Monday, 21 July 2014

Cool for wombats

Winter weather conditions remain sub-optimal for wombats

 – which roughly translates into continuing wet weather with even a brief snow shower.

That doesn’t mean that work stops at the farm here, even if the excavations for the new water tanks have had to be abandoned for the time being.

In the past few days the chicken enclosure had about 0.5 cubic metre (17.6 cubic feet) of deep litter removed. This material was then spread about the orchard. After that material was spread, a similar amount of clean composted woody mulch was placed into the chicken enclosure for the chooks to scratch around in.

For those that know their soil stuff: composted woody mulch is high in carbon; and chicken manure is very high in nitrogen and phosphate. Add the two materials together, get the chickens to turn it over for a few weeks and you have a soil that you could grow almost anything in. The added benefit to this system is that any grains that were uneaten by the chickens produce edible sprouts both before and after removal from the chicken enclosure. Wheat, Oats and Lucerne can turn up growing in the most unexpected locations in the orchard!

The chicken enclosure and hen house were built many years ago and I made a bit of an error in the process. The error is that the chicken enclosure was built uphill of the hen house, when it should have been the other way around. It doesn’t sound like much of a problem, but the chickens scratch in the deep litter in their enclosure and in that process move the material downhill towards the hen house. I then have to regularly move the deep litter material back uphill and away from the hen house. It does aerate that material though.
I know when to remove the deep litter material from the chicken enclosure when it starts to look a bit sludgy and/or may also possibly produce a smell. Your nose is the best guide as to when to clean the chicken enclosure. Generally the hen house and the enclosure here have a reasonably neutral smell.

The dry used bedding for the chickens is spread onto the concrete floor of the hen house during the winter months and it gives the chooks something to scratch around in on cold wet, windy days when they’d prefer to be inside their hen house rather than outside in the enclosure.
Last week I scored some - get these plants out of our sight – cheap strawberry runners and a new variety of hazelnut shrub. The remaining 0.5 cubic metre (17.6 cubic feet) of composted woody mulch brought onto the farm that wasn’t used in the chicken enclosure was used to establish the new strawberry bed and provide food for the hazelnut shrub. Generally I plant new trees directly into composted woody mulch mixed with the local clay/volcanic loam and it has worked well here for many years.

Speaking of trees, spring has arrived early here. You’ll notice that in the photo of the hazelnut shrub, there are green shoots with new leaves. This is about 3 to 6 weeks early and I can only put this down to the warm winter days and nights. Other plants are also indicating an early spring too and this photo is of a plum of the santa rosa variety:

I have no idea what this means for future seasons, but people I speak with further north than here are experiencing rainfall of up to half their normal average. (Remember that in the southern hemisphere heading north is the equivalent of heading south in the northern hemisphere).

This afternoon, I undertook a bit of a research field trip to find the biggest farm dam (pond) in the area that does not hold water. The results are in, and this photo tells an interesting story about water storage here:

It is an impressive bit of engineering, but it doesn't hold water. A local earth moving guy that worked during construction of the house here told me that he wouldn’t take my money to build a dam (pond) at this location because the soil did not hold water above the ground level. It was good advice and he was correct.

Yet where does all of the rainfall here go? The simple answer is that it ends up in the ground water table at this elevation in the mountain range, only to reappear on the elevated plains below much later as a running creek which drains into the local river.

Water does not flow through the ground quickly at all and it may take several years for water in the soil to move from one location to a distant area. Also, all trees require water in order to survive periods of drought, so the trick in these sorts of locations (and with most natural grasslands and forests) is to store as much rainwater in the ground water table as possible. Setting up systems on your farm to achieve this outcome is the simplest way to drought proof a farm.

I may have mentioned before that I do not (or try not to) till the soil here. The reason for this is that the farm is located on the side of a hill and tilled soil tends to run downhill with the water during heavy rainfall. The root systems of the vegetation slow this erosion process. Also the other problem is that the sun here tends to kill the soil life where it has no plant material (dead or otherwise) to protect it from that solar radiation.
When there is exposed or compacted (i.e. squashed) soil here, rainfall tends to run across it on the surface, whilst everywhere else rainfall infiltrates the soil. A good example of compacted soil here is a road. Rainfall will collect on the road and run along its surface.

