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  #151   Report Post  
Old 04-11-2006, 01:06 AM posted to aus.gardens
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In article ,
"0tterbot" wrote:

Permaculture is agriculture for engineers.


AHH. i think in one sentence, you have got to the bottom of the problem!

The idea is to consider inputs and outputs and see how you can make things
work for you with a minimum amount of effort.


it's interesting to me that you got this from the books. perhaps you read
better books by people who came later. perhaps you read better than i do.


I got that from PDM, on my first reading of it and with no understanding of
permaculture prior to that. Of course it doesn't actually SAY that, but if
you know any engineers, you recognise the mind-set instantly! The premise of
all engineering, AFAICS, is to create a system to deliver the required results
as efficiently as possible, and to prevent catastrophic failures.

The idea of broadacre wheat farming, where you drill your seed in, then wait a
few months before experiencing crop failure/success, is completely alien to
the engineering mind (it's efficient, but it does not prevent catastrophic
failure). The idea of continuous polyculture to spread risk would make much
more sense to them.

"minimum amount of effort" did not appear to be anyone's aim in anything i
read. something like "fiddle with absolutely everything according to our
model and leave nothing that was there prior, standing, plant loads of beech
trees, and i certainly hope your block is sloped, young lady!!" is all i got
from them. :-)


Sounds like the principles got a bit mixed up with technique there. Elevation
is handy simply because it enables you to use gravity, ie, free energy. THe
"fiddling" is where you get existing processes to work for you -- ie, they
would all have been examples.

This is starting to remind me of debates about Attachment Parenting in
misc.kids, where people say AP is a hard-line approach to parenting, instead
of seeing that it's a few principles (the first one being "understand your
child's needs") and a lot of suggested techniques.

Did you interpret "slashing" leguminous plants as "chopping them down",
perhaps?

http://www.tortuga.com/permacultura/...Principles.htm
gives a very succinct summary of the design principles of permaculture, in
which you will see the words "energy" and "system" appear frequently.

Soil characteristics are
definitely an input. I think they are covered in PDM.

In my example, my chooks need as inputs: a run to scratch in, green stuff
to
eat, and shade. They produce scratched-up ground, eggs, and poo. The
lemon
tree needs: the grass removed from its roots, nitrogenous fertiliser, and
water. It provides: lemons and shade. (This list is not exhaustive, of
course.) Therefore I arrange matters so that the chooks and lemon tree
provide some of each other's needs *without my further intervention*.
THAT is "control".


no it's not, it's perfectly sensible :-)


I think Linda Woodrow explains it best: in The Permaculture Home Garden, she
explains that we are best at working with our brains, so we should consider
design of the garden (following study of local conditions, principles of
gardening etc) as our primary work. We should leave the job of destroying
snails and spreading fertiliser to the poultry :-)

what would you make of a statement declaring one should not have a property
bigger than a couple of acres, because you would not be able to CONTROL it?
(i freely admit the ordinary person _can't_ really "control" more than a few
hectares - i just can't see what the problem is with that.)


Where was that? What was the context? I do think it would be hard to get a
continuous polyculture going on a bigger scale than that, so it would depend
on what was to be attempted.

The rest is broad conclusions and sample technique.


what, stuff he thought up that nobody's ever tried?


Well, planting beech trees for a timber crop that in the meantime feeds and
shades your pigs, who fertilise the trees and supply you with meat/income
until the trees can be harvested. That's an example of a guild.

it's probably just not, in & of itself, my thing, & that's probably why i've
got such an attitude about it.


If my comments have been helpful in changing your mind, Rosemary Morrow's book
has just come out in a second edition!

--
Chookie -- Sydney, Australia
(Replace "foulspambegone" with "optushome" to reply)

"Parenthood is like the modern stone washing process for denim jeans. You may
start out crisp, neat and tough, but you end up pale, limp and wrinkled."
Kerry Cue
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:04 AM posted to aus.gardens
SG1 SG1 is offline
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Just got about 10k litres into the tanks over the last 2 days. Things are
looking up in sthn inland Qld. We have a choice of the western swimming hole
or the eastern one on our 1 acre.
Jim
PS our best day of rain since Jan 14 this year.


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Old 04-11-2006, 09:39 AM posted to aus.gardens
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CONGRATULATIONS...wonderful news!! Here's hoping for lots more for you.

"SG1" wrote in message
...
Just got about 10k litres into the tanks over the last 2 days. Things are
looking up in sthn inland Qld. We have a choice of the western swimming
hole or the eastern one on our 1 acre.
Jim
PS our best day of rain since Jan 14 this year.




