Thursday, October 27, 2011

SPINACH AND PEAS



Pea Flower

Today was serious planting day, it being new Moon. I must say I am not hard and fast on the moon planting business, but I have noticed that thing seem to transplant better and adapt quicker when planted at new Moon. I eventually planted the two cucumber seedlings I have been nursing like babies. They are rather hard to grow, need temperatures above 25 Cel. to germinate. My poor babies must now face the big bad world full of slugs and things all on their own.

There was a bit of a problem with a Bushbuck or two visiting the garden at night and munching away whole Spinach and trampling everything around it.  Riaan came up with a brilliant plan. You take some solar garden lamps and plant them near the spinach, the buck’s instincts won’t allow him near the light, I was skeptical, but it works! It does however not scare the porcupines, but they only dig holes looking for sweet Potatoes, which is only a problem if they destroy other plants in the process, which seldom happens. We have Sweet potatoes everywhere, so they are welcome to some.



The solar lamp with the Spinach


There are suddenly peaches everywhere, we don’t quite know what to do with it all, the birds are taking their share, that is for sure, we have managed to make a few bottles of Chutney. To be honest it was Seth and Claire that made the Chutney, on the solar cooker.  They also made the most amazing Pizza; Riaan will have to pull out all the stops tomorrow night.




Masters with a Pizza oven


I am sure I have mentioned that Niki and Kevan are experimenting with growing Oyster mushrooms, well it has been trial and error, but I am very glad to announce that they have harvested their first batch. This is very good news, one of the big problems here is that we are still part of planet earth and you still need some source of income.  This is creating an income for Niki and Kevan and the whole process takes place here. They are now even looking at growing their own spores. That is quite technical and you need a mini laboratory and everything must be sterile otherwise the spores die. As I said quite a complicated story to grow mushrooms, that is probably why they are quite expensive. We had fresh Oyster mushrooms on the Pizza…



Kevan looking very happy with the first mushrooms


It is hard to believe, but we have been here for almost five months. 


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

GROW YOUR OWN HOME



The first Sunflower ...

Grow your own home.  You need one Ha of hemp (Cannabis sativa) to make enough hemp bricks to build a basic home, yet you can also land up in jail, because it is illegal.  Hemp is indigenous to the Eastern Cape, it needs no pesticides, grows to full size in about 5 months and apart from bricks for housing, it has a ton of other uses, like paper, clothing etc, here is a whole list    http://www.hempsa.co.za/Uses/HempUses.htm

This is not an “I am a hippie and I want to grow dagga” thing, hemp is an amazing and sustainable plant, much more so than, for instance, Pine trees (for paper), they are also much less thirsty. According to Tim we have about 20 Ha available here at KD to cultivate the plants.

 In my understanding the Dti (Department of Trade and Industry) launched a pilot project last year; they called it “grow your own home”.  The project must have been a success because they are looking at giving more licenses next year. Yes, you can now grow small amounts, but you must get a license to grow it. Exactly what the criteria is for obtaining a license is still a mystery to me, but I have this plan in my head.

The plan is this – seeing that there is already this pilot program going, why not extent on that. We have 20 Ha, give 5 ha to 5 families, they also help us with the other 15 Ha, but the profit or bricks from one Ha belongs to the family, that way we extent on an existing program, we do really help people to help themselves and we are growing a indigenous, hardy, no need for pesticides plant with 101 uses. We will look into applying for this license early next year, far too late for this year.

Hemp is also a wonderful companion plant for brassica’s (that is Broccoli, Cabbage, sprouts etc.), they repel insects that eat brassica’s,  so while you are at it, you can also grow some food in between, but as I said those are all plan(t)s for next year.



Claire and Seth

Back to the present.  Claire and Seth are two Volunteers visiting us at the moment. They are our first local (South African) volunteers.  We have a serious cooking competition going on between Riaan and Claire. They are trying to outdo each other with meals and chutney and desserts, we (Seth and me) are not complaining! Tonight we are having filled pancakes, all vegetarian, need I add? Riaan has always liked cooking, but he told me the other day that he likes cooking even more without meat (Riaan became a vegetarian when we moved here), it is apparently more creative and there are less flies (actually none) buzzing about, just one of those hidden bonuses about not having meat around is that you also do not have a lot of flies around.

Dinner is ready…   and tomorrow night Claire is making Pizza’s.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

DOUBLE TROUBLE




Maxi and Dharma (Maxi is the small one)


Home alone, me and Maxi and Dharma howling outside, looking for Niki. Maybe I am not that alone, the whole zoo is here to keep me company.

It seems like we are going to stay in Lucky and Lua’s place. This is all a bit of an upset and not part of the original plan. 

They do not want us to pay them rent, but they need a kitchen. We will built them a kitchen, maybe even before we move in, which will be in about a month and a half. There is water, but no sink etc.  This will then also be our first experience in building with natural materials, mostly wood but also some cob. I am busy working on the layout, how to make it nice and where to put what etc. That reminds me, I need to put some sort of agreement on paper. That is still a good thing, even within a community setup, the fact is people misunderstand each other or forget what they said, not on purpose, but it does happen, therefore it remains a good idea to get an agreement in writing. No lawyers required.

Riaan and I are “babysitting” for Anne and Tim; actually we are babysitting their grandchildren, which they are babysitting. They had to go to Hogsback. The “babies” are actually eight year old twin boys. Double trouble. Riaan and the two on them went to the beach. Where were suppose to go for a picnic near the Bamboo bush, but I got outvoted and I do not feel like the beach today.



Jenna

We are expecting two Volunteers to arrive today. Jenna left two days ago, but before she left I got a haircut, a much needed hair cut! This lady has so many talents.

