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Posts Tagged ‘corn

11
Dec
11

Hungary: My enviro-refugee destination

I may have ranted on election night the desire to find another country to live for the next couple of years. And it’s taken me awhile but I have come up with a few options should I wish to run away. One option is Costa Rica, for reasons already discussed. Next on the list may just be Hungary. I’ve always had a soft spot for the land of paprika, but since they destroyed 1,000 acres of  Monsanto’s GMO-maize? I think I’ve got a real crush on the place. 

March 2011, all genetically modified organisms (GMO) were banned in Hungary. The March legislation required that seed must be tested for genetically modified organisms (GMO) before it goes on sale. So when in July officials tested maize in the field and found it was a Monsanto messed-with variety, officials dug the crop under before pollen could be spread.  Kick-ass!

And cherry-picking further Magyar facts to highlight Hungary as my destination choice of the week:

  • Hungary was the first country to ban DDT in 1968.
  • Hungary is ranked 6th in the world for environmental protection. (But Anna, who are the top 3 I hear you say? Well, it’s Sweden, Germany and Iceland.)
  • The country is a thermal water wonderland.
  • The Tokaj area of Hungary gave birth to the world’s first botrytised wines, which I’m awfully partial to. And the region itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Imre Makovecz – Extraordinary man, whose wooden, organic architecture I fell for many years ago.
  • Budapest is amazingly gorgeous and has such a brilliant examples of Art Nouveau.

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22
Oct
11

Hard Labour Weekend Approaches

Prepare yourselves people! Hard Labour weekend is here. So named because traditionally it’s the time to work your butt off in the garden getting those vegetable beds full of deliciousness so you can kick back and relax with fresh homegrown produce this summer.

This year’s attempts at horticultural excellence at LPL homebase may be stiffled by the sniffles of the two adult household members. Babybel is so far immune. (Yes, I think referring to my child after a block of cheese is appropriate-she’s delicious, round and can be quite smelly.) So this is our to do list. What do you have planned?

Chickweed – It’s been keeping a nice groundcover between the veges, but it’s starting to get a bit tall and potentially trap water around vulnerable stems causing rot. It’s going to have to go. Likely to end up as pesto.

Tomatoes – The traditional time to get your tomatoes in. There is a huge range of tomatoes now available in NZ. Make the most of them. But due to the horrible effects of the psyllids due try to plant some phacelia to attract predatory insects.

Seeds – I’ll be making seed-raising mix and sowing capsicum, chillis, beans, beetroot, corn, amaranth, marigolds, zinnias, sunflowers, basil, parsley, more lettuce, and tending my yams.

Digging over the bed the corn will go into – I like to plant seeds at the same time I prepare the beds. Double digging and adding compost now means the gardens will be in prime condition-the compost spread through and not creating hotspots, the worms having a party-in time for my seedlings to go in in 4-6 weeks. Corn does best direct sown but I’m a bit late in prepping that bed.

Feeding – The strawberries are looking bountiful and just about to set fruit so now is a good time to give them a bit of a feed. And I’ll be using seaweed throughout the garden.

Comfrey – Time to make another batch of comfrey tea and dig up and distribute some of the roots. I’d like to put some more around our fruit trees.

Flax – I’ll be pulling out the flax stalks and turning them into something useful… You’ll have to check back next week to see just what.

General tidying up and preparing for a fantastic summer.

And of course the all important…

Even I will punctuate the weekend and lift the Rugby Exclusion Zone in my house to watch Sunday night’s All Blacks vs France. My snubbing of the Rugby World Cup thus far has little to do with the sport and more a reflection on the socio-economic consequences of the alcohol-fuelled, machissimic, and overly expensive requirements of throwing a ‘bash’ for the totalitarian IRB.  But I’m down with popular culture and feel that I should watch, helped greatly that we have some damned fine looking All Blacks. Something to do on a Sunday night anyway.

Enjoy your weekend everybody.

25
Oct
08

Notes from US Biofuels Expert David Blume – Growing Your Own Fuel

Last week, I went to the most inspiring talk. None of this doom and gloom the world is ending stuff that you’d expect from any talk concerned with Peak Oil. Instead, David Blume described how we can take control of our fuel needs by growing it ourselves, or with the help of neighbours with Community Supported Ethanol.

David stresses that almost everything that can be made from oil can be made from plants. This stuff is pretty near and dear to the hearts and minds of the LovePlantLife team. We’ll be doing lots of follow-up on this one.

Notes on David’s talk on how Alcohol can be a gas, why biofuels don’t steal food from hungry mouths, how we can grow our own fuel and other additional benefits after the jump. Continue reading ‘Notes from US Biofuels Expert David Blume – Growing Your Own Fuel’




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