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Old 04-11-2006, 11:12 AM posted to aus.gardens
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"Chookie" wrote in message
...
it's interesting to me that you got this from the books. perhaps you read
better books by people who came later. perhaps you read better than i do.


I got that from PDM, on my first reading of it and with no understanding
of
permaculture prior to that. Of course it doesn't actually SAY that, but
if
you know any engineers, you recognise the mind-set instantly!


i used to know some engineers. "used to" probably being the operative idea
g

The premise of
all engineering, AFAICS, is to create a system to deliver the required
results
as efficiently as possible, and to prevent catastrophic failures.

The idea of broadacre wheat farming, where you drill your seed in, then
wait a
few months before experiencing crop failure/success, is completely alien
to
the engineering mind (it's efficient, but it does not prevent catastrophic
failure). The idea of continuous polyculture to spread risk would make
much
more sense to them.


it makes more sense to me too, which is a little alarming under the
circumstances. ;-)

"minimum amount of effort" did not appear to be anyone's aim in anything
i
read. something like "fiddle with absolutely everything according to our
model and leave nothing that was there prior, standing, plant loads of
beech
trees, and i certainly hope your block is sloped, young lady!!" is all i
got
from them. :-)


Sounds like the principles got a bit mixed up with technique there.


in my head, quite possibly.

Elevation
is handy simply because it enables you to use gravity, ie, free energy.


this part, like various others, is in my "bleeding obvious" category.
however, i could not help but notice provision didn't seem to be made for
flat or flattish land. the assumption seemed to be either that it doesn't
exist, or that it's not worth mentioning (!). i have no idea. perhaps a
combination of idealism (the author's), bad writing, and insufficient
thought applied to general problems (again, the author's, not mine) led to
me reading it that way. similarly, the ideas relentlessly rolling out, but
with no backing of gardening techniques, or explanations of alternatives, or
(to me) explanations of WHY (nor indeed HOW) this is all meant to work, even
though, as in your chook/lemon example, the WHY of it really _should_ either
be obvious (i'm not that dumb), or be explained.

THe
"fiddling" is where you get existing processes to work for you -- ie, they
would all have been examples.

This is starting to remind me of debates about Attachment Parenting in
misc.kids, where people say AP is a hard-line approach to parenting,
instead
of seeing that it's a few principles (the first one being "understand your
child's needs") and a lot of suggested techniques.


heh. i think the thing is that babies grow up, & by the time (many) people
(mk types, for example) have got some perspective on things like those types
of "debates", it's all over for them personally. i would hope permaculture
doesn't display that lack of perspective on other people's (or one's own)
techniques, yet to me, it clearly does seem that way.

another thing (to continue the mk analogy) is that i'm very centrist &
simply cannot seem to take an extreme line on anything much. there is NO
"right" way with baby-raising, gardening, or anything else, there's only
"general rightness" and what's right for the circumstance & the people
involved. to me, the books i read shouted "change your circumstance!"
whereas what i like is to read things i can incorporate into what my
circumstances actually are in order to make improvements which are possible
for me physically or financially. i have a very neglected property that has
been "improved" in the past by someone whose logic i cannot fathom (i
suspect there wasn't any), then let go all to shit. i have barely any money,
and only two hands, and a great deal to do. i can SEE how writing a book all
about what's ideal (according to one mindset) might appeal to some people,
but i have to content myself with practicalities, and even some of our small
problems concerning layout, or what needs to be done, are often just so
mind-boggling one must content oneself with really small improvements on
tiny areas for that particular day. CONTROL (mollison-style) is for people
with more time and money and rigidity than i have.

Did you interpret "slashing" leguminous plants as "chopping them down",
perhaps?


hehe, no, not at all. i felt NO allowance is made for working around the way
things really are (i.e. the block you really DO have, not your fantasy
block). the writings were from the pov that one would be able to design from
scratch, or perhaps how one would design in an ideal world. or both. i
realise some people have the luxury of designing from scratch, but often
not. i appreciate your pointing out the "broad examples/suggested
techniques" idea (which is probably the case). it is difficult for me to put
into words what my problem is. which is why i defaulted to the idea that
perhaps it's just not my thing - which i baulk at, because i think it
_should_ be my thing & can't understand why it isn't!!!

http://www.tortuga.com/permacultura/...Principles.htm
gives a very succinct summary of the design principles of permaculture, in
which you will see the words "energy" and "system" appear frequently.


thanks. that's a nice page. i am still experiencing mind-resistance, but i'm
trying hard ;-) i don't, for example, understand how a permaculturalist
would fervently espouse gaia - it seems to me the opposite. on the one hand,
i don't understand how a permaculturalist would regard themselves as a
caretaker or such, because of the control elements which are, to my mind, a
little extreme & artificial to an almost rigid degree. otoh, i entirely
understand how, done well, it could make perfect sense.

