Gardening and climate change

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Once upon a time on usenet Fran Farmer wrote: [snip]

Are you in Gippsland? My sister lives in that area and my parents aren't too far away, down at Golden Beach.
--
Shaun.

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On 28/03/2015 11:47 AM, ~misfit~ wrote:

NO, the south eastern quadrant of NSW. But I know and enjoy the Gippsland area as we sometimes travel in and around it.
My sister lives in that area and my parents aren't too

So are you an expat Aussie in NZ or did your family move over here? Are you in the nth or the sth island?
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Once upon a time on usenet Fran Farmer wrote:

I'm actually an ex-pat Brit.
My parents bought my younger sister and I to NZ from England in early 1973 when I was 11 y/o. We were "?10 Poms" (something that I was reminded of often at school), some of the last as it turned out. There was a NZ government scheme, 'Asssisted Passage', to bring experienced workers into NZ for its then-burgeoning lamb and wool industry - Australia had a similar scheme. The NZ government paid all but ?10 per person for us to come to NZ via Chandris Lines, a Greek budget shipping company. Nearly six weeks after leaving England we arrived in New Zealand.
(It seems that Wiki thinks it was an Australian-only thing; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Pound_Poms )
We originally went to the South island; The scheme required that you have a job ready and waiting for you and that you stay employed in the NZ framing industry for a minimum of 2 years. Unfortunately Dad was the victim of a canny farmer who took advantage of new naive potentail immigrants, getting them to sign contaracts before leaving the UK and paying minimum wage and putting them up in a run-down shack when they arrived.
Anyway, after the two years Dad moved us to the North Island, the northern Waikato area, where he stayed until retirement. My sister got married and had kids (in that order - just!) and she and her husband moved their family to Australia where there was more money to be had. After almost a couple of decades of spending all of their money flying across the Tasman to see their grandkids twice a year my parents also moved to Aus when Dad retired, mostly to be closer to the grandkids.
I now live just south if Auckland, a town called Pukekohe.
Cheers,
--
Shaun.

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On 31/03/2015 1:14 PM, ~misfit~ wrote:

I didn't know the Kiwis also had a 10 quid deal. Ya learn something new everyday, but of course it makes sense since both our countries were crying out for migrants at the time.

I hope karma treated him better than he treated your father - htat's a really rotten act.

On Highway 1! Yup, know where that is. We are just booking accom in NZ right now for an upcoming trip there. Would you believe my first time there with me being in my 60s, a spinner, owning numerous Ashford spinning wheels and cousin who lives in Levin and all those drop dead gorgeous NZ gardens which I have read about for more years than I care to remember. There is no excuse except perhaps you are too close and we tend to do long haul hops much further afield when we go O. S.
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Once upon a time on usenet Fran Farmer wrote:

Yeah, bastard! ;) That wasn't quite the end of the story. Over 10 years later I was working as a cellar hand / lab assistant / general dogsbody at the now-defunct Viticultural Reserach Station at Te Kauwhata. It was government run, jointly by govt. ag dept. and science depts (both since re-named) who ran the Viticulture and Oenological parts of the station jointly.
Well, they used to do three-month courses for both vineyard operators and winemakers, they had a couple of houses on site that were used as dorms. I met a nice girl from very close to where I used to live in Nth Cant who was learning vineyard stuff for a new vineyard / winery which was due to open the following year.
Imagine my surprise when, a few months after she'd left I got a letter from Dads old boss saying he'd heard great things about me from her. She was going to head up his new vineyard and would I like the job of winemaker? I declined. Maybe Karma got him in his private life because I hear the winery is a success.

Actually 7kms to the west of (but close enough ;] ). Pukekohe has rich soil and is NZs biggest market gardening area.

My mother used to spin wool from coloured sheep which she raised and Dad shore. Local farmers would offer her any coloured lambs that their ewes had. She'd spin and knit naturally coloured jumpers and a local shop situated at a bus stop area, aimed at the tourist trade would sell them on commision (mainly to Americans at that time). However I'm not sure if she used an Ashford wheel or not - they're upright aren't they? She used a 'standard' wheel. (I learned how to shear, spin, ply and knit a bit so I'd be prepared for the up-coming apocalypse. <g>)
--
Shaun.

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On 1/04/2015 1:04 PM, ~misfit~ wrote:

LOL. Just the word that popped into my head when I read what you wrote about the farmer the first time round.
That wasn't quite the end of the story. Over 10 years

Maybe, if he'd fallen into a vat of Malmsey.

I think I have a DVD that features your area on it. Must dig it out and rewatch it.

