Monday, 21 November 2016

1100 days in a Food Forest

This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: www.ferngladefarm.com.au

Over three years ago I began compiling a series of photographs showing the growth of the orchard here. Now 700 still photos later, I have compiled those photographs into a short YouTube video. This was the project that did not really want to happen and everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. Even my computer died this evening! I believe the engineer Scotty from the Starship Enterprise summed it up nicely when he said to Captain Kirk: “The engines can’t take it anymore Captain, they’re going to blow!” And blow up they did and now my computer no longer works.

Fortunately here at Fernglade Farm we are undaunted by technical issues and I now bring to you the video: 1,100 days in a Food Forest. I hope you enjoy it!

Fortunately many of the systems here are more resilient than the pesky computer and video software! The raised potato beds received a good dose of additional manure this week. And I must say, I am absolutely astounded at how fast these plants are growing here. This is a before photo:
The raised potato beds prior to having the additional manure added
None of those three raised potato beds have received any additional watering and I find that potatoes are happy to grow with just the rainfall supplied by the sky! After the almost cubic metre (1.3 cubic yards) of mushroom compost was added to the raised beds, they now look like this:
The raised potato beds after having the additional manure added
The flower garden on the steep slope next to the potato beds has also commenced. The flower gardens provide plenty of pollen and nectar for the many insects that live here on the farm and they work very hard! Starting a flower garden involves applying manure to the bare clay. Then that manure needs to get established over the next few months before planting it out with cuttings and plants in early Autumn. Getting established is the fancy label for not doing too much to it other than letting it stabilise.
The steep garden bed below the potato beds was commenced this week with the application of a load of manure
The drain within the chicken enclosure became blocked up. I had foolishly put a bend in the drain pipe so as to direct the water from the drain onto a walnut tree. The walnut tree died and the drain became blocked because organic matter collected in the bend in the pipe. This week I cut the drain pipe, removing the bend and replacing it with a completely straight section of pipe. Now the water flows out of the drain very well. Toothy can be seen in the photo below lending a hand by consuming some of the organic matter blockage which oozed out of the drain pipe! It didn’t smell very nice to me, but dogs will be dogs!
Toothy assists with removing a bend from the drain pipe from the chickens enclosure
If anyone is a bit squeamish, then I suggest to skip this paragraph and the next photo! The organic matter which oozed out of the cut pipe was about three feet long. It was kind of awesome to see!
The cut drain pipe from the chicken enclosure contained about three feet of solid organic matter
Speaking of the chickens, they have been assisting with - is destroying the correct word? – the new garden bed near to their enclosure. Aren’t they helpful?
The chickens assist with digging up the new garden bed near their enclosure
The wallabies which live on the farm like to destroy things too! One of their favourite things to destroy are roses. I grow roses in hidden spots in the garden and the wallabies are yet to find them! Here is one beautiful rose flower surrounded by herbs including soap wort:
This superb rose grows hidden among soap wort herbs
Roses aren’t the only spectacular flowering plants here, as the rhododendrons are competing with them to see who can put on a better show. I’ll leave judging that to you, the readers!
The rhododendrons are also putting on a great show at this time of year
Whilst catmint is not as attractive a flower as either the roses or the rhododendrons, they sure do hold the title for one of the best plants to feed the beneficial insects in your garden. Catmint positively buzzes with bees and other insects all day long.
Catmint is one of the best plants to feed beneficial insects to your garden
The flowers are all telling a story that the weather has been superb this week and the sun has shone strongly. The orchard in particular is almost dancing with the extra energy provided by the sun:
The orchard is almost jumping out of the soil with the extra energy provided by the sun this week
The sun is even reaching into the very shady fern gully that I planted out in autumn. The tree ferns have begun the slow process of unfurling new fronds and you can see new fronds in the crowns of those ferns:
The tree ferns have begun the slow process of unfurling new fronds
The sun is also ensuring that the many different fruits are swelling on the fruit trees. The cherries will be the first stone fruit to ripen this season:
Cherries should be the first stone fruit to ripen this season
Earlier this season the mulberry fruit trees produced really insipid coloured leaves and I believed that the trees were sick or diseased. This week, due to the stronger sun the mulberry fruit trees have turned a more normal dark green colour and the fruit is starting to swell and ripen.
The mulberry fruit trees are starting to look good after a dodgy start to the season
The apple trees appear to be producing a bumper crop this year – and many of them are still in flower.
The apple trees look set to produce a bumper crop this year
The Asian and European pears likewise seem to be producing a bumper crop. The other day, I spotted this Corella Pear swelling and ripening in the sun and the colour of that fruit looks awesome:
A corella pear enjoying the late spring warmth
But nothing beats the Asian pears for sheer quantity of fruit. This nashi pear is a very reliable fruit tree. I just have to remember to net the tree before the parrots get to the fruit!
The nashi pears are prolific and reliable fruiting trees
The temperature outside now at about 10.45pm is 20.1’C (46.4’F). So far this year there has been 1,110.6mm (43.7 inches) which is the same as last week’s total of 1,110.6mm (43.7 inches).

61 comments:

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

Thanks for the wonderful video, it must have been one heck of a job to put that together. The sounds in particular, made me feel that I was there. It also reminded me of those 'spot the difference' puzzles.

Here it is rain, rain, rain at present, though it is not causing me any problem.

@ Lew

I only know of one film that came from these readers. 'The boy from Barnardo's' (Lord Jeff) it had Mickey Rooney in it.

I have probably not been fair to Roy Simmonds, he embarked on a literary work and then discovered that my mother was alive and the whole thing escalated. There was really far too much for one work and his life was coming to an end.

Inge

TalkingTrees said...

Hello Chris

Sorry to hear of your computer woes but even with technical problems your post this week is lovely and informative. Even the blocked drain was okay due to the lack of odour at this end! Infrastructure certainly keeps small farmers busy! I vote for roses by the way, even though rhododendrons are fabulous. There is something coming from my childhood that says eccentric ladies about roses. I just relax into roses and enjoy them whereas I find rhododendrons can be somewhat overwhelming in their magnificence, especially when there are huge banks of them in the Blue Mountain gardens and your Ranges.

We have been off line with the installation of a new satellite dish (the new improved so on and so forth NBN). It was strange indeed to be off line. This week we travel to the coast for a couple of days to see our younger daughter for her birthday. I will enjoy the trip more given the ground moisture still available for vegetable garden. Your fruit trees are in front of ours on the fruit production front but everything is coming along. We have a tree full of tiny quinces this year for the first time. Generally we get one or two but the Spring rains seem to have made a difference.

We made GF pastry cases last week with a friend whose partner is GF. Very tricky. One worked a lot better than the other. On thinking about it it was the moisture content that made the difference. The less successful one took longer to cook and had a thicker edge that was a bit like a hockey puck. Good fun though and worth persevering with. The cases were used with a Banoffee pie and a lemon meringue pie. There were poached pears, whipped cream and ice cream as well. Long naps are needed after partaking.

Warm Regards, Helen


LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - "Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the flowers is?" :-) They're all in Victoria :-). Those are fine looking potatoes. Looks like you'll have a bumper crop. I was surprised at how nice the potato flowers were, and how good they smelled. That's quit a steep slope. Lots of perennials with deep roots to hold it all in place. Or, at least annuals that freely seed. But you know that.

That squeamish bit of organic matter? I see a really rich tonic. Any ailing plant who gets a bit of it will be quit lucky.

The rose is really beautiful. Another flower I'm partial too. Maybe because I was born in the "City of Roses." Portland. Here, it's the deer that go for the roses. But, I've managed to have a few in Beau's yard. And, there's a few stashed around the chicken pen that they haven't found. There's a very old moss rose that they don't seem to like. Maybe because of the furry stems? The rhodies are stunning. There's a similar bush of a similar color over at the abandoned farm.

I don't think I'd attempt catnip, here. With four cats in the area, I don't think they'd last long. Lew

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

I thoroughly enjoyed the video. What a pleasure it was to watch! Thank you so much for going to all the trouble to put it together. The time lapse was sort of eerie - as though one was literally traveling through those 1,100 days, but all in a flash. Star Trek, indeed!

