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The cold has arrived!

June 18, 2007

After the warmest May on record, we have dived straight into winter. Blackheath had sleet last week and Lithgow, where C. works, had light snowfall. Now, rain in Sydney over winter is fairly normal but in the Mountains we tend to get our rain over late summer/autumn. The storms over the last ten days have already pushed our rainfall to 5 times the June average – 255mm has fallen as opposed to the 50mm average. Now this isn’t a bad thing because we need the rain but as the dams fill up, people want to know if the government will relax the water restrictions. Lord, love a duck*…….the dams aren’t even half full and people want to know if they can wash their fucking cars again!

Not much to report in my garden – I’ve got parsley, some herbs, celery, arugula (rocket), ruby chard that can be eaten (small quantities only) plus peas, broad beans, garlic, spring onions,a few leeks for spring . I put the brassicas in too late and they are growing but….oh…so…slowly. Everything has slowed down. On the bright side, we are in a frost free pocket but oh to have MORE sun on the garden…..

Down at my mother’s we have lettuces of all kinds, silverbeet(swiss chard), tomatoes (in small quantity), brassicas surging forward as are the peas + broad beans ( not leggy like those in my garden) and oranges, oranges, oranges…….come August/September there will be paw-paw and the time consuming coffee harvest. Maybe a few cherries. The late warm weather played havoc with the fig which is losing leaves and fruiting simultaneously. Her garden is really looking good.

The 90% reduction goes slowly. Not huge progress and a few set backs and so to our Week 2 totals –

Petrol – 5 litres (me) + 5 litres (C) – 10L. This is 65% less than our average weekly total and 75% less than our state average. I had one less class and did part of the journey by train. Shared a ride back…so that’s all.

Electricity – 12.86kWH per day. This is 35% less than our average daily use and about 45% less than the national daily average. Slightly higher than last week but I did switch the answering machine/cordless phone back on. Tell me it’s not using 1kWH per day. Check that!

Gas – 355mj per day. The cold weather and baking , marmalade + jam making all add up. It’s very high.

Water – 143 litres per person per day. 19% less than our usual average and 60% than the national average.

Food – 35% local, 40% bulk and 25% wet + non local.

Consumer spending – A new kitchen tap…..more water efficient(5 star) but expensive. Adjustment for that…I should really check…..???????

* I just wanted to use that expression. Looking for any excuse.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2007 12:47 am

    My sister lives in the Blue Mountains too and she’s been telling me how cold it is. She’s a bit further down from you so they’re had no snow…yet.

    I’m sorry to hear about your computer.
    You’re doing well with the challenge. We’ve cut right back too. Most of it was surprisingly easy.

    Lpve the look of the jam. Are you a seasoned jam maker?

  2. June 24, 2007 4:48 am

    No not a seasoned jam maker. I make marmalade each year because of family orange tree but I’m trying my hand at other jams, if and when i can pick up locally grown fruit in season. I recently made some tamarillo jam (some one lower down the mountain had excess) and it’s good.

    The challenge of reduction has been a good thing to do and continue with. Apart from the implementation of actions, it forces you to re-think things and that has been such an invaluable part of the process so far.

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