as to why that is so ... and they don't make much sense. I guess they're classified as "civilian aircraft" ... which gives them and their owners lots of protections.

From what I've read, laundromats are great for ... laundering money. Any mostly cash businesses can turn dirty money into clean. And, I just wrote that all with a straight face :-l .

The Film Festival took a slight detour to New Zealand, last night. I shall forever hold New Zealand responsible for unleashing "What We Do in the Shadows", on the world. Sophomoric and amateur. Now, there is a groaner. At least I got to see a bit of Wellington. :-) Lew

Steve Carrow said...

Late in the weekly comment cycle, but thought I'd chime in one rural culture. Your point on the long memories of rural communities is spot on in my experience also. When I was young, we moved to farm in the country, and as long as I lived there, we were considered "new", or not local.

But another way to view this phenomenon is that it is a very powerful normative and behavior alignment force that is quite missing in most urban and suburban areas, where you are a faceless stranger to most people you see. I think this partially explains the selfish and crass behaviors so common now. As the world relocaiizes, the recognition that all your neighbors know you will hopefully replace to a large extent the police and government in regulating sociopathic behavior.

Yes, there can be an oppressive or prying aspect to local gossip and clannishness, but there is some good resulting as well.

Chris said...

Thanks! I think the yeast here in Oregon are quite good! A few hours after chucking the apples in water they were fizzing away furiously.
I think at this point the chickens are sick of apples. I throw bad cores at them and they stick their beaks up at me haha. I'll let you know how things turn out!