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Margaret's Sustainability Articles
I've updated the Gardening Calendar with the April figures.
It's been a warm April, with temperatures mainly in the mid-20C.s. Lovely for Easter and most of the school holidays, although the last week was rather wet. But climate trends show in the warm nights, and the garden.
My deciduous trees still have most of their leaves, even the almond's are clinging on. The garden is heavily fragrant, as the Loquat is in full bloom, and the Brugmansia, or Angels' Trumpet, is heavy with blossom & full of bees. I wonder what effect this will have on the honey?!
The Oak trees in our streets have dropped all their acorns, but the leaves are only just turning, and the Plane trees still have much of their foliage.
I've been overwhelmed with Guavas & Feijoas, and as usual the Macadamia has cropped heavily. It's been hard work collecting and finding ways to use or pass on the bounty. I can only use small quantities of the fruit myself, and many people are not familiar with these fruits of winter. The macadamias have to be hulled soon after collection, or the husks go mouldy. Then the kernels need to be kept until mature before they can be shelled and used.
The first chokos are filling out. I like to eat them young, no larger than an egg. The Jerusalem Artichokes are beginning to mature, I cooked up a saucepanful yesterday. Some I've used in a vegetable soup, but the One Planet Market is 2 weeks is two weeks away, so I'm going to experiment by using them in cake and muffins.
There are plenty of nasturtiums coming up, also chickweed, parsley, & nettle. The newly emerged seedlings can be pulled, washed, & used like sprouts. Just leave the nettles to wilt a bit, then they won't sting. The sweet potato tops are still flourishing, though the tubers should be filling out soon, & the dandelions are doing well. So I'm not short of greens or salad.
Samhain, the ending and beginning of the annual cycle. The pumpkins in the markets should make it obvious to anyone in the Southern Hemisphere that this is Hallowe'en.
So all of you who are in touch with the seasons will be honouring your dead, and preparing for a season of deep meditation as the days draw down towards the Winter Solstice.
The overcast sky, falling leaves, and damp earth give this year's Samhain a truly wintry feel.
As well as the monthly update of the Weather & Planting Calendar, I have substantially edited & re-worked the Home page and the Seasons and Calendars page. Hopefully they now read more logically, and they are quite a bit shorter.
Best wishes for the Equinox.
I've put the link to Glenys Livingstone's page on my front page & on the seasons page.
Her writings comprehensively cover the various metaphysical aspects of the seasons. If I ever make another seasons page, it will be a very personal one, just for my friends.
Just the monthly update of the Gardening Calendar. Daytime temperatures for the month below average, but night temperatures up. Rainfall more than twice the mean average.
Apologies for the late update of the Gardening Calendar. The recent heatwave threw my plans into disarray. Done now!
A Dark Moon today, at 8°15' of Aquarius, at 10.37am. Also our Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and other East Asian friends will be celebrating Lunar New Year as soon as the New Moon appears in the evening sky. So Lammas, which is always around the beginning of February in the Southern Hemisphere, will follow closely on these colourful and noisy celebrations.
The days start to draw in more rapidly now, in spite of the still increasing temperatures. Although the days are shorter, the Sun is lower in the sky, so reaches vertical surfaces for longer, and we feel the heat more acutely.
Happy New Year! if you celebrate it now. Today is Twelfth Night, the last of the 12 days of Christmas, and the Feast of the Epiphany, the date when, traditionally, Jesus was shown to the Wise Men from the East.
As I update the Gardening Calendar we are expecting temperatures of 40C. plus for the next 2 days - the first extreme heat of the season. I'm so grateful for the cooler Spring and early Summer temperatures, and the heavy rain,we had during the last few months.
