It is World Environment Day today, the 5th of June, and the theme is "Connect with Nature". Maybe the reason they chose this theme is that we need to go out into the environment, enjoy it and notice its changes, if we are to care for it and protect it.
Vandana Shiva coins the term "eco-apartheid" when she writes: “Separatism is at the root of disharmony with nature and violence against nature and people. Today, we need to overcome an eco-apartheid based on the illusion of separateness – the separation of humans from nature in our minds and lives. This eco-apartheid is an illusion because we are part of nature and Earth, not apart from it. Read more here
One thing I really love about living simply is that it gives me time to do that -to walk on the beach as I did today-the picture above was taken this morning at Sorrento, or to take pictures of the unique flora in this part of the West Australian landscape. The picture below is an acorn banksia, or banksia prionotes, a native to this region.
When we grow our own food, we are much more alert to the changes of the seasons and the needs of living things to be in a clean, cooperative environment. Below is our seed raising set up.
This weekend we have been setting up wicking beds for herbs close to the back door, using recycled olive barrels. This bed gets a lot of western afternoon sun, and nothing we grew really thrived, apart from the citrus trees. We do put up shade sails in summer, but it wasn't possible to get enough water to the herbs. This set up will fix that, we hope.
I have 4 more like this to do. Each one holds 2 bags of blue metal as the reservoir of water (holds about 18 litres each) and then there is a shadecloth barrier before a bag and a half of compost. The plants grow towards the reservoir of water, and there is very little evaporation to contend with. We top up the reservoir through the stand pipe, and there is an overflow valve to let water out if it rains and the plants are in danger of drowning.
I like the idea of using these olive barrels in new ways -re-purposing them rather than have them find their way to landfill.
When we grow our own food, we are much more aware of waste and freshness.
This is a picture of a rustic veggie pie I made with my own short pastry and herbs from the garden.
Finally, I thought you might enjoy this clip from Australia's CSIRO: beautiful location, important scientific work monitoring the changes in atmosphere over time.
Cape Grim Station: Measuring atmospheric composition since 1976