I think Linda Woodrow explains it best: in The Permaculture Home Garden,
she
explains that we are best at working with our brains, so we should
consider
design of the garden (following study of local conditions, principles of
gardening etc) as our primary work. We should leave the job of destroying
snails and spreading fertiliser to the poultry :-)


again, this makes sense. perhaps i just need a better class of author.

(i freely admit the ordinary person _can't_ really "control" more than a
few
hectares - i just can't see what the problem is with that.)


Where was that?


good old permy two!! (i hated that book. can you tell?)

What was the context?

iirc, in summation.

I do think it would be hard to get a
continuous polyculture going on a bigger scale than that, so it would
depend
on what was to be attempted.


i disagree somewhat (not with you, with the idea), on two levels. firstly,
the person may wish to own the land for a host of other reasons, none of
which have to do with farming or gardening it (noise, privacy, wildlife
refuge, because they just can, to show off, recreation, to ultimately set up
a caravan park on it, i could go on.) secondly, if the person wished to do
some _particular_ sort of growing, i could well imagine you could
plant/whatever hectares upon hectares, & then essentially leave it to it
most of the time, _while accepting_ that the bigger the area, the less
personal control the human has, & therefore being prepared to accept what
losses might follow despite your best management, like farmers etc always
are obliged to accept. iow, you'd probably not have a "continuous"
polyculture that needs replanting every year unless you have staff, but
there's a great deal other polyculture (which grows continuously) you could
do. again, i just can't see why bill mollison would have a problem with
that, & there's the essence of my problem with him. frankly, he probably
lacks imagination.

it's probably just not, in & of itself, my thing, & that's probably why
i've
got such an attitude about it.


If my comments have been helpful in changing your mind, Rosemary Morrow's
book
has just come out in a second edition!


possibly i should look at that one again, as i don't recall it being nearly
as offensive as the other two i read g. i just think, if i don't like it,
i want to know why - there has to be a reason. i read all sorts of weird and
(idealogically) unsuitable (to me) books, but usually they've all got a few
things in them that were worth reading, at worst if only to put on my
"not-to-do" list. those, i got nothing, i just couldn't get it at all.
thanks for your insights.
kylie


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Old 05-11-2006, 03:04 AM posted to aus.gardens
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Chookie writes:
country people tell me I'm more like a country person than a city person, and
it seems to be a compliment ;-)


Wouldn't be those free-range chooks on the lounge, I s'pose? :-)
--
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)


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Old 05-11-2006, 03:04 AM posted to aus.gardens
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"0tterbot" writes:
Poor fellow was apparently concerned about growing breasts from drinking
recycled water that might have had female urine, and thus oestrogen, in
it.


yeah? what happens to us from drinking man-wee? do we grow beards and chest
hair?


Nah, the effect is more subtle. Haven't you noticed that increasing numbers
of females are driving red sports cars ...... drinking beer ...... mowing
their lawns on Sunday ...... taking over the cooking at BBQs ...... given
to road rage ......
--
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
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Old 05-11-2006, 10:05 AM posted to aus.gardens
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"John Savage" wrote in message
om...
"0tterbot" writes:
Poor fellow was apparently concerned about growing breasts from drinking
recycled water that might have had female urine, and thus oestrogen, in
it.


yeah? what happens to us from drinking man-wee? do we grow beards and
chest
hair?


Nah, the effect is more subtle. Haven't you noticed that increasing
numbers
of females are driving red sports cars ...... drinking beer


oops!

....... mowing
their lawns on Sunday ...... taking over the cooking at BBQs ...... given
to road rage ......


on the bright side, when we take over the cooking at bbqs, we don't have to
wear an apron with rubber breasts on it - we can just wear our own!
kylie


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Old 05-11-2006, 11:31 AM posted to aus.gardens
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In article ,
John Savage wrote:

Chookie writes:
country people tell me I'm more like a country person than a city person, and
it seems to be a compliment ;-)


Wouldn't be those free-range chooks on the lounge, I s'pose? :-)


The girls have attempted to invade, but have been sternly asked to leave.
Might be the guinea pigs in the dining room though...

--
Chookie -- Sydney, Australia
(Replace "foulspambegone" with "optushome" to reply)

"Parenthood is like the modern stone washing process for denim jeans. You may
start out crisp, neat and tough, but you end up pale, limp and wrinkled."
Kerry Cue
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Old 06-11-2006, 07:53 AM posted to aus.gardens
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"0tterbot" wrote in message
"Farm1" please@askifyouwannaknow wrote in message


with them because they experience the effects of drought too but

don't
suffer.