I really don't want to install air conditioning, though each year I find extreme heat harder to deal with. As for most people, it's the hot nights when the house can't be cooled naturally that really stresses me.The worst thing is boredom! Staying in the house, which only gets really hot in the late afternoon, makes sense, but there's little sense of accomplishment in reading, listening to repeats on the radio, or watching DVDs. And my one good eye will now only maintain focus for limited period before needing a rest, so that, and my increasingly clumsy hands make it difficult to crochet, knit, or sew for long periods, as I once used to. Forgive the rant - it is NOT a complaint - just a statement of fact. I'm better off than many of my age - 79 in March - but, while I detest exercise, I abhor inactivity!
Must make good use of the Gratitude Diary I gave myself this year.
As I write, thunder is rumbling around the sky as a cold front meets the residual atmospheric heat after a 37C. day.
As is now my custom, I have put a link to Glenys Livingstone's Solstice page on Seasons & Calendars
This year I have been more involved with Christmas than for some years, because THE CARING CHOIR which I joined back in June has been visiting various supported living houses to sing carols and help them celebrate.
Like many of my neighbours I've decorated my gate for the holidays, but with a green bow, sunflowers, and some corn dolly stars I found on the free stall at the ONE PLANET MARKET last week, in celebration of the Summer Solstice.
If you go to this article from THE CONVERSATION you'll find some interesting historical stuff about Christmas - lots more if you follow the links.
All good wishes for the holidays, however you choose to spend them.
Just the usual climate statistics update for Adelaide.
The most memorable weather event this month was the dramatic storm on Remembrance Day, November 11th.
Hail the size of golf balls did a great deal of damage; one made a hole in my skylight. The noise was indescribable, and took me back to my childhood in the London Blitz.
Much worse though, was the damage to crops, especially for soft fruit growers in the Riverland. Altogether it has been a discouraging year for our local food growers.
However, rainfall was only slightly above average for the month. And once again, temperatures were lower than usual.
Just the usual climate statistics update for Adelaide on the Gardening Calendar. October was the coolest on record. though not the wettest.
This does NOT mean that the planet is not warming.
Weather & variability are different from climate, and climate trends.
We are emitting more C02 than ever.
There's plenty on this website to help you make positive changes.What Can I Do?
We live in the Southern Hemisphere! No amount of globalisation will change this. It is Beltane, the first signs of Summer.
Samhain marks the beginning of Winter, and Hallowe'en celebrations are appropriate only in the Northern Hemisphere.
See Seasons & Calendars
I have updated the Gardening Calendar for September. In spite of the storms & flooding in SA, rainfall in Adelaide this month did not break the 1992 record.
Bill Mollison, co-originator of Permaculture died on September 24th. aged 88. http://www.echo.net.au/2016/09/permaculture-design-leader-bill-mollison-dies/.
A Facebook page has been set up as a memorial, your favourite search engine - yes! there are more than one! - will find it, and plenty more tributes.
On a more personal note, our local Permaculture community is mourning the death of Sue Carver, a friend, colleague, and all-round eco-warrior, aged only 54. More about Sue later.
Good wishes for the Equinox. The Gardening Calendar has also been updated with 2016 August figures. Many thanks to Glenys Livingstone for: SPRING EQUINOX
As promised, I've updated the gardening calendar with the July figures, also added Full & Dark Moon dates & times - Dark Moon is what the astronomers call 'New' Moon. But not those people who use a lunar calendar to time their festivals. New Moon is the first appearance of the crescent moon just after sunset.
I've placed a link on my front page to Glenys' page for this seasonal festival.
And I shall be updating the gardening calendar as soon as the July figures become available. The dams & reservoirs are all full to overflowing. Goddess be Blessed!
The last 4 days have been focussed on completely revamping the Gardening, Food, & Weather Calendar for Adelaide.
Thanks once again to Andrew Leane for the heads-up and motivation.
It's leaner, stats. are up-to-date, and site navigation & links are at the end of the page, so you can go straight to the month you want Or straight to the plain text mobile version.
Whether I'll remember to update it each month as I once used to, I don't know. If I forget, I'd be delighted if you were to remind me.