Two things that really changed the world, the “invention” of fire and the invention of the wheel, now the 3rd one is happening, it is the information highway/Internet. It is changing the world in a big way. It is super fast communication and information from and to anywhere on the planet and it is not that expensive. It is starting revolutions.

Interesting to try and make sense out of the whole OWB (Occupy Wall Street and all). It was started because of the internet and social networking sites like face book and twitter. I do not have TV, so I do not really know what the mainstream media is saying about it, or if they are saying much.  I can, however tell you that it is all over social media. I do actually get CNN on face book, but they do not seem to be giving the Occupy movement much attention. 

I did come across one article in a website called Business Insider, they are sort of middle of the way not totally mainstream. This article actually makes a bit of a joke out of the whole movement. They took a picture of the crowd in front of Wall Street and you can see the protesters, one, with a coke in the one hand, newest iPod/pad, whatever in the other and a pair of Nike’s on the feet, they are still wearing the brand made by the companies they want to oust.  How much easier can it get, STOP BUYING THEIR STUFF! I have to scream that, because so few people seem to get this, their money is their power; they get their money from you, because you buy their products.  Stop giving it to them.

That being said, the occupy movement is a good thing, in the sense that it is creating awareness in a big way, via social media.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WISHES OF WISDOM



Butterfly blue...

If you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains…

You create your own reality with your thoughts, this is scientifically proven, your thoughts are pure energy, enough of the same energy is matter, everything that you see around you is matter, and your matter is your reality. This process is happening all the time, whether you are aware of it or not, but then again, only if you believe it?

Changing those (negative) thought remains easier said than done or maybe as easy or as hard as you believe it to be?

Conditioning is the main barrier in this process of change, you form ideas about people and situations based on previous experience and you react (mostly instinctively) to your learned programming and we make the same mistakes over and over again. The first step in changing this is to be aware of this. Think about what you are thinking about. I guess this is what the Buddhists mean when they talk about being mindful.

It also takes guts to step out of the comfort zone of having the Universe/God to blame for the mess-ups and mishaps in your life, if you believe you have absolute creative power this whole thing becomes your responsibility, no more God to blame.

I am actually very good with this creating my own reality thing, but I have also learned I am not wise enough to do it all on my own. Unfortunately I lack self worth and wisdom and fore-sight, I ask for stupid stuff and then I get it! I am working on these issues, but in the meantime, I am back to co-operation with a higher source. Sometimes you know what you want, but is it what you need?

I realize my abilities but I doubt my wisdom.




Monday, October 10, 2011

SNAKES AND SUMMER


Oliver and Max (Anne's Grandchildren) befriending the House snakes

Lucky and Lua came to visit, (for some crazy reason I never took a photo of them) they lived here before moving to Congo, Lua is Congolese and after this visit they are heading back to Congo, where they are busy with EDE, (Eco community Design Education). This is seen as a solution for a lot of current problems regarding self reliance and self sustainability. Kind of re-inventing society. In a country like the Congo, where lives and communities have been completely destroyed by civil war, this is very necessary.

We are looking at hosting such a course here at KD in April of next year, obviously with Lua and Lucky.  The course lasts a whole month and the idea is that the attendees stay here and become part of this community for a month. We have got six months to plan it all, the question is, will I still be here next year April?

Then Ninette showed up, she also used to live here, but unfortunately or maybe fortunately she now lives and works in Cape Town and only comes for visits, the old story of having to make a living. We found three snakes in her Yurt.

Talking about snakes, they are everywhere right now.




The crazy Frency, as Riaan calls her - 
Caroline, she spends six months here and six months in France

Caroline also arrived a few days ago, she was cleaning her place and found four snakes, one of them a Boom slang (I do not know any other name for it, but it translate to tree snake and they are venomous), but the snakes are mostly harmless ones, like the Brown House snakes (the one with the kids), but then again, Riaan stumbles upon two Nights Adders busy mating and then another two Adders joined the party. They are all out from their winter snooze and rearing to date and mate, or whatever snakes do.

So now I start to wonder about the symbolism around snakes -

“Snakes represent change and intuition the combination of these characteristics will allow for great new developments in life and the proper instinct for deciding which changes will be effective and which should not be made. They represent openness to new experiences, and thus, opened horizons. It is a totem of power, renewal and transmutation.”  I guess I have to give credit to the blog I “stole’ that from, actually it is a rather interesting blog. http://shirleytwofeathers.blogspot.com/2008/05/seeing-snakes.html



Two Night Adders mating (photo taken by Riaan)

How to make capers.  The Nasturtiums (Kappertjies in Afrikaans) are taking over parts of the garden at the moment, but I do not mind it looks very colorful and you can make Capers from their seeds. I have always liked Capers, so I have harvested some and found a recipe and I will be making Capers this afternoon. 

It is seriously hot outside, something like 30 C and it is just past 09H00, apparently heading for 38 C today. I love heat and so does the snakes.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A LIFE WORTH LIVING




Spot the Dragon ?

I love what I do right here right now, but we still need to create a better income and it is really quite a challenge. I simply want a live worth living, not one where I run like a mad fool, doing something utterly useless for the sake of money/survival.

A live worth living. How many people can honestly say they have a live worth living. I realize this can be different for different people, but how many people do what they want to do, live where they want to live etc. yet people think they are free. Maybe free from starvation, but far from free.

Here is a little poem I wrote:

There is virtue in virginity
like pride in poverty

like freedom in fear
like Godliness in guilt

like love in lust
like victory in war

The ritual the rhyme
the conclusion the crime

How easy we fall in the trap of our old conditioned thinking.