Friday, 18 January 2008

Construction, Angora And Forest Gardening

Tomorrow the bulldozer will be arriving and the levelling of the house site will begin. I've also got all of the bits and pieces ready to build the new gateway, so I'll do that whilst the big machinery crawls about doing it's thing. I'll be sure to get a few pictures!

With some luck (and a lot of hard work, I'm guessing) we should have all of the work finished this weekend, meaning we can hand the ball back to the vendor so he can do what needs to be done and we can settle on the land, contractually, if not physically at this stage.

On the home front we've recently been gifted an Angora goat. She's stinky and feral after living wild in a friend's paddock, an escapee from another farm that could never escape from the newer home after breaking in. With some paitent care she has become a bit more friendly in only a few days. There's hope for her, much more than when the prior "owner" was set to give her a "lead injection" to end her feral rampage and harrassment of his alpacas. Sometime later today our friend from across the road will be visiting with her shearing plant and we will clean off a few years worth of matted and crusty fleece and spruce her up. She should hopefully smell a lot better after that.

I've recently finished reading Forest Gardening, by Robert A de J Hart. The concepts of forest gardening were developed in roughly the same era as those of Permaculture and agroforestry, in this case over in England. Many of the themes are similar to those running through Permaculture, but I found the book very enjoyable for the focus that was given to the philosophy and ethics of our lives. It is certainly a book about transitioning to post-industrial living, in harmony with the green world (though peak oil is not mentioned, or even hinted at, once!) It also discusses the role of craft as a part of being human. Creating things with our hands is one of the greatest things we can do, one of the most satisfying, and also one that can put us in much closer contact with nature. The following excerpt sums up the philosophy of the book perfectly:

To my mind, the basic criterion must be responsibility. The Green world is the responsible world. It recognises that the basis of all life is the miracle of the green leaf. The green pigment, chlorophyll, is the only substance on earth that understands how to harness the energy of the sun to create living matter. Moreover the green leaf absorbs harmful carbon dioxide, the cause of the greenhouse effect, and exhales oxygen, without which no living organism can exist for more than a few minutes. Therefore our first duty to all life is to preserve as much greenness as possible and to promote an ever increasing abundance of green growth. Industrial society, on the other hand, is essentially hostile to greenery. It kills it with it's acid rain, buries it beneath layers of concrete, it burns and bulldozes it out of existence. Therefore measures to ameliorate the colossal harm that it does are not enough. For the sake of all life, we must at all costs progress as speedily as possible towards a post-industrial society, which will meet the majority of it's physical needs, from the infinite and largely unexplored potentialities of the green world.

p133 (Any transcription errors are my own)

The following blog post is also well worth a read. US centric but applicable to all free peoples, it discusses the gradual erosion of the right to run small farms due to the fact that nobody seems to want to take responsibility for their own choices anymore, and would rather blame (and sue) someone else: Please Pass the Bubblewrap


Yellow Jacket Ridge Angoras said...

With a little bit of love she will soon delight your hearts. Angoras are magical little creatures.

Lucky-1 said...

I do hope we see a photo of your little goat after she's been to the beauty shop:)