I like the magic chickens that popped in and out of the pictures. The fog was neat, too, and Toothy, and you and the kookaburra. And I think I saw a bit of snow in July 2015? And other things popped in like a wombat or a chicken palace or an I-forget-what that spiny thing is? But most of all, the best was watching the orchard itself transform, each season it was more mature and bigger and better and tidier - a wonderful progression. The blooms in the spring were so lovely. There was a large stump early on that somehow disappeared . . . more magic . . .

It amazes me how green - except for the fruit trees - the area stays, even in the winter. And am I right that you don't prune? Some of those trees are quite tall now. How do you get the fruit at the top? Or is it donated to the parrots? The background noises are wild!

And Toothy - if I may speak to your antics this week - you are so gross!

What a perfect, perfect rose. Is it in a somewhat shady spot? I have a small rose bush that has grown from a rose cutting that I shoved into the ground on one of the dogs' graves. It has been growing in very dense shade for a year and a half. I am kind of afraid to move it.

Blah. All the fruit we have right now, besides LOTS of store-bought apples, is dried fruit. And bought bananas. And a bit of bought lemons. We still have a whole bunch of dried tomatoes, though. I guess that would be dried fruit, too.

I am still trying to imagine you - from a last-week's comment - as a 4,000-year-old driver. Can't be done.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Margaret:

I appreciate your first-hand accounts of the school system where you live. I hear all sorts of things, but not often from the" horse's mouth" as there are no school-age children in our extended family.

@ Lew:

Congratulations on not becoming a deer-encounter statistic. The tally in my immediate family is 4. I am the only one who has never hit one - yet. One of my son's vehicle turned over after running into one, and was totaled. So was the deer. He actually came out unscathed, mostly.

Pam

foodnstuff said...

Love the video, Chris, thanks for putting it together. Interesting to watch the fruit trees come into leaf then flower and the growth in relation to the mountains in the background. I was just becoming friendly with that tree stump when it disappeared!

The photos of the potato bed before and after fertilising....are they round the wrong way? The 'after' bed looks smaller than the 'before'.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi everyone,

I'm having a few technical problems with the machine thingee that connects me to the interweb thingee. All will be sorted shortly, but til then I have to put some hours into sorting out the unfolding hardware disaster. I take back ups so nothing is lost only the hours are lost trying to sort it all out.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Yup, I suffer from that too, so I studiously avoid graphic images or depictions of violence. I wonder at how other people are able to feel nothing - and perhaps even a touch of excitement at the story those sorts of images represent. There is certainly something in that but it is beyond my understanding.

The construction of buildings says a lot about a society and the level of care and thought for the future they they wish to invest in those things. It is interesting that they are building a bridge over a freeway just out of Melbourne and it is an awesome thing to see. The big green crane which is truly massive has a name: T-Rex! Good to see they have a sense of humour.

Thanks for saying that. The video was a lot of fun and there are so many interesting things going on that I noticed. At some times of the year, you can see the grass walk across the landscape particularly into the vacant soil where the stump was removed. Plus sometimes you can almost see the fruit trees reaching upwards.

Producing the video was at about the upper limit of the software and hardware here so I probably won't continue with that project in the future.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

I'd heard that about the cursive script but not heard about the consequences of that policy. Fascinating and a little bit scary. I haven't had to face that particular problem yet at an election, but no doubt in time it will happen. There were policies in place for that scenario. With the focus on screens it does make you wonder what the children's relationship to books will be? Dunno. I finished a good book this morning and am now wondering what to read next. The question is should it be fiction or non fiction? Dunno.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

It was pretty hot yesterday, but today it is bizarrely different. Seriously, it reached only about 55'F here today and about three quarters of an inch of rain has fallen. The water tanks are looking nice and full, but the tomatoes. Oh the sad tomatoes are looking cold stressed. I've been doing a bit of serious reading about them and apparently the soil temperatures need to be at least 20'C (68'F) for them to grow well. Hmmm, this year is a serious tomato problem even with days like yesterday. I'm starting to feel a bit more sympathy for the European "years without a summer". Not good as overall I'll still have plenty of harvest of other things, but tomatoes are one of them big crops for me. Diversity is the watchword for a small holding, is it not?

Yeah it is funny what sticks in your head, and you can never tell what it will be. Thanks for the lovely story. Some of those artworks are a bit eerie how the eyes follow you around. I'll bet the artist was practicing that effect for years before they nailed it? You can almost hear the echo of their thoughts from that far time saying: "This'll give them something to think about when I'm gone!"

Really? Wow. Perhaps things were a bit more sanitised back then. I recall that the plaster casts seemed pretty solid and I didn't believe that there was any bone fragments or any other identifying items on the casts. Of course, they may have made reproduction casts to send down under, but I don't believe that was the case. Most of the people were cowering or they looked as if they had dropped off to sleep. It was quite graphic which is perhaps why it imprinted so strongly on my mind. The poor dog. If I know canines at well, the dog sure would have been very angry at being restrained when it probably knew very well many hours before that it was time to go. Dogs can be quite sensitive to subtle changes in air pressure which can happen before a big storm, or a volcanic eruption, or even an earthquake (apparently). They are to be ignored at our peril.

Good luck for your Thanksgiving feast. That is seriously cold. Like liquid nitrogen cold! Hehe! Brrr. I once did a substitute for black currants when cranberries were called for. They sort of taste the same to me. Of course you have your traditions and they are not to be messed with.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Thanks! The flowers are nice and both the editor and the huge array of insects really enjoy them. Speaking of insects, the smallest of the lot snuck through the flywire mesh last night and caused havoc with the smoke alarms. Both of them went off in the middle of the night and caused a disturbed sleep. It wouldn't have been so much of a problem except that the ceiling in the back of the house was very high at about 12 foot and so I had to go and get the big ladder and stop the alarm from beeping... Nobody can sleep through that nonsense and some technologies are just broken on the design table (or screen these days) and smoke alarms are one of those things.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to a bumper crop of potatoes. They are such a hardy and giving plant, they should be celebrated. Some of them run feral in the flower gardens and they turn up reliably every single year without me having to do anything. What a great plant - you just have to remember to plant a lot of different varieties... Just sayin...

Exactly, deep rooted perennial plants will hold all of that soil and embankment together and they'll thrive and every year the soil will get a little bit better and the plant varieties will get a little bit more complex.

Toothy has questionable taste to want to eat that stuff. I mixed it into the soil which is slowly recovering from all of the excavations last year. It takes between one and two years for soil to recover and/or build a more healthy diversity of life. People are in la la land about that and I laugh very hard at the preppers. Although I hope they are wrong. ;-)!

Deer and wallabies are interchangeable. We have to be far sneakier than those two beasties. Your mission should you choose to accept it... I wasn't aware that Portland was the city of roses and they are the best smelling flower of all - especially the old heritage varieties.

Fortunately, moggies would not stand a chance here with the ever watchful, but now quite sleepy in front of the fire canines. Actually, maybe they would stand a chance...

I can't believe in the ongoing crapification project that the computer was taken out. That video, I swear it just didn't want to happen so I'm mildly nervous that I forced the issue and eventually completed it. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. It was weird. Really very weird. And all up it took about 10 hours of my life to do that video.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Helen,

Thank you and your kind words make me feel better. I have had to put some brain cells towards fixing the computer problem and that always leaves me with a mild headache... Computers are great when they work...

You were very lucky to have avoided the mildly septic smell from that drain. Of course Toothy the long haired dachshund disagrees with both of us and he thought that the smell was good o!

Yes, the roses are beautiful aren't they, and I do believe that they kick sand in the face of the very showy rhododendrons, but we must not upset the rhododendrons as they are a bit of a thing around these parts and they may come and get us! Hehe! Hell hath no fury like a rhododendron scorned! ;-)! Triffid alert!

Is the NBN connection working better? I have heard mixed reviews but hope that things are better in your neck of the woods? I'm beholden to Telstra and the 4G network. Wow it is fast as, but I have to be so careful not to loose the months bandwidth in a few short hours...

Aren't you lovely. I understand your concerns and also wish you happy travels to the coast to visit your daughter. This past winter has been very kind to the continent as a whole. It really has been that good and after such a hot summer earlier in the year. In the video you can see that in about January I went into full on survival mode for the orchard and fed all of the trees a good dose of manure. That was a massive job with 300 fruit trees.

You may be interested to learn that I too have had little quince fruit for the first time this year. I'll try and chuck on a photo for next week.

Oh yeah, gluten free is very complex. The editor and some of her friends made a GF pizza base a few weeks back. It had an almond meal base - I believe. And they didn't eat all of it so I chucked it into the chicken enclosure and that stayed there for days as a solid lump. It was slightly awesome to see. It is worth persevering with as I have had tasty cakes made with a GF base. Yum!

Lemon meringue is superb! But the poached pears, cream and ice cream. Yum! I'm salivating at the thought of all that beautiful food.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Thanks very much for writing that about the video. It was a lot of fun and there are so many interesting things going on in the video as you correctly spotted. Putting the video together was a very strange experience as everything that could have gone wrong, just went wrong. There is a message in that don't you think?

Well yes as to the Star Trek bit, I chucked on the warp drive and took it out for a spin with the video. It was slightly uncanny seeing the plants grow and move across the landscape: The hills have eyes for sure! And the bird calls as a background was a touch of last minute inspiration when the microphone failed. Go figure. I am genuinely amazed that it was completed in the late hours of last night.

Toothy was doing his very best jump in that scene wasn't he? I felt a bit Fight Club when I spliced in the photos of the snow, the various animals and the chicken enclosure. That wombat really does use the large concrete drain as a super highway. It is such a delightful, if slightly grumpy creature. The other night, it told me in no uncertain terms that I was way too close for comfort.

And that stump. I tell you this: One day, I got sick of looking at it, but the truth was a ginormous, almost Gigantor like bull ant launched off it and bit me. After about a week of an excruciatingly itchy ankle (everything goes for the ankles here: wombats, snakes, ants etc.) I chopped the stump to the ground. I felt better for having done that and the chickens ate all of the ants that popped their heads out of the ground. And I tell you this in secret: The extra protein from the ants made for tastier eggs! :-)!

You are correct that I don't prune the fruit trees. However, given that you are very observant you will note at one point in the video a wallaby has removed the lower branches of a nashi pear tree to the front and right of the video. The wallabies prune the lower branches and I'm sort getting a feel for where the canopy needs to grow too. I'm not really sure about that yet. It will form a solid canopy and did you note that in the very hot summer just past that where there was a canopy the herbage remained slightly green despite the record breaking heat?

Thanks for writing that. Toothy is very gross. Not nice at all. He is in surprisingly robust health though...

The rose is in a very sunny spot, but the base is protected by the very diverse herb bed. I'm watching it closely to see just how much shade it can tolerate as most roses down here are grown in the full sun - and usually in hotter spots than here. Bush roses seem to be even more tolerant of shade than the more usual variety. And that is very nice to read that you celebrated the life of a canine friend with a rose bush. Lovely!

Well that is late autumn early winter for you. With a bit of global warming you too will be enjoying citrus during the winter, but perhaps not for a while yet. I'd be very interested to hear how long your dried tomatoes lasted? By about August (your February) we'd eaten all of them, but they didn't look like they were lasting as long as I first thought?

Hehe! Yeah, it is a bit of a naughty saying of mine when I see a driver who is a traffic hazard and possibly shouldn't be behind the wheel. Hmmm, I should do a Dukes of Hazard blog post one day? Oh no, we have definitely descended into the land of silly!

Cheers

Chris



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi foodnstuff,

Thank you for writing that and I appreciate that you are back blogging again too! It was a lot of fun watching the growth in the fruit trees and it is amazing how it all happens over such a short period of time. I do hope that your place has enjoyed the fruits of all this winter rain, and how hot was it yesterday? It is absolutely pouring down cats and dogs outside right now.

The tree stump had been there since the days of the loggers here and for some strange reason it was burned. I have to confess that I became rather sick of looking at it in the orchard and it was hiding a colony a vicious bull ants. Do you get bad bites from those ants? The ants are on the attack all of the time here. Fortunately, they do not like top soil and so the more top soil I get here, the more worms and the less bull ants. Yay!

I reckon that was an optical illusion because it looked the wrong way around to me too. It wasn't though because I have been burying the potato plants with additional manure. I reckon about another cubic metre will do the trick with them.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,
Thank you for sharing the video. Really appreciate all the effort it took!!

I think all the time with screens is not going to go well. I have two readers, a Kindle and a Nook. One was given to Doug as a gift for being on a hospital board and the other was a gift. I would have never bought one but there are a few advantages - much easier and lighter to take with when you travel and the one with a backlight is nice when you're reading in bed. There are quite a few free books and many of the classics are free. Today I'll be taking one on the train as I travel into the city to spend the day with my sister. It fits nicely in my bag where the book I'm currently reading would not and much lighter. We're planning to take in some of the over the top Christmas decorations and go to the Aquarium as it's a free day there.

We had some really hard freezes over the weekend - in the teens (F).

So sorry about the computer woes. As they say technology is great - when it works.


Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Pam,

I get my updates on the school from the few friends who are still teaching and from our Jr. High retiree monthly breakfast. Many of the retirees have grandchildren in the local schools. Not so many years ago when we were teaching the school was like a family. I feel very lucky to have found a job there. The town has grown but gradually. Some issues stem from all the pressure about test scores. I think I may have mentioned this before - one of my volunteer jobs is to take students out to the Land Conservancy's restored oak savanna which is in walking distance of the largest school. This fall the contact teacher said they didn't have time to do it due to testing.

My granddaughters are both home schooled which in the present educational environment is a good thing.

Margaret

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Mate this is uncanny timing given what we were conversing about with the canines and changes in air pressure: 'Thunderstorm asthma': Two die after Melbourne storm causes spike in respiratory problems.

Pretty strange coincidence huh?

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Somehow this blog always causes me to choke on my breakfast. Hee hee!

"And that stump. I tell you this: One day, I got sick of looking at it, but the truth was a ginormous, almost Gigantor like bull ant launched off it and bit me."

Perhaps this will be the Year of the Potato, instead of Tomato.

I was thinking about the young fellow at the bank who cashes my handwritten check. Does he have a valuable skill (sort of like knowing a second language) in being able to read my cursive writing on the check or will they be trying that much harder to phase out things like handwritten checks? What about the Post Office? How on earth do they decipher all the handwritten addresses? Could there be software for that? We all write so differently.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Violence in films. That's what the fast forward button is for :-). Of course, like most guys I love cool explosions. The supernatural stuff, or science fiction stuff, doesn't bother me. Whacking off a zombies head? No problem. I think on some level I realize it's "not real." But I still won't watch any of the Alien, series. When people in films are yelling at each other, or being cruel, sometimes I go for the fast forward button. There was a lot of yelling when I was growing up.

The Thanksgiving campaign moves forward. Maybe I should read a bit of Sun Tzu? :-). Made up 5 pints of cranberry freezer jam last night. It's funny how when you boil up the cranberries in the sugar sauce, they pop. Not like popcorn, but you can still hear it. One down and three to go. But I may add a course of brussels sprouts. I have a craving, and suppose I should have something green, with dinner. In my dotage, I have forgotten how to count. I wanted the turkey to be in the fridge for 4 days ... Monday through Thursday, right? Well, if you count from morning to morning, that's only 3 days. Oh, well. I'll let the turkey out of the fridge to trot around, an hour a day. Maybe that will do it.

The internet has been pretty twitchy, the last week. Pages that won't completely load and freeze. Pages that just keep reloading over and over again. "Servers Not Found." Hadn't heard from my friends in Idaho. Their Hotmail had stopped working. For no apparent reason. Good ol' Microsoft. This sucker is going down!

That was quit an article about asthma and thunderstorms. Who knew? And if the hospitals and emergency crews couldn't cope with something like that, what's a real disaster going to be like?

A new stray cat showed up, last night. Gray with great golden eyes. Of course, Nell was having none of it. Spoiled child who won't share! I know. Poor upbringing. Even after I stashed her inside, the cat wouldn't come up on the porch. Just crouched under my truck, meowing in a pitiful manner. I wanted to leave her a bit of food out. But that would attract raccoons and possums. I she shows up again, tonight, I might try leaving out a bit of food for a short period of time.

Do you suffer from paranomaisa? The overwhelming urge to tell puns? There's probably a new wonder drug for that. Works on the puns but has horrendous side effects. Picked up the word from cluborlov.blogspot.com . Mr. Orlov is like me, in the humor department. When I'm hot, I'm hot. When I'm not ... not. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

It is my pleasure to entertain you! And those ant bites really hurt. :-)!