Say, you have 400m (437 yards) of road which is uphill of your farm. That road may also be about 5m (5.5 yards) wide. That equals a rainfall catchment area of 400m x 5m = 2,000 square metres (2,187 square yards). If you wanted, you could direct all of that rainfall catchment onto your farm. So for every 1mm (1/25 inch) of rainfall you could potentially collect 2,000 litres of water (528.3 gallons). Imagine how that quickly multiplies for every additional mm or inch of rain received!

So how do you get all of that running water into the ground water table for later use over the summer? The answer is provided by the permaculturalists who are always banging on about swales.

A swale is simply a leaky dam (pond) or drainage channel. Yes, it is that simple. Put water into a leaky dam and it will slowly infiltrate into the ground water table. Given that once the water is in the ground water table it only moves very slowly across the landscape, it will hopefully be available for your more established deep rooted plants during the summer. Other than that, it will ensure that the ground water table that you use for your well is not being depleted through over extraction. This is exactly how a swamp works. It collects ground water and then recharges the ground water table.

The swale here which collects water from the road, delivers it under my driveway via a large concrete pipe. It then infiltrates all of that water into the ground at the very top of the orchard. The swale looks like this:

It is most unimpressive engineering, but simply works. As a fun fact, baby wombat uses that large pipe as a wombat highway and I often seen her climbing down into it at night.

Swales can also collect the rainfall from the internal farm roads, paths which are usually compacted and also any overflows from the household storage tanks too (they overflow when they are full):

Many people believe that swales have to be major earthworks, but this is incorrect. They can be as simple as a large pit of mulch which you direct water into. I have one of these next to the citrus trees and it ensures that I never have to water them, regardless of the heat or lack of rainfall:

Next week, I’ll include the farm plan and you will be able to get a feel for where these different systems are installed.

In breaking egg news (sorry, bad joke alert!) the chooks laid 4 eggs today!

Also, I captured a photo the other night of Fatso the house wombat cruising the herbage. Enjoy!

The temperature outside here at about 8pm is 3.5 degrees Celsius (38.3 F) and so far this year there has been 495.4mm (19.5 inches) of rainfall which is up from last week’s total of 474.6mm (18.7 inches).


LewisLucanBooks said...

So much to remember about Australia! I'd just about gotten it through my head that our winter is you're summer, there. And now, your north is our south. Makes sense. When you move north in Australia, you're moving toward the equator.

Kind of reminds me of my brief stint in S. California. Because of a funny bulge in the California coast, what "feels" like north and south is really east and west.

Interesting things on you're blog this week. Water retention, chicken management. I feel so overwhelmed, at times.

Task for this week. Move some Cinnabar moth worms around. We have a weed here called the Tansy Ragwort. Bad for cattle. It has one major biological control. Cinnabar moths. Which aren't native to this area.

About 25 years ago, my landlord/friend drove down to Oregon and brought back some Cinnabar moths. They have been helpful in Tansy control. But, their numbers seem to be dwindling. So, if I find a Tansy bush with some little worms on it, I move a few to another Tansy bush. Spread them around a bit to increase their chances of survival. It's a vey delicate process involving an envelope and a toothpick. My contribution to bio-diversity.
There's also another worm/moth around, Spruce Bud Worm that hits the Tansy, hard. Haven't seen any of them. But they can also injure forest trees. Cinnabar moths stick just to Tansy.

One of my (many) goals for next year is to plant a Strawberry bed. The one I've been raiding will probably be completely overgrown by next year, or, belong to someone else. I may not have access. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis. Yeah, it's completely upside down here - or maybe it’s your part of the world that is upside down. hehe!

On a serious note and just to add further confusion to your observation, when you travel either north and south of this location and descend out of the mountains it gets warmer.

Funny bulges sticking out into the ocean can have really weird micro-climates. Where is this bulge?

You're in good company then. Sometimes all of the systems here are a bit complex for me too! I change one thing on a particular system and something else fails or requires correction. It is a constant challenge.

A good example is that I recently upgraded a water pump so that it runs a bushfire sprinkler and some taps with a bit more pressure. However, the pump draws more energy than the previous pump to do this feat, so the battery that powers that system started getting depleted during the depths of winter. So, I had to upgrade the solar panel today that provides the energy for that battery otherwise it would run flat which would potentially damage it and shorten its lifespan. And so it goes...

Sometimes, the complexity does my head in, but you just have to give it your best. It's all you can do really?

