The Future of Agriculture and the Importance of Developing Our Skills and Knowledge Base

Page 4 of 4  


Harvest is always hard. This year is no different in that respect. Six day weeks and ten hour+ days, really takes the wind out of your sails. Who ever thought up the idea of the "romance of wine making" should be drowned in a vat. In Europe, each region grows a couple of different types of grapes. They harvest for 2 weeks, throw a party, and go home. Here in Northern California, we have been going at it for about six weeks now. When it is over, everyone will collapse in an ecstasy of unconciousness. Because we grow everything, we have early ripeners like chardonnay and late ripeners like syrah. It even appears that the harvest may be over early, in a couple of weeks, instead of grinding on to the first of November when rain will bring "la pointe finale" to this madness.
Getting back to the thread, it is to be hoped when we cruise past "peak oil", cheap carbs, and cheap meat, we may get our health back. Hopefully we will see adult on-set diabetes as a thing of the past. I can easily afford to lose 30 to 40 lbs. Maybe, one day, we, who can store food as fat, will be the healthy ones again.
Of course we may get the same results in a less bucolic fashion, if the pirates of Wall Street have their way.
Long day. Time to go out to the garden and throw the frisbee for Beau, the McNabb. Lilly, the shepherd seems to have fallen in love with a silicon bung, which dances away from her when she drops it. Wish JoeSB could be here to enjoy the spectacle.
You never did overcome the hubris implied in the question of planting next year's crop, Charlie. I'm sure we'll get to it eventually. Keep your pots and ladles handy. This may be a rough one.
I wonder if we could get Kucinich and Paul to run on the same ticket? Everyone else seems beholden to the "man".
Now where did I leave that bucket of margaritas?
--
FB - FFF

Billy

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Hubris it may be, but chance favors the prepared mind, or so someone has said.
Tryin' to make some decisions about which way to go. Thinking about a fair part of my limited space on some things to beef up my seed vault... amaranth, quinoa, squash, other grain crops. Problem with squash is the space requirement and the distance requirement ot prevent cross pollination.
Yeah, we'll do this discussion sometime.

Yeah, fat chance that. We will only get more, or much more, of the same, if we even have elections.

Margaritas.......feh......waste of good tequila.
Charlie
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<Charlie> wrote in message

Yes it is eaten but I have never mastered the art of cooking it and don't want to do so. It is a very low fat meat and as you would know, marbling in meat makes it tender. I'd rather eat less top quality beef than try to eat any of the roos round here, or buy roo.

And are delicious! Also have good fibre if one chooses the right breeds.

That is why I was so surprised that it wasn't mentioned in the article. I'd hate to see what hybrids would produce when/if the manure hits the fan - might be OK for the first year at a pinch, but then knowing about the need for distances between crops and true to type seeds would be vital.

Ummmmm. I don't think I ever want to eat anything the Aboriginal people ate except honey from native bees. Roo doesn't appeal to me so snake and lizard is right off the agenda. Hunter gatherer lifestyle would not be my first preference for native peoples food.

Yes it is. I'm always amused when I read posts from the boys (and I do mean boys) in the survivalist ngs. I always think to myself that they probably don't own a handkerchief between them and the thought of owning a metal buket would never cross their collectivley small minds. It all about who has the biggest and best weapon.

I dunno. Mel Gibson in his younger days was very easy on the eyes. With my luck, I'd only come across the mutants.
I read a very interesting article today about the predictions for Global warming.
It wasn't online but I have looked up a cite which may possibly interest you.
In brief, the article says that climate scientists agree that a raise in temperatures should be confined to a max of 2 degrees but most scientists had now recognised that this figure was already beyond what could be achieved - more likely a rise of 3 degrees or more was most likely. Even a 1 degree rise would result in loss of a third of fresh water from the earth's surface and Australia's Barrier Reef was doomed to die. A rise of 2 degrees would result in Greenland losing its ice and thus raising sea levels and more heat waves in Europe where the 2003 heat wave cost 35K lives and loss of production in the order of $12B. A 3 degree increase would result in carbon sequestration that currenly happens in the soil would be thrown into reverse and carbon dioxide would be released into the air. 2-3 degrees would result in loss of most of the Amazon rainforest and so it went on......
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14834318 /
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wrote:

I agree, and was speaking more about regional climate issues that determined what crops they did raise and storage issues and the like. Native Amercians relied upon maize, beans, and squash, all which stored well and were quality sources of nutrition. Supplemented with whatever meat was available.

