Monday, 28 June 2010

Good soil

Yesterday I froze six packages of broccoli for later...   one can only eat so much broccoli each day!  The fact that it is lovely and sweet, and that we've only had summer vegetables for quite a while makes it easy to gorge oneself on it when it is so abundant.  When we just can't eat it all though,  I blanch and freeze it.  Even that is better than the supermarket stuff.  Later in the year,  if we are "between vegetables"  we'll be eating "eggs and vegetables" with plenty of broccoli in it.
The last two nights have been clear and cold.  I feared for my baby curry leaf tree,  but it is looking quite healthy (except for the part where I have removed a few leaves to eat.)
The potato plants are my "frost register" and here they are....
... the brown tips on some leaves appear to be all the damage so far.  Not all of them have it and where there is damage,  it's only slight.  So far, so good!

This clump of alliums (below) is actually a group of leeks.  I have several clumps like this.  Occasionally when you're pulling leeks up to eat, the top breaks off, just where the roots join on.  I have usually left the bottom bit in the soil and this is what happens....
... the fattest if these is quite edible (about 1.5cm in diameter) and the others are coming along nicely.  I'll give them a dose of stinging nettle fertiliser with seasol next time I'm putting it on the leafy plants. and we might eventually get enough for soup.

My four rows of broad beans near the corrugated iron shed....
... rosemary flowers...

... baby plants.  Here are some aloes from down the back and some thyme in the pots.

The Watsonia is growing madly....  no flowers yet,  but they are all around the concrete buddha...
... and forther down the front yard...  it's a jungle....
I have tried making paper from the Watsonia.  I'm sure that it would work,  though cleaning out the cell contents is hard with these tough and fibrous things...  but if you can make paper out of wood,  then I'm sure I'll eventually get the hang of it.

Bread again today....
... I have picked some kale and a couple of small cauliflowers to add to a lamb curry for dinner.  The old coffee grinder at the back is the one that I use for grinding the harder spices.  Some just go into the mortar and pestle, but the hard ones are ground in the old (actually a replica,  but it works) coffee grinder.

I did pull some weeds today.  The soil is so soft and friable now, that it's a much easier job.  I have used the clay that was here and, with gypsum, compost and straw, I now have beautiful black soil that smells good.  I am proud of this soil... it has been getting better and better,  though it's taken about 3-5 years for each patch to be really useful.  If local food production is required one of these days,  it will take some time to resurrect the soil first an then to learn the "tricks of the trade" so to speak.
The new Australian government has been talking today about sustainable development.  I don't understand this at all.  (It is an oxymoron.) The United Nations (in 1983) received and accepted a report from the "Brundtland Commission" which defined sustainable development as "development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."
Indeed,  Marx thought that it was necessary to maintain the earth for the "sake of the chain of human generations."   As he stated in Capital (1890)  "Even an entire society, a nation, or all simultaneoulsly existing societies taken together, are not owners of the earth.  They are simply possessors,  its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations as boni patres familias (good heads of the household.)"
I wonder what future generations will think of the way that we are treating the earth and whether we will leave it in "an improved state."

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