No doubts about it, the tomatoes are a write off, but the potatoes are growing very fast indeed. There is a lesson in there somewhere. Looking out the window it is absolutely bucketing down as if this place was in the grip of winter.

Oh yeah, too true. And what about those strange voicemail recordings on the other end of a phone call that say they're going to convert my voicemail into a text message. I don't think so! I mean, how could it possibly do that trick with any level of accuracy? Pah! Computers, what do they know?

Well the banking industry down here is confidently predicting a move to a cashless economy. Aren't they naughty because they would end up looking like bridge trolls for every single transaction in the economy. Honestly, how would they ever know if they'd consumed enough?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

A good use of a fast forward button if ever there was one. You know one of the most horrific films that I've seen was Reservoir Dogs (a Tarantino film) and it was about a heist that went wrong and the aftermath. Honestly, fast forward button or not, I just couldn't understand why I was watching it. Possibly I have very low tolerances for such things though. The yelling thing is different with different cultures. A way long time ago at a mates place, I asked him the question after we left: Why was everyone yelling at each other? I was serious, but he said that is how it normally is. Fair enough. The forest is usually quiet on that front. The birds sure can kick up a racket though.

I'm pretty certain you've already read it - cheeky! Hehe! Out of curiosity, why is Thanksgiving so late in autumn? The harvests would be mostly done by now you would think? Dunno. Of course that question is asked because of my own dotage!!! Very amusing, although I somewhat disapprove of brussel sprouts, but everyone sees those vegetables differently.

Ouch! On a serious note, I noticed the internet went into a slow down just before your federal election. I wondered about that. Hmmm, I do try to avoid freebie services on the internet. They're never really free. Mind you, things are looking reasonably normal over here on an internet front. The computer is a whole 'nother story though.

Oh yeah, who would have thought that hospitals would run out of ventolin puffers? Go figure that one out. The weather was feral hot that day and then a massive thunderstorm rolled through and we are back into winter. I have a theory that houses are too clean nowadays and have been for quite a number of years and people are not slowly building up immunity to things. And anti vaxxers are as guilty of that over cleanliness matter too (I got to know a few of that lot a year or two back). I mean hospital grade cleaners should be for hospitals... Just sayin. There is middle ground on both of those issues and as usual everyone flies to the extremes. A real disaster is probably not going to be very good.

Naughty Nell for not sharing. Still territory is territory and Nell has her reasons. Gray with the Golden eyes; don't you reckon there is a good name for the cat in that description?

Haha! Our secret is out, but of course most of us here do enjoy clever word plays! ;-)! Thanks for the new word. Well, if we kicked goals every time we entered the field of play, no doubt that someone will soon start raising the standard expectations - And who wants that? Not for I! :-)!

Mate, it is bucketing down here today. It is like winter looking outside - except the fruit trees have leaves on them... I've even got a woolly jumper on. Go figure that one out.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

With regard to new words, I just got 'trentine' from the Follett book. The 30 days that people had to wait outside Italian city's walls in order to show that they weren't coming down with the plague. Then it became 40 days and hence 'quarantine'. So obvious once one is told but I was delighted.

I had heard that children in families with 6 young or more, don't get asthma and also that children who grow up on farms, don't have allergies. So one can assume that exposure to dirt and having a busy mother is good. Clearly running free out of doors is good too. The amount of asthma these days is quite ridiculous but over diagnosis is also to blame. The slightest wheeze or cough after a cold and the child is given a puffer.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Your weather sure is all over the place. 100F one day, and back to jumpers a few days later. Rained buckets here, all day, yesterday. Beau wouldn't even come out of his house for dinner! Flood warnings further north.

I don't know if I've ever seen a Tarantino movie. If I read the reviews and plot, they just didn't appeal.

I don't know why Thanksgiving is so late. I looked at Wikipedia, and there was no explanation. The date has shifted all over the place. But mostly in November. Maybe that's the point. The harvests were DONE.

Made some cornbread, last night. Decided I needed to take the cranberry sauce out for a test drive :-). Yum! I also made and prebaked my pie crust. You don't have to do that for a pumpkin pie, but I want the crust crisp. And, it's one less thing to do.

Power had been out over night. Don't know why. If we can make it through Thanksgiving with power and water, I'll be happy.

Well, I'm off to the Little Smoke. I'm sure the stores will be mad. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge and Lewis,

Thanks for the lovely comments. I only have a minute or two of computer time tonight, so I'm unable to reply. I do promise to reply tomorrow night!

I picked up the replacement parts for my computer today - and so the show can go on! However, this evening, I'm installing those replacement parts and starting the slow, slow, really slow process of re-installing Windows and all of the software. I'm mostly off line until that process is done, or mostly completed!

The rain dumped almost one and a half inches here and this afternoon, I spotted that one of the tomato seeds which was recently planted had sprouted. That makes ten tomato plants now... It is a start, so fingers crossed.

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Blimey! My oven heating element went kablooey when I was making the first of the Thanksgiving pies yesterday. They are having a frozen dessert.

Good o about the newest baby tomato plant.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Good luck with the computer. Recently, I decided to try "Click and Ship" (yeah, sure) from our postal system. To print out a prepaid label and arrange for pickup. "Only" took an hour and a half to figure it out. If only they had put a small note, next to a box I clicked (and, couldn't unclick), it would have taken half as long. :-). Almost didn't make it here, this morning. Safari "couldn't find server." Chrome, could.

Went to town and hit the grocery store, earlier than usual. Still a zoo. Let the games, begin! :-). The Warden, at The Home had taken the week off. So, I'll catch her next week.

The power outage yesterday was because a transformer blew out at a substation. Affected the whole county. From 4am til 7am. So, they canceled school. Wild weather, overnight. And, into today. Wind gusts into the low 30s. Flood warnings along the coast, down into Oregon.

Made two pumpkin pies, last night. One looks perfect and one looks like a perfect disaster :-). I'm sure it will taste, just fine. Well, it's time to wrestle the bird into the oven. Best two falls out of three wins! :-) Lew

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Have discovered a small disaster. My leeks were lying down. They were separated from their roots. Something has decided that it likes eating the white part. In my previous experience, onions, garlic and leeks are safe from predation but no longer. It looks like mice. So yesterday I was freezing the remains.

It seems to have been a bad week. Son's truck has had it (head gasket gone, whatever that means). Another truck is organised. I had fun (not) with a bank. They should have sent me a cheque, I rang when it didn't arrive and was assured that all was well and that it would arrive within another 2 days. It didn't and I rang again. They agreed to cancel the cheque and send out another one. It arrived yesterday for a lesser amount than it should have been; they had left off a nought. I rang again. Was told that the fault had been noted and that another cheque was on its way which I am now awaiting. No apology! Is my paranoia justified? They know my age, were they hoping that I wouldn't notice?

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Talk about headaches... I'd just completed replying to your comment and the computer reset itself! Back to the drawing board! :-)!

Thanks for the origin of that word. You know that you mention it, that word does sound as if it has a Latin origin. Back in those days it would have been a very sensible proposition too. There was a reported case of tuberculosis in the inner western suburbs of Melbourne recently. No doubt this would have been due to overseas travel.

I wonder whether the six young or more data has to do with the sheer volume of biological activity faced by those families? Dunno. And certainly that is the case with a farm as there is manure all over the place here. I'll have to recall to provide common sense advice to the visitors here tomorrow. Thanks for the timely reminder!

Yeah lots of over diagnosis goes on down here too. The doctors a few years back were trying to convince the editor that she had a Vitamin D deficiency which is just strange. I read later that there was a bit of a government crack down on over pathologising of patients. Go figure that one out. The problem is that there is an inherent conflict of interest if the same doctors own or have a share in a pathology lab.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Oh mate! Computers... Nuff said really. I hope that the computer doesn't decide to reset itself during the middle of this reply... Oh well, at least it is working now with a few new bits. It is like the old grandfathers axe which has received six new handles and two new heads in its lifetime. Is it the same axe I ask? Probably not... Honestly, I have no idea what the beast is doing right now... At least the beast is defenfable (maybe?).

Poor Beau. Mate, I hear you and know exactly what you are feeling and why you didn't venture forth into the rain for a bit of tucker. Was there any major flooding? Things are still cool to cold here, but at least it isn't too wet now.

Yeah, Mr Tarantino has apparently committed to ten films and has so far done eight. Some of his films are a bit like A clockwork orange in their effect. It makes for an unpleasant feeling so no doubts that you are correct in studiously avoiding them.