Yeah, the boys in MS are not too helpful anymore. During the run-up to Y2K, there was a lot of good info posted there and I saved some of it. Manuals dealing with water purification and the like. Stored a lot more info in the meatware.

Thanks. You are seeing more articles stating that things are much more dire than we are being led to believe.
This month's National Geographic was all over the global warming issue, as well as the biofuel issue. The map insert dealt as well. National Geographic has been devoting a lot of research, ink and electrons to climate change.
Here are online links to the issue and articles.
http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/2007-10/tableofcontents.html
http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/2007-10/climate-map.html
Seems as if more and more people are at least acknowledging this, except the friggin' morons that have hijacked this country.
One quick question. What are some reliable sources for news in your country, region, etc? I know less about Australia than I thought.
Care Charlie
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<Charlie> wrote in message

If you mean News (as in what journalists think we should know) the ABC isn't too bad. Governments of all persuasions try to shut them up so they can't be too bad.
www.abc.net.au
As for climate and crops etc the gov agencies are good. Like
http://mirror.bom.gov.au
or www.dpi.nsw.gov.au
Take care that some like the last are State based (there are only 8 if you count territories) and Oz is a big place so what goes in one State might be quite different to another.
And this will give you the bird's eye view
http://imagery.maps.nsw.gov.au /#
David
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<Charlie> wrote in message

Well the US is blessed in many ways with less marginal land/climate positive factors than we are/have, so perhaps the effects aren't so evident to your people, but I am frequently amazed at some of the comments I see about global warning from US residents. Denial is the most frequent response. No-one here is doing that anymore - even our Prime Minister has finally realised that it's a problem and he's a good friend of Geo. Bush.

Thanks Charlie - will look at them later have a small person trying to get me to read him "The Grandpa Book".

Do you mean for reading online? Start with the CIA factbook which is what I always read to learn the basic govt structure etc of a country I don't know about - a good start. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/
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Tagging onto my own post..............

