Monday, 25 July 2016

For a vegetarian

This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: http://ferngladefarm.com.au/2016 Jul 25 - For a Vegetarian.mp3

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It is hard to believe that only a year ago, we were constructing the new chicken enclosure. The chickens here are very grateful (or, so I believe) for that new chicken enclosure as it provides them with an all-weather outdoor protected run which is attached to a sturdy steel hen house. There has been so much rain over the past few months, that had the chickens remained in their old enclosure (which was eventually converted to a firewood storage shed) that those chickens would have been unable to venture from their previous hen house as they would have huddled miserably in the doorway whilst contemplating the very muddy conditions – of which they wanted no part.

The new chicken enclosure however was constructed to withstand sub-optimal chicken weather and so now the chickens enjoy a charmed life and their health has improved markedly. The hen’s now turn their beaks up in disdain at snow or heavy downpours and simply get on with their important chicken business. Part of the new hen house and enclosure was constructed on a substantial concrete slab so that the chickens enjoy dry housing conditions despite the worst that the weather can throw at them. And I was thinking about this today as the rain fell and the wind blew, about just how hard it would be to construct that same concrete slab this year.

In the past two months 324mm (12.8 inches) of rain has fallen over the farm. Fortunately, this week in between bouts of rain, the sun has also shone. With the increased sun, the solar power system has been generating respectable amounts of power and the house batteries are starting the slow process of recharging. That sun combined with the rain has produced the most excellent display of rainbows this week!
Rainbows have been a regular feature this week over the farm as the heavy rain has combined with the sun
All of the water systems at the farm work towards getting every drop of water from whatever source into the soil. From there that water accumulates in the ground water table. Not everyone pursues this strategy and an alternative strategy with water is to move any water off to another location altogether as rapidly as possible. With the recent sudden increase in rainfall, I can see from this eagles eyrie high up on the mountain side, that there are many locations in the valley below where water is now pooling above the ground and forming what looks to me like a swamp.
Water is now pooling above the ground in some low lying paddocks in the valley below
In other parts of the valley it is now possible to see where the water moves across the surface through various paddocks.
In the valley below it has become possible to see where the water moves across the surface through the paddocks
The recent rain has given me time in recent weeks to turn my mind to stories and other philosophical matters.

One of the joys of writing this blog is the ongoing dialogue that is shared with the many thoughtful and intelligent commenters who take the time to post a comment. Many weeks ago now as part of that ongoing dialogue in the comment section, I received a very insightful comment which was: For a vegetarian, I consume a lot of meat.

My friends are likewise baffled by my philosophical stance in relation to the consumption of meat. Other people who discover my preference for consuming a predominantly vegetarian diet are also curious and confused about the issue.

I must now out myself as: A mostly vegetarian. What I mean by the term “mostly vegetarian” is that at home I consume vegetarian meals, but once outside the confines of the farm, I eat whatever is being served with an eye to quality food.

Diet is one of those topics that can produce strong displays of passions as everyone feels it necessary to defend their chosen turf. I on the other hand, believe that everyone exists on a continuum somewhere between the Vegans and the Protein cohorts. I have total respect for people at either end of that continuum as not only are they making complex dietary choices, but those people are constantly challenged and judged by yet other people who are usually testing them to defend their values. I on the other hand tend to fly below the radar and not make a big issue out of the whole diet thing. If someone wants to feed me meat, I respect the animal and consume the meat. Done.

Long term readers will recall that I am careful where I spend my hard earned money. This mode of living is also known as being “tight”. For those that are curious, my “mostly vegetarian” concept is compatible with my “tight” philosophy. You see, my experience on this farm of growing edible plants, I quickly learned that it is an inefficient process to grow plants which I could potentially consume and then feed those same plants to other creatures so as to build protein stores in those creatures. Obviously, I am unable to consume pasture and herbage, but the wildlife here can consume that and that is my preference and gift to them.

However, as a method of food preservation, turning plants into protein is a great idea, thus the traditional popularity of the mid-winter feast where an animal is slaughtered and cooked during the very depths of winter. However, the winters are milder here than in other corners of the planet and I am able to grow edible greens and fruit all year around. So despite the dark night, the driving winds and the very heavy rainfall here just outside of the window, if I so chose, I could grab an umbrella and pick enough greens and citrus fruit to make a meal. If I wanted a bowl of stewed rhubarb that is no problem at all as there are dozens of that plant to choose from. Potatoes, no worries, I accidentally dug up some today and I then cut them up and gave them to the chickens. But for me to eat the chickens would be very inefficient and costly when I could simply eat the greens myself. It would also mean that I would have to commence the process of breeding chickens which is a more complex task than simply keeping hens for both eggs and manure, and that is something that I have no desire to do at this stage in my life.

I do occasionally depart from my “tight” philosophy. The departure usually arises when I stumble across – or discover a need for – an item that is of such high quality that I can intuit that the product will have a long life and also enjoy much use. On Friday, I travelled into the big smoke of Melbourne to undertake a large number of tasks. I tend to accumulate a number of tasks before heading off the farm. One of those tasks was visiting a large shop which sells old style preserving equipment.

I instinctively knew that the visit to this shop would be dangerous as it would apply extreme pressure to my “tight” philosophy. And I was not wrong. It is a dangerous shop, and so it was that after a long and interesting discussion with the old bloke that ran the large shop, I purchased a fruit press. I also broke my general rule about buying the cheapest and smallest tool before committing to a larger and better quality product and so instead purchased the mid-sized fruit press. Oh, that shop is dangerous!
The new fruit press was immediately put to use in pressing the apple which had been quietly fermenting away in the most recent batch of apple cider vinegar
That afternoon, the new fruit press was immediately put to use in pressing the apple which had been quietly fermenting away in the most recent batch of apple cider vinegar. The next day, I picked an overflowing bucket of ripe lemons.
The author picks a bucket full of ripe lemons. The bucket represents about only a quarter of all of the ripe lemons ready to harvested at the farm
Those lemons were then cut into eights and placed in the fruit press. As space became available in the press, more cut lemons were added.
The lemons were cut into eights and then placed in the fruit press. As space became available in the press, more cut lemons were added
I’m starting to question the wisdom of growing so many lemon trees here as I am unsure what to do with all of the lemon juice and/or fruit. In Melbourne from my earlier experience of fruit tree growing, lemon trees suffer from a lot of problems. Those problems are absent here and the fruit trees are very prolific. From just that first pressing, I produced about 5 litres (1.3 gallons) of lemon juice which will be used to make: lemon wine; jams; for cooking; and added to preserves (eg: quince, the poaching liquid also forms the base of quince wine). What wasn’t used for starting a batch of lemon wine on that day was placed in the freezer for later use in the year.
The author harvests about 5 litres (1.3 gallons) of lemon juice
All of the citrus peel was fed to the worms in the worm farm. If anyone has any other potential uses for so much lemon juice, please don’t be shy and leave a comment! Bear in mind that I have only now harvested a quarter of the fruit so there is a lot of lemon juice left to be harvested!

Earlier in the week we experimented with making peanut butter from raw peanuts. We purchased a basic peanut butter grinder which was of such low quality that we threw it out. That grinder was total rubbish and the bin was the best place for it. After a suggestion from a regular commenter of the blog, we ran the peanuts through the food processor and made peanut butter in no time at all.

In a feat of microbiology, we have also this week reverse engineered sake which is otherwise known as rice wine. It is very nice stuff.
This week we have performed a feat of microbiology and reverse engineered sake which is otherwise known as rice wine
It is not all food this week as in between bouts of alternating heavy rain and sunshine, we cleared out the tomato beds and set it up in preparation for next summer’s crop of tomatoes.
The now dead tomato vines were piled up in the tomato enclosure
Observant readers will note that we have grown the largest and healthiest looking celery within the tomato enclosure. I have no idea at all how that celery came to be in the tomato enclosure, however it is clear to me that celery plants enjoy the same soil mix as tomatoes, which is a mix of carbon heavy (i.e. woody) materials and manures. There are also a number of blackberries and raspberries (bramble berries) in that enclosure which will shortly be removed to a new location – once the weather dries out a bit.
The dead tomato vines were mowed and chipped flat
I used the push mower to chip and mulch the dead tomato vines.

I then placed a layer of woody composted mulch over the top of the chipped and mulched material. The tomatoes for next season will then be planted into that soil mix in about late September early October.
A layer of composted woody mulch was placed over the top of the chipped and mulched material and the tomato seedlings will be planted into that in a few months
It is hard to believe, but on Friday a one in twenty year record warm winters day occurred of 19’C (66.2’F) before a late storm swept through and winter rapidly returned. I’ve noticed that in the orchard, the fruit trees responded to that warm weather and the sap can clearly be seen rising in the fruit trees as a different coloured wood.
The sap in the fruit trees rose this week which can be seen in the different colour of the new wood on this apricot tree as the fruit trees put on additional wood
Whilst I was travelling in the local area, I noticed by accident some very cool buildings which I wanted to share with you. One of those buildings was a bluestone (a blue / grey granite) windmill which most likely dates back to the 19th century and would have been used for milling local grains.
I spotted an old granite windmill in the area once used for milling grains
In another out of the way corner of this part of the world, I also spotted a beautiful old settlers cottage made from the local stone. I do not believe that it is now lived in as it has an air of decay about the buildings. Still, I doubt I will look as good as that building does when I reach the same age!
I spotted an old settlers cottage made from local stone
Last but not least, the barking owl who calls the farm home stopped by for a visit the other night and was nice enough to pose for a photo opportunity!
The barking owl stopped by again for another night of rat hunting at the farm
The temperature outside now at about 8.00pm is 5.0’C (41.0’F). So far this year there has been 622.2mm (24.5 inches) which is up from last week’s total of 570.4mm (22.4 inches).

Solar PV Statistics (from 4.6kW of installed PV panels)

Tuesday – 19th July Batteries started at 72% full and 3.6kW was generated that day
Wednesday – 20th July Batteries started at 71% full and 6.1kW was generated that day
Thursday – 21st July Batteries started at 76% full and 7.1kW was generated that day
Friday – 22nd July Batteries started at 82% full and 3.5kW was generated that day
Saturday – 23rd July Batteries started at 77% full and 7.8kW was generated that day
Sunday – 24th July Batteries started at 76% full and  7.8kW was generated that day
Monday- 25th July Batteries started at 81% full and 5.0kW was generated that day

84 comments:

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

Sorry but I was laughing as I read. I definitely will raise vegetarianism again when I have had a think 'tight' as well.

Meanwhile I really enjoyed the read. Too many lemons and I don't know what you can do with such a quantity. Homemade lemon icecream is nice.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

What a day! So sorry to read about the poor weather you had for the bee and BBQ day, but then all that rain is good for the garden too. I'm genuinely amazed that any demonstrations at all could take place in that sort of weather as the bees would not have appreciated the high humidity. Yeah, I hear you about the stress of opening, it is a lot of work and stress, but at the same time it is fun to share your place too. I must confess that I rarely open up this garden for visitors nowadays. You had a good turnout considering the weather too. Poor Leo, all of the people combined with the weather would have been too much for him. I have to lock this lot up inside the house when the garden is open as the dogs can make nuisances of themselves, although for known visitors they are very calm.

I'll tell you that since winter has kicked on in earnest this year, sometimes Scritchy who is pushing on fifteen sometimes fails to go out to attend to the chicken feeding (one of her favourite activities). I reckon we'll all feel the same way sooner or later. :-)! Hopefully we have a nice bean bag and a warm fire to recline in front of while the rain pours down and the winds howl through the trees!

PS: I went down to check on the bees today and was reassured by a gentle buzzing hum, although it is not as loud as it would be at other times of the year. I hope they are OK as it has been very cold and wet here this year. The hive smells OK to me too.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Hehe!!! Well, consider yourself an inspiration for this weeks blog! :-)! It was actually a really astute observation on your part. I reckon that is an elephant stamp isn't it? Hehe! Glad you enjoyed it.

I'm at a total loss and it is a problem that will only get worse with time. I wonder what the sugar content of that fruit is and whether it may be useful as a bee food? Dunno. Actually, I was thinking of adding some of it to the chickens water on a regular basis. They would be drinking lemonade then? Fancy that.

Yeah, a good friend gifted us an ice cream maker, so maybe lemon sorbet is a good call? Dunno. Life is short and there are so many lemons!!! Hehe!

Did I mention that over half an inch of rain fell whilst I was writing the blog. It is very wet now this year.

Cheers

Chris

Hazel Marchant said...

