Sunday 18 August 2013

Offlineness and kindle-ism

I've just returned to the online world after spending a week teaching english at a camp. Samm has done an awesome job looking after the farm and our friends have been an amazing support of energy, food, love and company to her throughout the week. Returning to the internet,  I'm surprised to see that the world hasn't fallen apart, the ice-caps haven't melted, etc and the world has only incrementally changed. Thankfully, nothing major happened (ala Russia 1991) but it has caused me to re-evaluate my priorities.
I'm not going to be checking out of the internet but certainly trying to improve the quality not quantity of time spent online

One of the Joys of being away was reading using my 1st generation kindle which samm lovingly gave me one Christmas. The beauty of the device is that it is just an e-ink reader (it can read books out too which is great as I get travel sick if i try to read) but has no other major feature. This means I'm not distracted by other things and I can focus in on the details. The only downside to kindling is that I remember written works by layout and relative position of important text within a paragraph in a book. Depending upon how I move around in the document, the kindle unhelpfully reformats and changes the layout for me. This slight disadvantage is overcome by the ability to make and remove notes so If i jot something down in the book, I'm not remind of my stupid thoughts for the duration of the book's life.
I'm now trying to convert long web articles onto my kindle. The process isn't tricky just a few steps. First, i  save the web page, then opening it in Sigil and resave at as an epub file. this is  then covert to mobi within calibre which can be automagically sent to the kindle. This enables me to enjoy, read and return to short Web-essay with out the need to check my facebook status every other second.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

First Grain Harvest

Very exciting day today as I've harvested, by hand, our first oats. The photo doesn't look very impressive but the wheelbarrow is full of organic oats on their stalks. The oat seed were from taken from the Rabbit feed and were then planted in an unused piece of rotovated land just to see what will happen. The biblical sowing technique worked but it made harvesting very hard as the random pattern combined with weeds meant that it was easier to uproot the whole crop then attempting to swing a scythe or sickle.
I'm not going to thresh the harvest but feed everything to the rabbits who will have a field day munching through this.  Overall, this has been a success and I will be dedicating more land to growing traditional farm food including alfalfa, sunflowers, oats to help lower our animal feeding costs. In order to realise this, I'm probably going to have to invest in a small seed drill to ensure straight lines of dense crops which will reduce weeds and hopefully improve yield.