Saturday, February 21, 2009

Budgie, the Cockatiel

I am sitting here at the pc, at nearly midnight, enjoying the quiet and solitude that can only happen late at night or early in the morning.

Then my cockatiel, [whose name is Budgie :)] starts whistling. It seemed like her whole repertoire was stuck on loop and she was being very loud. She can wolf whistle, whistle a cockatiel version of reveille and say "here buttabutt". I kept saying "night-night budgie" which is her cue to be quiet, even in the day time, but after awhile, I was saying "shut up budgie!"

Finally, I got up and took the cover off the cage to talk to her about indoor voices and not waking up grumpy heads of households. And I found two disgusting, big cockroaches, the flying kind, in the poor bird's food dish. I felt really mean, and guilty and I said sorry to Budgie. After i shooed them away (I don't stomp or spray), she started preening her feathers, and has now gone back to sleep.

I shouldn't have ignored her "noise". She was just calling out for help from her mum :(
So to make it up to her I'm posting this picture. Isn't she beautiful? She could give us all hair and make-up tips. (yes, that's my overflowing bookshelf in the background. what's the emoticon for embarrassed?)

And I have to tell you how smart she is. She has a special hello shriek, just for family members. She never shrieks at our neighbours, just us. She can tell when HH pulls into the driveway, and she lets everyone know he's home. She shrieks at me when she hears the keys in the door. Such a warm greeting, it makes you feel loved. (Actually, it kind of makes me think I'm getting yelled at before I've stepped in the door. "Shriek, here she is! Where have you been young lady?")

She also has a cute 'arck' sound she makes when she gets woken up before dawn, by HH on his way to work. It kind of sounds like f---, I wonder where she picked that up?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Food Connect

"Food Connect is leading the way towards responsible food production and distribution in Australia. Unlike most national food distributors, major supermarket chains and produce box schemes, Food Connect sources its predominantly organic produce from local and regional family farms. We provide our family farmers a fair price for their produce, which encourages them to continue growing our food. This, in turn, helps our region to be more food secure. Furthermore, the environmental benefits of eating Food Connect produce go beyond just eating organic. Our local food distribution system ensures a significant reduction in the carbon emissions that are associated with transporting food long distances.

Your food choices matter! As a Food Connect subscriber, your choice contributes in very tangible ways to building an ecologically and socially sustainable world."

If like me, you wonder how you can possibly wade through the supermarket, figuring out where everything is from, then don't. Subscribe to Food Connect and they will deliver you fresh food from local growers. Too easy!

p.s. I haven't received anything for this plug and i am not affiliated with this company, I just think they do a great thing and more people should know about it :)

Brisbane Transition Town

On Sunday, I went to Brisbane Transition Hub Induction Workshop.
The workshop was wonderful. The room was full of diverse, enthusiastic and intelligent people, who are working towards making their home town sustainable.

I was overwhelmed by the caring atmosphere and by the flowing exchange of ideas.

There was also a bring a plate lunch, focussing on local food, which was delicious. Breads, curries, fruit, salads, cous cous, and so on.... sigh.

I made some contacts with people in my local area, which felt great. I have been trying without much success, to interest friends and family in the idea of transition towns.
It has been a bit frustrating, to feel like the only person who cares about climate change and energy descent. Most people seem unable to accept that their lifestyle has any impact on the environment, or that they are in a position to change things for the better. Some people even say, although they know that over consuming is affecting the planet, they don't see why they have to stop if their neighbours don't.... a bit of round about logic.....

Anyway, some really constructive, and positive ideas were formed at the workshop.
Hopefully, at a later date, I will be able to post some more about the specific objectives the group decided on and some projects that are in the works.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I haven't posted about the fires in Victoria or the other freak weather events happening around the country. This is mainly because I have been feeling overwhelmed and a bit helpless.
If you are feeling like I am, visit this site to get information on the many different ways that you can do something to help people affected by the fires. You can also donate to the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal to help those affected by the North and North West Queensland floods.

Brisbane Transition Hub Induction Workshop

I am so excited. It looks like Transition Town Brisbane may be generating enough momentum to get off the ground. There is a workshop happening this sunday to "develop a strategic direction for the network of Transition initiatives[...] and of course be inspired to 'transition' Brisbane."

Have you heard about Transition Towns?
It started in Totnes, England, and has spread throughout the world. Basically, instead of heading for the hills, and burying a cache of weapons and ammo, (not that there is anything wrong with that ;)) a bunch of people looked at the looming peak oil crisis and decided to reduce their personal addiction to dinosaur juice and facilitate a peaceful, economic and social transition to post oil in their community.
This Handbook outlines the process that some communities have followed.

I first encountered the idea of Transition Towns while I was researching Permaculture. This website, was written by the co-founder of permaculture, David Holmgren. It outlines a lot of issues related to peak oil, which Holmgren calls 'Energy descent'. It is a really informative website. Holmgren has also written 'Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability', you can order the book and read free excerpts of it at Holmgren's website.