Two days ago Andrew Leane, who teaches web design to High School students in Adelaide, kindly emailed me to tell me my Garden Calendar didn't display properly on mobile devices. I hadn't previously thought about this - it's a problem easily solved on a PC or laptop, simply by adjusting the resolution. On a very small screen, this adjustment could create problems for some people.
While Andrew also offered to show me how to fix this, I thought of a work-around, which I have now uploaded. All pages with borders now have a link at the top to a mobile text only version.
I am aware that borders are very old-fashioned, but they are one of the things that made the early days of web design such fun. Many artists created lovely graphic designs which they generously put in the public domain. Most of these use very little data, and I like to use them because they add something to a page, and so that they wonn't be forgotten in these days of extravagant and unneccessarily complex websites.
Hopefully the use of mobile devices will result in the reversal of this deplorable trend.
Glenys Livingstone's Yule/Litha page for 2016
This page doesn't stay up for long, so go there soon, or sign up for Glenys' emails.
Whether I'll make a page myself this year I'm not sure, but on my Seasons Page are links to pages I made in previous years.
Today is Samhain. A clear and chilly dawn, but a forecast max. of 26°C. Altogther an unseasonably warm & dry month, but no doubt we can expect more & worse.
I've put a link on my Season's page to Glenys Livingstone's current musings.
Thank you once again, Glenys, for your insight and energy.
Today is my 78th.birthday, and I've finally found the energy & time (it comes in that order these days!) to update Glenys Livingstone's seasonal link:
On taking a look at the website following the Permaculture advances recently launched at THE JOINERY I realise that it really needs a makeover.
Not the style - I always intend to keep it simple - but some of the older pages now read rather oddly. Considering much of it was written in 1998/9, that's not surprising. And some things are now out of date, external links especially, although almost all the information is still relevant.
If the inspiration, energy, & time coincide, I'll have a go. Now the worst of the hot weather seems to be over, I am feeling much livlier. But there's such a lot to catch up on.
Meanwhile, I'm always delighted to hear from those of you who have found their way here.
No new pages I'm afraid, but for those of you truly interested in the seasonal cycles, celebrations, and goddess spirituality, I keep Glenys Livingstone's Paigaian links up to date on the Seasons page. In fact, I recommend you to link directly to her site & register for her regular emails, including celebrations on Utube.
I've had only one enquiry about not having a December Solstice page, so it seems that fewer people are interested in lengthy musings these days.
NO WAY am I going on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, or any other social media site.
As a Crone, I am concerned with deep meaning, geologic time, and enjoying the company of my sister Crones. We may seem only to be knitting or crocheting, but our projects - the 5000 poppies, and Trauma Teddies - are forms of weaving the web, and concern with dark & deep issues.
Brigit/Lammas 2015 - stay warm - or cool! - whichever is appropriate.
This page for the Winter Solstice, which happens in Adelaide early in the morning of June 22nd.,focuses on good news. June Solstice 2015
It IS there. Look & listen for good news first, because what we first hear tends to stick in the mind. It means changing the way we get our news, but believe me, it's worth the effort!
Gallipoli Centenary, Southern Hemisphere Samhain, Northern Hemispehere Beltane.
After a nine month silence, I am once again more or less reliably online, & this offering is just a catch-up on personal news.
I've finally removed the pages describing my experiments in personal lifestyle aka peculiar habits; also the Virtual Tour created in 2011.
I'm constantly having to adjust to the physical & mental challenges of ageing, & while I still do what I can, I find this varies almost from day to day. Some days I can do all the things I used to, others it's an effort to get out of bed. So leaving these pages would create an entirely false impression. I never intended that others should adopt my various eccenticities anyway. We each have to find our own way, according to our own lives & capacities.
Never waste energy on feeling guilty - what matters is that you care.
I think I've removed all the internal links to these pages, but should you come across one, I'd really appreciate it if you let me know.
An almost exclusively southern hemisphere winter solstice page for this year. My apologies to my friends in the North, but if you read it perhaps you will understand. Winter Solstice 2014
A new page: Using Unfamiliar Food Plants contains some useful information, & guidelines, on using unfamiliar plants for food. This is NOT a list of what is or is not edible, it contains links to sites with this information, but is intended to help you make decisions about trying new plant foods.