Hi Chris

You could try making preserved lemons with some of your harvest. They keep really well, and are wonderful in Middle Eastern dishes. And lemon curd is delicious, too.
Love the apple press - it's nice to know they still make traditional technology like that. Much better than "electric" everything, and will last longer, too!

Cheers

Hazel in Canberra

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Mate, I totally hear you. It is a dog act and there really isn't much you can do about it. I believe that ending up in the hands of a mercantile agency is a bad thing. Fortunately when I worked in debt collection way back in the day things were a bit more softly, softly.

Exactly, the problem with suing is that you have to pay the bill regardless - well as far as the law is concerned down here anyway - of the outcome of the legal action, and generally that means beforehand. A lot of people don't get that and the fees and costs escalate. I read a story once about a guy that received a small fine by the council. By the time the whole messy legal process had wound its way out, the guy was up for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The system as it stands is just wrong.

If I were in your shoes, I'd go the payment plan and stretch it out as long as you can. Sun Tzu had something to say about backing people into a corner...

It is nice that you haven't received much swelling. That is a good sign. I'm unsure about Ibuprofen as I have never felt any different after consuming that. Nothing at all. Dunno why, maybe it is just me? Glad to hear that your head is a bit clearer and that you can enjoy some quiet catch up of reading. I hope that nurse Scott was a reasonable carer and undemanding?

That is as honest a review as a person could expect. Well done! :-)! Very enjoyable. Remember to keep the blood pressure low... ;-)! Of course, you have a deft hand with criticism, make sure to remind me not to annoy you!!! Hehe! Did you get many customers courtesy of the book reviews? They are adding book reviews into the "Into the Ruins" quarterly - I see a future there...

Empire Falls pulls that trick too, but it becomes clear very quickly who that chapters narrative is all about. My, the dad (Max Roby) is an amusing old so and so. Oh, I tell you what, he would drive me around the bend and I've met a few people like that in my time. It would be nice if he were elsewhere! It is good that the story continues in the background whilst the characters go about their business.

I had some friends that watched my name is Earl. It is meant to be quite amusing. Gee, the book about the artist JoAnneh Nagler (had to look that one up) would be quite interesting, but yeah it does promise to cover some very large territory, so who knows what is possible. I read an account of a meeting between Stephen King and George RR Martin where Stephen King was saying that he wrote at least 6 pages every single day. A strong work ethic. Mr Martin I believe struggles with that, but he still produces genius.

That is funny, because I don't get any blogger spam. I wonder why that is? Of late, the spammers have been skewing the daily statistics here, which I now no longer believe. Maybe it is an apple thing? Dunno, I will look into that as time becomes available. Ha! On some websites, the website knows that I am an accountant and targets advertising at me. This is a bit scary. The internet is a strange place and I run ad blocker software. If the whole lot gets too messy, I'll switch it over to my ad free domain which I pay for and you can enjoy. Although how will be a nightmare, but not impossible.

Ha! Yeah, wisteria is very attractive. One of my neighbours has it growing over their veranda and over summer the whole thing looks like giant purple Chinese lanterns. Unfortunately, the timber in the veranda is rotting and is starting to fail.

That scenario is funny as. Sorry, I shouldn't really laugh, but wow, what did they have you on that day? My only time in hospital after surgery, apparently my mum brought my girlfriend at the time down to visit. And all I could do was wiggle my toes and laugh at them.

Cheers

Chris



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Did the evil step son bring out the bull whip? That may have expedited matters quickly?

I hope you have a quiet recovery.

Cheers

Chris

SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

You have had a lot of rain! No wonder it is pooling in low spots.

I understand that before the Midwest was put to the plow, most of the low spots harbored water part of the year and were home to many kinds of wetland plants and associated animals. Now the fields are drained and the water sent as fast as it can be to the nearest stream or river. It's worse in urban areas such as where I live, because the water rushes off the hard surfaces as fast as the engineers can get it into stormwater pipes and then into to the nearest stream. Urban and small stream flooding of anything from an inconvenience to a life-threatening nature takes place here when we get heavy rains. The Missouri Stream Team program is trying to help people take small steps to reduce their own contribution to that, through adding rain barrels under downspouts, making rain gardens, and converting some lawn area into gardens that can absorb more water, but all the old infrastructure continues to do what it was designed to do. I don't see where the money would come from to put in something better.

It's so easy to plant too much and then wind up with excess once one's trees grow to maturity or one gets good at raising vegetables. I have fallen into that trap, having planted too many large nut trees in the backyard. Not that we are getting too many nuts (the squirrels take care of that), but I realize now I should have striven for a woodland mimic rather than a forest mimic. In Missouri forests are considered to have a closed canopy (greater than 80% cover) while woodlands have a highly variable tree canopy (30%-100% closure), a sparse mid-story and understory (few to no small trees or shrubs) and a dense ground flora. If I'd gone for that, I would have been able to grow small fruits and more sun-loving herbaceous plants in the sunnier areas and more shade-tolerant plants in the shadier areas. As it is, the canopy will close over in the next decade unless we start coppicing, but the trees are getting too tall to do that safely with hand tools. It's a dilemma I need to face up to soon.

We've had a little more rain since I commented last. Yesterday was miserable for us too - I'm sorry you had such a bad day for your garden tour, Margaret. Our high was 101F/38C. At least it has rained a little and cooled down enough to turn the air conditioner off for the next several days.

@Lew - glad to hear you are recovering and back to writing!

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Here goes:- I have decided that it is a language problem as is so much of human discourse. Your use of the word vegetarian ahem. Now if you said 'I try to avoid eating meat and certainly wouldn't prepare it myself' I would see no problem. Out of curiosity, do you eat fish? Not sure if you have ever mentioned it. I am also curious as to the extent of your protein intake.

'Tight'- Why are you described as tight? I spend very little money but have never been called tight. The only thing that I spend on now is a very decent meal out with friends. I used to use good hotels and as I got old I stopped flying economy because it just became too uncomfortable over a long journey. Oh I spend a lot on books as well.

Of course, Hazel is right to mention lemon curd, I had forgotten that possibility. I don't think that it keeps well though. Perhaps you should grub out some of the lemon trees.

Went for a long walk today and didn't meet a single human being, heaven. No flowers at all in the woodland now as the canopy has completely closed over, but the sides of the roads and hedges are awash with bramble flowers, honeysuckle and lesser and greater bindweed.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - The rainbow picture is quit nice. Another one for the calendar. The windmill and settler's cottage would be nice. Is it difficult to crop and enlarge? Beyond me ... The windmill reminded me that we have a few silos from the 1930s scattered around the county. What makes them interesting is that they're made of red brick. I've always thought it would be cool to renovate and live in one. Always wanted to live in a tower :-).

So, maybe a good rule of thumb is "Only do major concrete jobs in La Nina years?"

Well, your take on vegetarianism seems simple and practicle practacle practical ... to me.

Lemons. Hmmm. Lemonade and candied lemon peel. Lemon pudding?

Nurse Scott? Well, we got home at around noon. I immediately passed away and didn't wake up til 6. To discover that Nurse Scott had decamped. Not a note, nothing. He called later. Apparently, in his infinite medical wisdom, he had decided I was doing ok, and he was rather bored. Hmmm.

Oh, I did the book reviews when I was working for the library. A general call went out from the local (State Capitol) newspaper to all library employees. Sniffing about for free content. I did it because a.) it's a thrill to see your name in print and b.) I wondered if I was publishable. Even for free. Well, I did over 50 reviews in the course of a year. They didn't change a single word of any of my reviews.

I must really be loosing it. It didn't even occure ... ocurre ... occurre ...acure ... accurre ... accure (I give up ... you have probably figured out what I'm driving at) to me to look up Nagler and see what kind of art she does. It was just that the title caught my attention.

Oh, I wouldn't mess with your blogger. It was just that the old sign on was so ... spare and clean cut. Clearly, the inmates at Blogger have taken over the asylum. Lew

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

Boy, that's lot of rain! And at an inconvenient time of the year? That Mother Nature person is misbehaving again. What a gorgeous rainbow. And that would be Cherokee Swamp?

And I thought you were a man of iron-willed self control . . . and so you are, because you NEEDED that fruit press and you have proven it by immediately pressing all of that lemon juice: " Life is short and there are so many lemons!!!" Seeing that bucket of lemons was a bit frustrating as we pay $.79US ($1.06AU) per organic lemon. Oh, well - we probably have something that you don't . . .

I once stuck a head (?) of celery in the ground and kept it well-watered, and it appeared to be growing. It stayed that way for several months (in spring), but when I pulled it up it had no roots. I was merely storing it for a while!

We have all sorts of interesting tomatoes this year. Some of them are purple cherry tomatoes (we never planted purple cherry tomatoes-I think they crossed with the large Purple Cherokees). They have an neat feature in that they can be easily peeled; that is not usually the case with our tomatoes.

All the grass in town is brown, but out here in the country is still looks quite like Ireland. Usually town gets more rain than us, too. No rain lately, though, and it's very hot. But the veg is liking it!

That is a massively sturdy windmill. In our area, water was used for turning the millstones. And how could somebody abandon such a neat farm? I'll bet there is a story there.

That owl is smiling! Obviously because he calls Fernglade his home!

Pam

P.S. No ads pop up when I view your blog. I have Windows 7 Professional. I have no idea whether I have any ad-blockers in place.

Pam in Virginia said...

@Lew:

You are getting back on track! Ibuprofen helps me a lot. I think Chris might really be a lizard or something. Why'd you have to mention bruising . . .

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Margaret:

Sixty people at your bee barbeque sounds like a more-than-respectable number. I don't know how you pulled it off under such circumstances. I feel for Leo. I was talking to an acquaintance today and her car broke down in the heat and her dog was with her and after a short time her Labrador was feeling so bad that he threw up. A nearby ice cream shop let them both come in till help arrived.

Pam

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Hazel,

Thanks for the great suggestions. I've never tried to preserve lemons before, but I have tasted them and they are good. Yum! Oh, lemon curd is really very good! I may have to make a key lime pie or twenty. :-)!

How strange has the weather been? Did I see that Canberra scored a record hot day today? It has barely passed 5'C here today and the wood fire has been chugging along all day long. I'm stalling this evening as the chickens are about to be let out into the orchard for a run, but it is very cold...

Yeah, the shop really is good. I'll try and see whether they have an internet shop. They might? The shop was quite busy and there was stuff everywhere (in a good way). Here goes: Costante Imports. I highly recommend them.

I hear you about the electric stuff. I've got an electric bowl mixer and the motor is unable to drive the beater if the bowl is loaded too heavily (and I've broked several attachments)so now I've now resorted to the old school tried and true method of a bowl and wooden spoon.

Cheers

Chris

Hazel Marchant said...

Hi Chris,

The weather here is as weird as down your way. We had 17C last week, and last night they were warning of blizzard conditions in the higher parts of the ACT. I haven't seen this much snow on the hills in at least 15 years. Chilly but scenic.

I'll certainly check out the shop - I'm always looking for the better mousetrap! ;-) I have an electric mixer, but I also prefer to use a wooden spoon. Faster, and much easier to clean up afterwards.

Hope it warms up a bit - for the sake of the chickens, of course (and for Scritchy's ageing bones!)

Cheers

Hazel

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Claire,

Yeah, there has been a huge amount of rain in only a short period of time. However spare a thought for people living in the island state of Tasmania to the south of here: Tasmania sets wet weather record after big dry, with days to spare. They had a record of an average area rainfall for the 2016 July quarter was 730mm (28.7 inches) - in only three months! Things are definitely getting strange this year with the weather.

Exactly, we have the whole water problem back to front. I'm not sure why that would be the case either. It would certainly make an excellent research topic. One idea springs to mind immediately is that our land is not priced so that it can take the occasional (or three) year where the land lays fallow. That is possibly why floods are so feared. It would not be a simple thing to correct. The earthmoving guy was rather dubious when I had the swale dug which collects a lot of runoff water and the overflow from the water tanks (which are now full). I agree with you, I don't see where the money will come from either for such massive works. I don't have to make a profit here and that allows me to take a different perspective.

I hear you about the over planting. For your interest, the forest here is more woodland as it has a more open canpoy than what a broadleaved overstory would produce. You may have to hire someone to climb and shape the trees? It is a job for a person with no fear of heights and able to wield a chainsaw in those conditions. Not a job for me either. Either way, it will be interesting to see how it progresses.

Once air temperatures in the shade are beyond the body temperature, it is just unpleasant and a day for not doing much at all. I get up early on those days and stop at lunchtime. There hardly seems much point in getting up early during this time of year as it is so wet and cold outside (it is 3'C / 37.4'F right now). Brrr.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Of course, that sounds very sensible. Language is a problem, and it can be very hard trying to express ideas so that they are understood by others.

