Monday, September 29, 2014

Rusty metal relief

( soil vs metal) The industrial revolution has hit hard in soft old agriculture .The mellow and soft edge of life on the land have changed forever .With our new knowledge of how to save time in making both biology and metallurgy  work for us . Maybe one day in the future  someone will say , as they do now (see the B on the new conservatives - the greens ), the past is better , lets go back there .but even further back than they want s to go .  Lucky noone takes the Greens ( incl themselves ) too seriously because this nostalgia for the past is a nostalgia for a past world  is for a world that no longer works. In fact in all our idealogical haste to redeem our confusion about where to go to next we are denying ourselves the opportunity to celebrate both what we have learned and what we can do with the future B this is the ideal - enjoy the new challenge )
What's holding me back then?
Some bad habits with rusty metal . My dad amzed me one day when after i painted the old trucks primed dent on the front mudgauard black that i was 'wasting my time ". His rejection of my work choices hit me hard then but clearly not hard enough because I still have truble  abandoning care for the rusty oldstuff - i am trying to fix B u the old slasher and its BSA engine t the momenet . I guess he too at the age of 50 realized he had done too much of fiddling with it  and was trying to kerb my clearly well developed tendency to love it or at elast live with it too . It was infact the fixing and make do model which didn't work for him or for us . Much of the euipement was faulty run down and unable to meet the production pressures required of a sound industrail invesemnet ( one that would would work hard and well when needed) We discounted our labour ( being frombig families meant it was easy to do) and paid oursleves nothing to do things we quite liked doing ( just got int the habit of doing ) Somehow in it all  we used the challenge to learn to innovate and adapt whch is really what all of us are supposed to learn ( thorow) Our education system wasn't faulty even though our farthers economic choices were (and who can blame them coming sraight fromserfdom in teh spreewad ) Iam sure Matthias      thought he was doing ok geteeing 100 acres for henry and albert getiing 600cares for loius and his other 6 . It seemed like progress . In agriculture it seemed like get big or get out was right . Who was to know that the Ag advisors we only selling one half of the story and what a different story it would have been if both sides were told ( the mallee had better soils but half the rainfall - who would have thought that goo old Victoria has a good a desert as any part of austalaia ( its such a samll part and it right next to water ) . We as kids were detsined to acrry soem of that elegacy of economially constrained choice s around agriculture with us. More constrained that most industrial ? yes ebcause teh variables are s much larger - ther are profits if you invest wisely  but the weather is unprdectable , unforgiving and returns just nott relaible . Noone goes farmeing if they have only one sense of whats important .

The failure to "get out" too is a habit too strong in me . I guess you can argue that hoobyb farming is the way to go but as I have always said , I don't believe i should at age 42 invest too much anymore mumoney and time in rusty baleds and spades .Helping Bruce ( as chris says that family mirro my own)  and Joel ( miiroing the desire to garden) has brought all these issues into sharp focus this week . Its early hristmas and taking Jimmy out to expereinec the paradox of placing hay bale and me reneweing my interest in magnetos and carbys bearings and hard sharfts has been unmisable . Even Dave has enjoyed the contacts and ive picked all teh ebarings I need to make the billycarts i wasgoing to for chrstanas .

What i can say is that all the expereinec has made me want to keepwriting and helping rural communities make better choices when useingland . If soemone like my close friends and reliies can make poor choices (as they have doen in recent years ) I an go with them ( as i am doing with the slasher ) but should i - The hard decsion is the right decsion. don't supprt them tell them the truth orlet them find out - like our children we do a bit of both .

Bruce tells me that its now illegal to hire a motorized slasher . I can understand why ( and will tell Joelwhy) because i am up early typing because they is still much to do to make this mid last century monster in my backyars safe and serviceable . From servicabelpoint of view ( 2 full dys easily to fix) The hardest thingto do isto proetect teh barings on teh vertical shaft from water and seal damage from winding grass . But the really dangerous thing is what those 18 bledes acn throw ack at you as You and they force there way foward itothe undergrowth .
As for the engine the old condenser was shot so i hope we willsee spark today

The really challengeing thing though is to see christains falling for sus  idea and that include s me. the romantic noitions ( old is good ) rather thanthe the really realistic ones ( we have ti follow the industrial rev whether we liem it or not ) Its corceion that drives us to make choices  in some ways we can be the biggest reactionaries of all . We choose not to follow but to be different . W carry the toolsof innovation but do we use them well enough ?