It is in my Plant Lists that I give notes on my personal experience with using plants that I have grown.
14th.May 2014 -Full Moon Eve
I've checked a lot of external links over the last few months, and made many small but essential updates.
This is the 25th.Lunar Anniversary of the Full Moon that first liberated the RainbowWeb energy. Blessed Be!
Here is a page for the 2014 February Cross-quarter days, and for Chinese New Year:
Lammas, lughnasad, and everything else in February 2014!
Inspired by some of the responses to the Solstice page, I have updated & edited Deep Ecology & Re-earthing and added three items to Resources and Inspirations.
I particularly commend you to Tony Federer's book "EcoShift" listed among the new items.
I have also made some minor amendments to the hair care section of the third in my series of laundry leaflets, & spaced out the links on the Index to all my articles, so they are easier to read.
A Summer Solstice page for my friends - December Solstice with love and rainbow blessings!
Have a peaceful and restorative holiday season, may you return from your celebrations energised and refreshed!
20th November 2013
The College Park-Hackney group of Sustainable Communies SA has produced an updated version of their popular recycling brochure, which is now on this website, as well as the SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES SA website. The brochure concentrates on making the fullest possible use of Kerbside Recycling, and especially on how to recycle stuff that isn't accepted in Kerbside bins.
There are two versions, one in pdf, which is ready for printing - both side of 2 sheets of A4, and one in rtf format, which you can read onscreen, or re-format in your own programme for printing, using pre-used paper.
No Such Thing as Rubbish(pdf)
No Such Thing as Rubbish (rtf)
I have also added these links to each of my recycling pages:
Really Radical Recycling
Just Let Me Get My Hands on Your Rubbish!
3 page list of recycling/upcycling tips written originally for the SA Permaculture Journal
Some good news on election day. I've discovered both an environemntally friendly bamboo toothbrush, & a range of toothpastes without flavouring or unnecessary additives - both from Australian companies! See Alternative Tooth Care for details.
May you have a wonderful Solstice!
After a long break here is a sort of Solstice page for my friends. June Solstice 2013
Some minor, but important changes.
Chokos and their uses have been moved from Past Plants back to the vines list, and Cape Gooseberries back to the Perennials list.
I've made an additional site map, for the recycling pages, and linked all three sitemaps, to make recycling information more readily accessible. These pages are all on this site - any external links are in UPPER CASE
A small, but notable update,to Australia's population figure on the front page - 23 million! Too many?
I've removed the link to the Virtual Tour - because of an accident, followed by a mild stroke which has left me partially blind, I am now somewhat slower than I used to be, and can't keep up with all my systems, though I still do my best. But it no longer accurately documents the way I live.
But I shall still update pages from time to time, and the most recent is to edit You Can Save the Earth to link this page to the Radical Recycling page, update below:
Have edited and updated my Radical Recycling pages - Radical Recycling and Really Radical Recycling. Prompted by my neighbour's plumbing problems - pipe was completely filled with toilet paper. Using low-flush toilets, & only flushing when absolutely necessary, have increased the incidence of this problem.
Paper which is only wet can & should be composted. A small bin beside the toilet will keep it neatly, & can be emptied into the compost or green bin bag each day. Only soiled paper should be flushed away, using a full flush.
After a long period of mourning and re-adjustment, I've finally updated the Virtual Tour. The only changes are to add an up-to-date photo of the entrance, which has changed somewhat, and photos of the damage to the almond tree by possums - to avoid overkill I haven't included pictures of the apple & persimmon, which were literally stripped of their leaves as each one emerged - and of the now dead avocado tree.