Ragwort is a weed here too. I've read that some people are allergic to that plant.

It is a very clever idea using biological controls for the plant and an excellent contribution to bio-diversity. Tidy work and good observation.

You didn't hear this from me, but a shovel might not be a bad idea to remove some of the strawberry runners from the existing strawberry patch - especially whilst you still have access to it. Remember though that I didn't suggest that...

Actually the lovely ladies in the local seed savers group already think I'm a bit dodgy because I happened to mention once that I was all too happy to collect cuttings of plants from gardens in Melbourne. Hey, if it's hanging over the fence, its fair game I reckon. I've been encouraging them recently to swap plant material and seeds and it seems to be getting some traction.

Cheers. Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

The bulge in the S. California coast is around LA / Orange County. Not so much a bulge, really. The coast runs SE and then makes a more sharp bend to the East.

I suppose it all relates to how the roads were laid out "back in the day." You see an example of this in Seattle. There were originally three large land claims. Around a bit of a bay. Each land owner laid out his streets parallel to the bay. So, you have weird street match ups in a couple of areas. Around Yesler Way and over by the Seattle Center / Space Needle. (One of the loveliest things I remember when I lived in Seattle - a cousin had come to visit and we went up in the Space Needle at night. And then, it started to snow. We stood there for what seemed like hours, watching it come down ... filling up the streets. Reflecting the lights.)

I did a (very) informal census of the Cinnabar worms, yesterday. I'd say 1/4 or slightly fewer plants have them. I did a bit of moving around. Need to do more.

I had the basics of the lifecycle, but got on line last night to learn more. The voracious little buggers will wipe out a plant and may starve to death or start cannibalizing each other. They don't really move from plant to plant. So, all the more reason to move some from plant to plant. Also, I discovered that snipping off a small branch loaded with worms and moving the whole thing is a lot less fiddley than working with an envelope and toothpick. Probably less apt to damage the worms.

When I was rummaging around the Net, I noticed a reference to Cinnabar moths at a butterfly park in New Zealand. Te Puna Quarry park. Someone actually got some worms from there and raised them.

I thought about moving some strawberry plants over. But, I'm so damned neurotic I want to know the varieties of anything I plant. I've spent what seemed like hours looking at "blue flowers" on Google images trying to identify some plant. Maybe it won't be such a trauma if I take the Master Gardeners classes :-).

Had a big fat possum on the front porch, last night. Seems to be a lot of them around this year. I was so startled I just watched him waddle off. Might have to keep my shovel handy. :-) . Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis. Thanks for the info. You've got to love developers.

Thanks for sharing the memory. The space needle looks almost like the mother ship has landed on a spire in the middle of Seattle. Could you feel the structure moving around at all?

A massive bridge here called the West Gate Bridge - which incidentally fell down during construction killing dozens of people - bounces around unnervingly when I have used it. It may be superstitious, but I actually actively avoid the bridge.

The streets here were laid out by a surveyor (Robert Hoddle) so everything in the older part of town runs north south and east west. You sort of get used to it and traveling to other cities becomes an exercise in getting lost!

I looked up the Cinnabar worms and was wondering whether they are glow worms? Do you see the moths around much? They may require a different food altogether? Dunno.

Speaking of insects, I've decided that there is too much going on here to start a new bee colony again this year. A mate of mine is learning how to catch a swarm, so hopefully he may provide me with a replacement colony in a year or so.

No worries, I fully understand about the strawberries. Some of the runners here produce so-so berries.

Can you post a picture of the blue flowered plant; maybe I can ask one of the seed saver people here to have a look. During the last garden visit, they were all too happy to point out the various species and correct me. Hehe! Oh well.

Are your possums marsupials?

I spent today building another steel frame for a couple of extra solar panels so I'm a bit tired. Steel work is complex and I have to make sure the thing is anchored well enough that it doesn't fall over or blow over in the wind (it's like a big sail!)



Les said...

Hi Chris,

Oops, commented on wrong post before, maybe it will make more sense attached to this one...

Mulch filled swales, is that all there is to it? Ya crafty bugger...

How long since you constructed/filled them? Did you let them digest some of the mulch before you planted trees? How much time between build/fill and planting?

