The following extract is provided as a Fernglade Farm guest post:
Hey kids! Gather ’round and talk with your bad uncle Chris. Call me C-dawg. Oi! You, over there, stop mucking around and get over here. That’s better. Get in a bit closer. C’mon. Yeah. Gotta talk to you kids about oil. Whaddya mean it’s a boring topic? You’ like them experts on the radio the other day mouthin’ off about oil like they knew what they were talkin’ bout. Don’ ‘no nuffin anywhoo them experts, so stop your nonsense, we got serious bidness to talk.
So we’ll do this talk right and proper, then you idiots get a chance to ask questions later. Until then, shut up. Them’s the rules cause C-dawg holds the floor. Yeah, C-dawg be in charge.
So’s the other day I hear experts talkin’ on the radio ’bout oil. The expert bloke was actin’ a bit cagey cause he’s sayin’ oil is produced. Now kids, to cut him some slack, he might be usin’ clever talk with that word ‘produced’. Sure the stuff ya see at Foodies which folks put in cars is produced from oil. Production means the oil first gotta be distilled, dumbies, before it becomes petrol (gas) or other stuff. Distillation ain’t no different a process than producing moonshine, and that’s what happens to oil before it gets trucked to Foodies. Yeah.
However, the oil gotta be extracted from the ground first. It ain’t produced. It be extracted. And the oil stuff kinda got in the ground before even dinosaurs were ’round. Kids, you ever seen a dinosaur? Whaddya mean birds are dinosaurs? Awright smarty pants. Sure birds are dinosaurs, but you ever seen a bigger dinosaur? What? Jurassic Park don’ count mate. Yeah, Nah. I don’ think so.
So oil got in da ground a long time ago. So callin’ the stuff produced is a lie. Like my mate Spud, when he showed me the new car radio the other week. I go: Mate, where’d ya get that radio Spud? Say’s he found it, he did. That’s what a lie looks like. Do you kids wanna be like Spud? Nah, no way! Good.
You kids are smart, right? Well, ya realise if you use oil stuff, then it’s gone. Done. Finito. That’s what finite is. Get it? You better get it, ’cause that’s where the problems begin.
Remember that show Breakin’ Bad? You know the one. Chemist gets bored teachin ‘no nuffin kids. Yeah, fancy that, who’d be bored teachin’ you lot? OK, OK, enough of that, time for talkin’ later. Anyways, chemist bloke needs to make some mad cash quick, so he sets up a meth lab in the desert. What’s a meth lab? Well, let’s not go into that, juz remember kids: drugs are bad, ok?
Yeah, so the show is about this chemist bloke messin’ around makin’ drugs, gettin’ heaps of mad cash, but things get slowly worse for him, not better. Now I don’ ‘no much about how he was makin’ the stuff, but in the show he had to go around and steal (remember Spud?) chemicals. That’s not sustainable. What is sustainable? That’s a good question kiddo: A plant that grows in the dirt, that’s sustainable. Stealing chemicals that ya can’t make y’self is not sustainable. Get it?
That chemist bloke had to go further and meaner to get the chemicals. Sooner or later someone else gets upset ’bout that. The stuff he’s makin’ gets more expensive , and you’re annoying people. Not good. Oil’s kinda like that, once you’ve used what ya have, you have to go to some crazy places, maybe steal some stuff, but you’re sure gonna annoy a whole bunch of other people. And it’s gonna get more expensive all the time. Like the other day I waz at Foodies:
Hoo Whee! $2.05 per litre (3.8 litres to the US gallon) on the board at Foodies. That sure is expensive as. Economists don’ usually ‘no nuffin’ either, but they might say that there is more demand for oil than there is supply, and that pushes up prices. They might be right ’bout that too. What did you say kid? Did you say it doesn’t matter? Heck yeah, it sure matters. You ain’t an adult, so you don’ ‘no, so I’ll tell ya: Adults only have so much mad cash, and if you spend more at Foodies on petrol, then you’ve got less mad cash to spend elsewhere. How hard is that to understand? But for a while ya could be a bit dodge, but ya gotta go into debt. Or ya gotta hock some stuff, maybe avoid Spud if ya gonna do that, he’s a bit dodgy.
But ya know, just to move you lot from one place to ‘nother, or movin’ anythin’ really, ya need oil. And lot’s of it, and all the freakin’ time. But all the time there’s less of the stuff. So you don’ have to be Einstein to knows that everything will begin to cost more. And then you’ll have even less mad cash, you’ll be annoying other people, probably in debt, hocking stuff (avoid Spud), and have less of everythin’. How hard is that to understand? Like I told ya kids: drugs are bad, ok?
What? Oh, that’s a good question kid. What to do indeed? I says to ya before, sustainable is growing plants in the dirt. And maybe there’s some other stuff, but you kids gotta find out for ya’selves and do ya own thing. There’s a lot of folks out there like Spud telling lies and stuff. Like ya hear renewable energy is as good as oil. Well it ain’t, it’s good, but it ain’t the same at all. Trust me on this.
But mostly kids, ya just gotta get used to less of everythin’.
Thanks from everyone for the informative discussion Mr C-dawg. We now resume the usual blog…
Well that was certainly err, interesting.
Just out of summer, the days are getting shorter, the nights are cooler. Cold air pools in the valley well below the farm. One morning, the sun was at the exact right angle it reflected the light off the glass used in the fire lookout tower on the nearby Mount Blackwood.
We continued the earthworks for the greenhouse expansion project. A full steel rock gabion cage was sewn up, another empty gabion cage was installed. Then that new cage was filled with rocks. It takes about a days work to relocate an existing rock gabion cage. And the humid day was also the hottest day in recent weeks.
There’s probably another two, or maybe three days of work before the next phase of the project can be undertaken.
Observant readers will note that in the above photo there is a smaller five foot empty gabion cage waiting to be installed at the far end of the line of rock gabions. That is the final cage to be installed on this side of the earthworks.
The following evening, an epic stormed dumped several inches of rain over the farm. The water was gratefully received, however the farm was shrouded in thick fog with drizzle for the next two dreary days. Both days produced about three quarters of an hour of peak sunlight, which is pretty dismal and not at all what you’d expect for this time of the year. Winter had suddenly arrived.
Two of the four rain water tanks which collect water from off the roof of the new shed were almost filled by the storm. This was something of a minor problem as the overflow pipes have not yet been properly connected. And so in the drizzle for a few hours, I had to connect up all four water tanks together so that water moved from the almost full water tanks, into the emptier water tanks. Gravity provides the energy for this process, and now all four water tanks are at the same level, and again with spare capacity.
This summer, but also the previous summer have both been cold and damp. This makes for very challenging growing conditions, and the need for the expanded greenhouse is obvious. If growing conditions this season don’t improve soon it is very likely that the tomato crop won’t ripen. Oh well.
In our travels this week, we inadvertently passed by a recently shuttered gold mine which began operations way back in the early 1850’s and was worked into this century. It was like someone had just closed the gates one day. It’s an awesome looking decaying industrial site.
Onto the flowers:
The temperature outside now at about 9.00am is 11’C (52’F). So far this year there has been 186.6mm (7.3 inches) which is up from last weeks total of 104.0mm (4.1 inches)