Sunday, May 19, 2013
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Food production has been pushed further and further away from populated areas because of the high cost of land and rates. This means that the food you buy has to be picked, transported and stored before it is available for you to buy. This can sometimes take several days. One of the most valuable things a retail store should tell you about the food you are buying, is the date the food was picked because food deteriorates rapidly. It may look good, but it will have little or no food value. Leafy greens deteriorate even more when they are washed in solutions containing anti-rotting chemicals like chlorine and packaged in sealed bags containing gases, which keep it looking good. It deteriorates rapidly when it is processed by being cut up into convenient sizes and packaged in neat containers. When food is processed like this it quickly loses critical enzymes and vitamins. The best food you can buy is the food that is grown locally using organic methods, and is available for sale as soon as possible after it is picked. You will taste the difference. It will have more flavour and will last much longer. Written by Bev Buckley For more information go to http://www.growinghealthyorganicfood.com/course1
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Organic certification implies that food grown under this label is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and agricultural poisons but it doesn't automatically allow you to assume that it is necessarily nutrient-rich or of high quality. The organic industry is based on building up the soil by increasing humus levels and nutrient levels. The nutrients we are talking about aren't just the major ones like phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen, but the much larger range of nutrients such as selenium, boron, molybdenum and silicon. There are more than 70 trace elements that are essential for good plant health and these need to be added to the soil regularly and monitored as well. When applying for certification, organic growers need to do a soil test but no one checks whether, once certification is given, nutrient deficiencies in the soil are rectified or if there is regular input of nutrients to replace those that are taken up by the vegetables and trees that are grown in the soil. There is no on-going monitoring of the mineral levels, vitamins and amino acids in organic food in spite of the fact that these are really important in maintaining human health. We have never applied for organic certification because we have always been aware of the deficiencies in the organic certification process. We know our food is of extremely high standard because we monitor soil nutrient levels by doing soil tests regularly. Our soil organic levels are over 14% which is quite exceptional. Because our buyers respect the quality of the food we produce, know that it is freshly picked and full of nutrients when they buy it, we sell everything we grow on our Community Farm. Our only problem is that we can't grow enough to meet demand. Written by Bev Buckley For more information goto http://www.growinghealthyorganicfood.com/course1
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Blueberries are bushes that grow up to 2 metres tall. Some are much smaller. There are a number of varieties and they have different growing habits and the berries ripen at different times of the year. In their natural state, blueberries grow wild in deciduous forests where they get plenty of sunshine in winter when the trees lose their leaves. This type of natural habitat needs to be replicated if you want to grow blueberries successfully. For fruit to ripen you will need to grow your blueberries where they have at lease half a day of sunlight and protection from strong wind is desirable. Soils underneath forests are generally acidic with a pH between 4.5 and 5.5. If your soil has a higher pH than this, you have to work to lower it. The reason for this is that blueberries are one of the few plants that require aluminium to grow and aluminium can only be absorbed when the soil pH is below 5.5. It is the aluminium that explains the blue colour of the fruit. To lower soil pH add aluminium and where possible add other fertilizers in a sulphate form eg potassium sulphate. You can buy aluminium at your local hardware store as "alum". This is the same substance you use to turn hydrangeas blue. Adding peat moss, sawdust, pine bark and/or pine needles also helps to reduce soil pH levels. In a coniferous forest, the soil beneath the trees contains large amounts of organic material because the trees lose their leaves every year and layer upon layer of decaying leaf matter builds up. Before you plant your blueberries, make sure you add large amount of organic matter to the soil in the form of woodchips, sawdust, pine bark and leaves and use these same materials to keep the ground around the bushes well mulched. Deep mulch layers retain moisture, which is important because blueberry bushes are shallow rooted so they dry out easily. Ideally, you should prepare your soil six months before planting your blueberry bushes. In a forest setting, trees send their roots deep into the soil, allowing passage for air. In your blueberry area, high levels of organic matter incorporated into your soil will help with soil aeration and planting your bushes on mounds or ridges also helps. A sandy soil is preferable to a clayey loam. Planting Blueberries Prepare your soil well in advance. If you are planting several bushes, make trenches and ridges. Dig a planting hole on the mound. Tease out the roots and spread over a small mound. Fill hole with peat moss/soil mixture and pat down firmly. Dilute liquid kelp or fulvic acid with water (50/1 ratio) and water the plant generously This helps to reduce transplant shock. Add compost and peat moss to both the mound area and the trench taking care not to build up the mulch around the trunk. Watering and Fertilizing Blueberries Blueberries are shallow rooted and don't like to dry out. During the growing season, water twice a week. Water more if conditions are hot and dry. Generously apply compost and animal manure (cow, goat or horse but not chicken) to ensure a good harvest. A slow release azalea plant food can be used two or three times a year but do not overdo the amount used. Alternatively, use seaweed or fish emulsion. The rule for blueberries is to use fertilizer sparingly. Pruning. Prune in winter. Prune out spindly, weak growth and keep the centre open. Plants respond to hard cut back and produce bigger, juicier berries. Written by Bev Buckley For more information visit www.growinghealthyoganicfood.com/course1
Posted by Bev and Geoff Buckley at 1:44 PM
Sunday, July 15, 2012
I've just returned from the coal and gas fields of central Queensland. It is wonderful to see the revitalisation of towns over a wide area but I would be much happier if that activity were directed to something other than extracting and selling Australia's energy resources, ruining productive land and possibly polluting vast underground water supplies that are essential to our agricultural industry.
As politicians congratulate themselves for taking measures that ensure a "prosperous" Australian economy, we are hell bent on depriving future generations of their inheritance as fast as possible. This is called "progress". Instead of spending millions on research designed to sequester coal-generated carbon in an effort to make coal mining "acceptable", we could instead be fostering research and development of free energy.
Development of such technology infers paradigm-shifting breakthroughs that have the potential to restructure the world's economic framework, giving greater independence to individuals. It has the potential to reduce the power of centralised governments and transfer it to local communities. It could mean the elimination of poverty. With unlimited, virtually free, non-polluting energy, the world would be a very different place. Instead of polluting our air and water by the use of fossil fuels, we would have the energy to clean up the damage that we have already done. Instead of turning productive farmland into wasteland through mining we could restore it and use it again for productive purposes.
Is cheap, non-polluting energy just a pipe dream? I don't believe it is and I believe we are closer to actually having it than many would have us believe.
The Energy Catalyzer (E-Cat) is just one example of a technology that has been developed and is now in the testing stage with extremely promising results. Tests undertaken by Defence and Energy Department bureaucracies show that the technology works. Developed in Italy by Andrea Rossi the E-Cat uses tiny ((1.5 grams) amounts of nickel powder, hydrogen gas and undisclosed catalysts to produce mini-nuclear reactions from a portable reactor that is about the same size as a cell battery. Massive releases of heat energy occur in the process: enough to power a home or a car for a raw materials cost of less than $2 per year. Most importantly, it is safe.
What cold fusion promises is something extremely rare: impossible technology that could underpin a more prosperous world because the benefits will be many times as significant as those of cheap oil but without the drawbacks.
Cold fusion isn't the only example of clean, renewal, affordable energy systems being developed. Paramahansa Tewari, electrical engineering graduate from Banaras Engineering College, India has recently taken out a patent for a Space Power Generator, which generates energy from a vacuum.
The world's situation looks pretty bleak at present, but there are significant signs that things are changing. The development of free energy technology is just one of the many highly significant breakthroughs that are happening. "Caterpillars into Butterflies" outlines new developments that have occurred in a variety of areas and explains what you can do to help make the world a better place. "Caterpillars into Butterflies" is available as a downloadable e-book for $7 from www.growinghealthyorganicfood.com
Posted by Bev and Geoff Buckley at 2:29 AM