Love that fancy dam. I guess the owners could build a house in the middle and fill the moat with broken glass to protect themselves against the zombie apocalypse. More seriously, I’m surprised they didn’t bung a plastic liner under it to get it to hold water (after all, they must have more money than sense…)

As for the chooks – yeah, I have to get a deep litter system going again. Cleaning out chook poo three times a week is getting very old. And ain’t it grand when the chooks get laying again? We celebrated four eggs a couple of days ago too!

And we are also getting five litres of milk a day from the newly installed house cow (not that we were ready for that, but when the offer comes, you don’t say “not ready yet”, as they usually won’t offer again).

And on top of that, we’ve 107 heritage fruit trees to plant out – a result of having Peter Allen (Pete the Permie) running a fruit tree workshop here the weekend before last. All holes dug & 39 trees planted so far, courtesy of fossil fuels and a decent post hole digger.
Thinking about putting a swale above the new orchard, in order to improve soil water retention further. If we put one in three hundred drainage ditches at either end of the swale around the ridge to the head of the gullies either side, we may even get a decent bit of water in there.

Anyways, thanks for the posts – we very much appreciate your attempts to show what you’re up to. Always gives me something else to think about.


PS: still envying you your rain. We’ve managed a whopping 0.5mm so far in July. Grrr.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris; No, you can't really feel the Space Needle move. I think it makes one revolution an hour.

We had a bridge here, halfway between Chehalis and Seattle called the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Also called, Galloping Gertie :-). It was opened in July of 1940 and collapsed in November of 1940. No lose of life. There's some spectacular footage on Wikipedia (and, probably YouTube.

Nope, our Cinnabar worms don't glow. No such luck.

The blue flowers turned out to be Forget-Me_Nots and Love in the Mist. There was a purple mystery that turned out to be Squarrose Knap Weed. An ugly name for a pretty flower. The mysteries growing beside my back porch were Wild Geranium. I usually run them down, sooner or later. :-).

Well, I learn something new, everyday. Apparently, you have Possums and we have Opossums. But our Opossums are called Possums in the S. US :-). Yes, our Opossums are Marsupials.

What's interesting is that they are not native to the Pacific Northwest. The story goes that back in the 1930s, in a CCC camp (Civilian Conservation Corp) down around Eugene, Oregon, some Southern boys were so homesick that they brought up a few Possums as pets. Well, some got loose. From those few, they now overrun the Pacific Northwest. When I was a kid, in the 1950s, they had not moved north of the Columbia River. They sure have now..

My Dad was in the CCC. Mostly in North and South Dakota, building parks and game preserves. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Les, Lewis and Klark,

Thanks for the excellent comments, I'm really enjoying the dialogue, ideas and story swapping. I've had to travel into the big smoke to pick up a couple of solar panels and some steel/aluminium so will respond to all of your comments tomorrow.

Cheers! Chris

Stacey Armstrong said...

Good Morning Chris,

Nice to see some swales in action. I must admit it took me awhile to understand the whole concept of swales...until I realized that every ditch is a swale of sorts. We borrowed a water level from a friend and put four path swales into my main vegetable garden. It has a south/southeast facing slope. I think it has made more of a difference for the fruit trees than the annual beds. I am still working on improving the water retention qualities in my soil. Do you gradually replace the wood chips in the swale pits beside your citrus or empty the swales and start anew?

I took a PDC very soon after we moved here and I am finding that it is taking a long time for Mollison's ideas to seep into my water table!

We are heading into the season of bounty around here which does not leave a lot of time for mulling. I harvested twelve dozen heads of Georgia Fire garlic this week and we are awash in plums. I am head baker around here so it means plum upside down cake etc.

I can confirm that we have possums on Hornby Island just east of here. There is a similar story of a transplant of nostalgia attached to their thriving population. A similar story is told about the broom bushes that live along the edges here. The broom is quite a flashpoint for discussion at times!


Sent from my iPad

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Les. Yeah, that really is all there is to it ;-)! Simple systems are often very effective.

The mulch (once it is moist) brings in the earthworms which in turn de-compacts the soil beneath that mulch pile due to the worms creating pathways and in turn increases the infilitration of rainwater. Plus you'll notice in the photo that there is also lots of borage planted directly into the mulch. The borage has a long tap root and keeps the area shaded, cooler and moister during summer. Comfrey or Lucerne would also be good too, I used what plants I had to hand.