I have also updated the statistics on the Gardening, Food, & Weather calender & made some small additions to Radical Recycling and Really Radical Recycling
I have recently discovered a lovely new publication about responsible Cat ownership, called; "Good Cats Play at Home"
Go to my own page on this subject for a link and phone number; Responsible Cat Ownership. I apologise to anyone who is missing my usual seasonal page - life is a bit challenging at present, and it's taking all my energy just to cope with day to day tasks.
I have changed the picture, and consequently the text on the home page
Since the avocado tree suddenly died - though I haven't yet totally given up hope of a partial recovery - it no longer seemed appropriate to keep it's photograph on my front page.
The September Equinox page is now up. While I've done some 'tweaking' to several files, there's nothing major, except for the various recycling/rubbish pages. Links are on the Equinox page anyway. Hope you really make the most of the season.
The page for the August cross-quarter day is now up Imbols, Oimelc, Candlemas &Brigit!.
Since the need for resilience is a subject that's recently been brought to my notice, I've written some rather more personal stuff than I would previously have liked to do, and edited some of the linked pages as well. But I think it's important to share my journey more fully when so many others are making difficult decisions. I hope it will be helpful.
The June Solstice page is up. I hope you will also take a look at the new pages, and pages newly edited since Samhain/Beltane.
Free Stuff - Rubbish! - A Good Death - weather and gardening calendar - Earthy Links - Permaculture links - and Friends
I've really, truly finally finished tweaking the Virtual Tour
A little more tweaking, & some new pages!Go to Free Stuff, the new link is near the end of the page. (Remember links in UPPER CASE are external to this site - only links in lower case are on Re-earth the Cities!) To continue with the promised construction of that page I decided to scan most of the various articles I've written for journals on recycling, rather than re-typing all the text. Or go straight to Rubbish!. And there's a new page about my stove, replacing the link on the Virtual Tour.
Having received thet latest stats. from AmetA, I've updated the weather and gardening calendar with April's figures.
I think I've finally finished tweaking! Take another look, if you haven't already - Virtual Tour
I have finally finished illustrating the Virtual Tour of the RainbowWeb which I created for National Permaculture Day. This has involved creating a few new pages, as some of the illustrations needed some explanation. While I may still do some tweaking from time to time, it is complete. Enjoy!
The first day of Samhain, or Beltane if you live in the Northern Hemisphere.
I am about to/have also written a Virtual Tour in recognition of National Permaculture Day 2011, and have added fresh links to all 3 links pages - Earthy Links - Permaculture links - and Friends.
This entire website is now available for download as a zip file - 7.52Mb. or on CD. Please email me for details.
I've managed to get the March Equinox page up early :)
I thought it was important to remind people that there's a Full Moon to celebrate as well as the new season.
I'm afraid I've concentrated pretty much on Autumn this time, though it's mostly about world stuff. So to my Northern hemisphere friends, I hope you too have much to celebrate and be thankful for, in spite of everything. I wish I could remember who it was who said: "Be hopeful, though you have considered all the facts!"
I've now finished checking & updating all external links - till next time!! Also I've edited & uploaded two pages from those I designed and wrote for the old PASA website back in 1998 - or was it 1999? What is Permaculture? and Bioregionalism. They contain good general information, and it seems a pity to waste them. Links on Permaculture Links and Permaculture Design on this site
I have just finished checking and correcting external links on the main pages. Please remember that I use UPPER CASE for external links, and lower case for those to other pages on my website (except where I use the actual URL of an external site.) So you should always know when you are leaving my site.
I have also just finished updating the weather statistics on the Gardening Calendar
I have just updated the site map, and the Rough Guide. About time too! I've also checked the external links on my 3 links pages.Permaculture Links Worldwide.........Earthy Links - these are more general sustainablity links, though there is some duplication...........and Friends which is self-explanatory!
Just in time - the page for 2nd.February! Lughnasad, Lammas, Thing-tide 2011(Brigid, Oimelc, Imbolc).
Once again, I've struggled with this - maybe retrograde Saturn opposing my natal Mercury by transit. Looks set to last until October too!
