Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
And they brought this book below.
I had never heard of Transition Towns until recently.
Now with Carol, Belinda, and The Book
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
From website, www.earthsong.org.au
We are being called into a new place and our creativity is being placed at the service of Earth, in a new millennium and a new moment.
There is an awakening of deep energy, for embracing the interconnectedness of the whole life community and finding the place of the human within this community.
Living within the Divine Mystery, we celebrate the sacredness of all beings and the integrity of all creation.
Drawing on the wisdoms of our past, we are moving into new expressions of our response to the creation: 'groaning in one great act of giving birth'.
We seek to learn new ways, widening our horizons, believing in a possible dream, touching into our deepest experience to give and to receive life.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
- Retail value (incorporating imports and adjusting for exports) was estimated for the first time above $0.5B. Retail value reached $578,000,000 with reports of between 10 and 30%+ growth per annum for some sectors since the last report in 2004. (See the AOMR for specific sector values)
- 2007 farm gate values were estimated to be in excess of $231,000,000 – an 80% increase on the 2004 DAFF research findings.
- With 11,988,044 hectares, Australia accounts for the largest amount of certified organic farmland in the world, the majority of which is used for extensive grazing.
- Major retailers now carry in excess of 500 different organic lines in fresh and grocery categories.
- The number of certified organic operators has increased by an annual 5.2% average net over the last 5 years, during a time of ongoing decrease in overall farmer numbers in Australia.
- In 2007 the total number of certified organic operators was 2750 – made up of farmers, processors and marketers. Almost three quarters of all operators are producers, representing 1.5 - 1.8% of all growers in Australia.
- The average age of an organic producer in Australia is lower than a non-organic producer.
- The organic industry is consolidating and the average size of organic farms has increased, highlighting a trend towards professional farming at a larger scale, and farm area expansion by operators experiencing long-term success in utilising organic systems.
- Horticulture remains a major stay of the industry. Some two thirds of organic farmers make up this sector which represents almost half of the total organic farm gate value in Australia.
- Fresh produce remains the primary ‘point of entry’ for new organic consumers.
- Despite widespread drought, farm gate sales have risen by over 80% as an average across all sectors since last reported in 2004. Grains and broadacre livestock were most impacted by drought, effectively decreasing the reported average for industry overall.
- 40% of consumers now buy organic food at least on occasion.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
To-day is the Feast of the Transfiguration. Three years ago, the fruit tree beside my home office window was covered in blossom (the picture is from 2005) but my fruit trees have very few blossoms at this time and my magnolia seems to have blossom as a permanent condition since they have been there so long without flowering.
In the Northern Hemisphere, Easter coincides with new life in nature. In the Southern Hemisphere, Easter happens in Autumn when the leaves are falling and nature prepares for Winter.
I love the Feasts but, on those occasions when we observe those that are not Easter and Christmas, I think we talk about them in a way which does not give any depth to the experience. I think that, in the main, this is how the Transfiguration is treated.
The Transfiguration was a supernatural event intervening in the natural order of things. It was transforming and predictive of the new life to come. Just like the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing at this time. How wonderful then if people in the south of the globe could take this great season of the soul and transform it to mirror the wonder of regeneration that is happening in the environment. We could then experience both the transfiguration of our environment and of our spirits.
But I do have one question.
All good feasts deserve the best, most celebratory, most evocative food. Imagine: if we celebrated the Transfiguration what food would we serve? What would our hospitality provide? And if we gave gifts, what would we give? What would we give that turns our hearts to the spirit, to creation and away from commercialism? Please have a think and let me know.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Last week, Belinda had a great piece about the truckies' - at that time - forthcoming protest. This post is a wake up call to the way we live and take for granted the food on our plates and the way that food is distributed to us. Below is the beginning of the protest in Brisbane (photo: Brisbane Times)
Meanwhile, over at the major distribution chain - that you might have thought was merely a retailer - called Woolworths they don't appear to be all that bothered. But then one would expect a major corporation to have scenario planning for such events.
As for the protest, it will be interesting to see how long it lasts and what it will achieve. It is a cut-throat world out there in owner-driver land - and my guess is that for every driver that stops to protest there will be two more movin' on and out down the road.
But, as Belinda reminds us, it is well to think how we could live in another way. Human beings have decided to make our food system what it is to-day. Human beings could decide to do it differently and give ourselves a whole different quality of life - and do away with the resource wars of death and destruction fighting for oil and gas (for these read Iraq and Afghanistan).
Sunday, July 20, 2008
But just as there are plants in bloom,
there are others that are dormant.
In Melbourne, we get our rain in winter.
And we have been getting plenty.
The curly parsley was planted last summer and just keeps on.
And this silver beet is huge and spectacular and quite an ornament -
so I haven't touched a leaf!
There are others though which I have used -
The flat-leaved Italian parsley is branching and spreading.
And the lemons are productive -
and the possums have a taste and leave a half-eaten lemon on the tree
This is the golden marjoram - a relative of the oregano
which I have growing everywhere.
This one below is in a pot but rooted into the ground
right near this lot of garlicThe capsicums of summer struggle
And this sweet little sugar loaf cabbage is setting a heart
This beetroot is the only survivor planted in summer in a spot that was too shady.
What we didn't eat or give away was left to bolt and self-seed.
Now we have a winter crop of young greens.
The sage always looks sad in winter but survives. These plants are three seasons old and will come back beautifully.
Lemon balm in a barrow
The Lemon Thyme braves the winter elements (above)
while the common Thyme (below) is undercover.
Almost no flowers but the leaves are the size of saucers.
So with all this, more seeds have been ordered