Systems collapse


Systems collapse – suddenly, and when you least expect them to! A month ago my computer died …. I now have my second new logic board after weeks without being able to travel in the ether … and in the month that I’ve been “off the air” the roses and the poppy seedlings Susan gave me have begun to blossom and I have a bowl full of peas and mint out of our garden.



At this time of year it was almost a relief to have my computer

die because there is so much to do in the “real” world in Spring but, I must admit, it rattled me badly for a while. My blog life disappeared and I had to reacquaint myself with life B.C. (before computers)! Fortunately the problem has been fixed … for now, at least.

Then, yesterday, as a huge electrical storm moved towards us, I felt as though my world was about to be turned upside down again …. I KNEW there would be hail and that my beautiful vege garden (and computer if I didn’t switch it off) could be destroyed….. it had been far too hot and humid for this time of the year … but all I could do was stand there and wait for it to come. The fatalism that paralyses so many in the face of global warming gripped me as I watched the dark clouds roll in.


Fortunately the hail was small and only my nasturtiums suffered … this time.


It seems inevitable that one day all my hard work will be wiped out by some uncontrollable event …. the images of the Californian wildfires are etched into my brain forever…. including one image of a scarecrow in a garden where the birds were no longer the most serious threat.


It is the nature of existence that nothing lasts forever but the deep sadness, the aching grief I’m feeling about the world my boys are inheriting, seems only to be relieved by time spent in the garden. Apart from the joy and beauty it adds to our life, and the ability to grow food and reduce emissions by doing so, there is a sense of working around the clock to repair and balance the damage being done by others. We’ve been building a chook shed, putting in new beds, planning ponds to harvest water and create microclimates, making compost and building soil ….

The future will require adaptation, resilience and luck. Yesterday I got lucky …. lots of rain for a parched garden but only minimal damage. So now I’m enjoying my good fortune and not taking anything for granted. Tonight I had fried haloumi on a bed of garden greens with fresh lemon dressing, peas with mint and lots of butter, oven baked potatoes and sweet carrots. Over winter our garden supplied us with broccoli, brussel sprouts, salad greens and red cabbage.

Today Maxie ate his first ripe red strawberry and the garden is also supplying us with peas, broadbeans, silverbeet, ruby chard and more salad greens. It is also full of herbs, bunching onions and rhubarb and soon we’ll be eating artichokes, apricots, redcurrants and mulberries. My first potatoes came up yesterday. I’ve planted around 200 potatoes in an experiment to see whether I can provide our family with enough for a whole year. I’m also trying to grow sweet potatoes and so far one has sprouted its first leaves.


I submerged half the potato in water with the pointy end down. Then the roots and finally the leaves started to grow. If I can get enough to sprout I’m going to plant some in pots and some in the garden. One of the best things, other than the taste, is the fact that they’ll store well over winter.

Politically, in one month, our election will be over. Our current government experienced good fortune and luck and squandered it – they’ve taken too much for granted. They abused our trust by wasting eleven important years in which they could have acted on global warming. They are systematically reducing the civil liberties we were fortunate enough to grow up with, and that unions fought hard to achieve. I’ve continued to take political action over the last month but today I find it too depressing to write about …. the garden is so much more inspiring. This next month, however, will be the most important month of our existence and our children’s futures hang in the balance …. we will all have to answer to our children and to our consciences about how we act in this last month in which we can effect change.

Systems collapse – suddenly, and when you least expect them to!


2 thoughts on “Systems collapse

  1. Sue

    Glad to see you back online at last, especially with photos of your amazing garden. Your photos & posts inspired me to get to work growing my own vegies, albeit on a much smaller scale than yours.

    I have a large garden bed to fill but it needs a lot of hard physical labour and more $ than I have to get it established. So instead I attended a Katoomba community gardens workshop and now have two small styrofoam boxes and several small pots growing salad veges and herbs. It’s amazing how much pleasure there is in the simple act of watching food grow!

    Thankyou for your inspiration. And congratulations on your well-deserved recognition as the “most active voluntary (Al Gore) presenter in Australia” – all this while maintaining a busy household and thriving food garden! No wonder it was a relief to be without technology for a while.

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