Thursday, November 17, 2005

autumn raspberries.

.
i don't work every day - today i was at home on the
farm.

cattle. i breed shorthorns crossed with irish moiled
cattle. the irish moiled (maol = bald ) has no horns
but is naturally polled. this save the vet's diesel and
the cost of cutting them off, as cattle with horns are
banned in irish cattle marts. the reason for keeping
these breeds is because the cattle here get only grass,
hay, and water, and are left out all winter. to bring cattle
in accumulates slurry, and this requires machinery ( i do
not have any) to spread back on the land. to quote the
late john seymour - this takes a solution and divides it
into two problems. operating a pre-industrial farming
system, i keep pre-industrial cattle. modern irish cattle
are fed, in part, from the american great plains, and if
these are destined to be turned over to biodiesel crops,
food grain importers will need to do some hard thinking.

lunch. i had a salad of grated turnip, carrot, chinese
cabbage, with potatoes - all from the garden - and dollops
of hellman's mayonnaise from tesco. ( i am not a saint )

to follow, the last of the autumn raspberries, plus sugar
(imported) and milk ( made with american soya and machine
made silage).

fuel. slightly damp turf contributes to global warming more
than to mine. you need sticks to get the fire going. logs are
a luxury - factor in the wages and the chainsaw maintenance
and your own timber is not an economical fuel. but i am only
gathering dead sticks for kindling. an hour or less gathers
a wheelbarrow load that lasts a week.

washing. my clothes drier is a long line in the garage. the
garage contains turf - no car. i would not mind only using
the washing machine on the days the wind blew, if that meant
we all survived on wind powered electricity. the three local
windmills are at templederry twelve miles away.

bicycle. the garage also houses my bicycle. it is a butcher's
delivery bike with basket. ( thurles c. 1950 ).

newspapers. daily newspapers cost about 6 x 1.50 = 9 euro
per week or about 80 euro every couple of months. i can get
two months' internet for 60 euro ( a couple of hours a night.) and
i still have the telly in the hotels and bars, often two tellies at a time.
the most consistently intelligent newspaper - for my interests, which
tend to be global, economic, geopolitical, historical - is the asia
times online.

but you cannot light the fire with the internet. i buy a sunday paper.
since my habits were revolutionised by the internet, i buy a
different newspaper every time. sunday telegraph - new york
herald tribune - irish independent - hello magazine - whatever.

my cat 'smudge' is semi self-sufficient. i have not told him the
news about american soya yet. perhaps we will have to milk one
of our own cows.

. . . all of this chat brought to you as a break from the usual gloom
of global politics and economics . . . .
.

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