I have discovered the best source of knowledge for the future. People over the age of… well I don’t know the exact age, but my Oma (who I refer to as Joanne) is 70 and she qualifies.
Last night around the dinner table I asked how you can keep growing parsley and other herbs, because she was saying the coriander went to seed and she had to pull the whole plant out. So I wondered, when transports stops being widely available, the possibility exists of nurseries not keeping seedlings for us to conveniently go and buy a new coriander or parsley plant. So how does one propagate that plant. The answer for parsley is that when it goes to seed, then seeds grow (no way!) and you can collect them and then grow then, but you would need a bit of a glasshouse. She also reckoned that if you just leave the parsley to go to seed then the seed fall on the ground and grow into new plants.
That being said, she has a parsley plant that has been going strongly for 3 or so years because she keeps trimming it back. So I figure you need two sets of plants, the ones you are growing for seeds, and the ones you are growing to eat. Because we also talked about carrots, and how Joanne planted carrots from seed as a kid (although mum said that is the best way when she was over the other day). We guessed that if you leave your carrots to grow long enough then the stalks must produce seeds. Again, you would need to have digging-up carrots, and seed-growing carrots.
Probably all this information could have been read on the internet or from a younger gardener. But I like it when information comes from a person.
Then this morning we were talking about showers and she told me how when she was a kid they used to have a bath once a week, cos the bath water had to be heated up using a bath-heater.. Then when she was about 12 her mother told her she would have to start having showers everyday, so she used to go out and chop kindling with a little tomahawk (eat your heart out Lenore) and heat up enough water for her shower. That amazed me, because I forget (or don’t realise) how she lived in a time before many of the amenities that we have today, especially as she grew up in the country.
Okay, I just asked my Opa if he had to heat the water for his bath, and he drew me a picture of what they used as a bath/shower heater.
What he explained to me doesn’t involve wood, but gas and, of course, water. He says the gas couldn’t be turned on without turning on the water. and that it heated the water up then there was a tap that meant you could either fill up the bath, or direct the water up to the shower-head. I guess there isn’t too much choice about how hot you have your water.
I hope to continue learning valuable information out of them for the future. I thought it would be good to catalogue it here, otherwise I will forget.
Question: Does anyone besides me read my blog? I am interested to know as mostly it is more for me than for others, but yeah. Let me know 🙂
My firefox has been consistently running ridiculously high because of the amount of tabs that are open.
Pastoral Care Strategy
This is a great piece by Jim Wallis on what the church response can look like to the global economic downturn. I would recommend also reading the comments that are posted, because a lot of them have good ideas in. It was posted on the 9th of October, so it is from the beginning of things.
What Career Should One Consider?
This is an answer to a (partially) hypothetical question of what is the best career to consider in the current circumstances, especially with the thought that Peak Oil is just around the corner.
The point about heath care is a well-made one. I have wanted to do a practical First Aid course for some time now, but my understanding is that most first aid courses are ‘don’t touch them, call an ambulance’ which doesn’t help when peak oil happens and the ambulance can’t go anywhere. Or (what I’ve considered) I am in some remote part of the world where there is no ambulances, or hospitals, or doctors… you get my point.
Industrial Farming is Stealing?
I don’t think I read this, but I am sure that it says lots of things I agree with, as I tend to think that organic subsistence farming is better for the world. Hopefully this backs me up 🙂
Global Warming in the 50s?
We really have no excuse as this guy was predicting peak oil etc in the 50s. Via boingboing
One of my profs recommended this site to us for our studies. I haven’t checked it out much though. Another good one is ccel.org which has all the christian classics on it.
Synchronised Presidential Debating.
This is just a little concerning. Someone has showed how much all the presidential candidates sound the same.
Think Before You Speak
Why you shouldn’t say ‘That’s so gay’ when you mean something is stupid. via Womanist Musings
I’m guessing Brownies in the form of tetris are yummier.
I think this counts as just a little on the strange side.
The Boy With Two Belly Buttons
This is a fun children’s book about how being different doesn’t make you bad.
Have you ever wondered what we will get around in in a post-peak oil society? Wonder no more. This is really funky. I wonder if I can get one?
Room for a Garden?
This building is very very very cool. There are plants growing on the walls, and the entire design is just entirely groovy.
When I was in DC there was a competition where universities were building sustainable houses, and one of the things that some of them had done was plant plants on the side of their little buildings, cos that is a good insulator, I think.
This is a podcast about foraging, not in the dumpster-diving way, but in finding the edible things that grow in the cracks in the sidewalks.
I love the idea of solar cooking, I am a bit of a sceptic though, maybe I should try and make one and see how it goes.
Flying Without a Wallet
I think that this is really interesting, there either needs to be good, effective security, or none, not a pseudo-security that protects no one.
Midnight Train to Georgia
This is one of the more interesting things I have read on the Russia-Georgia conflict. Without being definitive on who started it he asks the question “Do we really want to get involved in a hot war with Russia? Really?”
Praying for Health
This is really interesting idea, just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I can’t believe in this. I would also be interested to see the linguistic version as well. And does the spread of major religions make a difference? Is that why we get offshoots of major religions? Interesting.
