Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hoophouse in the garden


This is M’s latest project. He aims to take one to the local Huon Show in November to generate sales. Currently this is in our front garden and already we have two families interested in buying one.

Today, I filled it with all my tomato seedlings with a scattering of lettuces with a hope to sell some. They’ll be called “Lucky Dip Heritage Tomatoes” and we’ll see what happens. Some of them already have flowers on them so that’s encouraging.

It has a lock up screen door so I don’t have to keep moving the tomatoes inside. It will fit on the back of a truck and wheels can be attached to move it around the garden. This one obviously is covered in plastic, but one enquiry was about making it into a chook house, so different coverings will be used for that. But we could also use shade cloth if it’s just protection from the possums etc. that is required.

Possibilities are endless.

I’ll let you know.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

In a bit of a spin

I asked a friend to visit last week with her Mum. They’re Scottish and full of fun.

My friend brought her spinning wheel with her – and one for me to borrow. A neighbour has given me about three large bags of alpaca fleeces and two large bags of woollen fleeces as she has a shed full of the stuff.

It’s always fascinated me, spinning I mean, and now after a couple of hours of learning I think I might keep going. My friend can spin fleece into the finest of thread and yet it’s so strong. My efforts are well, um, kind of rustic and textured. Yes, textured is a good way to describe it, with lots of lumps and bumps etc.

You have to start by sorting the fleece. You don’t want the scraggy bits from around the bum area. That’s good for compost if you can persuade the local birds to leave it on the pile and not steal it for their nests! Then, prior to spinning, you have to comb it. I think that there is a different word to describe that action but I can’t remember it.

Once it’s all soft and combed it’s time to spin. My friend started me with hands only and she span the wheel with her hand. I’m right-handed so I held the new piece of fleece in my left hand, along with the thread on the wheel and using an up and down motion with the right hand along the spinning thread, proceeded to join both together. I tried that for a couple of hours and then we had a break for lunch. After lunch it was time to add the feet to the picture. I used to watch my mother with her old treadle sewing machine so I had a faint idea what I was supposed to do. Ahem, I’ve come to the realisation that it’s pretty tricky coordinating hands and feet and producing wool at the same time. A bit like Tai Chi really.


But it was fun and again the sense of “I made that” (never mind the lumps and bumps) was extremely pleasurable. So I aim to continue my practising, whenever I have the time, and hopefully produce enough wool to make something. I’ve been told that a “beanie” is usually the first item to knit after spinning – we’ll see.

I still don’t understand how Sleeping Beauty” pricked her finger on a spinning wheel and fell asleep for one hundred years until her handsome prince happened to pop in. There aren’t any needles involved with spinning wheels. Perhaps it really was a fairy story…….


Monday, October 10, 2011

‘Occupy Wall Street’ Issues First Official Declaration


  • Since the occupation of Wall Street first began on September 17th, the mainstream media has criticized the general assembly for its lack of a cohesive list of complaints or demands.

Not to be rushed by expectations of corporations and the elite they serve, the Occupy Wall Street action took its time fulfilling this demand.

On Thursday night, Occupy Wall Street participants voted on and approved the first official “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City.”

It it reprinted in its entirety below.

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.

They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.

They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Almost Done!

boat There’s just a little bit of tweaking (technical term!) to finish off. It took six men to get the plastic covering over the framework yesterday and I must say I think that both M and the customer breathed a huge sigh of relief once it was done. The weather was crucial and although it looks pretty cloudy the sun did come out and the air was warm with no wind. The wind was the critical factor as the roll of plastic was long and heavy.

But it went up without a hitch, and all involved went home with a feeling of immense satisfaction, particularly M. You can just see the outline of the boat inside. The hoop house (M has decided to call it that) will be able to grow fruit trees never mind vegetables inside because it’s so tall and, if kept empty, an entertainment area during Tasmania’s long cool winters. Another idea of M’s!

You may remember from a previous post that this is what it was like under construction:-


boat growhouse And now it’s nearly done.

He’s already started the next project, in fact it’s nearly finished. It’s the prototype of one of his ideas and will be sitting in our front yard as advertising, sigh. There goes the pretty flowers, again.


ps. Just a note that I’m having problems with blogger. I can publish comments but when I try to reply, blogger doesn’t recognise me. I could be working on the problem for a while…….

My apologies.