I've been making these sorts of mulch pits here for about 6 years now. That one is about 4 years old. The pipe is 150mm and can flow a decent amount of water during a storm. The mulch has to be topped up occasionally. The swale is full of mulch.

Mulch over a 2 year time span will turn into an amazing black loam which can then grow virtually anything. It does initially rob nitrogen at first which is good for keeping the grass at bay.

Fruit trees here are planted directly into a hole that is back-filled with a mix of mulch and the local clay or volcanic loam. People always tell me to keep mulch away from the trunks of the trees, but I've never noticed that this was a problem (potential collar rot).

The mulch actually encourages a lot of fungal growth and you'll see all sorts of weird and wonderful mushrooms growing in the orchard. There are also native white truffles in the ground which I don't know whether they are edible or not and don't want to suffer renal failure finding out. A bit of a shame really.

I suspect the mulch that I bring in has been composted for about 6 months already plus it has industrial chicken and cow manure added to it in small quantities. The place that makes this stuff is at a landfill in Brooklyn in Melbourne and it is a truly impressive operation. The green material is sourced from green waste council collections...

Yeah, the dam is an impressive bit of engineering. They had an excavator and a grader in there during construction and it swallowed both of them up. It is really deep. It would have been much cheaper for them if they'd asked the locals first. The advanced trees on the island were a nice touch too - not cheap.

Eggslent news (haha!) about your chooks! Yeah, the deep litter mulch system saves a lot of work and keeps the chook enclosure from smelling funky! Plus the soil produced is seriously amazing stuff.

Wow. 5 litres per day of fresh raw milk. I bet it makes a good coffee? Have you thought about butter and ice cream? YUM.

Ahh, Pete the Permie. It really is a small world. He's in a part of the state that you could put a stick in the ground and it would grow! I met him years back at an open day for Petty's Orchard on the banks of the Yarra River. Nice bloke and really good trees. 107 in one year though! What sort of system do you use to keep track of them all? I use aluminium tags, but I probably should prepare a map.

A swale above the orchard is a great idea. Actually it is an excellent idea. The trees may need a bit of watering in their first year - and maybe also their second year - but they should be pretty good after that.

Cheers. Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis. The spire is an impressive bit of engineering. Speaking of which, I'd seen the footage of that bridge - it is a bit of a classic. I particularly enjoyed the guy running towards the camera! It is a good reminder to include a bit of curve into a bridge design!

Ahh. Forget me nots are an indicator of damp locations here. Wow, there are some serious similarities with the plant species growing here and also at your place. They grow where at the location in the forest where I remove the borage from so I have been relocating them to the swale here which is quite damp. They are prolific self seeders.

Geraniums are very hardy here too and there is even a local native variety. They must be the easiest plant to propagate (bang a bit of the plant in the ground)! Glad to hear that you tracked down all of the various species. Plant identification is a lost art. 200 years ago, I've read that the average person had to know the names and uses of around 150 plants. Makes sense when those plants also happen to be your local pharmacy.

The marsupial invasion has arrived! Actually, people relocated possums to New Zealand too and they have caused extensive damage to their forests. There were no natural predators in New Zealand for the possum, so the possums have had a free hand. I saw at a bush food restaurant that possum pie was on the menu and even New Zealand now exports possum fur. A mate of mine is a kiwi over here and he has a possum skin. It is soft and warm.

The owls eat them here (along with the mice, rats and antechinuses) before they all cause any damage to the orchard. It is the same story for the rabbits as they just become eagle and hawk food.

Your dad must have led an interesting life. Those areas are reasonably under populated even today.

Cheers. Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Stacey. Thanks. Swales can be massive or really small like the mulch pit. It's all about getting rainfall into the ground. The details aren't so important.

Yeah. Exactly! All drainage ditches are swales as long as they are on or near contour and slow the movement of water.

That is an excellent observation as that outcome is what I am seeing here too. The fruit trees have deeper root systems so they are better able to access the ground water. The annuals – not so much.

Annuals require watering when their root systems can't reach down into the soil that far.

Yes. The mulch is topped up occasionally around that particular mulch pit, but very little material is added nowadays. That roughly means about once or maybe twice per year. The longer the pit has been established the less material is required to be top dressed. I simply chuck mulch over the top of the existing vegetation in the pit and it grows through the mulch. I just keep a few leaves poking through.

Nice to hear that you are working the soil and improving its water holding qualities.