How do they experience the effects of drought? You continue to

claim
that city dwellers "experience the effects of drought" and have an
"acute" awareness of the drought. How?


obviously, it doesn't rain enough.


:-)) I had to smile at that one. Sydney has been getting lovely lots
of rain. Not in the catchment of course but over many of the burbs.


Now you add "snarky" to "combative". Pot, kettle, black comes to

mind
for some strange reason.


did you leave something on the stove?


Snort!

I've posted generalisations and you've posted generalisations. I
haven't said you can't post them but I have to admit that the

stream
of consciousness posts don't work for me. I'd like you to stick

to
some facts or at least post in some structured way so I don't have

to
hunt so hard to figure out where you're headed in all that

verbage.

my babble's "verbiage", actually. g


Glad you recognise it as such.

Not consistently logical throughout but better
than the usual stream of consciousness stuff.


well gee - tell that to the authors.


It was in the selection of cites - they weren't consistent.

I'm off side but you aren't. I have a problem but you don't. I

see a
problem with that even if you don't.


the problem with written communication that really peaks on usenet

is that
it's too easy for people to misunderstand oneself or what one said

(or one's
"tone"), and then there's the part where people will persistently

read
things that aren't even there.


Yes it is easy to do so. I guess that's why you think I'm combative
or snarky.

for example, until the other day i thought you were a cheerful young

woman.
now i think that's most likely _completely_ wrong, but i can't very

well
decide you're a persnickety old grumblebum, because that's most

likely just
as wrong.


Both views can be right but it depends ont he ocassion. Like most
people.

p.s. you still haven't criticised my lack of capital letters, but

it's been
fun anyway.


Well it does make for difficult reading. It's called an "eye jag".
That means that writing in such an unaccepted style is hard for the
reader to read fluently.

I can understand why you do it but I can't type and I still make the
effort because I know how hard it is to read uncapitalised and
unpunctuated writing.

are we finished yet?


Don't tell me you are going to turn chicken on me!


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Old 06-11-2006, 09:46 AM posted to aus.gardens
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"Farm1" please@askifyouwannaknow wrote in message
...

obviously, it doesn't rain enough.


:-)) I had to smile at that one.


i did too, but i was worried you wouldn't :-)

Sydney has been getting lovely lots
of rain. Not in the catchment of course but over many of the burbs.


my neighbour 2 doors down (i.e. about 1.5km away ;-) rents a catchment
property. sydney catchment is actually huge. IT IS EATING AUSTRALIA!!! while
it's true that most of the rain happens on that side of the mountains, i can
tell you for a fact it's raining in the catchment RIGHT NOW.
/looks again
yes.

hunt so hard to figure out where you're headed in all that

verbage.

my babble's "verbiage", actually. g


Glad you recognise it as such.


that i do (i hope you don't think i didn't know that i babble). but mainly,
i'm just an excellent speller g

Not consistently logical throughout but better
than the usual stream of consciousness stuff.


well gee - tell that to the authors.


It was in the selection of cites - they weren't consistent.


so tell them that, then! tell them anything you want!

Yes it is easy to do so. I guess that's why you think I'm combative
or snarky.


ah. i don't think you are combative or snarky as a personality. i think you
are BEING (or have been) combative & snarky. different!!

decide you're a persnickety old grumblebum, because that's most

likely just
as wrong.


Both views can be right but it depends ont he ocassion. Like most
people.


what - sometimes you really are a cheerful young woman & other times you
really are a grumpy old man?!!
boggle
there's got to be more than _oestrogen_ in the water!!!!

Well it does make for difficult reading. It's called an "eye jag".
That means that writing in such an unaccepted style is hard for the
reader to read fluently.


mm, people say that. then later on they say they got used to it. i can't say
i'm bothered how they feel, really. it's their choice to read or not. :-)

I can understand why you do it


why do i do it?

but I can't type and I still make the
effort because I know how hard it is to read uncapitalised and
unpunctuated writing.


tch! i punctuate. you don't have to exaggerate.


are we finished yet?


Don't tell me you are going to turn chicken on me!


no. i'm bored! i'm not taking you seriously! it's ridiculous! it's over!

However, you'll be pleased to know that I can actually type just as fast
with capitals. There you are. Don't expect to see it again any time soon
though - it's just a pre-Christmas special.

salut!
kylie






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Old 06-11-2006, 12:39 PM posted to aus.gardens
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Farm1 wrote:

:-)) I had to smile at that one. Sydney has been getting lovely lots
of rain. Not in the catchment of course but over many of the burbs.