I have set up a facebook group, 'Towards Transition Lutwyche', to try and promote the idea within my circle of friends and family. I have compiled a lot more helpful links relating to Transition Towns and if you'd like, you can access them from the group's facebook page.

I really hope to be able to go to the workshop on Sunday. I'd love to hear from other 'Transitionites' and bounce ideas around.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Here are photos of my two new babies. I had to wait to take them in the daylight.
Thanks sis.
Now, where to plant them??

Saturday, February 7, 2009

happy birthday to me

In a few hours it will be my birthday.
I am pretty much at an age where I want to stop telling people how old I am so that in a few years, they will have forgotten my age, and then I will be able to lie about it. :)

I spent today with my sister, just the two of us. It's not often we get to just be alone together, without partners, or kids. We had a delicious lunch at a great local place, called Cafe Conti, the portions were huge, and delicious. Then we went down the road, to Northey St City Farm. I had to pick up my secateurs, which i left there after a propagation class, yesterday. Thanks, Caitlin, I thought I'd never see them again. :)

We spent ages wandering around the nursery. The plants they have there are all edible and/or useful, and suited to my local growing conditions. I could have bought one (or more) of everything. There was native tamarind, which i long to sample. I didn't even know there was a native one until today, lol. There were, teeny tiny blueberry bushes, citrus galore, olives, sapotes,vegies and herbs out the whazoo. Sigh. As a birthday present, My sister bought me a luffa vine, and a coffee bush. Soon i'll be roasting my own coffee (how many beans does one plant produce? lol) and drying my own sponges, yay. I think the next plant I will buy is a wampi, i have tried it once. The fruit is so delicate and juicy, sunwarmed and straight from the tree. It has a grape like texture and is sweet, yet slightly acidic.

Then we went to a landscaping store, who shall remain nameless, although I am assured they are an ethical company, I prefer small local shops to chain stores. I needed clean sand to make cutting mix though, so i swallowed my pride, bit my tongue and bought 25kgs.

So hopefully my next post will be all about potting up cuttings, and sowing trays of seed.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

RIP Baby blue tongue

This morning I found Baby Blue Tongue under the front stairs dead. I guess the great black and white hunter got him after all. :( sorry buddy

Freedom Harvest Challenge

I have signed up for the "Freedom Harvest Challenge". The challenge is for people to collectively grow 1 million pounds (453 600 kgs) in their backyards, (or front yard, or window sill, or where ever). Anais at Little Homestead in the City says this amounts to about 400 pounds each (181.5 kgs) eeek!

Oh, well, one of my goals for 2009 was to get the garden back up to scratch, I guess this will help get me more motivated.

I wonder if I should weigh every handful of parsley I sprinkle on our dinners?

Anyway, I'm off to plant some zucchini to pad out my total, ;) they always grow like weeds, he he.

Sign up here:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Day of Action Encircle Parliament

Tomorrow is the first sitting day of parliament. There will be a protest to let the Australian government know that we want more action on climate change. People from all over Australia wearing red and carrying red banners, as a symbol of the climate emergency, will join hands around parliament house, Canberra.

I will be there in spirit, wearing a red shirt.
I wish everyone the best of luck. I don't expect it will be covered by the mainstream news, but I will be checking out You tube.

Hey, Kevvo, 5%? Not good enough, Mate!

More info here

Another 2009 goal

I have enrolled in The Northey St City farm's Permaculture Design course.
My first day was great. I am always really nervous meeting a group of new people.
I also had these wierd half formed ideas, that maybe everyone would be uber hippy green and they would think that i was terrible for eating cheese, or using soap, or something. He he. After awhile, I felt really comfortable though, with everyone so welcoming. There was a lot of diversity, in age, political leanings, "greenness", etc.

I have learned so much, my head is swimming. It is so refreshing to study something that gels with your worldview. (Unlike so many university arts subjects, which are approached from either a feminazi, socialist viewpoint, or focussed on past world events, and really can't be applied to life.)

Lunch is provided for the students, by the students, on a roster. (And everyone has to pitch in with dishes and cleaning up after, which gives you a chance to chat. Not like uni, at all! Reminded me a bit of school camp lol.) Every week lunch focusses on a different subtropical seasonal ingredient. This weeks ingredient was Bunya Nuts. We had bunya nut stirfry, with rice, and bunya nut patties - think felafel, with lilly-pilly chilli jam. It was so exciting for me to see Bunya nuts 'in the flesh'. I've read about them before, and have always wanted to try them. There was also a presentation about the nuts, you know, habitat, uses etc. We also discussed how the Bunya nut is a special tree to Indigenous people. A lot of the significance of bunya nuts is only allowed to be shared within the Indigenous community, which I respect. For an interesting insight into the Bunya nut festival visit this blog. The festival is invitation only, which i think is great, because it stops it from turning into a tourist attraction.

I also loved that I was eating a meal prepared by other people, yet I could eat everything on offer... It was all vegetarian, yay! No making excuses, or apologising for putting people out. The ratio of carnivores to vegos was about 50/50, so i didn't feel odd.

I am thankful this is something I am able to do, and I hope to put my knowledge to use at home now and on our property, when we get one.