I don't really eat much in the way of fish (being 60km / 38 miles inland does not assist that matter). Most of my protein comes from legumes, eggs, dairy (milk, yoghurt and a small bit of cheese). I don't believe that it is a problem and I consume a wide variety of food much of which is very fresh, and of course very little in the way of industrially produced stuff (oh, the preservatives!!!).

Ha! Of course, that is why we are of one mind on that topic. The problem is that it is a relative concept. If you were to compare say the projects in Grand Designs UK versus the projects in Grand Designs Australia (which I don't watch anymore), you will note that there is a certain "audacity of huge" down here. I don't fly anywhere though and I honestly can't remember the last holiday of more than a day or so that I took - people seem fascinated by that, but I live a slower paced life and that suits me plus it is cheaper. I'm rarely interested in the grand one off gestures. It is the small things that interest me.

Yeah, I have a lot of spare space so the grubbing out excess fruit trees does not appeal as an option. I may try working out a way to sell some of the lemon juice... Something will work out. Where there is a will, as they say.

That sounds really lovely. I do hope that you get some blackberries too, but I forget whether your local variety has the very large seeds which can be a pest. There are lots of varieties of that plant - there are even native raspberries down here.

I discovered that some alpine strawberries appear to have taken and established themselves in one of the garden beds. I hope they are tasty (time will tell, I guess).

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Thanks! Now if only we could get a publisher for that calendar... The royalties we could share! Well, the phone was the only camera I had on me and it is only just OK, so zooming and cropping are a bit beyond the poor things mechanical heart. My trusty old second hand Pentax on the other hand is a whole different beast, but I rarely carry it around the place in my travels.

Really? It is interesting that somewhere in the past, a group of people grew enough grains in your part of the world for it to become necessary to construct a silo? Or perhaps, do you reckon that the grains may have been brought in to your part of the world? Down here the grain silos are now located along the train lines and they still move bulk grains by train. Sometimes late at night you can see the old diesel electric engines (mate, they look like they've had a very long and distinguished life) sitting at the local station with a huge train of grain wagons waiting for the single track north of here to clear of passenger trains. The trains get unloaded near to where I sometimes do work for a client near the city and it is a massive operation. The silos are huge, but unlike your brick ones, these ones are steel lined.

Well, it is funny that you mention living in a tower as on Grand Designs UK, I have seen more than a few of those projects. Sometimes people even convert old water towers into houses. Your secret ambition may yet be realised?

Those concrete jobs work like a rain dance. It is raining outside right now. The poor dogs have cabin fever and have been getting progressively rattier as the days have gone on. I even yelled at them this afternoon as they took their hi-jinks a little bit too far. Maybe it is me that has the cabin fever? Dunno. It is windy as outside.

Thanks for saying that. Most people don't get it, which is why it was worth exploring. It is purely a pragmatic approach which I don't believe is very far from what took place in the now distant past (and the most likely future too). The complexities of consuming a single roast chicken per week is actually beyond my abilities to replicate, it is just much easier to consume vegetables and other plant material in the first place. Some people may say that I work hard, but I don't work hard enough to consume that diet.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Oh yeah, the editor makes the best ever lemon lava cake. It is a specialty reserved for guests! The core of that cake is like a mouth explosion of lemon! Yum! Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not sure that I have the power here at the moment to dehydrate any fruit.

How good is that word "decamp"? You sound as if you have just written a report for the local courts: At approximately 4.00pm, nurse Scott decamped in a westerly direction towards the township of Centralia. We believe the suspect then proceeded to consume a quiet beverage at a local bar before retiring to his place of residence. Just sayin!!! Hehe! Sorry to make you laugh, but I do hope that you are feeling better.

It is nice seeing one's name in print, but given the general demeanour of your review which I quite enjoyed, I am genuinely surprised that you were not edited. I have been edited and it is a brutal process. Fortunately my current editor is very nice and has only twice demanded major re-writes in many years of the editing process. And both objections were fair enough too – well after a bit of sulking -, sometimes one goes well over the line and a bit of restraint can be a good thing. The thing I want to know is: Did you enjoy writing the reviews and what eventually made you stop doing that?

Hehe! Glad to be of service. Well, the book promised a whole lot and I genuinely wondered whether the artist could deliver the goodies - or was it a case of do as I say and not as I do? I see plenty of that gear. Obviously, now you are perhaps more interested in the claims of the book? It does sound like a big call.

Oh. That surprises me, because I really got rid of that prove you are not a robot thingee in the blog. I mean, who wants to be a robot anyway? I had a look around on the internet this afternoon and from memory you use an apple thingee which may run the safari browser? Anyway, if that is the combination there is an add-on program called "Ad blocker" for Mac which will kill those pesky pop ups which are eating all of your internet bandwidth. I believe you have to be running Safari version 9 or some rubbish like that... Honestly, I only update when I have no other choice available to me. Truly!

The wind is howling here tonight. I reckon I'm going to call this year, the year of wind. There may even be a flatulence joke or two in there somewhere. Everyone loves a good fart joke! A pity the wind is not constant enough to run a wind turbine...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Oh, it is a huge amount of rain, but spare a thought for the people of the state of Tasmania who through Mother Nature managed to double the rainfall total here (I posted a link above to the statistics. That much rain over a short period of time is truly frightening).

Thanks!!! Hehe! Yeah, individual lemons cost about the same here at about AU$1 each at the markets and I have dozens and dozens of the fruit. Well, now that you mention it, your talk of what is possibly missing here reminded me of a song:

Ain't no sunshine where this lemon's grown
It's not warm when the sun's away
Ain't no sunshine where this lemon's grown
And the sun is always gone too long
Anytime the sun goes away


Apologies to Bill Withers... :-)!

You can do that with a whole lot to store vegetables. It is amazing isn't it? I read a story by Jill Redwood (who makes me look a bit soft) that people used to do that with carrots for example. The old timers down here used to grow the celery in damp newspaper so as to reduce the heat stress in the plant during high summer. Apparently it worked...

I was wondering with your tomatoes whether you save the seed? I'm sort of guessing that you do given that you have cross pollination going on. It is lovely to read about your tomatoes whilst the freezing Antarctic winds howl just outside the window. :-)! Out of curiosity, do the purple tomatoes taste good?

It sounds as though you are having quite a good summer to still be green by this stage of the year. Sometimes I reckon that the townships have so much materials and no plant life that they are several degrees hotter than further out in the countryside. Melbourne gets like that on hot summers nights and it can way hotter there than here.

Yeah, they have those down here too on the local rivers. The old mills are very impressive and I wonder at just how much grains were produced down here back in the day to have several of them located close by. Here are some images of them (there is also a close up of the windmill too): Kyneton bluestone mill image. I was wondering about that too. Also about the mills in your part of the world. Imagine the sheer effort involved in constructing them only to abandon them to the elements. Do your local rivers run all year around? I reckon drought may have put an end to the grain mills around here.

The owl seems pretty happy with her lot in life! I just hope Poopy leaves some tasty rats for the owl (who in all fairness probably has much better rat hunting skills than Poopy).

Thanks for the feedback. I don't see any ads either which was why I started to wonder about the whole messy problem. I use a program called Ad Muncher and it is very good at clearing away unnecessary advertisements.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Hazel,

Oh yeah, it was hot as for a winter day wasn't it? On Friday in Melbourne I saw 19'C, which is just surreal, but Canberra is so much higher in elevation and much cooler than here that 17'C is quite warm too for the depths of winter.

Actually, I was in Canberra late last year for a funeral and I was amazed at how scenic the mountains surrounding the city were. Plus, we stopped off at a little pasta place for dinner in Kingston where I was served an outstanding gnocchi fungi with truffle oil and a bottle of chianti and they even had a reasonable tiramisu. It was a top way to celebrate someones life who had sadly passed.

Hehe! That's funny about the mousetrap. I look for quality tools and machines too and that one is an absolute ripper. A foodie mate of mine has a Kitchen Aid mixer, but he has stripped the plastic gears on the thing twice for much the same reason. I'm with you, a bowl and spoon is stronger and far easier to clean.

Scritchy is ratty as tonight due to cabin fever. My gut feeling is that she blames Toothy for the weather. You wouldn't believe that the chickens happily free roamed through the orchard tonight and ended up quite soaked. I hope they know what they are doing... I was freezing out there with them.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

My query about protein intake was related to the fact that you do a lot of hard physical work which probably increases a need for protein.

My life has reduced to the very simple because age has rendered me unwilling to travel.

The wild blackberries here are of many different varieties as they don't breed true. This means that they fruit through the whole summer, variety after variety. The first ones are ripening now and it looks as though it will be a great harvest. I have never considered the question of pip size before. I do need a toothpick after eating them. I think that the wild raspberry is a glorious fruit but we don't have them here, too far south.

Inge

Jo said...

Hi Chris, that shop would have been irresistible to me too! Glad the fruit press works well. I left a number of lemon links in response to your comment on my blog - hope it helps. With the lemon skins, apart from the other ideas, if you just leave them to dry (any other citrus works just as well) in a dry airy place, they make excellent and aromatic fire starters.. I feel your anxiety - I grew a lemon hedge of six lemon trees at my old place. It was beautiful and wonderful to have so much fruit, and I gained much karma from giving so many away. The price of lemons in shops is so iniquitous that everyone was always overjoyed to have lemons gifted:)

Now, a few posts ago you mentioned an interest in depression-era literature. My favourite is Ruth Park's two autobiographies - Fence Around the Cuckoo, and Fishing in the Styx. Growing up in the Depression in New Zealand, and as a young adult in the post-WWII housing crisis in Sydney sounds just hair-raising. Park always writes so beautifully - do you know her Aussie classics Harp in the South etc? You may have studied them at school like I did..

Jo said...

PS As of last week we have had officially twice as much rain as at the same date last year. If only I had some water tanks to take advantage. On the list!

Pam in Virginia said...

@Claire:

We have no guttering on our log house That has always made me feel a little funny, as I had never lived in a house with no gutters. It doesn't seem to be a problem for the walls of the house as the roof over the gable ends are really deep (almost Swiss) and the full-length front porch of the house has a boxwood hedge planted up to the drip line. The two steps to the front porch take a beating, though; I have suggested just a short section of guttering for that spot. The water on the back hits two porch roofs and a "terrace". There is drainage tile underground all along the perimeter. As far as I can tell even heavy rains just work right into the soil, some of it does run off down into the "dale" at the back, but all through woods, which catches a good bit of it, and then into a pond, which overflows into a stream, which eventually makes it into the Rivanna River. The BIG problem is our gravel driveway. It is quite steep here on the side of the mountain- in fact, I think that there is a fairly new county regulation prohibiting driveways of a certain slope - and in a heavy rain we call it The Amazon. The volume of water does have a nice path through various natural swales all the way back to the previously mentioned pond, but, my, we are getting some ruts in the drive. Conversely, the rushing water has over time nicely deposited gravel at the bottom of the drive so that there is an unplanned level parking space right there.

Your nut tree problem has me worried as we planted pecan trees behind the garden and have several more started that need to go out and I have an uneasy feeling that they are going to overhang the garden someday. They are only 6 feet tall right now, but I'm thinking they may have a canopy of 15-20 feet (4.5-6m) someday?

Pam

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I agree with you about the inefficiency of growing grain to feed to animals for meat. If it were just me I'd reduce my meat consumption considerably. Fortunately my husband does a great job cooking meat. He grew up with meat as the focus of the meal. When someone asked what's for dinner they meant what what was the meat. We purchase beef and lamb from neighbors which are mainly grass fed and I consider that quite efficient. The meat chickens and turkeys here consume a lot of grain though I try to supplement with as much other food as possible. Right now I'm chopping up extra cucumbers and zucchini for the young meat chicks and turkey poults. The meat chickens will be in the chicken tractor shortly and they do eat some of the grass at least when I pull it to a new spot twice a day. I throw in slices of extra vegetables before they get their grain. They are no bargain to raise but the quality is much better and at least we know they had a good life unlike the industrial raised birds.

That is a great looking press and it looks like it's going to get plenty of use. I would be happy to purchase or trade for some of your lemon juice if I lived closer.

Checked out the call of the barking owl. We have mainly Great Horned Owls here. If they get a chicken they'll take just the head.

I think the no shows for the picnic were primarily due to the hot forecast rather than the rain. There wasn't much of a chance of rain in the forecast. Leo and Salve both love company but they had been out from early morning in the heat as they always like to be part of the preparations. Then there were all the people to check out. I'm sure they got plenty of goodies as well.

Maybe you've already mentioned it but how much above average is the rainfall for your area this winter?

Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Claire,
Wow 101 - we only got to 93 but it was miserable with the humidity. Up here in No. Illinois we rarely get over 100 but it does happen from time to time.

I hear you about planting too much. I've never had so many tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini. Nothing goes to waste though as the chickens and pigs get the extras. We've cooled down here as well and as you said it's nice to get the windows open again.

Hi Pam,

Leo doesn't know when to stop - especially if there are tractors or the Gator to follow. I have to make him go in and rest sometimes. He also enjoys playing with the pigs and runs back and forth the fence line with them. All our dogs have loved the pigs but he's rather obsessive about them. I've already got a fan on the meat chicks and they're not even 3 weeks old yet.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Pam - Well, I was taking some super duper oxy something or other, the first three days. Then it was Ibuprofen and acitimenaphin (sp?). I'm trying out taking no pain killers today, and, so far, so good. So, I'm just down to the antibiotic and an occasional aspirin.

Bruising, well, yes. Looks like I had an accident with the blueberry jam, around my chin :-). The morning swelling I wake up with, isn't near so pronounced, today. Of course, I've been slapping ice on it at every opportunity. So, all and all, I seem to be healing up, ok. Odd though. Not much feeling in my lower lip and chin. Might have been a bit of nerve damage, there. Doesn't seem to affect speech, or anything else. It just feels odd. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Ohhh. Castante Imports is quit interesting. Could get lost there.

I really don't know for sure what was stored in the local silos, but I think a lot of it might have been winter silage. Which is pretty much corn (maize) plants, finally chopped and dried. Without the maize kernels. I don't know. "Back in the day," I think things were pretty diversified and small scale. I know in this part of the country, several varieties of wheat were grown .. and probably barley and oats.

LOL. I'm pretty long in the tooth and poor in the pocket to have any secret ambitions, realized.

Hmm. Editing. I've never had to deal with any heavy duty editing, but, would probably listen to an experienced editor. Getting the first couple of book reviews published was kind of interesting. There was a word count. Which, of course I ran over. So, the library liaison person sent it back to me for editing. I told her to send it in, as is, and see what happens. So, there was a bit of polite back and forth, until she caved. Well ... The newspaper published all my reviews, as written, no changes. I think once they did a little change over a grammatical faux pas. Of course, being a family friendly newspaper, I had to watch my mouth ... or, keyboard :-). Sometimes, it was a game to see what I could get past inspection. One I remember was "what the horse leaves behind."

Don't know why I quit writing reviews. Yes, I enjoyed it. But, I could never quit figure out how to leverage it into a paying gig. Maybe I got bored. Or, who knows what else was going on in my life at that point. The details fade ...

Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Well, yes, I use Safari as my browser. Although, it's really an old version and often I use Chrome as my browser. But since your blog still works just fine in Safari, that's what I use.

The new sign on screen, besides the wild cut outs and ... interesting colors exhorts me to "Publish Your Passions, your way." To "Leave Your Comment" I still have to check the "I'm not a robot box" and then click on the "Publish Your Comment" box. Which I don't find onerous at all. Occasionally ... rarely ... I get the 9 pictures that ask me to pick the pictures with cookies ... street signs ... mountains .... grass .... cake. Those are kind of fun. I don't know what sets blogger off to throw up the puzzles.

I think I looked into Ad Blocker once, and it just sounded all too complicated and beyond me. After all, I've got the little box checked in my Safari drop down window "Block Pop-Up Windows." Isn't that sufficient? Apparently not. :-). Lew

Steve Carrow said...

Chris- You just got one of the pieces of equipment on my wish list. I have considered trying to make my own apple press, and there are several good on line sites for buying that sort of thing, but no brick and mortar places anywhere close. I'm leery of buying anything expensive on line unless I'm absolutely sure of it's quality and features.

Turns out two different neighbors already have setups, so I'm delaying my decision for now. And since the hard late frost wiped out every single apple on our trees this spring, I have some more time to mull things over.

We go through a fair bit of lemon concentrate with our canning, but sounds like you will have enough for that and to do all kinds of experiments.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Oh yeah, that makes sense. I don't know, but I suspect I consume a lot of protein via the legumes that I eat (eg. lentils, mung beans etc.) Legumes are not very fashionable and I heard someone describe them recently as student food, whatever that means... :-)!

I hear you about that. One way or the other it is a voluntary choice not to travel much. There was a comedy show at the recent comedy festival which was titled: What if there is no toilet? That can be a drama for sure and I've seen that one. :-)! I'm actually unsure where I'd want to go anyway. I feel the future world will be much smaller, but also much bigger at the same time.

Those berries hybridise readily down here too. They are very hardy, and only the hottest and driest summers will reduce the harvest for them. I haven't seen the big seeded varieties here though. I believe the original director of the botanical gardens may have been responsible for introducing them here. They certainly escaped! But I do enjoy the fruit and the plants are undemanding.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo,

Yeah, the place was absolutely full of the most interesting items. They had everything in there for food preservation. And best of all, they knew what they were talking about. Years ago, I would not have felt competent enough to venture into the huge shop, but nowadays... It is nice to read that such a shop would be a temptation for yourself as well! :-)!

Thanks for the lemon usage references in your reply. I hadn't spotted your reply yet, but will check it out tonight. Oh, what a great idea using the skins as aromatic fire starters. It would smell very nice.

The mention of gifting is very wise too and I may get onto that before too long. You know, even at the Vic Market, the lemon fruit is up around $1 each. I suspect that some are grown in orchards, but many are from backyard trees. I just picked up the very last of the quince fruit last week and stewed them up too. Yum. It is a sad time when the ability to store quince fruit is at an end for the season. Rhubarb, replaces quince next!

Thanks very much for the book references. That is very thoughtful, and no I had not read that author, but will put it on the reading list. I assumed that the reference to Styx was a Tasmanian reference? The housing crisis was not good after WWII. I've read accounts of neighbours banding together to build all of the houses in the street. That would have been a very good community building experience. Those post war houses are surprisingly sturdy with hardwood frames.

Well town water is like having a very huge water tank! It is good that the dams are refilling. It was touch and go there for a while - especially with Bass Link thrown into the mix.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

It is interesting about the culture of meat. The same culture is prevalent here too and that is exactly how most people see meals.

For your interest, I never really picked up that thought because my mother was a single mother and we were pretty broke and meals were usually a lamb chop plus boiled vegetables. I don't mind lamb chops and back then I used to eat everything including the tail and the little bit of marrow and then I recall gnawing on the bone. Every now and then there was a bit of chicken - usually take away with chips (but that was a treat), but I never really saw beef or pork. I had to take turns cooking the meals from about the age of around 12 too. The thing is, it is a bit like not watching television for me in a way, because nobody told me that is what people do and when I left home I just did my own thing and vegetables were the easiest to cook well. The editor took a bit of convincing that not every meal has to contain meat! That probably isn't a hurdle I'd like to jump over again anytime soon! Hehe! Dunno, but it sure is a complex matter.

I totally agree with your philosophy regarding the meat chicks and turkey poults and I would do no differently. There is hardly any point in exploring more complex methods of raising and feeding when even a small difference puts your meat birds miles ahead of the pack in terms of quality.

Well, I'd certainly trade some lemons for chicken when it is ready, but alas, distances are what they are!

Oh yeah, owls are brutal. Down here they will take the head from possums and discard the body. The first time I saw that in a park in Melbourne (the work of a Powerful Owl), I thought there was some nutter living in the area doing unspeakable things to the possums.

Fair enough, I reckon the turnout given the weather was pretty good. I've often felt that people are more likely to socialise in the in-between seasons rather than the extreme bits of winter or summer. Down here, they tend to hibernate and it gets quiet.

The rainfall was about 50% more in June and about almost double what I'd expect for July. That is a lot of rain, but it had been a dry-ish to average year before that time and last October, February and March all smashed the long term average heat records. Dunno. How are you going weather wise?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Mate, I was actually lost in there! Oh it was good too. A very dangerous place for my wallet... The steel in that unit is very thick and it looks very well made - and more importantly it is repairable (by me).

That makes sense, your part of the world would occasionally struggle with winter feed for cattle. That hadn't occurred to me. It is interesting how the grains are mildly fermented so that they become more readily digestible for the cattle. That unfortunately happened here too and in the process a lot of that good plant breeding has gone who knows where. We used to have some of the most drought hardy varieties of wheat down here, but they couldn't compete with the yields from chemical ag so, who knows what became of them. Of course chemical ag is subject to diminishing returns over a long enough period of time, but lets not go there. The plants are probably to be found around the place in quiet corners and unloved fields - who knows? I'll bet there is a job and story for a good plant hunter in there! It would make a good story.

Fair enough. I don't have any secrets or secret ambitions, and if I did, I'd put them on the internet and then they would be a secret anymore and the problem immediately dissolves away... It is not a strategy for everyone, mind you! ;-)! It is like the travel issue, I'm not harbouring any ambitions to go anywhere. What would I do there and what would I see? I dunno, the thought just doesn't appeal. Most big cities look pretty much the same to me. Sure the details are different, but... Is that a parochial view? Dunno.

Haha! That is hysterical. What, you went over the word count? No way! I can't believe it. I must confess to being a bit verbose myself. Fast typing helps for sure in such circumstances. :-)! Glad that you stuck to your guns too. Obviously the first editor was considered inexperienced? Hehe! I hear you, it is not a paying gig. It is funny how a lot of volunteer activities have morphed over time into unpaid work. I have been at the pointy end of that equation and it is an unpleasant place to be. I suspect that that is a sign of decline.

OK, that makes sense. I have very little experience with apple stuff - other than the fruit of which I could tell you a bit about that stuff, but the computer apple stuff I have no idea about at all!

Nope, advertisers are far more sneaky than that!

Ha! I get to choose whether you see a captcha image and I turned that function off because it annoys me - anyway, I might have done so, but I'll check as the settings may have adjusted themselves. You should be able to just click on the publish your comment orange button without mucking around with the robot thingee. It may be worth an experiment? Just remember to save your text first as blogger can get hungry.

Mate, I’ve been going through the firewood this week. It is very cold here (well for me anyway). How is your jaw healing?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Steve,

That fruit press was on my wish list too and I couldn't walk past the quality of the machine. It is very strong and simple.

Your philosophy of not buying online is a good one. The peanut butter machine was purchased online and it was a disgraceful waste of money and resources. Sometimes you can do well on that front, but it is always a gamble.

Ouch, that frost would have been tough. The macadamia nut trees are not looking that healthy at the moment and the pecan nut dropped its leaves in the snow (I believe that one may recover - maybe?).

I assume your trees aren't that old, or are they? Sometimes if the fruit trees are under 8 years, there isn't much point in leaving the fruit on them anyway as it slows down the growth of the fruit tree itself. I'm considering netting a few individual trees this year too. Every season is different.

You are lucky that you have neighbours with good set ups already. I have only negotiated swapping labour with one of the neighbours and it is a good arrangement and everyone benefits, but everyone else seems content to go it alone in such matters. I dunno.

Yeah, we use the lemon juice for all sorts of preserving activities as it is cheap and edible acid with which to drop the pH. It does work. Another year or two and there will be even more of the citrus fruit... Most of the other varieties are fresh eating citrus though.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Forgot to mention, but now that you are slowly on the mend, are you going to make some time for the new Star Trek film which has been released? I haven't seen it yet, maybe in a week or two when things settle down.

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

I remember that song - without the lemons! It is a great one. I hope, also, that Mr. Withers didn't mind.

We have saved seed for 20 years, so we have some quite diverse varieties; you would think they'd all be alike by now as each year they cross-pollinate and are thus a little different the next year. We do keep different "varieties" in their own sections, but those sections are right up against each other. A couple were originally hybrids which have long since gone back to some ancestors' genetics. The purple ones are great. All of them are great.

All of our local rivers run well all year. It doesn't seem to matter too much when we have a long hot spell without rain like we are having now, though they do get a bit lower. There is the occasional reservoir and a few small dams (like where the woolen mills once were) that do make travel by boat tricky. I believe there are portages now, when back in the day one could travel by boat all the way from the Atlantic Coast, up the James River, and then up the Rivanna River to Charlottesville.

Somehow I do suspect that the owl may be a better rat catcher than Poopy, though if you take away Poopy's dog biscuits he would have even more incentive. Please don't tell him I said so.

Thank you for the Kyneton link. Those bluestone buildings look like they would last millennia.

I think that legumes are "student food" as they are so cheap.

No wonder you like dogs, Chris - you grew up knawing on bones . . .

