Sunday, December 10, 2006

Peak Oil is the simplest label for the problem of energy resource depletion, or more specifically, the peak in global oil production. Oil is a finite, non-renewable resource, one that has powered phenomenal economic and population growth over the last century and a half. The rate of oil 'production,' meaning extraction and refining (currently about 84 million barrels/day), has grown in most years over the last century, but once we go through the halfway point of all reserves, production becomes ever more likely to decline, hence 'peak'. Peak Oil means not 'running out of oil', but 'running out of cheap oil'. For societies leveraged on ever increasing amounts of cheap oil, the consequences may be dire. Without significant successful cultural reform, economic and social decline seems inevitable.

Why do we continue to use more oil when we are finding less and less?

Why are we not preparing for this when it will impact every aspect of our lives?

Our dog Dart eyeing off the chooks. The chook tractor is now integrated into the veggie garden using a 13 bed two week rotation cycle. That means the chooks are on each bed twice each year.
Georgie checking out how the tomatos are doing.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

One of the things we've started to handle our organic wastes in a worm farm. The one we got was the Reln Worm Factory.
The worms feed on the vegetable and other biodegradeable matter, living their whole lives in this worm paradise. They reproduce in large numbers and the cycle continues. The worm castings (or worm poo) is fine soil full of the nutrients essential for good plant growth. Garden soil containing plenty of worms or fed on worm castings is rich in nutrients and humus - excellent for maintaining your garden in good condition.
Harvesting of castings is easy because the worms move up, leaving their rich casting behind. The liquid fertiliser produced collects in the bottom bos - it can be collected via the tap. This is full of nutrients and should be used to feed your plants.
The Reln Worm Factory is fly and vermin proof and stands on four sturdy legs.
The Reln worm Factory is a fun and educational exercise the whole family can participate in. It is made here in Australia by an Australian company from 100% recycled plastic.

In an effort to reduce the amount of energy required to run our house we've replaced all our light bulbs with compact flourescents. It will be interesting to see our next power bill to find out the difference it makes.
I started attending meetings for the Rare Fruit Society of South Australia in July just after our son was born. I've found the meetings to be fascinating. It's amazing to know that there's over 200 varieties of apples alone that can be grown locally. I'm looking forward to implementing my espaliered tree design. The plan is to have each branch with a different variety so we can have fresh fruit coming ready to eat over the longest possible time. My understanding is that apples can be fresh off the tree in Adelaide for ten months of the year.