Finally, a special seasonal page and newsletter. I've struggled with this, finally everything fell into place when, having woken ridiculously early, I switched on the radio and heard a marvellous discussion on Urban Food Production. Just because I haven't been doing much until recently, other people have, all over the world. I know you are too! Keep it up!
Minor updates to Alternative tooth care ; You Can Save the Earth!, and the site map.
You may notice that I have made a small but significant change in the title of the website. It is now imperative - Re-earth the Cities! - hopefully this will have more impact. Time is getting short. I have also created an email address specifically for website mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. My personal email address remains email@example.com, so please keep this in your address book, and use it for all personal stuff.
I've decided it's about time I promoted my booklet The Permaculture Journey much more widely. I wrote it originally as a series of articles about Permaculture for a local paper. That was in 1994. Although it's always been on the website, and has been re-printed in "Earthwise Women" and "Silverwheel", many people still don't know about it, although I'm told it is still the best brief explanation of the Permaculture concept available. So, as well as making it available through PASA & PEZ at a nominal price, as a 10-page booklet, I've added a link to the text on the navigation bar of all my main pages. There is also a printer friendly version on the site.
I've added an important new link on the links pages, also to Free Stuff, and You can live lightly on the Earth! It's to Kim Hill's blog, which contains the text of her extraordinary publication: HOW TO HAVE AN AMAZINGLY ADVENTUROUS LIFE FOR ZERO DOLLARS A DAY.
Links on Free Stuff and Yes! You CAN live lightly on the Earth take you to a site where you can purchase this definitive text in hard copy for only $3.
Winter Solstice happens during a real winter this year. And hopefully Summer will be just as seasonal for my friends in the Northern Hemisphere.
Here's the Solstice Page.
Samhain is here again (Beltane for friends in the North. Have a wonderful celebration, if you didn't already do it at the Full Moon!Samhain/Beltane - May 2010
Best wishes for the March Equinox, whether you are in the Southern or Northern hemisphere.
I've also updated the intro. page, and will gradually be updating plant lists and other key pages, since things have changed significantly in the last 3 years, and although I've mentioned them in my seasonal greetings, I haven't been able to keep up with them on the website itself!
I've put the Lughnasad/Brigit page up in plenty of time, because of the Leo(Fire) Full Moon at the end of January - some may wish to combine their celebrations.
Just the usual special page for the Seasonal celebration of Solstice. It's a little late, for which I apologise to those who came looking for it before receiving my email. But it's there now!
December Solstice 2009
Just a new page for Beltane/Samhain, depending on whether you live in the Southern or Northern Hemisphere.
Mostly minor editing, but I have for the first time in 3 years made a special page for the September Equinox.
I also apologise to those of you with slow connections: since I have been using a digital camera, new image files are much larger than the older ones. Unfortunately picture quality is not as good with this new technology, and I can't reduce the resolution as much as I would like.
Webmasters! There is no excuse for crashing someone else's browser!
In fact it's a form of discrimination!
There are many good reasons why people are still using older OSs. Older browsers are not memory hungry, and make internet access possible for many who would not otherwise have it.
It is true that some 'free' hosts cover their costs by loading their servers with unsolicited ads.which are responsible for the crash, NOT the author of the page.
Web Authors - if this has happened to you
Talk to them - Geocities and Yahoo stopped doing it because we made a fuss!
As for poor html code - if your web programme doesn't give good results, learn to write basic html, or better still, XML, yourself. It's not hard. And you have much better control. Before you add too many bells and whistles, ask yourself whether they really enhance the site.
Visit the THE ANYBROWSER CAMPAIGN for more information.
BE DIFFERENT! BE DARING! DO SOMETHING! DON'T LEAVE IT TO OTHERS!
LIVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE!
A heartfelt thankyou to everyone who has sent me email & positive feedback - it's SO good to be reminded there really is someone out there!
If you find a broken link, PLEASE email me. There are email links on all the main pages, you shouldn't have to go far to find one, & it is really helpful to any webperson when people take the trouble to do this.
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Margaret's Sustainability Articles
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