My son says that the livestock yard near here feeds the cows the leftover mash from the numerous beer breweries around here, and Son thinks that that mash might be slightly fermented as the cows all literally come running when the fellow that feeds them yells:"Come and get ur beer, cowsies!" (or something like that). That has reminded me that we owe him some tomatoes. He's awfully nice about the manure.

Pam

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Blackberries: They produce fruit all summer; then the first frost comes. The old saying is that 'the devil spits on them'. They lose all taste after the frost.

I certainly don't eat meat at every meal or every day. It is however, the best source of protein and iron. Vegetarians (female in particular) can get a serious craving for chocolate, this can be a sign of anaemia. I shall now shut up on the subject.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - You mentioned repetitive actions and rituals, last week. LOL. Well, I forgot to mention that yesterday was my 67 birthday. Mick Jagger and I. I'm younger :-). I have a very set ritual for my birthday, going back years. Trashy DVDs, pizza from a small local chain and a gallon of milk. Well, what with the jaw, I probably won't be seeing a pizza crust for around 6 months. So, I was rather miffed. As if there aren't more important things to get miffed about. :-). Might know a bit more about bone growth in the jaw on Aug 4. That's my post-op consult.

I've seen a couple of articles about resurrecting old varieties of grains. Something about a college in Oregon, and one in Washington, working on this problem. The phrase "land grant university" came to mind. You might find it interesting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land-grant_university

Don't think I'll catch the new Star Trek, this week. Maybe next? Depends on how I feel. And, today at least, I'm feeling pretty good. Just got by on a bit of aspirin and ice, yesterday. Think I'll make my usual trip to the Little Smoke, today. Not many stops. And, it's foggy and quit a bit cooler, today.

The thrift is in your genes :-). You're probably aware that the Scots are ... notorious for their thrift. "So tight he squeaks when he walks," comes to mind. :-). Among my tat I have a little figurine, oh, maybe three inches tall. It's of an old Scotsman in full kit ... with his hand to chin as if trying to decide if something is a good deal. I think he was a bank premium, circa 1985. His base says "Savin' Sandy." He's my quasi patron saint of not getting carried away and spending my money, foolishly. Sometimes he works :-) Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Nice to hear. It is a good song isn't it? I can't believe they swapped the lemons from the original song, it is nice to take the song back to the original lyrics... :-)!!!

Wow. You have done very well to breed tomato varieties for 20 years. Nice work. I reckon the seed saving process produces a more diverse crop similar to what you are reporting. I've noticed that my cherry tomatoes - particularly the red and green/black - ones tend to be getting larger each year and I have no idea at all why. Do you select from your favourite varieties each year? Dunno, I may have been unconsciously choosing from particular plants. A local grower gifted me some very dark coloured fruit a few months back which had very little taste, but I'm going to see what I can do with those seeds this year. You never know as they were using a poly tunnel which makes a difference to the taste.

Oh, the images from your part of the world show superb rivers. I like how the trees go all the way down to the river bank and then spill over above the river itself. Nice. That landmass in Delaware and Maryland would take the brunt of some truly big storms from the Atlantic too. The portages make boat travel difficult for sure.

That suggestion alone is enough to strike fear into Poopy's heart! Although I tend to agree with your opinion in the matter as he is now lounging around in the hallway looking rather relaxed and carefree. I may kick him outside into the cold as it is good for him as it provides a certain level of comparison to his current state. Thanks for the suggestion. He does love his food.

Yeah, it is nice that people have taken them on and I've noticed that a few of the mills have even been re-roofed (no small job) in recent years. I do wonder whether people live in them as I don't believe that they do. Some of those mills have solid bluestone dwellings not far from the mill, and those look occupied to me.

That was my thinking too about the legumes being cheap. Some of them are more than tasty too! French lentils are quite tasty, but most of them have to be pre-soaked which I usually do overnight.

Just to balance the whole discussion out I made a biscuit based tart with lemon fill. It was lethal and I felt a bit jittery from the sugar and butter after consuming it!!

Oh, well I'd never thought of that. Everything including the squeak as they used to say down here. ;-)!

What a great arrangement. Nice work. Cows love fermented food. I usually feed the fruit mash from wine making to the chickens and they go feral for the stuff. On the cold mornings recently, they've been enjoying warm milk and oats and they fly at me if they spot that particular bucket...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Autumn really does tend to put an end to the blackberry crop doesn't it? I like that saying what a good way to describe the process. If you are OK with me using that saying, I may use it one day? It is good.

I appreciate your thoughts and we can certainly debate the topic, now worries. The whole diet thing is really a large experiment - right across the board of our society - so it is worthwhile discussing. Mostly, I tend to eat a diverse diet of all sorts of things. For me my limits are more of a practical nature rather than any sort of ideology, so I don't really burn a candle for my preferences in relation to diet. If either of us or the dogs, chickens, bees become unwell as a result of diet, well the whole lot is open for discussion.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Haha! I love the birthday ritual. Good one. Of course, blended pizza sounds not very nice to me, so I hear you about putting that one on hold. Well, Sir Mick can feel superior as he is slightly younger than Sir Paul! Happy Birthday to you too! You didn't mention whether you did the trashy DVD's though?

Hey, I went to the cinema last week to see a film. It was called Maggie's Plan and the gist of the story is younger girl gets older married bloke. Younger girl gets quickly tired of work fixated older married bloke. Younger girl contrives with now ex-wife to get married bloke back with ex-wife. What a complex life some people lead! I quite enjoyed the film as it told a good story and the actors did a great job.

The funny thing about watching that film was that the characters worked as academics and their specialisations were so specialised that I actually failed to understand what they were all about. They did sound impressive on paper though. I was trying to work out whether this was deliberate on the part of the writers, or that is actually how it is... Dunno.

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. Ah! The subjects of: practical agriculture, science, military science and engineering are all worth exploring, no doubts about it. Such a place would probably suit my practical temperament. I'm a bit scared to even ask how those endowment funds are performing nowadays...

Yeah, I hear you. Honestly, I'm in no hurry either, it should be on show for a few weeks at least. The churning of media (and some other industries) is I do not believe a good practice for anyone, but churn they do. There used to be a season, now everything churns... :-)!

Absolutely. The whole thing is a birth right as far as I can tell. I love that saying. Good stuff. You never quite spilled the beans on who your patron saint actually was? Please there is no need or obligation to either, especially with the results of the biopsy not in your possession.

Speaking of sayings, I thought that you might like this one. My grandmother used to always say: Stop carrying on like a two bob watch! :-)! Two bob was the equivalent of about twenty cents.

Well isn’t the ADR interesting this week? I wonder if any true believers will pop their heads up to argue? Interesting times.

Cheers

Chris

Jo said...

Chris, the River Styx leads to the Greek Underworld of Hades, and the tradition of weighting a dead person'e eyes with coins was begun by the ancient Greeks, to pay the ferryman who would ferry the soul across the river to the rather bleak afterlife of Greek mythology.. but the river Styx was also believed to be a source of great power, hence the metaphor, Fishing in the Styx.. hope you manage to locate the books - they are an amazing tale of another life.

My paternal grandparents and their two children shared a house with their own parents in Adelaide after WWII, and also with my grandfather's sister and her husband and son. So three generations, six adults and three children in one very ordinary sized sandstone bungalow. I imagine we will see those days again, and am wondering why I moved out of my big house. It is going to be a squeeze to fit all my four and their families into my tiny house:)

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Our cherry tomatoes get a bit larger each year, too. I wondered if it is because we are feeding them better, but I think that it is rather that they have crossed with the larger varieties, some of which must have beefsteak genes - they are huge. We do indeed select from favorites each year and are beginning to do so right now. We select also from the earliest fruits of each variety as our north slope forest has a shorter growing season than elsewhere around here, at least for main summer crops. And if we save some "first fruits" seed, at least we will have seed for next year should the Great Squirrel Horde ever return.

We have been discussing poly tunnels for early next spring. Do you reckon that if they were just used for a few weeks that the funny taste would not have time to develope?

Most of the really old mills have been preserved by historic societies. I can't think of any around here that people live in, but I have heard of some up north in New England where they do so.

I soak legumes overnight, too. Time to make some more hummus. Lots of lemon needed for that. Yum!

Oh, my! I don't believe I could handle that lemon tart, but good for you! I have been making lots (lots!) of banana pudding as the bananas we buy get ripe so fast in this heat.

Warm milk and oats is so good on a winter's morning. Actually, I eat that every morning, year round (rice milk, though).

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

I think I will comment on the vegetarian thing. I could care less what anyone else eats; that's their business. The only animal product that I eat is eggs (not counting honey, which I help the bees with, so I feel that they can share some). It is a choice of conscience and it is a choice of health. I have been doing this for some years, though I only gave up dairy a year ago. It seems to work for me. If I run into health problems, as you said, I will re-evaluate. I do supplement B12, though probably the eggs and all of the dirty stuff I eat straight out of the garden does have enough. I partly eat the eggs because it is somewhat difficult that my husband and I eat entirely different diets and thus we can eat some of the same things with eggs in it. I could get around that though, if I tried. And, with you, I choose first to not hurt anyone's feelings if I they are being kind enough to offer me a meat dish. So far, there has always been enough veg and bread in these circumstances to turn down the meat. So far, everyone has at least been very thoughtful. I do feel that I am entirely worth as much as any animal, though, and if push comes to shove I would eat meat, etc. should I need to. I am very lucky that I have the luxury and opportunity to indulge my spiritual leanings in this way. I hope it will always be so.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

"I recall a story which may or may not be correct, in that the English historically imposed a household tax in parts of Africa which forced people to become involved in the monetary economy not because the people wanted to purchase food, it was because they had to pay the taxes. Just sayin... Tell me if you believe this still happens today?" from you at ADR, I'm finally getting over there some:

It does indeed happen today. One could be completely self-sufficient and off the grid (implied) and still lose one's property should one not be able to pay those property taxes EVERY year. The property would be offered at a tax sale; I've seen it happen many times (shades of the Great Depression?). In the U.S. one also has to pay the mandatory healthcare tax (there may be exceptions, but you would have to file an income tax return to take advantage of them). And if you own a vehicle, you have to pay yearly property taxes on that and car insurance is mandatory. So if you don't, you break the law and, if you get caught, you pay big fines. And the bureaucrats are not going to accept a bushel of apples and a basket of eggs in lieu of cash.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, I later got a bit ashamed of myself for whinging on about not having my pizza and eating it too :-). Especially when someone over at ADR commented on Americans seeming to be all about self entitlement. I blame the Burger King restaurant chain ... "Have it Your Way" was their never ending ad campaign.

Yes, the ADR this week is pretty interesting. I see it's time for the Melbourne Green Wizards monthly get together. Gosh, it seems like it was just last week. Must be one of those pesky temporal anomalies. Time between the Melbourne Green Wizards meetings is different from the time, everywhere else. It moves faster.

Really not much on order for trashy DVDs. The local Safeway is doing away with it's racks of rentals, and going to a big vending box. Not near as much selection. And, I've used those machines, before. It seems like there were always problems with getting the machine to accept your return, I always went at night, and the night crew was clueless as to what to do. If I returned them the next day, it was always a big song and dance not to be charged a late fee. So, I've been watching the rather sedate and respectable Inspector Morse and Inspector Lewis series. But that rather touches on the movie you saw.

They are both set in Oxford. So, you have this ... tension between the "town and gown." The working class and the academics. Seems like there's always some taffy nosed toff or Grand Lady of the Manor that you want to see brought down a peg or two. I did watch a few episodes of "My Name is Earl" but decided against watching any more of it. I don't know. I just thought it was humor at the expense of the poor and less educated. Much as I like Jason Lee. A good actor and he's got the most beautiful hands I've seen on a man.

I don't know what the Land Grant Colleges are up to, these days. It might be interesting to take a look at their on line catalogues. I know I've seen the occasional story about some scandal involving Big Food funding the colleges ... in return for slightly fudged science reports. Another class thing. The Ag colleges are looked down on in some quarters. A little too much dirt under the fingernails. The last high school I went to was still pretty rural in the mid 1960s. It still had a separate Ag / Shop teacher and building. Most of the guys belonged to FFA ... Future Farmers of America. And, were considered a bit dorky.

Two Bob watch is very funny. Hmmm. I'll have to think if my granny had any interesting sayings. It's not my birthdate, or anything, but the saint I consider my "patron", or, at least find most interesting is St. Aelred of Rievaulx.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aelred_of_Rievaulx Mid 1100s. English abbot of a Cistercian monastery. He wrote a few things about friendship and was quit the diplomate. Don't know where my interest in him began... somewhere, way back.

Trip to the Little Smoke went ok. Think I'll go to a meeting, tonight. Lew

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Re: The devil spitting on the blackberries, it's not my saying so of course you are free to use it. Even if it was mine you would be free to use it.

@Pam
Have just remembered that it is your wisdom teeth day; I wish you well.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo, Pam, Lewis, and Inge.

Thanks for the lovely comments. I am unable to reply this evening, but promise to reply tomorrow night.

Jo - I am in awe of your knowledge and will definitely order the book.

Pam - Thanks for saying that and I absolutely 100% agree with you. If you had your wisdom teeth removed today (not sure, you've been very quiet about that) I wish you a speedy recovery.

Lewis - I hope the meeting went well and it is good to hear that you are even considering venturing out into polite society! :-)! The editor would probably suggest that I would indulge my misery in your circumstances. hehe!

Inge - Thanks for that, it is an astute saying. Hope you liked the carrying on like a two bob watch saying!

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

@Inge and Chris:

I am indeed off in a short while to have the wisdom (shall I be wise no longer . . .?) teeth out. Amazing that you remembered and thank you for the best wishes.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Pam - Good luck with the teeth. There is an end, you only have to do it once. Lew

Damo said...

I guess I could call myself a foodie, and this makes it quite hard to stick to a vegetarian diet. At home, most of my meals are vegetarian. I know what is going on and I like my cooking :-p. Outside though, most of the really nice stuff has meat in it, and I really struggle to resist the temptation. On balance, I don't have a huge problem with eating meat and think, like most things, if it is done moderately and with a mind towards the well-being of the animals you are eating, it really shouldn't be at the top of anyones hit list.

At the risk of being 'that guy' who always references himself, here in Laos the general attitude is to eat anything that moves. Even the relatively well off love buying the strange, exotic beasts that roam the few untouched areas that remain. Just the other day we were in a small restaurant, and the owner (who was lovely) proudly showed us his latest purchase from a market out in the provinces. It was the size of a medium dog and belonged to the cat family. Us westerners were of course aghast that someone wanted to eat it, and when we asked if it was rare he proudly smiled and said 'very rare'. So much for the correlation between rising incomes and environmental awareness (said the man who flew in on a jet)!

In other news, I noticed on the ADR (and here maybe?) a few people proudly saying their computer runs Windows XP. Can I suggest you don't? It really is a problem, I suggest Linux Mint as an excellent free alternative. I am happy to take PMs if any readers would like some help or advice.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo,

Both books are now slowly working their way across the landscape to here - the Internet is a useful tool sometimes. It will take a month or so for me to be able to get to reading them. Thanks for the referral.

Ha! You'd be amazed. I once repaired an old 1890's house where the single upstairs room (wow, was it hot over summer and cold over winter) which was about 5m x 4m was divided into three sections. For the life of me, I couldn't understand why that was done. Fortunately, I had a chance to ask the very old lady who was the owner before her family shipped her off to a retirement home with the proceeds from the sale of the house. The answer was that the room was divided off so that her kids could have a small space of their own. And that got me thinking and then I began asking the editors much older cousins and uncles about their stories and apparently back in the day parents got their kids to sleep on the veranda's not just for practical space purposes but that they also believed that the fresh air (brrr!) would give them some sort of protection from diseases such as polio and TB.

I wouldn't worry too much about space as we really don't require as much as we have nowadays. Washing horses are an outstanding idea though!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

I hope that everything went smoothly and that you are now recovering well? It is a very uncomfortable and unpleasant procedure. It could be worse though, I always recall vividly the scene in the Tom Hanks film Castaway where he did the home (!) dentistry. Ouch.

Thanks for the explanation of your seed saving work with the tomatoes. I suspect that the tomatoes are cross pollinating here too, but the interesting thing is that I don't actually grow the larger varieties as I have had very poor success with them (probably due to under watering the planst with the larger fruit), but it may be that the medium sized fruit is dominating the breeding down here? Maybe the smaller fruit has recessive genes (hope I got that tech term around the right way)? I really don't know enough about the subject. But they are getting hardier and earlier every season which is sort of what I'm selecting for, more or less. For your info, I would be selecting seed at this time of year too, if the seasons were flipped upside down that is. :-)!

Your squirrels sound voracious – please keep them. :-)! Nothing here eats tomatoes - even the local parrots who enjoy the local Kangaroo apples (an edible local plant which is also of the Solanum family) just won't touch them. If the fruit hits the ground though, the millipedes break through the skin in no time at all and then the fruit is spoiled.

It may be a down under thing, but I am aware of a lot of poly tunnels and green / glass houses that are just unused. I've made a point of asking the owners why this is the case, and stories vary between a build up of pests and diseases and / or the problems with exceptionally hot days cooking the plants inside. I reckon they are a good idea, but down here, I sort of feel that they are most useful at extending the growing season in the early stages, but by high summer there are decreasing advantages to the system. Plus, down here they require a lot of water, probably more than a garden exposed to the conditions require. I don't really have first hand experience with them though as I've been avoiding them because of other peoples experiences. With your much colder winters, there probably is a serious advantage in extending the season plus protection from late frosts, but you may need to consider a cleaning regime for later in the season so as to avoid the pest / disease problems which build up over time.

It is good that a group has sought to preserve the mills. Do they manage to save the water wheel, mechanism and milling stones too? It would be very impressive to see one of them working. I don’t believe people live in them here either. I reckon they may just be a very large outbuilding for those people? Dunno.

You would certainly be welcome to some lemons for your hummus. You can buy tahini paste in bulk down here. Yum!

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Oats are very tasty and also very good for you! What a yummy breakfast. I chuck oats into my toasted muesli (which is basically oats, peanuts, green pepita’s, pumpkin seeds and honey all slow cooked in the oven). Oh, sometimes I add sunflower kernels too (some people may consider them to be bird food, but they are really tasty). Actually I buy the oats in 20kg (40 pound) sacks.

Thank you for sharing your philosophy on food and I totally 100% agree with you. Of course vitamin B12 is the one that you really need to worry about as it is only available from animal products, but if you are consuming eggs, you'll be fine. Dirty stuff out of the garden is a total tea spitting classic! I'd rather eat dirty stuff out of the garden any day than some other junk food stuff that I have actually consumed. Bending with the wind saves a whole lot of hassle and problems with other people trying to provoke a response, it can become a challenge for them, which is a bit tiring. I have no desire to hurt anyone's feelings either - there is little upside in such things and sooner or later it will come back to bite you. No good deed goes unpunished as they say.

Oh, I so hear you about that problem. Nobody seems to realise that it is a burden to low income earners. I have considered that matter for quite a long while and have a plan B, but property taxes are one of the few bills that one cannot get out of without losing ones property. It is funny that you mention this issue (well, I don't actually mean funny in an amusing sort of a way), but I mentioned today at the Green Wizards meet up that I saw property taxes being used in the early 90's to move long term residents out of inner city residences (asset rich but income poor). And I personally benefited from that by being able to buy into those areas, I guess. Again, no good deed ever goes unpunished.

Thank you for such a lovely and thoughtful series of comments.

Cheers.

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Yes I enjoyed the 'two bob watch'.

A bird has arrived here that is puzzling son and I. He says that it is a warbler of some kind, I say that it is an abnormal/mutated robin. Its song is a squeak which son (being deaf) can't hear. It is very aggressive and sees off the other small birds. Fascinating.

@Pam
I am thinking of you.

Inge

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris (end Lew):

She's back! Wow, did I have a good (? . . .) experience with the tooth doctor and his team yesterday. So nice, quick, and professional. I was very lucky. My impression is that a bunch of perished wisdom teeth is a heck of a lot easier to remove than what Lew had to have done. I was in and my son was driving me home while I made witty jokes, all in under an hour. I think. I noticed that my spelling was not so good yesterday afternoon, maybe my time telling wasn't either. Come to think of it, Lew had a spelling problem afterwards, too . . . interesting.

We do make sure that the large tomatoes are well-watered. All of the tomatoes seem to love water and, oddly, the peppers do also. Maybe the peppers are more tropical than I realize? I saw so many pepper fields in New Mexico and Texas that I tend to think of them as desert plants. They were irrigated in those places, though.

The mills I've seen around here do still have the water wheel, mechanism, and millstones. I don't know how original the water wheels are. Poly tunnels - something else to clean . . .

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@Damo:

Moderation, as you said, is the key. It is really interesting about the kinds of meat that various cultures accept as food. I can easily see how a group of people that have meat as one of their few food resources would eat any kind of animal available. Think not only of impoverished countries, but of far northern and southern places. And if raised in a different culture than this one that I am part of I'd probably be eating cats and dogs and bearded dragons, and thinking nothing of it. It wasn't all that long ago that horsemeat was considered ok in my culture (though low class).

You seem to be having a very interesting time in your new home!

Pam

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Mate, feel free to whinge, pizza is good and well worth the whinge! In a strange coincidence, the editor is having a girlie night here (I'm hiding in my office!) and they are making wood fired pizza. The interesting thing is that they are using a gluten free base and I have never tried that before. It looks to me as if the base is largely potato flour with some sort of rising agent plus various vegetable oils. I hope it is tasty? I'm very old school with such things, but I also don't suffer from the effects of gluten either so it would be churlish of me to complain... I'll let you know how it goes. I didn't even realise that flour could be made from potato, so it will be an interesting learning experience. I'd read once about flour for bread being made from the wood of certain beech trees (which I and other gardens grow here) and it always surprised me at how adaptable a humans diet actually is. I looked up the recipe out of curiosity and it seems like a lot of work, but then starving is not much good either...

Oh, I've never been exposed to that campaign before - thanks for that - but it is a good message, although at the same time being rather dysfunctional. For some strange reason it reminds me of the Fleetwood Mac song: Go your own way. I always enjoyed that album as I heard it from a very young age. I'll bet advertisers tried to get their hands on that one too.

Well, I had a chance to read most of the comments to this week's ADR on the train to and from the big smoke today whilst attending the Green Wizards meet up in Melbourne. I really enjoy the meet ups as it is nice to be able to speak with other people who also read the ADR and also importantly understand the message of the ADR. I have total 100% respect for the guy that set the group up and I meet so many interesting people. The location is good too and I won't make you too jealous with tales of very tasty freshly made linguine fungi. Some dude in a glassed off area is busy making the pasta and the food is cooked while you wait and to order... Yum! The only downside with today was that I forgot to order the tiramisu. Seriously, that was an unforgivable error on my part and also a total lost food opportunity.

OK, alright, I'm avoiding the main issue, and it stood out to me like the proverbial dogs genitals on this week’s comments over at the ADR. So, I was reading the ADR and contemplating those comments whilst looking out the window of the train at the beautiful scenery, and then doing some more contemplating and then some more reading. Have I ever mentioned that the train once it skirts around the very outskirts of the small mountain range that I call home, it traverses the high ground through all of the very deep gorges which have been cut by the local rivers over so many millennia in the north of Melbourne that I always feel in awe of deep time. It is very scenic and I feel sorry for the many people who traverse the region via the expedient route of the freeway day after day who are otherwise missing out on the spectacular scenery that the train traverses.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Did I just dodge the main issue? Yes, I believe I did and it was deftly done too. We live between spacial anomalies is all I feel at this stage I can add to the conversation.

Yeah, I have seen those movie rental machines down here too, but they are not common. I miss the surprise factor of the old school video shop - much as Mr Tarantino would - as who knows what beauties may tell their sordid and dark tales. For example, who knew that one of Mr Tarantino's inspiring films was a b-grade Australian film by the title of: Turkey Shoot?

Those movies and series that you speak of talk to the tension between the townies and the hill billies. It is there to be certain. I've noticed an increase of the incidence of rubbish dumping recently in strange out of the way corners of this mountain range and that says something to me about decline.

Oh no, tell me it is not true about the land Grant Colleges? It is mildly depressing - for a brief moment for me - to consider the securing of funding for such a beast. I don't look down on those institutions. I must confess that I had the grades to sail through the enrolment process of the best of the best Universities but instead chose the University once described down here as the working man’s college - and I have no idea why, even today. Although it just didn't feel right to me to be aspiring beyond my station. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a dork. They are the most interesting people of all and I count many of them as friends.

I knew you'd pick an obscure but highly relevant saint to guide you through your recent trials - that is why I asked the question. Learning opportunities are only ever a breath away for those with ears to hear and minds that are not closed. Top work. You are very well read indeed. Total respect. Imagine receiving a hagiography of Saint Brigid at such a young and impressionable age? Such a thing would mess with your mind. Mate, I hear you. ;-)!

