Millpost News and Views
As the saying goes, it never rains, it pours. We've had over 100mm in the past week. All the dams (our big dam below) and tanks are full. Millpost Creek comes up with 10mm now. We managed to get all our weaners and most of the ewes shorn in between the rain last week. Now we are hoping for a good lambing and almost assured of a decent spring.
Unfortunately the wool market has taken a real covid hit. At times like this it makes even greater sense to be processing and selling our own wool and thus not being so reliant on the global market.
With our yarn we need to a establish a point of difference in the marketplace; hence we point out it is permaculture grown. But we are also registered with Land to Market Australia, an initiative of the Savory Institute where trained assessors monitor our soil and pasture to assess whether we are "going forward" environmentally. It's called Environmental Outcomes Verification and is quite a vigorous scientific procedure. If we achieve a tick (i.e. we are trending positive) then purchasers of our yarn can be assured they are purchasing from a regenerative enterprise.
We are also signed up for Authentico, a relatively new quality assurance certification which guarantees our wool is grown humanely (eg no mulesing) and without savaging the earth.
With such a wide field of certifiers, we also have (Sustainawool, The Responsible Wool Standard and various organic and biodynamic ones) their impact is diluted. Perhaps we should hope for some takeovers and one or two emerge with more clout!
The Covid era has got more people thinking about food security, what with border closures and some panic buying. Early this year sales of vegetable seeds and seedlings took off. Everyone has had more time to spend in the garden.
I remember years ago I tried living on exclusively home grown food and look back quite positively on that experience. I certainly did not suffer and recall feeling energised by the experience. I am not sure how my entrenched caffeine addiction would cope with it now. The fact is, though, we are blessed (or have set ourselves up) at Millpost with an abundance of food. We will never starve or feel anxious about food supply. Even now, towards the end of winter we are eating homegrown potatoes, carrots, kale, silver beet, lettuce, coriander, garlic, celeriac, broccoli, spinach, endive, rocket, radishes. When you add all our meat (roo, pork, mutton, rooster), eggs and dairy its a pretty wholesome diet.
The pandemic may not have been forecast by David Holmgren (David did our permaculture design for Millpost) but in Retrosuburbia (available here: https://retrosuburbia.com/) he has shown how to engineer your life and living space to be self-reliant and survive an uncertain future. Climate change and peak oil are anticipated and pose similar if not greater challenges than a pandemic. We can all do something to make our lives and living places more resilient. I reckon trees will play a big part in that. I will tell you about our Trees for Climate project next time I write.
David Watson 16/08/20