Friday, July 29, 2011

Water use calculator

I am completing the Certificate in Sustainable Growing through Otago Polytechnic and as part of my sustainable water use module we were given a link to a water use calculator.  While I am sure that it is not entirely accurate to the last drop it does give you a very good indication of how you compare to the average.

My score was 287.05/person/day with the average for NZ 250L/person/day.  Considering we do not have a dishwasher, very rarely wash our vehicles ;), don't have a spa or pool, only 1 toilet etc I'm not all that surprised we were about average.  Must get my hunny to reduce his time in the shower!!!

In Australia they are trying to get people down to 155L/person/day!  Now there's a goal to aim for.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My latest book finds!

While the weather has been a bit cooler I have had the chance to read some more books.
THe Readers Digest Back to Basics book has been on my list for ages but is never available at the library, but fortunately I managed to pick it up last week.  Packed full of information on all things self sufficient it is a fantastic reference for people sonsidering life on the land.

Also I picked up a copy of the Readers Digest Alternative medicine book.  It is going to be an invaluable reference book for my family.  I am watching some auctions on Trade Me at the moment for some Aromatherapy books and I want to explore this discipline some more.

Growing Organic; Green tips for New Zealand gardeners has been an easy to read guide to growing greener. Starting at the very beginning it looks at recommended tools for gardening, methods of gardening, projects and much more.  Written by Kiwis for Kiwis it is a great read and not too wordy and jargonistic.

Planning the vege garden

Over this year I have been completing a Certificate in Sustainable Growing with the Otago Polytechnic.  I have one module left to go on the Level 2 certificate.  I have learnt a lot, and am more determined than ever to embrace Organic growing methods.
The garden at the moment has been well cleared by the chooks, and I have been procrastinating about getting sorted for spring.
The house is still on the market, and in all honesty I don't want to go to a lot of effort in case we sell.  However, we are very lean on veges in the ground, limited to silverbeet, a few carrots, and some broccoli seedlings doing their best to grow.  At the moment they are under snow so that will slow things down a bit!
To do list:
Study gardening calendar, and books to decide on veges to grow in spring
Check seeds to see if I need to buy any
Sow seeds in trays if applicable
Dig over soil in garden and fence off from chooks
Sow seeds direct once snow cleared and ground warmed up a little

Climate Change

It is 25th July 2011 and snow came to the small seaside town I live in.  We had about 1-2 inches lying this morning when I got out of bed.  With the wind chill factor we must have been in minus temperatures. 
It is not unusual to get snow in the South Island of NZ at this time of year but it is most certainly unusual to get this much snow at sea level.

The extreme weather patterns we have been experiencing in NZ with tornados in the North Island, and extreme rains and slips, there is an even greater reason to find more sustainable ways of living with the planet instead of destroying it.

With a day off work my daughter and I took the opportunity to play in this foreign substance.  She is nearly 4 and has only been in snow one other time when we were on holiday in Central Otago.
We walked to a friends house and with her children made a snowman, and the children slid down the road on boogie boards.  Great fun.
The saddest thing was that they were the only children we saw out playing in the snow all morning.  This was a rare event and yet children were not out making the most of it.  At the rate we are going we cannot slow climate change too quickly so we must find what positives we can.  I had a wonderful morning with my daughter and now have some cherished memories together.

Isn't this what family is all about?