Where have all the flowers gone?

Hi All,

Good old Pete Seeger back in 1955 decided to pose this question to those of us willing to listen. I wasn’t willing to listen at that point because I had yet to be born, but as soon as I “was” born, music became my second favourite thing. I was always told that at the age of 2 and upon hearing my Uncle Wallies latest Beatles album blaring from the stereo and arriving in force in the kitchen to the dulcet tones of  “Aint She Sweet” was to be seen gyrating unashamedly to the beat. All I can do is thank God that youtube hadn’t been invented then and that my mother and her kin were not privy to any form of recording material as I dare say I would be like that poor horizontally challenged kid that would most probably quote the day that he decided to film himself waving a broom around like Luke Skywalker and post it to youtube as the most stupid decision that he has ever made and might have to take on the robes and mantle of a wandering Buddhist monk to escape the fallout. If you don’t know what I am talking about…this kid was the very first person to suffer the effects of being “hit” repeatedly and shared around all over the world…the very first example of how the net can turn you overnight (whether you want it or not in this case) into an international phenomenon… I will just find out for you where this kid is today (because I know how lazy you all are and you won’t be bothered to do it for yourself…)

http://mashable.com/2010/06/03/star-wars-kid/

That is the article about where he is today and what he is doing as well as the original video of him as a bored teenager filming himself. How could he possibly know that he would go “viral” online and that he would get 900 million hits! Be careful what you say and do online because you just never know where it is going to end up…

This is Meg. She gave me permission to put this photo on my blog and I would like to introduce you all to her because she is a very amazing woman. Meg is always on the go teaching people about gardening and taking all sorts of disadvantaged students and teaching them the benefits of gardening. She has numerous university degrees and is the most enthusiastic and supportive person that I know. She is standing in the lower garden at the Polytechnic where we study. Cheers for loaning me “1 square foot” (book) Meg and for not complaining when I forgot to give it back until now :o)

 This most interesting and balanced garden and recreational area was designed by our lecturer. Each year the Certificate 3 students have a “project” to construct and our project was this lawn, the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Silver Queen’ that are at the moment small bushy looking things with yellowish tops in the picture (behind the lawn) were grown by our class and we did a lot of the planting in this design.

Our class split into 2 groups…our group and the numpties (lol) and our group planted that flowering plum tree on the left whereas the numpties planted that tree that you can’t actually see in the background because it has no leaves…there was a degree of competitiveness between our groups because that’s human nature and I guess it keeps you working harder than you would otherwise work when you are competing with another group (clever James)

Our class laid the straight bit of paving (along with acres more paving…can you tell that I DON’T like paving?) and we planted most of the plants that you can see in the immediate vicinity in front of the Chamaecyparis. WE RULE :o)

All in all we are suitably proud of how we implemented our lecturers design. Steve and I asked if we could irrigate the lawned area when we were constructing it. We figured it would be the smartest thing to do to install irrigation before the lawn was planted rather than for it to be dug up later on and thankfully our lecturer (now, not then…) agreed and it looks like the lawn is doing alright (apart from one of the students apparently thinking that he/she was mowing a golf club…)

The bumble bees are buzzing and bumbling around looking for something to pollinate. They are hovering around the clematis waiting for it to flower in earnest. Just about everything else has died of in the extended dry period or succumbed to the early autumn that we appear to be having. There are Easter lilies (yes thankyou Nat…”Amaryllis belladonna”) all over the property that are no doubt being most jealously guarded by the biggest fattest bumble bees but the rest of them are slowly bumbling around mentally singing that old Pete Seeger son to themselves…

These crocus are very pretty and are some of the only flowers still going strong. The easter lilies are all on the decline and the agapanthus are all seed heads. Poor bumble bees…

 My poor long suffering bumble bees who are still waiting for the clematis to open would love a few minutes in these crocus flowers

You just have to love Dwayne Johnston a.k.a. “The Rock” when he can come up with stuff like this off the top of his head when beefing up the “John Cena vs. The Rock” wresting match coming up. They are both hilariously funny men in their own right and good actors to boot. Together they are having a really good time with this match and here is a little taste of what one side of the equation is touting…

Rock history lessons 1 & 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91BJaogkxBY

And here is another little amusing bit of candy ass entertainment by a nice bit of eye candy himself…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQFowkMubZw

FRUITY PEBBLES is all I can say to that!