Hehe! Maybe! That would make a lot of sense. You know it is a bit like Christmas down here where orchards are in full growth mode and slacking off for a day or two to enjoy a mid winter feast makes very little sense to me. And when the temperature is 100'F I just don't know about hot heavy winter meals.

Well done with the cornbread. That is some tasty stuff. Yum! Years ago I used to go to a place that made seafood chowder and cornbread (which you don't normally see here anywhere) and it was yummo! Are you more of a fan of seafood or corn chowder?

No. I hope the power was restored? Do you use gas or electricity for your oven? A frozen turkey would make for an unappealing - but strangely entertaining as well you have to admit?

Yup avoid the zombies at the stores and if confronted firstly go for the head - that seems to do the trick.

It is funny, but the postal system down here has changed over the past few years and it is starting to resemble - by all accounts - the best practices of your system. ;-)! I'm formatting a new hard drive and it is a slow process... That story of the prepaid label and pick up is similar to many stories about the place. A lot of companies push the costs of their administration onto the consumers and nobody wins out of that process. Oh yeah, and nobody said interweb pages were made to be simple. I have to use one where a logon button is off the main screen (you have to scroll down to find it).

The computer is trying to work out whether it should receive any updates or not... And I don't know whether that is even a good idea or not. People get into my ear about though...

Glad to see that you survived the encounters with the zombies! I'll trade you zombies for a blank PC because at least I know what to do with the zombies! Hehe!

Hey, out of curiosity, what happens when the power goes out and people rely on electric heating for their homes in your part of the world? On hot days here when the power drops out - due to overload - the screaming about electricity (for cooling) is quite loud, and I am curious to see how that all ends up given the powers that be shut down one of the large generators (albeit in March next year). A lot of people here use natural gas for heating so the probelms will show up the following summer I reckon. Dunno though. Stay safe in that weather.

Hehe! That is funny about the food and I do hope that the roasting went smoothly? Did it end up being a tasty bird? Yum!

The Green Wizards meetup is here tomorrow, so hopefully it will be a good event. The weather is looking good so far in the forecast.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Oh no! What a total cooking disaster. Fair enough about converting it into a frozen dessert though, that makes sense.

Yes, the ongoing crapification is continuing. Can you get a new element for your oven installed in time? Probably not. If it make you feel any better my weather station packed it in the other day and despite serious surgery on the outside remote unit, I now have no accurate reading of the outside temperature. Fortunately, that can be remedied by a walk, but I hadn't realised just how much I use that weather station readout...

Thank you and a second tomato seedling germinated today. Fingers crossed for some warmer weather. I had an email from a nearby orchard and they too are having uncertainty and troubles this year too. Alas for the poor apricot harvest. It is not going to be good, and the dozen or so fruit here will not sustain my breakfasts for very long.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

Good luck with the Green Wizards meetup. Survived Thanksgiving dinner which was small for us - only ten. However I have six overnight and now it's time to prep breakfast. Today is the opening day for the christmas tree farm across the road. I've already picked my tree and will walk over with my granddaughters. They have horse drawn wagon rides, farm animals and the like. Funny to watch people coming in their fancy boots to get them all full of mud. We've had a bit of rain the last few days and it's not below freezing so it should get messy.

Margaret

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Thanksgiving was lovely - weather and, umm, food. This was not actually a case of crapification. My stove is 25 years old and has been used constantly since Day One. It was the cheapest on the market at the time, but apparently GE did a good job with this one. The part has been ordered. No-one wanted to venture out on Black Thursday or Black Friday to try and find a part locally - if someone carries 25 year old oven parts here. I'll just do like I do in summer and cook only on top of the stove.

That's a shame about your weather station. My "weather station" is a thermometer, but I surely would feel strange if I couldn't check it.

No - a dozen apricots will not go very far. The dogs will just have to eat something else . . .

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, we made it through Thanksgiving without loosing either water or power. The weather here was not only feral, but also nasty and ghastly. High winds and driving rain, all day long. Still pretty cloudy, but I even spotted a few patches of blue.
Beau is back at his command post on the back deck :-).

The meal turned out well. I showed remarkable restraint and only had one serving of everything. Even caught a nap before I went to the meeting and didn't wake up feeling sluggish, loagy and slightly poisoned. Poultry (and fish for that matter) always makes me a little nervous over the doneness issue. But the little thingy popped out of the turkey (and, this being a family blog, I won't say how I refer to that!) and the breast temperature was 180. What I forget, from year to year, is how really ... bland turkey is. Now that I've got a couple of straightforward turkeys under my belt (so to speak) next year I'll try some tweaks for more flavor.

It was quit a wild ride to the meeting. In one place, the water was just a few inches from the road from a flooded field. I really wondered what kind of a turnout we'd have, given the weather and holiday. I thought it just might be me and the woman (Mom) who opens the building and makes the coffee. But, about 15 turned out. Holidays are rough on people in recovery. There's an old AA saw. "What do you need for an AA meeting? Two drunks and a coffee pot." :-). Mom brought pumpkin pies and home made whipped cream. Filling and crust were better than mine. Oh, well. Practice, practice, practice.

Chowders are pretty popular here. There's always a big debate on which is more "authentic." New England clam chowder (milk based) or Manhattan clam chowder (tomato based.) I prefer the New England. I've made corn chowder and quit like it. THE best chowder I've ever had was in a little coastal town. Just about everything was closed up for the season, except one little cafe. That was years ago and I can still remember how good it was. Hmmm. I wonder what a chowder with solid white pack tuna would taste like?

Most people here, especially in isolated areas try and have two forms of heat. My stove and heat are electric. I do have a propane heat back up. But, we're close enough to town that our outages are usually only 3 or 4 hours. The last outage was because they were working on a transformer at a substation and the second one went down. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Speaking of zombies, I guess the "Walking Dead" tv series' viewer numbers are plunging. Jumped the shark? Probably due to the escalating gratuitous violence I mentioned and I guess they bumped off a couple of beloved characters. While my turkey was baking I watched the last two episodes of season eleven of "Supernatural." Per usual, this seasons apocalyptic end of the world was averted, the brothers are still alive and God and his sister were reconciled restoring the balance between light and darkness.

I have yet to find the log off button for Amazon. The closest I've come is "Not your account?" EBay's is in a pretty easy to find drop down menu. In both cases, I've learned to turn on my private browsing when visiting those two sites. Otherwise, I'm inundated with "suggestions", "tailored to my needs", "for my convenience." No. I'll make up my own mind, thank you.

I hope your open house is a success and that you have a lovely time with like minded people. I'm rooting for your tomatoes. Go little seedlings!!! Just a few plants can become a jungle with a bumper crop.

Well, what to eat? So many choices in the fridge. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

PS: Darn. Knew there was something else. It's nice ADR finally got off the election band wagon. I know we were there due to "popular demand." But still. When I saw this weeks topic was free trade ... well, I was under inspired. But then I started getting into the comments and responses.

One thing I thought about was that someone mentioned (just sort of tossed off, like it was easy) that industries can sue for damages, due to damage done by offshoring, etc. About a year ago, I read a book ("Company Man?") which was about the smaller furniture factories in the South. One attempted (and, if I remember right, did finally get some compensation) to get some restitution. The problem is, you need to get a certain percentage of other's in your industry to also file. Not easy, when a lot of the other companies were happy with closing factories, laying off workers and bringing in cheap Chinese goods. Many lawyers and government agencies are involved. It's protracted and expensive. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Thank you for asking! The meet up was very good and we had a lively conversation and the editor and I served up some tasty food. I really enjoy opening the farm and showing people around and the blog is a bit like that too.

Ha! Very amusing, but of course ten probably is small for you and glad to read that you all survived. Did you roast a turkey? And did it taste good? Yum! And the question that springs to mind is: Are roast turkey and cheese toasted sandwiches on the menu for breakfast? I reckon they'd be pretty tasty.

Your Christmas tree farm adventure sounds lovely and the horse drawn wagons would be a lot of fun too. Are your Christmas trees Pinus Radiata (Monterey Pine)? Which is what they traditionally use down here. They sure do smell nice.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Glad to read that you had a nice Thanksgiving and of course the woes with the oven are tough when a large turkey is required to be roasted. You know, 25 years for an electric oven is pretty good all things considered. And if it is repairable then that is even better!

