Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Washing Vegetables - The Devil You Know or What The Shops Come Up With

1min Video about washing leeks from the garden

Eclectic potatoes from last autumn, that front variety is truly a pain to wash let alone peel, as there's nothing left after! so just a scrub down is the answer!  

It's sometimes the small things in life that slow us down and put us off...like having to wash vegetables that you have grown yourself, as opposed to getting some Linda McCartney vegan sausages out of the freezer and have to only lightly rinse pre-washed organic potatoes, bought from a supermarket, to cut into organic chips. 

Spinach, chard and purple sprouting broccoli leaves about to be individually washed and checked  for visiting centipedes, baby slugs and snails from the garden!

With my own produce, sometimes only a quarter of the thing is salvageable and it's covered in soil and in a big sense you 'seen where it's been' - like when you caught a slug sliding over it earlier in its growing process.... STILL, persevere! Why? Because it is better the devil you know. A little bug, now all trace removed and rehomed in a less precious part of the garden is much much better than the invisible traces of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, preservatives, taste enhancers, plastics and often cooked to oblivion ingredients you will find in shops!

The non organic apple is shiny and that coating needs to be scrubbed off, using vinegar . The righthand one is from the garden, total perfection in nutrition and texture, if a little tart to the tastebuds! 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Video Update on growing avocados in Ireland

Here at Harmony Hall Bioarchitecture Retreat, Kilkenny in Ireland, I am experimenting with the principle of tree roots liking to communicate, growing avocados and building growing spaces that won't blow away! Oh yes, and will olive trees bring peace on Earth And a glimpse of the hydroponic growing system that might yet take shape, using some old guttering and strips of highly unorganic - looking kingspan insulation

Video update of avocado forest and other mediterranean trees in Irish Biome

Yin Yang, the original raised bed concept, to bring the ultimate balance to proceedings.

"The ubiquitous yin-yang symbol holds its roots in Taoism/Daoism, a Chinese religion and philosophy. The yin, the dark swirl, is associated with shadows, femininity, and the trough of a wave; the yang, the light swirl, represents brightness, passion and growth." John Bellaimey

At this stage I lost the yin yang curve as the second layer of blocks had to overlap! The block laying of the raised bed challenged my back to the extent that I had to lie down for a full month. (Maybe as I followed it with stretching to the splits in a fitness class and then salsa). There are the trusty olive trees though, still depicting the dots of the yin yang symbol

Here the beds were plastered, filled with top soil and planted up but not yet painted. It kind of says it all that most of the jobs in the new biome take hours and hours and hours and it is usually by torch light that I do the last things that I feel just won't wait until the next day!

Feed your pets vegan organic food and then their muck = future soil fertility

Everyone asks me what have I actually been doing at Harmony Hall! That day was part of my experiment in self sufficiency and promoting the vegan lifestyle. If you look closely in the 1st second of this 9 second video, you will see the pipes laid all ready for a water turbine so that when the power goes, I can still spark up the Stanley stove and heat the place and water up, in style.

 Then, of course, there is Legend, modelling the dance floor over the stream and eating some organic pig nuts (One shouldn't usually eat on the dance floor but if all the family are herbivores and eat organic, it means any muck is making a contribution to soil fertility, down the line...that is what I called a win win win. But I didn't tell anyone before the pigs were safely rehomed as I was worried someone might nick them and eat them, themselves!

Stream at Harmony Hall

Also, one third of animal products go towards pet food, so let's change that, whether you're motivated by health, animals, ethics or the environment! This is a recent pod cast about it!

Stitcher mini pod cast about vegetarian pet food alternatives. But I use Benevo as that is deliverable to the door and is organic too!!

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Ethics of Foraging and Canvassing For People Before Profit

Basic ethics of foraging: Take no more than a third, leave a third for wildlife and a third for the plant's regeneration! Wonderful morning foraging in Carlow's Green TD, Mary White's, beautiful meadows - with 80 types of grass in comparison to the 2 types in the sprayed fields around. 

Then an epic afternoon canvassing for People Before Profit's Stephanie Hanlon. I asked each person who answered the door what they needed to happen. Two families were living in the box room of their parent's house. Two aldults, two children each. Al children suffering from over heating seizures and menangitis. A lady who is on a 3 year wait for cataract treatment. It would be under a week if she had 5000 euro.Empty houses promised to one and then given to others. An older lady who asked for 2-bed bungalows so they could give up their 3 and 4 bedroom family houses for the next generation and have less to manage. Everyone agreed that no landlords want HAP tenants not because of their social or financial problems but because HAP are such a nightmare to deal with and landlords themselves are nearly guaranteed to end up homeless or in debt themselves after.

Benefit claimant with broken neck kills himself after being deemed fit for work

One man in his 70s summed it up. What do you think needs to happen? I asked. He said 'The country is lost is gone'....Then as an afterthought, 'I won't be voting party anyway. Fine gael have let themselves and all of us down. Greedy and against the people.'
I adopted a little girl of about 6 and everyone loved Cupid. It was great to speak for a candidate who is keeping it real, will not take any perks, is focussed on housing, health, the animals and the living tangible quality of life matters and is not corrupt like so many of the others.
I can confirm that of people I met trying to rent or continue their existence in Kilkenny even in their own homes, 99% of people have ZERO quality of life, 40% health max, 100% financial and housing difficulty and 101% stress.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

My Arrival 20 years Ago Exactly In Kilkenny

Moved to Ireland 20 years ago, on 28th March 1999!!! Thanks Stef and Mike.

1) 'Build it here', the abandoned pony said - where now Harmony Hall stands.

2)'Up for moving to Ireland?' says Stef the person who can do absolutely everything...to the person who believes that absolutely everything is possible!

3) On the ferry, that fateful day, 20 years ago today.

4) 'It's not you, it's me' says he with Heather on the hay bale giving me the elbow.

5) 'You're my favourite of all of them', says Mike to Heather (Malgorzata) as he drives us from London to Foulksrath Castle

6) Padre and Skipper 'love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe' - @good decisions 1) moving to Ireland 2) rescuing these two out of the pound in Urlingford where they'd been born and NEVER SEEN DAYLIGHT.

7) The two recovered and me - Dreadlocks The Time Is Now, by the Gladiators https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAiAdLxltiU

8) Mike and Tom - Two great men still... how men should be!

9) As demonstrated by these ducks: Back in the evolutionary day, the males had to be colourful and us females were just naturally accepted as epic!

10) The original advert when we were living in Finsbury park, North London..thanks for bringing all these photos around this morning, Stef!!!

11) When he says to her 'can we be friends' and she says 'no way' and then 20 years later says, 'Why not!'