Archive for July, 2010

Grantham’s “Everything You Need to Know about Global Warming in 5 Minutes”

23 July 2010

Jeremy Grantham. the G in the mighty GMO LLC fund, has long been one of my favorite economic resources. GMO manages something like 106 BILLION dollars for high end investors. By that, I mean it takes several million to get a foot in his door.

His take on Global Warming is well worth a read.

It’s available in reprint here:

Or better yet, visit the GMO website, sign up, and read it there. Reading the newsletters is free.



Sustainability–The Fun Side

22 July 2010

On June 10th, we received our shipment of eleven Welsh Harlequin duckings from Holderread Waterfowl Farm and Preservation Center of Corvallis, Oregon. These ducklings from Holderread’s Top Show Quality matings belong to a breed rated critically endangered by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

Why Welsh Harlequins aren’t more popular is beyond me. Even if the breed weren’t known for its egg-laying capacity and usefulness as a leaner than typical roasting duck, the amusement factor is high. When the ducks are about to bob for greens in their little pool, for a few minutes the farm shuts down to watch.


Two Young Gentlemen of Breeding and Fashion

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's SuperDuck!

Always Examine Water Carefully before Plunging In

All this comic relief and in another few months eggs too!


When Ducks Attack

9 July 2010

Month old Welsh Harlequin ducklings can strip a head of lettuce in seconds.  It’s like watching vegetarian piranha.

Sustainability–The Downside

9 July 2010

I read many blogs, articles, and books on sustainability, self-sufficiency, permaculture, and so forth. So far, one of the main items missing in most is mention of physical exhaustion. It’s plain hard work. It’s exhausting.

One particular blogger, a rather well known one at that, speculated on the joys of sitting around in lawn chairs after a day of tending the organic garden. Ain’t gonna happen, folks.

After twelve hours of weeding, hauling, sawing, digging, and everything else that goes into tending a smallholding, sitting around in a lawn chair discussing my innermost thoughts isn’t high on my to-do list. In fact, after a full day of physical labor, most of us will actually feet rather good, but most of us will be lucky if we have any innermost thoughts.

I can vouch for this. This spring and summer has been a series of twelve hour days. Except for a few paint touch-ups, the duck house is finished. The ducks are a month old and thriving except for a couple with signs of a niacin deficiency that should be cured by my infusion of niacin into their water and a dose of dandelion greens each day. The rest of the day goes to repairing fence, irrigating, sawing firewood, hauling horse manure, and other exciting tasks. Small repairs to the house eat up more time.

All this, and we don’t even have any grain planted, one of the missing links in our attempt at self-sufficiency. Next year. If we live that long.


Dead Zones and Such

5 July 2010

McClatchy News just published “It’s Not Just BP’s Oil in the Gulf tThat Threatens World’s Oceans.”

Those who read will find little new here, but it puts together some pieces.

Of course it fails to emphasize the impending end of commercially fishable stock, but I’m not much of a fish eater, so what’s that to me?