I wasn't aware that Black Thursday and Black Friday were a US shopping cultural thing. It is interesting, but I have seen advertisements for those days and I just didn't understand what it was all about and where it had originated. Thanks!

Oh yeah, I've got a little red alcohol based "Made in Australia" glass thermometer for when the power eventually disappears, but until then I have a now not so secret confession: I'm a total weather nerd. There, I feel much better having said that and nothing else helps feed a rural conversation like a digital weather station and the lines: How's your father and it sure has rained a lot lately... :-)!

Yes, the poor dogs! I'm wondering what other fruit I'll preserve this year if the apricot harvest is really that bad... The next month or so of weather should seal that fate. Incidentally, how's your father and it sure has rained a lot lately! Hehe!!!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

I do hope that in all of the strong winds and driving rain that poor hard done by Beau got some juicy chunks of turkey? It is only fair after all - as payment for all of the watch dog duties of course!

Thank you for your descriptive restraint! There seem to be endless ways of saying things without actually saying them... ;-)! You did well with the restraint, the force is strong with you. Did many people turn up for the meeting? Yeah poultry can be a mixed bag in the taste department, it kind of depends on what the bird ate as to the complexity of the flavour and of course also the amount of exercise the bird managed as to the texture of the meat. It is a complex matter. Out of curiosity, what sort of tweaks are you considering for the next roasting?

You know that makes a strange sort of sense about how many people turned out to the meeting and I've observed that holidays are rough on many people. Being a bit of an orphan I hear you about that too, but take most things in my stride.

Speaking of meetings the Green Wizards meet-up here today went really well. We walked about the place and spoke about all of the different things here. They even poked their heads into the not so scary worm farm sewage system - it doesn't really smell like you think it would. They asked a huge amount of quality questions and then we all retired inside to the warmth of the wood fire and the dinner table to enjoy a quality feed and a lively chat. It really was a whole lot of good fun and they are great people whom I feel happy to know. And most of them caught the country train up here - not that it is that far out of Melbourne by train (under an hour easily).

Yeah, I'm totally with you in this regard as the New England clam chowder sounds ideal to me. Tomatoes form a large part of the diet over summer, so... Corn chowder is excellent too and not that dissimilar from the New England clam chowder. Yum! You got very lucky to have enjoyed the work of professionals who had the time to prepare the chowder with extra care and attention as they weren't rushed. Of course, the unexpected nature of the surprise and excellent dish adds a certain - vibe, feeling? Not sure - but there is something in that don't you reckon?

Fair enough and that makes total sense. I only have the wood heater for heat (although there is solar for the hot water which I could divert into the radiators at a pinch). The reason I ask is that I have been considering an alternative heating fuel source just in case. Dunno. At least the black out for your power didn't last too long.

Can zombies even be impacted by sharks? Like if a zombie lost it's arm to a shark would it matter, and would the shark then have problems? Maybe like shark-nado, there could be a film: shark-zom. Hey, you heard it here first! Hehe!!! Killing off well loved characters can be a risky business - mind you George RR Martin doesn't seem to worry about that one...

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

What no log off button? That almost sounds like a scene out of Dante's Inferno! Thanks for the timely reminder about private browsing as I haven't yet installed ad-muncher... Not that I've travelled anywhere on the interweb. Oh yeah, it is a bit creepy that some server somewhere who knows where knows what you are buying online. On the other hand I haven't been inundated with suggestions for replacement weather stations yet? The new computer is stupidly fast - I just don't need that level of grunt. I wonder if the manufacturers even took that into consideration? Dunno. Probably not though.

Thank you on both counts and there are now two tiny little tomato seedlings. But wow, this spring here has been cold as and you wouldn't know that we are only a few weeks out from summer. Mind you this season is better than the alternative end of that continuum.

Hmmm, yes, I am quite interested in the economics of the situation - and that professions complete lack of interest in the historical parallels. That is very telling don't you think? I'm hoping to delve into the comments over the next few days, but tomorrow night I shall write, I reckon? Dunno. I'm certainly sick of reinstalling software...

You know the legal process is not a justice system, but I feel that it is an administrative system that seeks to benefit itself. I mean there is an inherent conflict of interest in that system because the more Byzantine they make it, the more fees they all get... It is not a good look, and the whole system is beyond the reach of the likes of you and I. Sorry to say, as it holds much that is of value.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Oh no, that is a leek disaster and I have to confess that I have not heard of anything eating the bulbs of onion family plants (other than ex-Prime Ministers down here - Seriously!). Mice and rats are probably the culprit I reckon too? Did they leave any tell tale scats? Rat scent is quite strong from my experience. The wallabies will consume the green ends of some of the onion family plants here. Out of curiosity, how do you tell when it is best to harvest your onions? Do you grow either white, brown or the red salad onions? I'm a big fan of the Egyptian walking onions as they are almost indestructible.

Ouch. The head gasket is not a problem that can be ignored - the engine either over heats or cooling fluids and oil mix (or cylinder pressure is lost). Yup, that one is a how stopper. Yup banks are not infallible by any means and I'd love to share a very strange story with you about a local bank down here but am unable to do so. Let's just say that it wasn't good for the bank. Strange things go on in banks when bank staff become salespeople and have sales targets to meet is what I reckon. And yes, they hoped for a similar lack of concern on behalf of the customer. Strange days indeed!

It hasn't warmed up here yet, despite the occasional hot day... Is autumn showing in your part of the world yet?

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

We grow brown onions. The only problem with onions is that birds knock them out and one has to keep pushing them back into the soil. I really haven't thought about when we harvest them, we just sort of do it at some point. I am interested in the Egyptian walking onions but haven't found a source. No animal scat by the leeks, but not rats as they would have been more thorough. I have a few untouched leeks left, perhaps the mice got upset stomachs.

I have spoken to bank staff who are very unhappy about the fact that they are given targets for pushing deals onto customers. The medical profession here, is hopelessly entangled with pharmaceutical companies. Oh! The correct cheque has finally arrived 2 weeks after I should have received it.

There are still a lot of leaves on the trees here but we are well into autumn. It is cold enough for winter though. I have my first autumnal views of the sea through the trees.

I got a bit fed up with ADR and the comments. Latest article good though self evident; haven't got to the comments yet.

One of my new neighbours has been pile driving in preparation for his new home; the old one has been pulled down and he and family are living in a caravan that he had pulled onto the site.

Inge

Bukko Boomeranger said...

Thanks for the tour, Chris. For all you North American readers, I can affirm what the author says about his off-the-gridstead being in one of the nicer parts of the Australian bush. I'd say you should spruik the place as an Air B&B (fresh air!) but you wouldn't want to have guests who might suck all your power dry.

P.S. You didn't do justice to the "Prime Minister Eating a Raw Onion" quip. Non-Australians might not be aware of that episode when a (thankfully now former) PM who had the dim-wittedness of George Bush mixed with (half of) the pugnaciousness of Donald T-rump chomped into an onion like it was an apple. WITH THE SKIN ON! Has to be seen to be believed.

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

My father is fine and it has hardly rained since June.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

I totally missed that you were going to have the Green Wizards meet-up at your place, or I would have wished you happy, happy. But it was happy, happy anyway and that's wonderful!

Pam

Artikel Bermutu said...

I saw this blog from permaculture. Thanks for the inspiring story of how to live nicely in this earth.
So organic and so green.
I want to visit your house and your forest, can i?

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - I had further reflections on the turkey. Duh. It really tasted better the second day. Like turkey is supposed to. I think next year I'll bake the turkey the day before. Some tweaks include putting an orange inside the bird ... or, quartering up an apple. You can also loosen the breast skin with a spoon and stuff it with butter ... maybe butter with a little sweat basil?

I'm pretty sure that salmon chowder was made with salmon, fresh off the boat. The little coastal town had a bit of a little fishing fleet.

LOL. I quit enjoy Christmas, these days, being almost an orphan. :-). The only people I have to get anything for are my friends in Idaho. And, that's only because there's just no stopping her from sending me something on my birthday and Christmas. Sigh.

Have you thought about throwing a clouche on those precious little tomato seedlings if the weather turns feral, again? I'm sure you have. I'm glad you're Green Wizards meet up went to well.