Wow. That is a lot of work. I hope she got good money from them as it took me a year to spin enough fleece to make my SO a greasy wool jumper. I made him one 30 years ago and when it wore out he wanted another just like his old one.
How many coloured sheep did she end up having at any one time?
However I'm not sure if she used an

Ashford have one model that it an upright and I can never get on with that model. Asford's best known and most popular models aren't upright. I have one of those and a newer model of theirs which is made for ease of transport and can be carted aroudn in a zipped up bag. I also have 2 other Kiwi wheels that haven't been made for decades - all of them are brilliant wheels.
She used a 'standard'

Isn't that why we all garden? (Says she with her tongue in her cheek). I really enjoy spinning - such a relaxing activity. Possibly even better than gardening.
Do you still spin at all?
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Once upon a time on usenet Fran Farmer wrote:

Heh!

Why not - although our dollar has climbed up a bit against yours lately.

She'd make about one every three weeks, several hours work every evening in the lounge watching TV (before TV became 95% pollution). The only thing she didn't do herself was the carding, there was a small business in the closest township where they'd do that for you on a machine for just a couple of dollars per fleece. She used to get $125 each for them and that was excellent money back then.

Around a dozen ranging from fawn coloured to black.

Neither could Mum. There was a local spinning club which met once a month, taking it in turns to host. She borrowed one from another member and didn't like it.

Mum's was a good one. She bought it as a 'flat-pack' and Dad put it together. All dovetail and dowel joints - I don't think there was a screw in it.

Indeed. ;-)

No. Mum's in Aus and I don't know anyone with a wheel. However I think I'd pick it up again pretty quickly, muscle memory and all that.
Cheers,
--
Shaun.

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On 3/9/2015 8:45 PM, Fran Farmer wrote:

I toss tortoise droppings into my flower and shrub beds. Cleopatra (an ancient beauty) leaves pleanty from April to October. Right now, she is still hibernating.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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On 13/03/2015 1:40 AM, David E. Ross wrote:

So what do tortoise droppings look like? And have you ever posted any pics of Cleo online so I could see her beauty for myself? And how ancient is this girl?
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On 3/12/2015 9:50 PM, Fran Farmer wrote:

They look like very dry dog droppings, but Cleo is a vegetarian. We think she is now some 50-60 years old. She was mature when we "adopted" her in 1977. See my <http://www.rossde.com/Cleo.html .
We do not really own Cleopatra; she belongs to the state of California. We are merely housing her. It is illegal to buy or sell desert tortoises. While it is illegal to remove them from their native habitate, it is also illegal to return them since that might spread disease.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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On 14/03/2015 2:26 AM, David E. Ross wrote:

:-)) They probably look like long kangaroo poos which are also very dry but nugget like in shape.
We

David, thank you so much for posting that link. It is a very interesting article and I don't recall every hearing anything aobut Nth American turtles before with the exception of snapping turtles.
Gardening with a shelled vegetarian around must be a rather interesting exercise.
We have snake necked turtles in our creek but watching them is not an easy thing to do as they disappear at the first sight of a human. Luckily our creek is between steep banks so if I sneak up and slowly slowly shove my had over the sight line I can see them. We often see them on the roads too and will often stop to pick them up and move them before some moron runs them over. they do the most amazinlyg stinky pee so it requires very careful picking up nd putting the turtle in a directionw here no pee come sin contact with either clothes or skin.
Does your turtle do stinky pees or is the smelly pee of our local turtles a defence mechanism would you think?
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On 3/13/2015 5:39 PM, Fran Farmer wrote:

Tortoise urine is very much like bird urine. It is a thick, whitish paste. Mammal urine is water with uric acid. Bird and reptile urine is urea. Fish urine is ammonia.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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Fran Farmer wrote:

I wasn't aware there were snake-necked turtles in Oz. The eastern longnecked turtle emits defensive stinky stuff from glands not in its urine. We have them here and in spring they go looking for love across pastures and roads. I rescue them off roads (using a supermarket bag to hold them) or they become road kill.
--
David

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Once upon a time on usenet David E. Ross wrote:

That's awesome David, thanks for sharing. When I was a youngster in England I had a pet tortoise which used to wander. The garden wasn't tortoise-proof so whenever I hadn't seen it for a day or two I'd walk around the fields nearby, it usually wasn't hard to find.
However once I couldn't find it despite looking every day. A year later I found the mostly empty shell, with a horse hoof-print on the front half. :-(
--
Shaun.