The point is we don't get the poaint  its not about technology but about hope and a willingness to learn and take risks . I might say i believe in risktaking but having een brought up in a poor family who lost their breadwinner too earrlyI just don't actually do enough of it . I kno w eneough now at my age and having studiesd others rural enterpises till their cows coem home to make good investement decsions - - i just struggle to get y body to do it .
Ive done it once - when the family farm ws sold I got rid of most of the mostsly good but still large volume of rusty meatl required to run a farm . The bits i do still ahve remined me  of the huge commeitement that modern agricaultue has to make to the meatl managemnet  , Sure you can buy and sell it . if you have the cash flow but you still need it . Other students of the indsutry tell me that there are roghly two camps - the ones that mainatain old machinersy and the ones that keep upto date by buying new machinersy ( just as all enterpreneuers in the indsuratila revoltion are ecouraged to do  No contrractor can afford to go the foremr way but the best farmers are i think soemwhere in betwen ; Maybe its because they have eeough of teh old to innovate with  and enough of the new to fix that they maintain a sense of how to keep whateevr they have working through thick and thin seassn and the war on rust ad cooruption asthingsage . There are farmers who aren't mechanics but they are usualy very poor farmers .
see B As a biilogist i ama very poor mechanic . As a ameahnic i am at times a very poor biologist 
and maiantain that they have The agricultueral revolution itslef was strong step away from doing it all yourself , Since we learned how to make ansismals work for us we have have looking for slaves to marry and sheep and cattle to mow our grasslands ( see the B on farmer wants a slave or Farming is too easy and too hard )  . Sure its meant  we taep Nowhere  is this more evident than in the way weuse metal to make machines and get onto ofthe labor requiremet . spring produce of grassland . What the anmilas used to commWhile none of us want Even for the most up to date farmer it means manhandling a lot of meatl

Our real handicaps- our bad habits

I can go on about professors and what the don't know but I also know that observers can often see things we can't .
Take the whole issue of industrialization of agriculture . See previous blog about steel wheeled tractor an how I serviced it kept it going and so on . Got parts and lost parts . It turned out to be a Lost cause should call me John of lost causes;  The man who invested in lost causes .

The media too are happy to invest in lost causes ..........but they don't have to pay for them .Warn them ,,,,,its too easy to talk .

Please use the word Resilience more carefully

re My love hate relationship with Landline ABCTV 
and lesser extent Quantum and even now RN rural ( sad to say!)

While they,  like the ABC generally ( as real lifelines for rural people) do some good reporting, they ONLY do it  when they stick to reporting ( recording real authors).
Embedding is for those who live with and in and beside -who know their land as well or better than the farmers  do ;  quote them and quote them carefully . More importantly make sure they exist in Country towns . Find them----- they are as rare as real farmers
These competent people don't have to be psychologists ;  I have listed their qualifications above , If Greenies were to embed themselves the shallowness and disrespect for the diversity and depth of land and ecology understanding wouldn't be so evident to those on the ground.Many farmers are in no talk land and it isn't because they don't have people to talk to - because those that do talk, talk carelessly ( seeTelecom 2000 report on maladaptive tendencies in the telecom age  ). even worse the city seems to care more about the token animal tahn the people out here - Whatever you say , please just make sure your claim to "unsustainable" or "endangered" or even " resilient " really sticks ( happy to back anyone who does their homework on this )
  1. Do not try to embed yourselves in a week or a day but support those outsiders to primary industry producers who are embedded in in all week every week  we need more real environmental experts out in the bush ( sorry they cost a lot to retain and keep like doctors)
  2. Use word resilience more carefully ,We are elastic, but elastic can easily break  Yes my clients show,  like land  does , great elasticity but if stretched by false hope ( new technology ) or political brilliance in environment  the elasticity can't last  .You do break us with all your talk ( Sorry but true)  - whether you know it or not you are NOT  on-farm advisers - you are less careful about tricks to make more money and be more sustainable.   The cities great interest in solving our problems is not matched by a commitment to actually doing that .( not anymore - it once was ) . this is not just your problem but OUR problem : you can support people who are more effective than you 

    I am posting this because recent events in the excalation of the war in Iraq and Syria demonstrate that we in the west STILL do not understand the difference between a technical solution and a human solution ----let alone a combination of both. 
Some great stories this week,  all the same .1  the NT cook who post great pictures . 2 The Minister for Ag who knows his portfolio ( sugar energy and unsustainable investments ).We need help but we need understanding more .