Well, judging from the number of zombies staggering around "The Walking Dead" with missing body parts, I doubt a shark ripping off an arm would slow them down. Watching an episode the other night, I did wonder why I don't see any animals. Zombie or otherwise. Oh, wait. There was a non-zombie goat, the other night. Saturday Night Live had a running gag over several seasons. "Land Shark".

I watched "Hunt for the Wilderpeople", last night. Quit enjoyed it. Laughed so hard when Auntie Bella stuck the pig that I fell out of my chair. And, like Queen Victoria, "I am not (easily) amused." My poor friend Scott tells the lamest jokes which I receive with a straight face. He gets quit upset :-). New Zealand is really beautiful. I really like the actor Sam Neill. The kid ... well, if he doesn't do something about all that weight, he's going to have serious problems with his feet. if he doesn't already. Never mind the diabetes and heart disease. When the kid lapsed into occasional child psychology psychobabble, I suspect it was all stuff that had been said to him. And the Child Welfare officer? Now there was a real shark. Lew

Kieran O'Neill said...

Chris, that video is fantastic, and a perfect antidote to all of the political misadventures of the past year! Thank-you!

If you ever felt inclined, it looks like there's a free (in every sense) tool which will line all the photos up to get rid of the slight differences in rotation between shots: http://hugin.sourceforge.net/docs/manual/Align_a_stack_of_photos.html

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

I hadn't realised that the birds would knock the onions out and had assumed that it was the actions of the wallabies in the past - not that they wouldn't do that here. Have you ever wondered why the birds knock the onions out of the soil in your part of the world? They do a lot of scratching and turning of the soil, at a guess? They must be big birds to attempt that trick too. The Egyptian walking onions are named by many different common names and I forget whether I've also heard them described as tree onions. They seem very hardy to all sorts of conditions and the bulbs are very tasty. If you are interested in onions, I've also have bunching onions and they are very prolific and they grow exactly as the name implies. I picked up both of those plants from lovely local people. I agree, rats are more thorough and you can only hope that the mice possibly ended up with upset stomachs. ;-)! At this time of year in your part of the world rodents start shoring up their winter living arrangements.

It is good to read that they comprehend the inherent conflict of interest in providing a service and pushing products to meet arbitrary targets. The banks down here have been in quite a few scandals recently because of such pressures applied on staff. It is nice that you received your cheque.

That sounds lovely having the ocean views through the trees. Of course, your landscape opens up in winter. I enjoyed the ADR this week. Mostly with the politics, being in another country, I should keep my mouth shut. Out of curiosity, I took a Google Street View tour through some of those rust belt towns and the many boarded up commercial buildings in the down town area was quite eye opening. That just is not seen here.

Driving piles into ground that shifts is a good engineering idea. I hope the house is not too monstrously huge? I get quite sick of how big people make their houses these days - and the reliance on debt to fund those expectations makes me feel very uncomfortable indeed.

That caravan is sure going to be cold over the winter. A caravan here over winter would be a real problem, let alone in your part of the world where it is much colder.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Bukko,

Welcome to the discussion!

Bukko, thank you for saying that and for visiting here yesterday. You and the other Green Wizards were exceptionally courteous guests that are welcome back. :-)! Let's hope they don't suck the power dry! hehe!

Thanks for the link, the onion act itself was very strange and hard to explain. It was consuming the skin which was odd. Probably wouldn't do him any harm, but also perhaps he did not know what an onion looked like? He is a very traditional bloke after all.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

I'm very glad to hear that all is well, but the lack of rain is not so good.

As a bit of background to that comment, I used to work with a lady who grew up in the remote bush with her family and she was very fond of that saying. She instead used to say to me: "It's a bit, how's your father" and that was more or less code for a long and involved chat with people who know far too much about you and all of your family, and all of your families history... I tend to treat conversations about the weather with locals in much the same way - thus you have to be onto the weather in order to keep up with the bush telegraph! ;-)! It all makes sense now doesn't it? Hehe!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Thank you and it was a very enjoyable day. It was lovely having all of the people up here for lunch and the conversation over the dinner table was very lively and entertaining.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Artikel,

Thanks for the comment and I'm glad that you are enjoying the blog and video.

I generally open the farm and give tours for people that I know, otherwise people expect a whole lot from me, but don't want to provide anything in return for my time, which is unfortunate. Basically, I would need to get to know who you are.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

This is part two of my reply to your comment that was eaten by blogger. Blogger gets hungry nowadays...

Of course, I bow to your superior knowledge of all things zombie. ;-)! I guess if the shark-zom got the head of a zombie, then the zombie would be done for? Yeah, the state of zombie seems to be a zero sum game, once the zombies turn up on the scene of course. Eventually they would have to turn to farming, you'd think? Was the non-zombie goat consumed? The goat was probably having a good old time of it all as nobody would be mowing the grass or fencing the trees. Just sayin... Really, oh well, other people have been there first with the shark joke. I've never seen Saturday night live, but I understand that it is a big deal for comedians.

Hehe! Yup, it was a very enjoyable film wasn't it? And I'm very glad that you enjoyed it too. Auntie Bella was a handy sort on a farm for sure and yeah that scene really stood out. There was a lot of deadpan and very dry humour in the film too. The obsessive compulsive child care officer was at one stage interviewed on a fluff television show and I can't quite recall whether she said: "No child left unharmed"! Seriously, it was very funny. The character Pyscho Sam was quite amusing too - he was one of the two Flight of the Conchord guys which is a show about a couple of New Zealand guys in a band in New York who are way down on their luck. New Zealand is beautiful and very green and the scenery is just stunning. In the south island you can be on the west coast looking at what looks like sub tropical vegetation, have the ocean on one side (guess which! hehe!) and have snow capped mountains in the far distance. It is spectacular country. Sam Neil is a good actor too, no doubts about it. He sure looked rough in the film. The dialogue in the film was pretty smart too. It has been enormously successful that film. The kid will be OK, of that I have no doubts. I expect that we may have peaked in terms of life spans for humans, but that is just a guess. I saw the first article the other day which reported that recent research by reputable researchers was now starting to show that there are significant risks for children born using IVF technology and having older fathers. With benefits, come costs. ;-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Amazingly, I was able to recover the first part of the reply. Perhaps blogger overheard me slagging it off?

Really? But of course many foods taste better the second day don't they? Like mildly fermented three bean salads which taste awful the first day. Hmmm, I'd personally go the apple over the orange. Hey, do you cook stuffing in the turkey? Down here we usually do for chicken, but what with a turkey being such a big bird, you'd kind of have to use a lot of stuffing? I like the butter idea and the sweet basil. Unfortunately basil would be a bit out of season in your part of the world. It is a real summer green down here and is quite finnicky and needs a lot of water, but also heat at the same time.

Stop teasing me with all this talk of fresh salmon off the boat and fresh New England sea food chowders. :-)! Just kidding, it sounds superb! They farm a lot of salmon down here usually in giant fish nets out in the ocean. I recall a few years ago when a shark managed to jump into one of the nets. Lets say that the shark feasted for a bit before they managed to get the shark back out of the nets.

In some of the towns along the coast there are commercial fishing boats, but they are in the minority because the waters along the coast are about as fertile as the land that surrounds the ocean. The sharks are hungry.

Yeah I enjoy it too. Family is nice... elsewhere! hehe!!! Well, it probably means a lot to them to buy you the presents?

I thought about putting on a cover over the tomatoes and to be honest, I kind of try to select from the hardiest plant specimens so that the plant genetics here get used to the conditions. It is a risky strategy to be sure, but I sort of feel that if the conditions this year have happened once, they'll recur in the future and so the plants have to be able to deal with those conditions. There is a story in there... Hmmm... Mollycoddling is one of the things that I don't really do with the plants here.

Thanks! The Green Wizards visit did go well and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. It is hard to get more than a glimpse of the underlying complexity of this place in a short visit, but the assembled Wizards (are they technically: Wizardren? I have no idea what that word means) were onto most of it and they asked dozens of interesting questions. The discussions were very lively and we also enjoy feeding people. :-)!

cont (but above this time).

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Kieran,

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you and glad to be of service!

Oh thanks again for the suggestion as that would make it easier for people to watch. I'll check it out as time allows.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I don't think that it is large birds that knock the onions out, it seems to be the result of the usual scrabbling around but I admit that I haven't seen it happen.

