Sunday, July 5, 2015

Guest post

I wrote a guest post at a blog I like to frequent, to think about the bigger picture. Many of the articles coincided with thoughts I'd been having myself. So was very happy when my post was accepted. 

If you think about the future, and how we can possibly make a difference, head over to I Hear Ecos. It's talking about the future, even if its not pretty and we don't have all the answers yet.


  1. Good post, Chris. One of our biggest problems is the disconnect from nature, brought about by living in cities and sourcing our needs from a shop. We will have to reconnect eventually, when things get tough on the oil depletion front and more and more people decide that growing their own food will be cheaper (and healthier, although that knowledge will come much later).

  2. That's about the size of it. First we have to come to terms with it, then we have to decide what we can do about it. Unfortunately, many of us still have to negotiate with the old way of doing things, just to be able to pay the bills. That's the challenge, and its a tough one. While we may not be able to relieve ourselves from the economic realities, it doesn't stop us from deciding to connect with nature in our spare time.

  3. Chris, you and Foondnstuff in Australia have a lot of growing challenges but I always envy that if a gardener is skilled enough you can grow food year round. Up here in the north, the climate has changed so much that we don't know if we are coming or going anymore. I'm focusing on nature on several levels but right now I am attempting to find patterns and solutions. For us, growing our own foods in important but preserving it more so. I hope to see others preserve their own foods on a regular basis as well. I will be writing about canning and prepping soon as well. Thanks again for writing that post-as always, thought provoking.

  4. I know Foodnstuff dehydrates a lot of her harvest, and I tend to make preserves myself. I should really write about that more. I tend to just throw it together on the day though, and no time for pictures. I don't really have set recipes either. I make them up as I go, depending what I have to preserve.

    Technically we can grow a lot year round, but a lot of thought has to go into preparing the perfect growing area. For example, the high winds are battering my peas at the moment. They need a more protected location. Strong winds are a winter thing, here. But I can see what you mean about having the ability to grow year round. I'm not sure I could handle the snow and being locked indoors for so many months. I guess its what you grow accustomed too though. You learn to adapt.

    1. I also do a combination of dehydrating and preserving. This year I might move onto pressure canning low acid foods for a change. Thinking about it at any rate.
      But no, its not easy to live in the snow and cold for most of the year. I don't know what made us find this acceptable except for a bit of crazy since both of us are from warmer climates as you know.

    2. I guess the upside to living in a colder climate with snow is, you get that natural hydration of the soil every year when it thaws. Must be nicer for growing things during the growing seasons. If you do get a period without rain, at least you always get the annual thaw. :)

    3. It can be a blessing in some ways but things are changing in pretty substantial ways around here climate wise. We had snow but not enough so the area is parched. We are getting lots of rain but this doesn't seem to be helping the actual soil-its drying out faster than I have noticed in previous years. I can't put my finger on it exactly though.

    4. I suspect part of what the problem is, is lack of "enough" biomass. I know this only from my experimentations here, where soil drying out in summer, is a common trait of our region. Where I've put a lot of chop and drop mulch down over successive years, however, I get moisture being retained longer.

      I use to put a small layering of mulch down, now I realise to activate the soil it needs a minimum of twice as much. So I just got into the habit of cutting down whatever was growing (grass and perennial weeds) and left it to sit on the surface. Having a baby a few years ago, meant a lot of biomass was simply ignored. So we had some jungle to contend with - but it was great for the soil once we chopped it down.

      I'm not sure what your mulching routine is, but if your soil is looking parched, it probably needs more biomass to be left on the surface in autumn, so the time spring comes around, you've activated the soil microbiology. The more biomass you put down, the more microbes will breed to break it down.

      I know with reduced snow, you will have less groundwater. By increasing the biomass in your soils however, they'll retain the moisture which falls in the form of rain, for longer. :)


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