Monday, 8 March 2010

Sustainable Monday

I learned a lot about sustainability and our modern lives this week.

We kept building our rock composts last week but unfortunately worked out the mass weight of the compost would have weakened the walls eventually. As an important component of compost heaps is air and air rotation we didn't want to put any mud on the stones to keep them as a wall. So we decided to purchase two simple cages from Bunnings Warehouse - one is above. Each cage is the perfect size for a compost heap - and, at a cost of just $24,95, we thought it money well spent. The rest of the compost bins on the market can sting you upwards of $400 - and while there is merit in them (faster compost, cleanliness etc), we wanted something old-fashioned and 'normal'. We don't like newfangled! We started our compost heap with kitchen off-cuts (no meat, bones or dairy), fresh dirt, some old grass cuttings and some chook manure from a local farm. I'll rotate the manure with horse to give it some extra nitrogren - but fingers cross it will all work out! I am hoping we can use this first heap within 8 weeks - I'll let you know. We start the second one in a month...

I have been researching iron-deficiency anaemia and ferro liquid quite a lot. By chance I came across the most interesting site. It's called Food Intolerance Network and their site is called Fed Up with Food Additives. I have been an avid reader of the site for several nights - it has the most interesting (and sad) statistics about our modern life...including...

1. In the last 30 years two supermarket chains have built their food owndership to 80% of the Australian market
2. Bagged salads made from lettuce and other green leaves are washed in chlorine, dried, sorted and put in plastic bags with modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) where low levels of oxygen and high levels of carbon dioxide keep it looking fresh for up to ten days or even a month but destroy vital nutrients
3. In the UK there are more than 6000 varieties of dessert and cooking apples, but many have been lost to production and only survive in the national fruit collection because supermarkets only stock 10 variaties
4. Supermarket advertised vine-ripened tomatoes have been picked at the 'breaker stage' - meaning they are a good size and should be ready to turn colour - and ripened artificially with ethylene gas

That's just a snap shot. I can't wait to get this new organic vegie patch - the quicker, the better.

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