I have been doing a little bit of research into the authors that I really like from “The List” (Mary Anne Schaffer’s list) and have been checking Marele Day out. She is an Australian Author who really interests me and when asked about why she started writing she gave this very insightful answer that touched a string inside me because when we write we are expressing that inner unique voice that no-one else usually hears…

Marele Day

“I think when you are travelling it is a way of hearing your own language. I don’t mean by that, just English, but one’s individual language”.

Wasn’t that poignant? Apart from researching authors I am now getting all sorts of really interesting posts from some really great blogs sent to me on a daily basis. I get up earlier than Steve (at 6am) after I listen to the news and the breakdown of the main stories I get up when it is still dark, pat Bezial and give him permission to get on the bed to snuggle up to Steve…Earl is already there and has been all night but Bezial apparently needs permission (and sometimes a heft up…). I then head out to the kitchen where I look out the window at the darkness and get a kettle on the stovetop for a nice mind awakening cup of tea. I say “cup” but what I really mean is “bucket”. My first cup of tea (and most of my subsequent cups) has to be 600ml or my mind refuses to wake up. Simple as that really so I need to indulge my brain especially when I have hauled it out of its nice comfy sleep pattern where it was just starting to formulate a dream about the news broadcast that it had semi listened to. Once that first cup of tea is in place in front of me I settle down to check out our emails. Now that I know how to work the tags, I am starting to get more people checking out life on Serendipity Farm and I usually get a few interesting people from around the world liking last night’s post. I am posting at night because we are studying in the day and it takes a while to upload photos etc. and so I do it at night which also allows me to take full advantage of when most of the rest of the world seems to be awake. I got a really interesting post from Anthropogen this morning about Masanobu Fukuoka who was a Japanese farmer, scientist and philosopher who was celebrated for his natural farming techniques and revegetation of desertified lands. He chose no-till, no herbicide grain cultivation farming methods that are traditional to many indigenous cultures and when combined created his particular way of farming that he called “Natural Farming” or “Do Nothing Farming”. He wrote a few books, scientific papers and a few other publications and in the 1970’s came to fame for his ideas about observing and integrating with nature’s principles and cycles.

This next bit I pinched straight from Wikipedia so I had best give you the page so that you can check it out for yourselves should you be interested…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masanobu_Fukuoka

And here is another Wikipedia page about the clay balls that really interest me and that I am going to start manufacturing with our own clay on site and native seed that we are going to collect locally.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seed_ball

Here is that bit of pilfered information (remember I am laying NO claim to authorship of this bit of information at all and should anyone want to sue me I am a penniless student hippy who is unafraid of going to jail for her principles because I get my education paid for, my teeth fixed for free and 3 square meals a day …what have I got to lose so sue me…you will get sweet bugger all and you will be doing me a favour :o)

Natural Farming

Fukuoka called his agricultural philosophy shizen nōhō (自然農法?), most commonly translated into English as “natural farming”. It is also referred to as “the Fukuoka Method”, “the natural way of farming” or “Do-Nothing Farming”, despite being labour intensive.

The system is based on the recognition of the complexity of living organisms that shape an ecosystem and deliberately exploiting it. Fukuoka saw farming not just as a means of producing food but as an aesthetic and spiritual approach to life, the ultimate goal of which was “the cultivation and perfection of human beings”.

The five principles of Natural Farming are that:

Human cultivation of soil, ploughing or tilling is unnecessary, as is the use of powered machines

Prepared fertilisers are unnecessary, as is the process of preparing compost

Weeding, either by cultivation or by herbicides is unnecessary. Instead only minimal weed suppression with minimal disturbance

Applications of pesticides or herbicides are unnecessary

Pruning of fruit trees is unnecessary

Clay seed balls

Fukuoka re-invented and advanced the use of clay seed balls. Clay seeds balls were originally an ancient practice in which seeds for the next season’s crops are mixed together, sometimes with humus or compost for microbial inoculants, and then are rolled within clay to form into small balls. This method is now commonly used in guerrilla gardening (of which Bill Mollison one of the inventors of Permaculture is a proponent) to rapidly seed restricted or private areas.

This is what happens when a local redneck takes a pile of rubbish to the local tip and finds out that this tyre is going to cost them $5 to dump at the tip.

Look at these delicious looking grapes…I wonder why they are still sitting there on the outside of the fence and haven’t been eaten by passers by? Perhaps the 2 large Rottweilers that jump up at you as you walk past and scare the heck out of you might be the answer?

Forget truffle dogs…we’ve got BEER DOGS! Worth their (not inconsiderable) weight in the amber fluid

This is a lovely gnarly old Rowan tree. I really liked the way that the branches were more like strangler figs than Rowan. Perhaps it is trying to escape?

