What’s the definition of whirlwind? When life picks up, spins, spits crap out, and leaves things looking like “Gord’s been there” – looking like a yard sale. That has been the past two weeks. What causes a whirlwind at Eco-Sense?
When Calamity meets technology:
We’ve always been strong supporters of “appropriate” technology, that which fully meets the purposes it is intended for, with no unforeseen consequences, is repairable, and has limited ecological impacts.
In-appropraite technology: Dead computer and first cell phone (in over a decade): Computers and cell phones, and really any other electronic gadget that uses rare earth resources like coltan, are products that wreak injustices on the areas of the planet where they are mined and leave in their path unspeakable atrocities and most often to women. (more on that below…sorry this update is so scattered…kind of like our life right now…kind of like the trip to emergency last night to get some microscopic bit removed from Gord’s eye – all is good now)
Thankful: We are thankful that the weather has FINALLY turned from frickin cold to fricken hot, not thankful for the Melnor irrigation timers that virtually all have had to be replaced under warranty. Thankful for computerized accounting that allows us to run a set of books that has different aspects of our Eco-Sense business life like tours, farm/nursery, construction, consulting, each with different taxation implications… unthankful for Ann’s computer’s death. (Can you say Law of Diminishing Returns?) Thankful for living a life that does not require such requirements of constant need for a cell phone, unthankful for our camera that died that we were going to be taking on our first holiday (backpacking) in 4 years… meaning it was cheaper to get a cellphone with a good camera than another camera… meaning that we are redesigning all of our communications and adding a cell phone and at the same time reducing our overall monthly fees. Now when our old farm truck dies on the Malahat, we can call for help rather than stand on the side of the road waving… and potentially meeting interesting people and having a memorable experience. Now we can be more efficiently unsustainable.
Technology wastes human capital. Every new rendition of a device or operating system brings with it a task to discard all that was learned and learn something new. Added to this was the collapse of our backed up files in the cloud, and the learning process of retrieval, and deciding to dump Telus and learn about such foreign things as dry loops, wet loops, VOIP, SIMs. Learning and knowledge is a precious resource and to waste it so frivolously mirrors our disposable culture. We invest a great deal to learn something new… and boom, tomorrow all that knowledge is now useless. Perhaps this is why we like plants… and homesteading… and political systems – nothing much changes. Sure we can speak to the benefits of always learning and engaging our brains, but evolutionarily speaking, knowledge was learned, passed on, and provided a cultural construct for valuing those “in the know”. Now, like a cellphone, computer or irrigation timer, we can just dispose of the old. Its called progress. (Sorry Dad).
What else has the past two weeks included? Well plant sales have died off dramatically so with the flexibility of our lifestyle, we’ll be shutting the nursery sales down in two more weeks. LAST TWO SATURDAYS to come and check out the plant nursery and walk the beautiful gardens will be May 27th & June 3rd. 10am-2pm 3295 Compton Road.
Mixed within all of this is the fun stuff, from wiring up a solar system for a chicken coop, to making a cob oven at the neighbours, presenting to the Mill Bay Garden Club, council and CRD duties, researching and designing a clients farm plan, installing a living roof, planting out the season’s seeds and starts (and hoping they don’t fry), cleaning up the dead and dying Chicken Dinners (read more on this below), and hosting a 4 hour public tour… complete with homesteading snacks. Oh… the Chicken Dinners dying, that is not the fun part (wrong paragraph). I should clarify that we DID not serve chicken dinners to our tour guests.
Chicken Dinners: The meat birds we collectively (and lovingly) call (not cull) the Chicken Dinners. We had began wondering if these, like the other new technology, was pre-programmed to fail. Perhaps a terminator gene in these Cornish Giants? Perhaps the design is all about efficiency where they die on their own and thus saves you the step, so all that is required is a good clean and power wash. Solara is researching a plant in the run to see if it may be poisoning them… a plant that has seemingly been avoided by the “real” chickens.
BIG SALE in The Nursery: So, back to the plants…what a scattered update this is. Ha. Anyways we are going to offer 10% off EVERYTHING in stock for the final two Saturdays. The more we sell the less we have to look after all summer. So now that it has FINALY warmed up it is time to plant your sweet potatoes. We also have some other plants to sell:
- Skirret: FREE (we were way too successful starting them). They are a perennial root veggie…very good
- Sweet potato: $3 Grow under a hoop cover. very productive.
- Stevia: grow your own natural sweetener. 2 gal pot $8. (only 2)
- Cinnamon yam: grow in a big pot to climb up a trellis. very yummy tuber great for hormone issues. $8 (only 2)
- OCA: our favourite tuber. beautiful. $3
- Globe artichokes ($5). only 3
- Heritage tomato plants: $3
- Small Desert King Figs ($5)
- Small Grapes (Himrod, Stuben, Fredonia, Sovereign Coronation) ($5)
There you have it, it’s Friday evening and we have lots to do.
Gord and Ann