Haha! Very funny. Yeah, it takes such a long time between learning an idea, implementing it and then tweaking it to make it work better in your local environment. Oh yeah. Today, I added 2 extra solar panels to the electricity system here... I hear you!

Of course, it's summer and you've got garlic. Nice work. Fresh garlic is so much better than shop or market bought stuff. The imported stuff here is sprayed in methyl bromide and tastes like metal to me. It’s not good. I give away a lot of garlic from here and it always brings a smile to people’s faces.

Yeah, people can get a bit funny about all sorts of plants. During summer, broom can sometimes have an allusive coconut smell from the yellow flowers. People get downright strange here about willows and the government pulls them out of the creeks and rivers. Recently I spotted an article saying that the trout anglers are noticing that without the willows the water temperature is higher - as there is less shade - which is causing the trout fingerlings to die. Personally, I would have saved the funds and just left the trees there in the first place. Oh well.

Broom is meant to be nitrogen fixing as it is a pioneer plant for disturbed areas. They eventually die back...

Great to hear from your sunny part of the world!

Cheers. Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

LOL. Well, Forget Me Nots don't particularly indicate wet or damp areas, here. Since everything is wet and damp. Oh, I'm not particularly good at plant ID. I just poke away at the internet until I find an answer. Those wild Geraniums were a puzzle. They don't look anything like what is considered a garden Geranium.

I may be taking a year long Master Gardener course. Offered by one of our universities and the local County Agricultural Extension Agency.

I think possums are just ... nasty. Yeah, I've got a real ick factor going. But, the possibilities of food and fur are something to keep in mind should the decline happen in this area more rapidly. But, it's not a skill I'm going to learn until after the fact. Plenty of other, more pleasant skills to trial run in the meantime :-).

You've referred to "The Big Smoke" several times. I always thought that just applied to London. But, according to good ol' Wikipedia, it applies to several cities, worldwide.

I think the man on the bucking bridge had gone out to retrieve a dog that had got left in a back seat. No loose of life, so I guess the dog made it out, ok.

Yeah, Dad led an interesting life. He passed away two weeks ago. He was around 93. We weren't what I'd call close, but I got to see him a couple of days before he passed. Things were fine between us, but, per usual, nothing much to talk about.

He DID lead an interesting life but never talked about it much. I've just got little bits and pieces. The CCC. He was in the infantry in WWII. North Africa, Italy, Germany. Helped liberate one of the big concentration camps. A Silver Star and two Bronze Stars. But, he just wouldn't talk much about his life. I finally decided that one of the reasons he lived so long is that he never looked back, just looked forward. At the end of his life, he was still mentally sharp, but the last few years, I think he lost a lot of his sense of time.

LOL. Of course, now that I'm "getting up there" and am retired and moved to the Boonies, my sense of time, or the fine points of it, are fading out. My sense of time is getting more ... seasonal. Well, enough bending your ear. You've got stuff to do, I've got stuff to do. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

You are fortunate indeed to have such damp summers as there is lots of water for the plants! I had to laugh about your comment about everywhere being damp... The local native geraniums here are very different too; they're almost like a small mint (or balm).

The course sounds like a good idea as you'll never know what you may just learn.

Possums can wipe out an orchard over a few days - let alone a forest. I'm truly grateful for the work of the owls which like nothing more than eating possum.

A New Zealand comedian Te Radar had a television show where he moved to a tent in a paddock and tried living off the land. He's a funny guy, but very quirky! I might have mentioned that New Zealand (NZ) has no natural predators for the possums (introduced from Australia) and they are eating their forests. If you get a chance, check out this NZ comedian's eccentric take on possum fur: Te Radar's erotic possum fur blanket

The comedian is a lawyer, but found that comedy, documentaries and being a general NZ media celebrity is a more interesting life. I couldn’t work in law… No way…

Yeah, Melbourne is surrounded by mountain ranges so the air pollution is trapped. It is better these days than 20 to 30 years ago.

Sorry for your loss. I'm glad that you had a chance to speak with him prior to his passing on. Dunno, but living for today with an eye on the future sounds like a good prescription for life.

I’m not sure I would have dealt very well seeing the things that your dad possibly may have seen. Respect.

You've still got a ways to go yet! Plus if you are eating good home grown produce, it gives you the best advantage.

Cheers. Chris