Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ahoy there!

Time for some lifeboat building...

It's a term Richard Heinberg uses to describe part of the solution for peak oil. People preparing their own homes, gardens and communities for peak oil.

The main gist of the idea is a) to reduce consumption and b) to produce locally.

Producing locally doesn't mean just food production either, it also includes; energy, electricity, water, firewood, mulch, seeds, animal fodder... your list depends on what you have going on in your own backyard.

There is a lot we can all do in our own realms to help relieve the pressure on the bigger systems that are affecting and being affected by energy use and related climate change.

It's about moving from being a dependant consumer to a responsible producer. Moving away from big centralised systems to more local decentralised systems that are more robust and resilient to impact.

It's also a time to head out into the garden

So, machete in hand, we've started reclaiming the garden from the weeds, the summer growth and the pests... and it's time to start getting ready for our peak growing season.

Here in the subtropics winter is the best time to grow food, sunny days, not too much rain, minimal pest problems, and it's more pleasant being out in the garden - less humidity.

We will grow pumpkins, potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, herbs and salad stuff over winter.

We'll also get ready for our coffee harvest in the middle of the year and we'll plant out lots of kale, spinach etc and enough for the chooks too.

It's important to remember to include all the mouths you have to feed, chooks, worms, goats etc in your planting planning.

Coming up to Autumn it's a real time of transition in the garden. It's cooler, egg production has slowed, some of the older chooks probably won't make it through winter, weed growth has slowed, leaves are changing colour, more shade in the garden...

It's also time for compost making and compost harvesting from last spring. We have so much good quality compost now and with the huge in ground worm farm working at maximum capacity, we've got humus coming out of our ears.

May/June is the best time here in this garden - it looks a treat. We've organised some tours of permaculture groups then.

Like most of Queensland, we've had a lot of rain this year already and the garden looks lush and green.

Plans for winter also include;
organising our solar hot water service
exploring PV panel options and prices
getting louvres and fly screens installed on the southern side of the house to allow more ventilation
building a propogation area
drying and preserving more food.

Last night we had pumpkin curry (pretty much all from the garden) and tonight we have spaghetti bolognaise - damn fine!

No comments: