Oh yeah, right! This is the advertsing on a box of something that lives on the shelf above my washing machine in the laundry. Because the washing machine has to be filled by hose at the moment I had a lot of time standing there, and as I looked up and my brain actually booted up again I thought – Yeah right! Nature and Country Living is often anything BUT gentle! Advertising is a wondrous thing – those who think up all this stuff often have little real knowledge of it all. And those that do have knowledge know that sometimes what’s natural is not going to sell anything! That beautiful rolling countryside….it’s green alright, but it’s also often weeds! D@mn things! And that rustic old fence? Heritage fencing is the fancy name for it – otherwise known as falling down, need to replace, costs so much, and what a lot of hard yakka…oh and a stock hazzard. The countryside can be a hard and expensive life. Chooks don’t see foxes as being gentle, they sure are natural and their natural instincts are pretty nasty. Pretty creatures, but no one who keeps chooks or ducks is fond of them. Cows, sheep, goats there’s an awful lot of unnatural things done to them over their lifetime.
Are you interested in making your own safe little chook pen tho? Chicken house for the non-aussies? Even if you’re not you should check out the bloke on here it’s a classic!
Organic, sustainable, green, permaculture. These are the words for plantlife! But what do they mean? Pure – the weeds we grow on the Monaro are hardy and droughtproof. They outnumber the grasses hugely in many places. The weed sprays we are encouraged to use these days are not really nice, but so much better than the ones used 10 – 20 years ago. Some of ‘them’ went by the same names as those that they sprayed in Vietnam. And some of them last 20 years in the ground! What has washed into our waterways? What are our plants growing in? I remember my father coming home from work with some ‘beginni’s’ that’s zucchini’s but he got the name wrong (we ate an awful lot of beginni’s before we found out.) But he also was given some whizz bang pesticide from the same workmate who was also a gardener. This stuff is great! It keeps weeds down for 10-20 yrs….and the side effects are?
Well one of the side effects is that the d@mn weeds have adjusted themselves and are now resistant to a lot of the stuff – whereas us humans are dying from some of the effects. I have a problem with spraying continuously (and watching the weeds continue to outsmart me) and not getting the results that are expected. I’m fined if I don’t participate. So I am starting a ‘non-spraying’ or ‘least-spraying’ plan on my farm. Its going to take some time just to get the plan written up. Then start doing it. Especially since the other person helping is also a single parent.
I want to reclaim the countryside for itself not just me. I’d like to eat something less toxic each year not more. It’s a big, big learning curve tho. And because I don’t have any machinery I’ll have to be organising the work in advance, and working hard to pay for it. But I want to look out there and see less weeds and know there are less pesticides. I’ve always maintained that instead of trying (and failing) to eradicate these weeds that seem to thrive in the harsh weather conditions here, the ‘people who do that stuff’ should actually be working out how to genetically modify these wonderful plants to make them more useful to the animals that live on them. If they are smart, resourceful, droughtproof plants then why don’t we make use of them instead of spending money, time, and our health on trying to get rid of them? I’d like a Serated Tussock crossed with a lucerne plant first. Patterson’s Curse crossed with wheat? Mullein/Lambs Ear crossed with soy? and maybe African Lovegrass crossed with Canola? or Phalaris? What is sustainable? Capable of being maintained or sustained. Well that leaves out a lot of crops since they cannot sustain themselves without first spraying weeds, planting seeds, often needing irrigation or prayer if you’re relying on rain, and then fertiliser. Then repeat all over again as the plants die and the weeds take over entirely.
Organic – Organic foods are those that are produced using environmentally sound methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives.
There are many places including my farm where organic certification cannot be obtained due to the pesticides used over decades. There are many places where the wash of pesticides through the river system had contaminated them. We pump our water for everything except drinking from the river system. We wash ourselves and our clothes in it. We brush our teeth in it. So please be careful with our waterways.
My dream would be that’ the powers that be would stop working on new, better, more acceptable pesticides’ being trialled on these smart plants, and that we could concentrate our minds and efforts on using their smartness to modify our other native plants to have that ability to adjust and change as the world does. And I wish that there would be more people who could work together to do this, instead of everyone having to start from scratch and do their own research.
I’m for sustainable now. I want my paddocks to have sustainable ‘pasture’ not unsustainable crops.