The Man Who Was Thursday
I just discovered Wikisource yesterday, already I am in love.
I would love to see this implemented. Whenever I see peak traffic I think that all these people are driving from the city to the suburbs, why can’t we co-ordinate? Especially when you drive a particular route at the same time every day and see the same cars.
Democrats and Abortion
It would be nice if they could actually put into practise some of what they are talking about. (as if)
Via Marginal Revolution, some good tips for going on holidays, I think I would endorse them all. The ‘start packing in advance’ was especially helpful to me when I moved to the US. Weeks in advance I had boxes in my room labelled ‘Australia’, ‘US’ and ‘op-shop’ and I would just throw things into one or another whenever I felt like it and as the op-shop boxes filled I could make (my boyfriend make) trips to dump them or take the ‘australia’ boxes to my parents or grandparents house which de-cluttered my house, making it much easier to pack everything else.
The Story of Stuff
I didn’t think I have linked this before, and it is great. It is about how the manufacturing and distribution system works.
The title says it all. Does anyone live in Denmark and can pick one up for me? I may start riding a bike. 🙂
Last year I had a conversation with one of my friends about the suburbs. We both agreed we could not possibly live a 9-5, church on sundays life in a white-picket fence house. I would love to live in the city-city and work with homeless and other needy people, or live in a remote community working on community development (esp. literacy) or Bible translation, I would even like to live at a self-sustaining farm or commune (although that is at odds with my wanting to help people).
The point is that the suburbs are the devil. They encourage fuel consumption by making everything a drive away and with everything so far away, people are less likely to connect with others in their area and be a part of a community.
Then at the start of this year, through my decision to go back to study, I have ended up living in the suburbs. Initially I was staying with my Oma & Opa (no, I’m not Dutch or German) whilst looking for a house with friends, but the friends thing fell through and I have ended up staying on with my grandparents.
My work and college are both 10km away from home (in slightly different directions), both drives take me about 20minutes depending on the time of the day. As far as I can tell it would be mostly impossible to catch public transport to either, it would involve around an hour walking (per single trip), that could possibly be cut down by using buses, but I don’t like to catch a bus cos who even ever knows were they are going to go? Also, I often have evening classes, and work until late at night and I don’t fancy catching the train or walking around in the dark on my own.
Anyway, the other day I was sitting at home and decided I wanted to hire some dvds to watch, I had just finished a glass of wine with my dinner and so I wasn’t sure if I should drive (I now know I could have). I went online and looked up how far the distance was from home to the dvd store. It turned out to be a little over a kilometre and I thought, psh, I can walk that. After Joanne (Oma) worried about me for a second, I was off. The dvd store was shut, but I made it there and back without being mugged and it certainly wasn’t too far to walk. So you can walk to some things from the suburbs (I passed Safeway on my way, and a whole bunch of other stores are just beyond), that was food for thought.
A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across a website that measures the walkability of where you live. It works for Australia, which is nice, and my place scored a loverly 55/100. For comparison, my parent’s place in a small country town scored 8 and my sister’s place in the city proper scored 91. It doesn’t measure public transport, or how steep the hills are, but it is still a good start. Here at home people talk about how they used to walk to the station to get to work or school, so the other day I decided to stop being lazy and driving (or getting dropped off) and to walk to the station to catch my train. It only took me 20minutes and it was a great walk, it also forced me to pack less stuff for my overnight stay.
So it turns out my ‘evil’ suburbs have walking access to a number of different things, if one was so inclined the shopping could even be done without a car, especially if you had a bike like these. This gave me something to think about.
Recently I have been reading Homegrown Evolution a blog about growing your own veggies and chooks in a suburban environment. The fact of the matter is that the block I am living on at the moment is huge. Joanne has heaps of garden, there is a small patch for veggies, several pots of herbs and the like and there are plans for a bigger veggie patch up the back next to the hills hoist.
Last year I heard the idea that with Peak Oil the suburbs will become abandoned, or slums and everyone will go to the inner city (where there are jobs) or to the country (where there is land), that concept has niggled at me since I heard it. Because there IS land in the suburbs, at least where I am there are large suburban blocks with plenty of room for veggies and even chooks. Perhaps because when this area was established it was close to the country, now it is surrounded by suburbs in all directions. But even where some of my relatives live closer in to the city (albeit on the other side), there is still land on their blocks that could be utilised. And when I lived in a flat in Kew there was a triangle of grass with a bit of shubbery around it that could easily be developed by the people from any of the 6 flats on that property.
So the main issue I can see here is lack of access to work or schooling options. Plus the trains out here only run every 20 minutes or half hour. Apparently at peak hour the trains are quite unbearably full. Although my cousin-thing says that compared to the peak trains in London, the peak-hour trains here are positively roomy and perhaps a lack of handholds is the only complaint.
The article that I read that actually was the catalyst for this article is about how the suburbs aren’t dying and people are not moving into cities (which is what was predicted).
I think that as petrol gets more and more expensive, the suburbs will become more like communities. The jobs will spread out into the suburbs from the inner city and people will be more likely to be involved in pursuits that are accessible via walking and public transport. Suburban gardens will also become more of a source of food than they currently are and people will utilise rain water more than we are at the moment.