The First Day Of Crematoria

The first koel of summer has called, the first mosquito has bitten and the first dust storm has sprinkled Brisbane red ochre. While I’m out there watering, counting every drop as it falls onto the crisped ground, thunderstorm clouds are full of promise yet lacking in rain. It’s the first day of crematoria, south east…

Sustainable House Day 2008

‘Bellis’, Brisbane’s sustainable house and garden, will be part of the 7th annual Sustainable House Day. ‘Bellis’ will be open on Sunday 14th September only. With a gentle nudge from ‘Bellis’, budding Solar House Day has bloomed into Sustainable House Day. People realise they need to reduce their use of energy and water and to…

Agrochemical Farming – A System In Crisis

John Vidal reports that “Fertiliser prices have mostly doubled and in some cases risen by 500% in 15 months as US farmers have rushed to plant more biofuel crop”… ”There have been fertiliser riots or demonstrations in Vietnam, India, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Egypt, Pakistan and Taiwan in the last few months. Last week one man…

Families Dig For Dinner As Oil Crisis Hits

Here’s a range of news items related to the cascading effects of rising oil prices around the world: Degraded land, unsustainable agriculture and unaffordable fuel prices are devastating ordinary people in Lesotho, a small, mountainous African nation. How are ordinary families feeding themselves? Click on this link to read this special BBC News report about…

Sustainability Messages From The USA Salmonella Outbreak

Small is good for your health, especially where locally grown and consumed food is concerned. Why? It minimises the scale and spread of disease. The latest Salmonella outbreak in the USA has important messages for Australians: 1.Wash fresh food before eating 2.Install and maintain rainwater systems properly 3.Local food networks contain and minimise certain diseases

Any Suggestions For Reducing Our Larder’s Ecological Footprint?

We’re looking for simple suggestions as to how we could further reduce our larder’s ecological footprint, reducing food miles and making our place more sustainable. The cost of food is intimately linked to the cost of oil, prices are fast rising and we have a tight budget. So last month I listed all the products…

Using Every Drop More Than Once

The last thing we want is for any water to go down the drain. By mid-morning today, heavy showers filled our 21,000 litre rainwater tank. It’s starting to overflow into our network of drainage pipes, which soak the soil deeply from 70 cm down and below. When this network has done its job the subsoil…

Native Bee Day

On Saturday I became the proud owner of a hive of native stingless bees, Trigona carbonaria. Damo had done some web-searching and found that Tim Heard, a CSIRO entomologist and native bee specialist, supplies colonies and his brother, Frank, makes specially designed hives for them. Stingless bees and honeybees happily co-exist. Happily Brisbane provides an…

Food Rationing Starts In The USA

Our federal government’s latest response to the world food crisis echoes that of its predecessor. Sadly, Australia will suffer. The world food crisis is happening because the bulk of the global food supply is produced by oil-hungry conventional, industrial farming. As peak oil was passed in 2006, the oil supply has started decreasing by 3%…

Real Carbon Capture And Sequestration

While Australian governments state and federal, past and present, throw vast amounts of money at unproven ‘clean coal’ technology they are ignoring a proven method of pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere and storing it. A thirty year scientific trial by the Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania (USA) placed conventional, industrial farming systems and organic systems…

Level 6 Watering Restrictions

The Queensland government, and the Water Commission in particular, continue as the state’s arch water wasters… People who grow food at home are not exempt from watering restrictions. Some of us do this to save money so we can repay our mortgages.