Dumb question. Of course you'd want to read online as it's the easiest way if you can't get to our bookstores or newsagencies.
That's a bit difficult these days. We've had 11 years of an extremely conservative government headed by Bush's mate, John Howard (our Prime Minister) and unfortunately during his time, changes have happened to this country that I hoped never to see in my lifetime.
He has a wonderful patter that, if one doesn't listen closely and doesn't analyse what he says or the impact of his policies, sounds pretty good. All the good warm, fuzzy buzz words that make people feel comfortable and secure and lull them into thinking all is right in their world. You'd know them: 'democracy', 'freedom', 'respect', 'security' yada yada.
He's just like a magician, watch the right hand while the left hand is really doing something else and that something else is usually not going to benefit anyone but the richest and most powerful. He's really very authoritarian in his outlook and intent - often described as '1950s Man' because that is where he is trying to drag us back to in terms of attitude and societal thinking.
His real agenda is to stay in government and I have to say that the man is perhaps the most brilliant politician this country has ever had. That is not a compliment. He is a supreme political animal but he is not a real 'leader' for the country. He is a good leader for his party but is not really interested in what is happening to the well being of the population as a whole although he disguises that be saying the right words. He is very good at fooling most of the people most of the time.
He has made the sort of political appointments that you would be used to in the US, but which have never really been a factor of this country's political landscape till his government. Sure, previous governments have done the odd 'job for the boys' thing such as the occasional nice Ambassadorial post in some gorgeous location for former politicians but these have been few and far between in the past as our Diplomatic service (and all other civil service jobs) have always (till this government) been a career service - they do it for the whole of their worjing lives regardless of the party which holds power. The old catch cry of civil servants was that they worked for the people of Australia and would provide advice to government "without fear of favour". No civil servant who cares to remain employed would give any advice without fear these days. Anyway, our current government has made political appointments left right and centre to any board or civil service job where they can get away with it and they are all designed to gag or to reduce real political comment/dissent/criticism.
The government has also criticised our judiciary in ways which are totally alien under the doctrine of the Separation of Powers.
They've also brought the idea of negative political ads from the US where they were apparently designed to put people off going out to vote. Since we have what is an effectively (but not in reality) compulsory voting system, that is also making waves.
The impact of 11 years of this government has been the most appalling dumbing down right across the board. I don't know if this is happening world wide (which also seems to be on a dumbing down track from what I can see) but that's what living here feels like - the newspapers aren't worth a pinch of manure anymore and even the ABC which David recommended and which is still the best we have, has been so starved of funds (it's government owned - similar to PBS perhaps??) that it can't do what it used to do.
One of the favourite tricks of this government in the dumbing down stakes is for certain members of the government to appear on the right wing shock jock radio shows which are only listened to by morons so they get a sympathetic hearing and all the morons ring in to ask puerile questions and tell the pollies how they approve of their action for the next authoritarian action they are about to take. This is then picked up by the mainstream and we get moron level reporting in the mainstream press as a result. I despair sometimes!
My prime interest outside my home and friends is largely politics but as you can imagine, that interest crosses into things like the environment, the ecomony, social history related stuff. I think it was Clinton who said that all politics is local. I don't know that I'd agree with him as I tend to be a big picture person who sometimes gets lost in the small and/or local stuff.
Anyway, a lot of the reading I do these days is in book form although I do try to keep up with the press too. There is one journalist for whom I have the utmost respect for her incisive mind and knowing how not to be conned by our political masters. Her name is Michelle Gratton. After her there is one other journalist called Larie Oakes who would rate after her. On climate change you may be interested in this book http://www.sustainableinsight.com.au/shop/high-and-dry-496-page-book.html I know you won't be able to get your hands on it but basically it is written by someone who used to be part of Howard's inner circle (but the author is now very obviously off their Christmas card list :-) - sort of like Al Gore in turning away from the mainstream view). I also read what these days in this country would rate as a left wing publication but a few years ago it would have been considered to just be a middle of the road journal providing analytical comment http://www.dissent.com.au/ (This publication would be considered to be a Commie manifesto to most US midwest people I suspect :-)
The world has tilted too far to the right to my way of thinking and I seem to be in a minority because I don't want to live in a world where no-one seems to want to ask difficult questions or analyse issues or gives a shit about their fellow man.
Life as others seem to want it, all seems to be about home renovations and getting a bigger, better, newer, faster...............whatever. It's like the whole world went to sleep witht he end of the Cold War. I don't care if I have several old TVs, don't have an MP3 player and my computer is pedal powered. I must be getting old. All I want is becoming increasing unavailable or difficult to find.
Now I realise that my diatribe may not have covered what you want to know. What sort of news are you interested in? If it's just normal news then there are bulk papers both national and local. There are also specialty press such as rural press coverage for farmers/agriculture. Our press is probably less parochial than that of the US as America is a news maker and you can afford to ignore the rest of the world being the richest most powerful nation of earth but Oz is a news taker. One advantage of being a little, unimportant country at the what others see as being the bottom of the world is that we get news from all around the world. Our major national press will include articles sourced from organisations such as 'The Guradian' or 'The Independant' or other major UK and sometimes US Publications such as 'The Washington Post', 'NY Times' etc. It's not as good in terms of analysis as it used to be, but at least there is some of it is still there.
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In article

Good rant Farml. The Communist Manifesto seems so quaint by todays standards. Since we acquiesced to the Bush Putsch, the fascist forces have elected Merkel, Sarkozy, Brown, Harper, and your own John Howard. This is going to be difficult to turn around as most of the candidates for the American Presidency want to continue the eternal war on terrorism, i.e. those opposed to corporate rule of the world.

--
FB - FFF

Billy

Get up, stand up, stand up for yor rights.
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snip rant

:-))
Since we acquiesced to the Bush Putsch, the fascist forces

An interesting development here has been that the top man in Australian policing, has recently said that the biggest threat to Australia's future security is global warming. This has upset Howard a great deal as he says it's terrorism. I agree with the cop's assessment.
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In article