The neighbour is building a ludicrously large home quite inappropriate for its setting which just shows where knowing the right people can get you. Yes, caravans are not really suitable for the winter here but he has got a wood stove in this one.

I shall be without a computer for a few days from Monday.

@Bukko

I enjoyed the onion eating, it was really weird.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Yeah, at one point almost half the store fronts in Centralia were empty. Judging from my unscientific survey of a four block run of the main drag. Seems a bit better, now. Chehalis, which has a smaller downtown, seemed to do a bit better. But there are pockets of empty commercial buildings. Several large buildings scattered about that are empty. They were feed stores and lumberyards, etc. Anytime a new business opens, I think to myself "Doomed ... doomed..."

Well, the goat was owned by a kind of hermit, so, the zombie feast was interrupted in no uncertain terms. The goat didn't turn, but I may have missed a scene where the goat was neutralized. Spotted a cow in a background shot. But the whole animal question? Dunno. LOL. I'm sure the question is thoroughly hashed out, ad nauseam on the fan boards, where I don't go.

The whole "No child left behind" that the social worker kept banging on about is, I regret to say, an American import. Some vague concept that came out of the educational system. Sounds good, doesn't it? Kind of like vapor ware. :-). Psycho Sam was a great character. I watched a couple of episodes of "Flight of the Concords", years ago. It just didn't "click."

Apples in a turkey would probably be pretty good. But I wondered if you'd end up with apple mush in the bottom of the cavity? Hmmm. I just had an idea if I mixed softened butter with basil and garlic ... freeze the butter mix ... then hack it into small pieces and stuff it under the skin? I dried up quit a bit of basil and it's still quit potent. I have it in a covered canister. As it's one of my favorite herbs, I throw a bit in quit a few things I make. Or, sprinkle it on the top.

My friend in Idaho was all in a tizzy over ... well, not sending me "things" that would have to be moved. I told her that I'd be quit happy with anything I could stuff in my mouth. Dark chocolate preferred, but I certainly wasn't going to toss milk chocolate :-). I did tell her a few years ago to lay off the stuffed bears ...

I still have a few apples coming off the trees. The deer seem to make nightly rounds looking for a bit of good, sweat tucker. Last night, Nell was stalking one across the yard. Which was quit a scene. Crouching behind a downed branch ... slipping silently under my truck. I keep hoping she'll leap on the back of one. Or, drop from one of the apple trees, which she enjoys climbing. That would be funny. I'm sure she'd get bucked off, but as she lands on her feet, probably no harm done.

I'm going to start freezing up the turkey, today. Oh! Stuffing. Well, mom and grannie always stuffed their birds, but I did a little research into it and these days, that can be a bit dangerous. There's more and stronger "bugs" around. So, I do a stove top / micro wave version. I make it while the turkey is cooling. I mix in pan drippings and hack a bit of meat off the bird to mix in. Here they have big packages of cubed dry bread, quit cheap. It comes with a little spice packet with a perfect blend of sage and thyme. Can't have stuffing without sage :-). Lew

Bukko Boomeranger said...

"@Bukko

I enjoyed the onion eating, it was really weird.

Inge"


It was the bloke's momentary facial expression that put it over the top for me. When he bit into it, there was a flash of "Uh-oh -- something's not right here." But he ploughed ahead anyway and kept chomping, because that's our Tony! Never admit a mistake, even when it's obvious, like biting into an onion with the skin on. Doing anything less than plunging full speed ahead is a sign of weakness, and he couldn't show any of that! Until his own political faction spilled him out of the Prime Ministership for being an obnoxious twerp.

Mind you, the "hard man" vibe sometimes stood him in good stead. One of my fellow psych nurses tells a story of what happened several years ago when Tony visited a prison for people who are mentally ill in the Melbourne area. This was before he became Prime Minister, but he was still a well-known figure in the Australian government. One of the inmates, a monstrous psychopath who stabbed a 17-year-old girl to death in a random night attack when she was jogging through a creekside park last year, was incarcerated for another offence at the time. He walked up to Abbot and out of the blue, cold-cocked him. Tony reeled from the blow, but he had been a boxer, so he squared right off to his fighting stance instead of letting his security detail handle it. I'll give him credit for being a tough nut, but arsehole is arsehole.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Really? OK. The virtual street tour was very eye opening. Glad to read that things are a bit better now. Large and empty commercial buildings are quite disturbing in a down town area. You know, I was thinking about your reply today and down here that doesn't happen much because large populations and cities never really became established in the first place down here. There are a few large inland towns - Ballarat for one example which you are familiar with. But mostly the population hugs the coastline - and even then it is generally concentrated in large cities. It makes you wonder why that is the case. Certainly the availability of water is a real problem in rural areas. I reckon you are right about the doomed bit, as there are so many costs in running a small business and retail is tough, no doubts about that. There have been many recent scandals down here about underpayment and over work of students who are on restricted visa's which limit them to 20 hours of paid work per week. Because they are working greater than 20 hours per week at well below minimum wages, they face deportation, or threats of deportation if they make any complaints. I actually thought that we were better than that - and it is usually very large corporates behind it all, not the little mums and dads businesses. Shame on them.

Sorry to go all Monty Phyton on you, but we could kind of imagine the Juniper bush stoning scene from the Life of Brian and imagine zombies eating the juniper bush instead? Hey, that's my juniper bush... Sorry...

Fair enough, fan boards can be a little bit scary - what with the true believers and all. Nice to see that the cows survived the zombie apocalypse. Blessed are the cows... Sorry for the Monty Python reference... Look, you started it!!! Hehe!

They used that choice bit of rhetoric down here too. Certainly it sounds good doesn't it and it also implies that some kids are left behind. Of course, some kids are left behind. It is just that the policy wasn't referring to those kids.

Yeah, there is a bit of good and bad in Flight of the Conchords, and I really struggle with musicals of any variety. The Blues Brothers and perhaps also the Commitments was about the very limit of what I can take. I went to see Andrew Strong when he toured down here, it must have been in the very early 90's. Great voice - very strong.

The herb butter sounds like the best bet to me. Really? No way. You know it is funny, but the feed bags of chicken food I get have labelled on them "No antibiotics contained" or something like that. And really, for them to have to print that on the bag is a bit disturbing. What did they say in Food Inc. All you have to do is cook the meat (a favourite quote!). It is a bit of a worry.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Stuffed bears! Oh well, I mean what do you say to that gift? Dunno. When I was young my grandmother used to give me cotton handkerchiefs for Christmas and birthdays and that is a really rubbish present. (I recall we have had this conversation before? Maybe?). Anyway, I could never work out whether she reckoned I was snotty or something like that. As a kid, a mate of mine used to be nicknamed "Spotty", but he was rather snotty until he had his adenoids removed and then it all cleared up. Absolutely epic snots can create a lasting impression. I'm with you about the dark chocolate. Excellent choice. I tried white chocolate in some Anzac biscuits a few weeks back and it was quite disappointing to say the least - and it actually tasted a bit weird. The dogs weren't fussed so it wasn't poisonous, I guess!

How funny would that be. Go Nell! It would be a scene like one of those mechanical bulls. My money would be on Nell going the distance. of course using claws is perhaps cheating a little bit don't you think?

Hey! Oh no! The tomato seedlings disappeared last night and I spotted slaters at the scene of the crime. Hmm, I'm going to have to do some research but it doesn't look good. Do you get slaters?

The stove top / microwave version sounds quite tasty to me. Yum!

Speaking of sage and thyme, have you ever tried dumplings in a stew? A very English dish which used to be served to me as a kid, but you don't see it anywhere now. It was very tasty.

Hope you enjoyed the Eastern Rosella? Some birds are just complete show offs!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Bukko,

Yeah I reckon you are spot on the money with that observation about our Tony. He knew how to brawl that guy, but unfortunately that seemed to be the only tool in his toolbox. I often reckon he is like the little kid that acts as if he is a hammer and everything around him is a nail. I've met people like that and they tire me out.

Hey, just as a little bit of administration. You know I swear and I know you swear, but I get a lot of readers here from all walks of life and ages, and so I followed the Archdruid's sensible policy of no profanity. I write paid articles for other publications from time to time too and the editors can get a bit weirded out if they turn up to check out the blog here and we are all having a major case of potty mouth explosions. Hehe! Anyway you could say he is a tool, or perhaps use Latin? Anyway there are plenty of options, get inventive!

Cheers

Chris