Lastly we have…(wait for it…) Carbon Footprints :o) I can’t take all of the credit for that one…I will share the groans as Steve noticed these pavers and said that I should bring your attention to them. We might even get a pair of them and sink them near the gate on the front verge…

Here is Anthropogens post. This man is a heck of a researcher and makes me (who stays up late into the night hunting) look like a rank amateur. He is a chief source of information regarding everything environmental and to do with horticulture and agroforestry. I think he has developed the ability to fly because each post is from a different continent and he posts daily. An awesomely useful blog by a most awesome blogger. Cheers Spencer…at this rate I am going to have to share my Diploma in Landscape Design with you…

If you are interested in your own urban guerrilla gardening or if you simply want to scatter these clay seed balls around your property to germinate as and when nature dictates here is a really good tutorial to make them

http://heavypetal.ca/archives/2011/01/step-by-step-how-to-make-seed-balls/

And here is another really good blog post about making them and if you are anything like me, you now have 2 more websites tacked onto the end of a massive great word document waiting for you to check out in more detail when you “have time”…

http://freedomgardens.org/2010/10/04/make-your-own-seed-balls/

And last but by no means least, here is a youtube tutorial for how to make these amazing little seed bombs that will germinate when the conditions are right for them. Check it out and take note of all of the fantastic things on the right hand side of the video and prepare to be spending a good deal of time hunting through this lot fascinated and learning and doing your soul and the world good…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWyduWsoy8o

And that lot came from just 1 of my inbox posts! I also got a query about “If you had unlimited land what sort of animals would you have?” from another blogger…interesting question and one that needs to be answered with my head rather than my heart (or my most vivid imagination) so no cows… too much work and too expensive to keep, no elephants or gnu because apart from the prohibitive import duties and extensive quarantining I am not sure that Bezial would ever recover from watching an elephant walk past on the driveway below where he parks himself on the deck. I chose goats, pigs, geese, turkeys, rabbits (in chook tractors) and hens with guinea fowl and fish in the form of aquaponics. Now to work out how to house, feed, purchase and live with all of them! Next we have Anthropogen again and a fascinating article about biochar which is apparently being investigated as an approach to carbon sequestration to produce negative carbon dioxide emissions so it has the potential to help mitigate climate change via carbon sequestration. It can apparently increase soil fertility, raise agricultural productivity and reduce pressures on forests. It is a stable solid, rich in carbon and can endure in the soil for thousands of years. All of this information has been drawn directly from Anthropogens post and if you want to learn about biochar which is produced by smouldering agricultural waste (i.e. covering burning biomass with soil) in pits or trenches. It is a most fascinating way of recycling, reusing and ultimately reducing our carbon footprint whilst boosting the soil fertility so I am right on this one!

http://anthropogen.com/2012/03/11/terra-preta-biochar/

Now we get to my Instructables newsletter which always leaves me feeling like I owe someone something because I always get something great out of it. Today there is a huge range of projects including…

http://www.instructables.com/id/Super-Mario-Mushroom-Cookies/

As you can see…who wouldn’t want the recipe for the cutest and tastiest Super Mario Mushroom biscuits…we call them biscuits here for any Americans reading…our scones are your biscuits by the way…and you pinched “Popovers” they are actually Yorkshire puddings!

This next instructable goes to show you just how wide a range of people post their project instructions here. This man is a most interesting looking man who has invented an alternative to a saxophone…

http://www.instructables.com/id/Jumbo-Sax-Tootophone/

Please don’t think that everyone posting project instructions on the site is mental. There are some amazing Instructables detailing all sorts of amazing concepts…home-made tesla coils, how to use various software applications and all sorts of scientific, clever, environmental and just plain insane stuff to keep your mind operating and ticking over for the next century. Go there…indulge…let your mind imbibe and come away amazed at just how diverse and willing to share the human race really is.

Are you starting to get an idea of what the first hour of my day entails? I get mentally stimulated by the tea…then the posts and with all of these amazing ideas pumping through my system I am fortified for the day. Some people have breakfast as their first meal of the day…my first meal consists of a head crammed full of delicious information and for this meal, I don’t need to check the ingredients. I don’t really care if my brain puts weight on from all of this brain candy because sometimes you just have to live with the consequences of your actions and this one I am willing to wear.

This isn’t even going into things like posts from a food pornographer (remember the not so closet food blog lust?) and one from a raw foodie in Canada who freely shares some amazing raw food recipes that I occasionally like to mess about with. So many posts…so little time!

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