On the other hand, American corporations have embraced the weather and figured out how to make money on the misery of its' displaced masses in New Orleans by replacing low cost housing (and the communities that they were part of) with condos, and replacing public schools (and the attendant loss of teachers) with charter schools. Did I mention that this displacement of people was displacement of "black" skinned people? Bad on me. It's called ETHNIC CLEANSING. Sort of like having our very own Israel in our very own back yard. In any event, when those proud condo owners move in, they won't have to see many people of color in "their" neighborhoods, just lots of peckerwoods like themselves.
Global warming will offer more such opportunities.
As far as terrorism is concerned, America would get more "bang" for its' buck by providing clean water and water treatment to the developing world, instead of trying to bomb them into peace.
But then there isn't as much profit in building "stealth" water pipes as there is in building "stealth" bombers.
Anybody awake out there?
--
FB - FFF

Billy

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On Sun, 30 Sep 2007 12:48:23 -0400, William Wagner

Heh heh.......nice to see you here in the belly of the beast, Bill. Commondreams is a great place to spend some time. Great articles, and good commentary following. Enough good news there to drive anyone back to drink.
Hang out at alternet a bit also for more cheery stuff.
http://alternet.org/environment/63895 /
Care Charlie, listening to Moby......"Extreme Ways"...really, really loud.
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Yes.
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wrote:
<snip of really good overview, which I appreciate....thanks, for your thoughts *and* the time involved.>

I thought on this remark, about all politics being local, and perhaps Clinton was being more honest than appears on the surface. Past the local level, it becomes business, just another part of the corporatocracy....which might be defined as fascism. Even so at the local level, oftimes. In the US, regardless of how anyone counters, national politics is business and the beneficiaries are seldom the "common" constituents.
Follow the money.
Care Charlie
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<Charlie> wrote in message

I decided it was about time I checked my attribution and it was Tip O'Neill who apparently said it, but given that it is such a good quote it wouldn't surprise me if Clinton used it too. Can't remember where I got it from now.
Past the

Yep. But also, if you are a politician at the national level (as opposed to the municipal level) what is considered 'local' is of rather a higher plane.
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wrote:

You wouldn't believe some of the comments you hear from US residents about a a great number of deadly issues.......it's frightening and sad. We are in a world of hurt here, and it isn't looking better, day by day. From your other post is sounds as if Oz is headed down the same path.

Small people......I assume you mean grands and I have two and another due in thirty days. We give them all of ourselves that we can while we still can. They are the the main reason for my fears now......I'm not going there now, but I am sure you know what I mean.
What is the Grandpa Book? Never mind......I just looked it up and it sounds like one I need to get.......thank you.

Phooey..........you caught yourself before I could make some wise-ass remark. ;-)
Care Charlie
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<Charlie> wrote in message be given>

Hey...we dragged the Ozzites into our stupid war. Their guvmint's even putting the same stuff in the kool-aid to get their subjects to believe the war's a great thing.
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Actually that is not quite right. Before the Iraq war, the opinion polls in Oz were 65% AGAINST the war whereas in the US it was about the same percentage FOR the war. Our PM made the decision to send troops off in the face of strong local opposition and that opposition has hardened more but not hugely for the time that our troops have been a way. Our PM, who is quite cunning sometimes, also obviously realised that body bags were not a good look for him so he only sent a very few troops (IIRC it's in the order of about 1200 troops) and made sure that they were in a relatively safe area of Iraq. That way, he could be seen to be supporting our allies but wasn't running too great a risk. Bush can still claim that the US has an ally in Oz but given that our contribution is so small, he's obviously desperate to continue to have any allies.
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be given>

What a concept: Using 1200 of other people's kids to paint a nice political picture. No wonder world leaders love to lick each other so much.
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<Charlie> wrote in message

I would believe it, I've read quite a few of them and probably argued about the dopier comments too. :-))

It is heading off to a place that doesn't please me, but it seems as if there is finally an emergence from the years of slumber. We have an election imminent and all the polls are suggesting that the government is in major difficulty. It seems to me that people have just turned off and are no longer listening to anything the government has to say. I'm not convinced the alternative government will be any better than the current lot but at least a change might be heading in the right direction.

Yep.
My ankle biter is about to turn 2 and I think that he will grow out of these books by Todd Parr very soon, but it is a good learning book for teaching who is grandpa, granma, Mum, Dad etc. He likes to have them read over and over again. I'll be delighted when he wants a real story that won't bore me stupid.

Nyah, nyah, nyah nyah nyah!! :-))

Thanks Charlie Fran
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