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On Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 7:40:35 AM UTC-7, David E. Ross wrote:

Did she ever, uh, YOU know...?
HB
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Hypatia Nachshon wrote:

Sing? Dance? Fart?
--
David

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Fran Farmer wrote: ...

looks like a few random trolls to me, neither of those folks seem to have posted here before much at all and funny they both pop up on a topic that they complain about being OT.
to have credibility it would help them if they actually posted about gardening.
anyways, here is a way that CC will affect many out west in the USoA, the snowpack this year is miniscule, affecting 1/3 of the water supply that many millions of people rely upon.
a fair amount of that snowpack is gone from an obvious lack of precipitation, but it is made much worse because the water systems out there are built around using that snow pack as their water storage. currently most of the areas seem to be running at 10-20% of average.
what happens when the snows no longer fall as snow, but end up as rain or when the snows are sublimated off due to higher temperatures, well that is a part of what we are getting now. the water infrastructure is not built around rain on the mountains.
to change that one aspect of the water systems out there will cost many billions of dollars, they're going to need bigger reservoirs to capture storm water and store it to get them through the summer months.
this will pretty much affect anyone out west who wants to have a garden if they are trying to rely upon water from the irrigation systems. and it isn't going to be cheap.
some folks are drilling wells and supplementing their irrigation by ground water. the problem there is that everyone else around them is doing the same thing and the ground water levels are rapidly falling. prices for drilling? many thousands of $ for how deep they have to go now in some places and they don't even know how long those wells will last. nothing out there is measured, proven or regulated as of yet, they are all taking more than is being recharged.
luckily, the past few weeks have improved the snow pack in the Colorado River Basin (instead of well below average most are now 10-20% from average, some are even above average *whew* with some time yet to go where we can get some more storms to build up even more snow pack -- that would be great as the reservoirs on the Colorado River are approaching points where water will be reduced or cut off to the most junior water rights holders). yet another expense is required to build intakes from Lake Mead to get water to Las Vegas, because the lake is getting so low.
and as for the question about being a scientist, yes, i am. nobody is paying me other than myself.
songbird
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Lurker I'd grant you... Troll I'd take exception to. I have posted, but it has been years. I continued to follow the group through its ups and downs , gardening the whole time with every year different than the one prior. F WIW, I've been gardening and preserving my own food for as long add I can r emember. Love it, don't mind a good debate either, just didn't think this was the place for it.
Wasn't really trying to poke the bear, either. Just wanted to avoid what I 've seen so many times over the years. I do find it interesting that it's the same characters who get their dander up every time someone cares to dis agree with something someone said.
So keep going with the insults and inflammatory remarks (speaking to both s ides here). Watch the traffic fall off again. Then some new folks will co me along in a few months and we can do it all over again.
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what do you normally grow? where abouts are you?
songbird
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I'm in the inland northwest. Far different than the coastal areas or weste rn valleys. The Cascade Mountains stop most of the rain so we only average about 12" per year, most of that occurring in the fall and winter when the prevailing winds shift slightly to bring the weather in around the mountai ns. We get four distinct seasons, with the summers betting very hot and d ry, so irrigation is critical, and very little water is wasted. Winters ar e normally just a few degrees below freezing, although we have dropped to d ouble-digit negatives a few times.
I grow quite a variety of stuff. Plenty of paste tomatoes every year to pu t up sauces (spaghetti, salsa, and whatever else inspires me), so plenty of peppers and other stuff to go into the sauces too. Because of the heat, bl ossom end rot can be troublesome at times. I grow my own herbs to use well . In fact, everything I use in my preserving I grow myself or buy from som eone local.
I also grow a lot of winter squash and root crops that I keep through the w inter. One of the happiest memories I have is making borscht for the first time and finding that the family loved it! It's the only reason I'm allow ed to grow beets now (although I do sneak in a batch of pickles every year) . Speaking of pickles, I also grow cukes to make hot dill pickles and my gr andmothers lime pickle that are so crunchy and sweet.
We have an assortment of fruit trees and vines and bushes that we freeze, d ry, or otherwise preserve. I made Concorde grape pie filling 2 years ago f or the first time and even though it's difficult, it will be made every yea r from now on. So delicious!
I grow fingerling potatoes and leeks. I dont generally grow other potatoes or onions because those are readily available around here at a price lower than I could ever grow them for. Many times you can find a grower that wil l let you go into the fields after they've harvested them and pick what's l eft and that price is hard to beat. Sweet corn is available for a nickel a n ear when its in season, so I don't grow that either, but I do grow popcor n and the kids think that's a blast
In finishing up some of what's left in the cellar, I just made a couple mor e batches of red onion jam. So good on roasts, hamburgers, or whatever. Thi s is also one that gets made every year.
There's a lot more that goes on around here, but perhaps I'll share more as time goes on.
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