OK, let's get down to business. I'm not worthy of providing an answer though and dissensus must rule in this instance, anyway that is what my gut feeling says. And I feel awful writing that last sentence because few people want my path. Believe me, I’ve asked them. The loss of status and perquisites are simply too high, but I said to the group today: If something was of such value, how could it possibly disappear so quickly? And there was quiet for a pace. It is a very civilised discussion group.

The gluten free pizza base was quite good!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Thank you for saying that. I respect your choices and it is very pleasant to be able to debate topics that many people consider hot button topics in a mode of complete civility and respect for everyone's point of view.

Now having said that I had an excellent linguine fungi at today's Green Wizard meet up! Yum! :-)!

It is hard for me to understand it, but this year the rain has been unrelenting and tomorrow it is returning here late tomorrow night. I am really struggling to get projects done with such a wet climate and I reckon there is about only one more month with which to get the blackberries and strawberries into their new locations before it is almost too late. Musn't grumble though. Did you manage to harvest many of the wild blackberries? I make jam with the local blackberries and it is goo stuff. Yum!

Out of curiosity, I have alpine strawberries growing here, but often they taste like cardboard - not that I have consumed cardboard, but that is what I imagine it would taste like - but some are total genius, and I was wondering if you have any growing in your neck of the woods?

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

I forgot to tell you that I was up for your "Counting Backwards" challenge yesterday and made it to 97 before I knew no more. So there.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@Inge:

Thank you and I am feeling dandy.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

We grow some alpine strawberries because, strangely enough with a name like "alpine", they produce a bit in the really hot weather, way after the other strawberries are done. They taste one step up from our wild strawberries, yes, somewhat like cardboard, but I have learned to like them, and the wild ones. One gets one's fruit where one can since we have had such a hard time with our fruit plantings. Unlike you!

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Pam - I'm so glad you're tooth surgery went well. Sounds like you were in that lucky percentage where the molars "pop right out." Sometimes I hear stories where three come easy and one comes "hard."

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Gentrification. Property taxes forcing long time inner city residents, out. Of course, you see the same kind of thing out in the country. Suburbanization? Sometimes, farmers can't hold onto their farms due to rising property taxes. On the other hand, if you're a land owner (city or country) and the timing is right, selling off can provide a tidy retirement. Or, at least until the first major medical emergency comes along.

I was aware of potato flour, but can't remember ever having used any. Some recipes for baked goods call for, not so much the flour, as the actual potatoes. Latkes (potato pancakes) come to mind. I wonder if some of the potato cooking came out of extending the wheat (expensive and maybe harder to get) with potato, (cheap and home grown). Sigh. I think the whole gluten free thing is ... Ok. Yes, there are people out there who are really allergic to gluten. But I think a lot of the gluten sensitivity is either imagined, or has more to do with the varieties of wheat we grow these days, and how it's milled.

It sounds like you have a pretty spectacular commute. LOL, and yes, that was a rather deft side stepping of what ever was nagging at you, as far as the ADR goes. The thing I noticed is that there seems to be a lot of "I do this, or that, therefore, I'm not guilty ... or, as guilty, as the other guy." One thing I noticed about my life is that it's a lot easier being "green" if you're retired. LOL. Way back in those Golden Days of Alternative Tech that Mr. Greer refers to (the 1970s), something became apparent to me. Something as simple as "You open the curtains in the morning to let in the sun and warm the place up and close them in the evening to hold the heat in." Who opens and closes the curtains? If you're up and gone before sunrise and don't get home again until long after dark, even such simple "green" techniques just don't work.

But I think that's a very good question. How did things of value disappear so quickly? But, how quick, is quick. I think Mr. Greer made the point onetime, that the French Revolution may have seemed a cataclysmic and sudden event to us, but living it from the inside ... not so much. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. A generation is usually considered to be 20 years. I've read a lot (and, seen a few DVDs) about food and food processing over the last 100 years. That's 5 generations. Is that a long time, or a short time? In the vast scheme of things, a drop in the bucket. From the inside, pretty long. LOL. Bet you can't hold your breath, that long :-). When I think of the food stuffs my grandmother had to work with, and then my mother. Well, that's a lot of change.

Speaking of Grannies, I've been thinking about "Granny sayings." I have come to the conclusion that I can't think of any because, for both my grandmothers, English was a second language. They probably had them, but they were in Finn or German. Lost in translation :-). Which got me thinking about how when you acquire a language, you may loose your old culture and gain a new one. Maybe not the individual, but the next generation? Why am I such an Anglophile when I don't have a drop of English blood in me? Maybe because I grew up speaking English?

Rubbish dumping. I think some of it has to do with the costs of rubbish dumping these days. And, any time I mention taking something to the dump, out here in the boonies, I always get this look like I'm not very thrifty. And, then there's the problem that you go to the trouble of taking a load to the dump .... are willing to pay the costs ... and then they tell you that there's something in your load that you can't dump and you're going to have to go home and resort it all. It's a hot day, you've already made as much effort as you're willing to make and you've got other things to do.

"Aspiring beyond my station?" Where in the heck did that come from? Oh, that's really just a rhetorical question. It comes from your friends, relatives, books, movies, etc. etc.. Not so much well read as more like a magpie :-). I quit like dorks, geeks and nerds. A heck of a lot more interesting than the usual run of the mill. I don't know where I ran across good old St. Aelred. Even Catholics I mention him to say things like "Well, that's one I never heard of." Alpine strawberries. Your assignment, if you choose to accept it (in your spare time ...this blog post will self destruct in 10 seconds) is to taste lots of alpine strawberries. When you find a tasty one, clip off a runner. See if they breed true.

Well, the past couple of days the temperature has been around 93F (33.88C) and forecast for more of the same. Then, this morning the forecast changed radically. For the next week, daytime highs in the low 70s, with probably some rain. According to Cliff Mass, this is because, unlike last year with lots of stalled weather, this year the high pressure and low are rolling through with regularity. More like "normal."

Got the last 10 pound box of blueberries at the Veg store. And, they were on discount. $27. So, about $2.70 per pound. Not bad. And, not even a small handful of bad ones in the bunch. I started freezing them up, yesterday afternoon. When all is said and done, I'll have 22 lbs in the freezer. Lew

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Linguine fungi sounds great to me, I cook something with tagliatelle and mushrooms which is probably similar.

The blackberries aren't ready for picking yet. Alpine strawberries: I am not sure what they are. We have wild strawberries which are absolutely tiny but are delicious. I grow various strawberries and don't even know what the varieties are but none taste of cardboard.

I ate horse meat as a child during WW2, it was fine. I note that we avoid eating animals that eat meat and guess that is to avoid disease. No doubt the Jewish prohibition of pork is wise in a different climate. I would guess that most religious strictures of this kind arise for reasons of health.

@Pam

I am so glad that all went well and reckon that you have been very lucky. I restrained myself from relating horror stories.

Inge

W. B. Jorgenson said...

I have a suggestion for how to use some of the lemon juice: I've heard lemon flavored sake can be quite good. I haven't tried any myself, but according to some Japanese people I know, it is quite good. I have to try it at some point myself, if I can find any good quality sake, and I'll let you know what I think of it. Another idea is to learn how to make it myself. How hard is it to make, and may I ask the process you used?

In response to your point about being mostly vegetarian: if it works for you, great. I wouldn't call it vegetarian though, if only because that word has connotations that include refusing to eat meat given. But I also find it funny that your way of looking at it is hard for people to understand, it makes perfect sense to me.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Apologies, but I overlooked your comment last evening. Thanks for the explanation and it certainly makes a whole lot of sense. With food anyway, once a person is off the farm, you have little effective control over what is supplied to you as food. Oh, I'm making a batch of toasted muesli in the wood oven right now! Yum!

How are you doing up there in Laos? Hopefully the weather has cooled a bit and the humidity has dropped too? You do get used to it and adapt over time. It was an awesome spring day here today and the sun shone and the air was still. The solar even brought in 13.4kWh! I was up on one of the shed roofs adding an additional solar panel and the sun even had a small amount of bite to it. It was nice, although being up on a roof and getting buzzed by a bee was not much fun...

Mate, it isn't a problem, it is a predicament! ;-)!

Hey, I would appreciate your thoughts on XP now that you have raised the matter? I have a laptop which is an HP and is about 8 years old now running XP, and it works really well. It isn't connected to the internet so there is zero chance of a virus or malware or whatever getting into it. I do recall that you said something about replacing an old laptop HDD with an SSD device. It was a good idea, but I was wondering how do you know which SSD to purchase. Do they usually come with SATA connectors and just slot into the 2.5" laptop cradle? My concern is that the existing HDD will pack it in long before the laptop does.

Any thoughts on that matter would be appreciated?

Other than that I run Win 7 and got rid of that pesky update for the Win 10 upgrade. It was one step off malware for my liking.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

It is a good saying isn't it? I was always left wondering whether my grandmother was just fond of saying it, or whether we actually were in fact carrying on like two bob watches! I'd like to believe that we (my sisters and I) were reasonably well behaved, but the chances of that would possibly be not too good. :-)!

It sounds a bit dorky, but I keep a photographic bird field guide handy for identifying new birds. Do you have such a guide? I'm always mildly concerned when a new bird turns up that another may be displaced, so I keep an eye on what is going on.

I don't recall you mentioning that your son is deaf before. I assume from what you wrote that he is fully deaf? Out of curiosity, does he keep any dogs? They may assist him by keeping an ear out for things that he cannot hear himself and then bringing them to his attention. Dogs can be quite clever in that role. I'll bet he is pretty good at lip reading?

Oh yeah, tagliatelle is very close to linguine. Yum! And the mushrooms, oh the mushrooms! Did I mention that during a visit to the local farmers market a week or so back, I met a lovely young lady who specialises in mushroom growing? Spare a thought for the poor editor as I happened to drop the words mycellium and hyphae into the conversation - in context too - and so after a long and deep discussion on the ins and outs of growing mushrooms, we walked away with a mushroom kit. Hehe! We're not really ready for growing mushrooms, but one cannot look a gift horse in the mouth.

I reckon maybe we call your wild strawberries by the name of alpine strawberries and I have no idea why as they are exactly as you describe. Of course, the larger varieties of strawberries are very tasty here too. Oh no, I really must start digging the new blackberry and strawberry beds next week - hopefully the weather will play nice? How is your summer going now? Today was an awesome early spring day and it was slightly warm, the skies were blue and the wind was almost dead calm.

Oh yeah, I've thought that we avoid eating carnivores due to that issue, although I do recall enjoying a tasty lunch of crocodile when I travelled in the Northern Territory and visited a crocodile farm. To be honest it tasted a lot like chicken as perhaps they fed the crocodiles chicken. Did you know that a crocodile can absorb something like 97% of the minerals that they consume into their own bodies? Mind you, they have to sleep for a fair bit to achieve that level of efficiency.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

That is great news to hear that the procedure was quick and straightforward with no complications. Good stuff! How funny about the spelling consistencies - or is it inconsistencies in this case? ;-)! Hehe! Under an hour is quite quick too, so they must have taken the term "surgical procedure" to new heights. Incidentally, I respect the fact that you took on the Cherokee challenge and made it to one number more than myself! How hard was that general to fight too? You are clearly made of tougher stuff than I.

Thanks for the info about your tomatoes. The watering makes sense in that the larger fruit requires more water than the smaller cherries or mid-sized fruit which seem quite drought hardy to me. Just for your info, I'm going to take another attempt at peppers and eggplants this summer but until then I have absolutely no idea about those plants. In the past they have been a problem. Do you grow chilli's too as they would have similar requirements to the peppers?

The reason I asked the question was that the only water wheel I'd seen that was in workable condition was made from a combination of steel spokes and timber buckets so I wasn't sure how long such a setup would be viable. Dunno, but it is good to read that they are maintained in your part of the world.

Ha! As if there wasn't enough other stuff to clean. Why don't things stay clean is what I want to know? It all seems a bit unfair really... :-)! The wood fire tends to produce a bit of dust in the house during winter, but over summer the dirt roads produce the dust. I’m seeing a common theme here!

Thanks for the info on the alpine and wild strawberries. I'd never thought of extending the harvest that way, thank you. When I mentioned cardboard, they look like a smaller version of the Irish Strawberry tree - which are very hardy and prolific down here. Sometimes I find tasty alpine strawberries in the nature strips in remote parts of the mountain range, but I'm a bit dodge about dogs and other animals doing their business on the fruit and when I return I forget which plant was which. I should do a post one day of a before and after image of ripening fruit completely stripped back due to the birds and possibly also the rats in a single day. I'm starting to use the birds as a guide to what fruit will soon be ripe, and may even net a tree or two this summer. Maybe? Dunno. What sort of fruit trees are you growing?

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Pam,

So glad all went well!!

Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I think you asked early on about weather here. It's been very humid even on the cooler days which we have right now. Usually when a cold front comes through in the summer the humidity drops as well - not so much this year. We've had just a little rain in the last few weeks but some areas not far from here have had flooding downpours.

I have wished for a small hoop house to extend the season on each end but now as I get older don't want to add any more chores to my life. I have a small green house that I used for a few years when I had a large enough garden to actually sell produce at the local farmers market. This was also when my brothers lived with me and I could have them help out some. However the greenhouse gets too hot during the day and really needs some supplemental heat at night. Now it's mostly used for storage or for drying things like kindling or sunflower heads. I am thinking of filling a big tub with soil and growing some cold hardy greens in there. I sold my last goats last summer and for awhile this year the pigs were allowed in their old pen and did a bit of rooting around. The soil is amazing in there after years of goats fertilizing it so that's where the soil for the tub will come from.

Your train ride sounds wonderful. I love taking the train to Chicago - interesting to see the progression from rural to big city. As you get into Chicago the train runs along side one of the big expressways into the city and I have to say I feel sorry for the people stuck in that awful traffic. One of the reasons we moved to this particular area was because it was on the train line (last stop). My husband commuted to his job in Chicago for quite a few years on the train. On weekends they have a deal $8 for unlimited rides on any of the train lines. This is when it's great to be at the end of the line as you are assured of a prime seat. It does get rather raucous though especially if there is some big event in Chicago which is about every weekend in the summer. And then there are the bar crawl groups ...

Your Green Wizards group sounds great. I've been tempted to try to start one in this area as Chicago would be a good meeting ground and is quite accessible for anyone in the metro area.

I'm gluten intolerant or my stomach is much happier when I don't include it in my diet. I pretty much don't eat much in the way of baked goods anymore and it has been easier to keep my weight down. Even if it turns out this is "all in my head" I think I'll just keep believing it as I'm used to the diet now and I'm not tempted by cakes and cookies like I used to be. There are some good gluten free flour mixes now and if you add some xanthan gum the consistency is the same.

Margaret

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

All of that about property taxes was a fair summation of the problem. That was discussed yesterday too and the thing is, I'm not really sure if I'm even going to be able to retire as the odds have been stacked against that possibility - which I'm not really too concerned about - but I hear you about the medical emergency. Of course, the whole thing start to finish is a risk and opting out for say a level 1 existence is really an acceptance of your fate, whatever that may be. Most people in the world live with that risk today and they sort of get on with their lives.

Oh yeah, there are definitely people who suffer big time from gluten. I don't frankly know enough about processing flour and the growing of wheat for me to able to have any more than a vague unease at the increased incidence of people having minor reactions to food products with gluten in them. In a year or two, I'll fence off an area and plant it to wheat and see what happens. I believe the oils are extracted from the wheat which can't do the flour any good, but most likely will increase its shelf life. You know, my main concern with industrially produced food is that in prolonging the shelf life of the product, producers basically have to stop most biological activity in the product. There are plenty of ways to do that, but I reckon each method comes with costs and benefits. My gut feeling is that we may be seeing what happens when the benefits outweigh the costs. There were always people with coeliac disease and that is a very serious condition but when I was a kid, nobody else had a food allergy - it was unheard of, maybe they died at a young age? That is a possibility too.

I hear you and totally understand what you are saying. I get it. We don't have - or need A/C here, but every step backwards requires more manual intervention. But it is cheaper to do that manual intervention at this stage from my experience than to produce the income to replace the manual intervention with an energy intensive solution. To me it looks like a process of letting go and then adapting to changed circumstances. Of course retirement would help a lot as you have incentive to let go and to be honest, you are less likely to be called out on behaviours which may be considered quirky! I recall in the delightful Annie Hawes book, that people over the age of 70 could enjoy a wine in the morning - even with their breakfast - without anyone looking at the askance. If I did that here at the local cafe, oh my, what a carry on would ensue which would follow me all the days of my life!!! Hehe!

But then it is the letting go bit that people find to be really hard and they remain unconvinced because they have no leadership in that area to say this is how things are done. Sometimes people need to be lead by the hand. I rarely meet anyone as self reliant as either the editor or I. I certainly would like to, but they are rare.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Exactly, decline is a slow process. At the meet up there was talk about the property market - because it is so feral here - and I gave my two cents, but it is very hard to say what sort of time scale that decline will occur over and that is the issue that concerns them. You see, I was told of a story about a person completing a permaculture design course and there was a bit of separation between people who owned land and people who did not own land with which to practice their new skills on. So, apparently, it was said to the landless by those that owned land that if anything untoward happened then the landless could come and work at their place. I understand both sides of that story but it raised many unspoken moral dilemma's for which I have no answers and little in the way of guidance. Such as is it OK not to protest against these inequities? And by not protesting am I complicit in that system? I saw so many homeless people in the city yesterday too and their numbers are increasing. I walked away from the system and tried to put as much distance between me and it and I don't know whether that is enough. Certainly the problem is not mine alone and I have no feelings of over responsibility, but still when do people draw a line in the sand?

I also wonder at the why of it all. Like why did we let those things of value disappear? What was the upside to that. It certainly wasn't always this way and it seemed different back in the 70's and early 80's for sure. Societies expectations were certainly far less back then.

Hehe! I bet you can't hold your breath that long either. That was very funny! Hehe! Maybe when I'm dead I will do that, but til then...

Hey did you pick up any German or Finn language skills from either of them? I often wonder if people who are multi lingual conceive their thoughts in all those languages or whether they have a primary language to think in? Dunno. I'll bet some people can think in music terms. When the editor and I start a job we have our own language - some construction jobs are difficult to explain in English and so we talk in generalisations but identify that a step is required at that point - and process with which to discuss the steps and what is required to complete the job.

Fair enough I'm sure human nature has a lot to do with it as well as the costs, but I have noticed a significant increase in rubbish dumping right across the central highlands. It means something for sure.

Station is an historical legal term used to determine what a persons particular day to day requirements would be. I'm serious too!

Magpies and dorks are cool! We must celebrate this. :-)! Well Catholics may have other reasons to forget about that particular Saint! Hehe!

That has always been my intention with the alpine strawberries, but other things always seem to get in the way. Like solar power systems for example. I put up the final additional panel today in the bright spring sunshine. I feel as though I may have been mildly sun burnt which seems surreal at this time of year, but my face feels very red tonight. Perhaps it is the hole in the Ozone layer which often extends northwards over here. Dunno.

Glad to read that you are having a more normal weather year this year. Actually 93'F is a reasonably pleasant day as long as you keep out of the midday sun (not saying anything about mad dogs etc... and the midday sun). It is the afternoon sun that kills you here, from about 1pm to 2pm over summer.

That is a great price for blueberries. Yum! Lucky you!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi W.B. Jorgenson,

Welcome to the discussion.

Oh yeah, that is a great idea for the lemons. I make sake here now. There is whole bunch of the stuff fermenting away in front of the wood fire (it is winter here, apparently). You'd be amazed how easy the stuff is to make. You take a high sugar rice and then add yeast balls (which can be purchased in some Asian supermarkets) and then keep the stuff warm. It really is that simple. We also make lemon wine too and that is good stuff. 1kg sugar to 5ltr of water. Add champagne yeast and lemon juice. Leave in a demi-john for two months and then pour into bottles and drink after 6 months, although I prefer a year of ageing.

Fair enough, I heard the technical term for it the other day on the Triple J radio science hour with Dr Karl and they called it something like flexi-tarian (or something that sounded an awful lot like that). I suspect the choice may offend others or they may consider it to be too alien for their worldview, but it doesn't really matter as I try not to make a fuss about the whole thing. For me it is a purely pragmatic approach based on maximising what I can consume from the garden and orchard.

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

That's a very good point that you made about it maybe being easier to be green if one is retired. And also, perhaps, if one works at home, as I do. I tweak things (like curtains) all day long, just as a matter of habit to keep an optimal environment inside. The same somewhat for the garden. And how often could I do things like hang out the wash if I was away at a job all day? Certainly, all of these little things would take up all of one's spare time. Also, having to keep to a pretty "tight" budget makes a difference. I can't just drive willy nilly all over the place (gas$$) or indulge in buying "stuff". It has to be stuff that counts. Not counting books . . .

I have always figured that I was an Anglophile because my background is English, way more so than the German, Scots, Irish, and French blood that I have . . . but, also, I grew up, by my own choice, reading English novels and then watching British TV once we could get it. And then there were the Beatles . . .

My, your weather is going to be nice.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Inge:

You will never know how much I appreciate your restraint. I had made out my will . . .

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Oh, boy, a mushroom kit! Christmas in July?

Considering my brief time under the knife, I was probably given the merest bit of anesthetic, so from my point of view, your place as the champion of the Cherokee Challenge still stands.

I thought chilis were peppers? We grow anchos, habaneros, jalapenos, bells, and pepperoncinis.

We have one plum, one apricot, 2 apples, 2 pears, 2 peaches, and 2 cherries, and all of them have many troubles. We do better with the soft fruits.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Pam - I think I picked up my Anglophilia from my mother, but I don't know where she got it from. Being Finn/Norwegian/Laplander. But I think Edward VIII, the bachelor prince, quit drove the high school girls ga-ga, in the 1930s. My mother could remember hearing the abdication speech. And, she dated a Canadian RAF pilot, before WWII. Also, even in the tiny school my mother went to, English literature, back then, was really emphasized.

Well, I didn't have time to get my will in order, before my surgery. But, I did drop into my Credit Union and add my ultimate executor to my bank accounts. Will get to the will in the next week or so. But I did buy my cemetery plot a couple of months ago. And, last week, prepaid and arranged for my funeral. Gosh, that was expensive, even for the simplest, of the simple. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, I wasn't thinking about the Cherokee Challenge, but the two nurses had a heck of a time finding a vein in my hand to plug in the IV for the general. Luckily, I'm not "funny" about needles. I just don't look. One minute the two of them are fiddling around, looking for a good vein. The next I'm waking up. They must of found it. I was gone ... :-).

Well, I got all my blueberries froze up and bagged and in the freezer. 22 pounds or, around 8 gallons. Now, onto blackberries. But, I think I'll take a day off and make some banana bread. Which I've never done, before. But, I bought a lot of bananas before my surgery and I've got three that are suffering from "biological activity" (ie: rot) and I hate to waste them. So, I'm starting off with my good old BC (Betty Crocker) and working from there. Due to my teeth, I'll skip the usual nuts and go long on raisins.

OK. I give up. Define "things of value." Just a couple examples to get me on the right track.

Language. Primary language. Not only what you think in, but I've read it's what you dream in. I've heard about people who think in all kinds of interesting ways. Musically, whatever. I read a really fascinating book a couple of years ago. "Born on a Blue Day" by Daniel Tammet. He's an autistic savant. Sees numbers and days as colors. Sort of. What's interesting is that he and his husband founded a company that create and publish language courses.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Tammet

Of course, that opens the whole can of worms as to how we perceive the world. Does everyone perceive or see the world in the same way. Well, no. But, apparently there's a kind of "norm", that is fairly flexible, with interesting outliers. Homer talked about the "wine dark sea." Did the ancients see color, as we do? I have a bit of problem with green/olive/brown shades. My friend in Idaho, Ron is color blind.

Hmm. Didn't know "station" was a historic legal term. I'll have to look into that. But for now ... banana bread. Something spicy with lots of plump reconstituted raisins (or, cranberries) in it. Maybe a bit of citrus. I think I have half a lemon in the fridge, that might not be too far gone. Lew

W. B. Jorgenson said...

Chris,

Well, I find lots of people seem to have problems with people being pragmatic, for some reason. I'm not sure why, but it's a trend I've noticed.

Wow, that's really simple. I'll definitely have to try it then.

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

That scar on the tree makes me think of the scars left when aborigines cut out canoes.

So back to bits from last week. My son was born with normal hearing in some ranges and none at all in others. The none at all extended into speech ranges so he couldn't hear the soft consonants. I worked out what I did with tongue and teeth to make sounds such as th and thr and taught him. School was hopeless and I taught him to read when he was 7 and I realised that he didn't even recognise his own name. Unfortunately things are getting worse with age, he is 56 this month. He is constantly telling me to remove my hand from my face. He gets by with some hearing, guesswork, lip reading and intelligence. He never gives away that he is deaf and people don't pick up on it at all. Yes he has dogs, both are lurchers.

Oh the making of wills! I made my third one earlier this year. It was so much easier when my husband and I could just leave everything to each other. It would also be easier if one just had one child. Once one starts to make wills one has to remake every time circumstances change.

Inge