Not really. It has moisten the mulch/topsoil, but isn't really going deep.
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:09 AM posted to aus.gardens
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"0tterbot" wrote in message
"Farm1" please@askifyouwannaknow wrote in message

obviously, it doesn't rain enough.


:-)) I had to smile at that one.


i did too, but i was worried you wouldn't :-)


I have the worst most warped sensed of humour you could ever find. It
has always caused me a LOT of troulbe because I can see humour in just
about any isaster or misfortune known to God or man.

Sydney has been getting lovely lots
of rain. Not in the catchment of course but over many of the

burbs.

my neighbour 2 doors down (i.e. about 1.5km away ;-) rents a

catchment
property. sydney catchment is actually huge. IT IS EATING

AUSTRALIA!!! while
it's true that most of the rain happens on that side of the

mountains, i can
tell you for a fact it's raining in the catchment RIGHT NOW.
/looks again
yes.


About bloody time. It's missed it soooooo many times.

hunt so hard to figure out where you're headed in all that

verbage.

my babble's "verbiage", actually. g


Glad you recognise it as such.


that i do (i hope you don't think i didn't know that i babble). but

mainly,
i'm just an excellent speller g


I used to be before I started using computers. Now I have to write a
word by longhand if I want to know if it's right. Sodding keyboards.

decide you're a persnickety old grumblebum, because that's most

likely just
as wrong.


Both views can be right but it depends ont he ocassion. Like most
people.


what - sometimes you really are a cheerful young woman & other times

you
really are a grumpy old man?!!


So only old men are grumblebums? How odd. But usenet is such an odd
beast. I've been mistaken for being an American, a black American, a
man, a woman and many other things besides. It's all in the eyes of
the beholder and depends so much on what one writes. But I can be
lots of thing too at different times in terms of personality (as can
anyone).

Well it does make for difficult reading. It's called an "eye

jag".
That means that writing in such an unaccepted style is hard for

the
reader to read fluently.


mm, people say that. then later on they say they got used to it.


I never have.

i can't say
i'm bothered how they feel, really.


Yes.

I can understand why you do it


why do i do it?


It's easy (or lazy depending on one's perspective).

but I can't type and I still make the
effort because I know how hard it is to read uncapitalised and
unpunctuated writing.


tch! i punctuate. you don't have to exaggerate.


Well you do use full stops, but beyond that............

are we finished yet?


Don't tell me you are going to turn chicken on me!


no. i'm bored! i'm not taking you seriously! it's ridiculous! it's

over!

Over? Then why reply???????

However, you'll be pleased to know that I can actually type just as

fast
with capitals. There you are. Don't expect to see it again any time

soon
though - it's just a pre-Christmas special.


Pity. So much easy to read.

salut!


Merry Xmas!


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Old 07-11-2006, 04:11 AM posted to aus.gardens
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"Terryc" wrote in message
Farm1 wrote:

:-)) I had to smile at that one. Sydney has been getting lovely

lots
of rain. Not in the catchment of course but over many of the

burbs.

Not really. It has moisten the mulch/topsoil, but isn't really going

deep.

Well that's not what the TV weather reports have reported. Lots of
decent falls for months while the country has had sod all.


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Old 07-11-2006, 07:32 AM posted to aus.gardens
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Farm1 wrote:

Well that's not what the TV weather reports have reported. Lots of
decent falls for months while the country has had sod all.


Those along the coast get it. I'm about 25kms west of the coast and it
really has been nothing. I am using a post hole digger to dig a hole and
the soil is so dry it is like powder.
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:31 AM posted to aus.gardens
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In article ,
"Farm1" please@askifyouwannaknow wrote:

:-)) I had to smile at that one. Sydney has been getting lovely
lots of rain. Not in the catchment of course but over many of the
burbs.


Not really. It has moisten the mulch/topsoil, but isn't really going
deep.


Well that's not what the TV weather reports have reported. Lots of
decent falls for months while the country has had sod all.


Hmph. It's true we had the wettest winter since 1999, according to the
Bureau, with 403mm. The problem is that even though June was cold, the temps
in July and Aug were above average (though the Aug rainfall was average).
Then September's rainfall was high, but we also had the hottest Sept ever...
followed by the hottest and driest Oct ever. And that hot September had the
August winds in it, too! The extra rain arrived at the right time for
establishing vegies, but of course it then evaporated.

IOW, it's the same here as everywhere else. The climate is hotter and
whackier. We do get more rain here, but it's less than we used to get between
El Ninos. We also don't get persistent rain much: it's much more showery and
intermittent than it used to be.

--
Chookie -- Sydney, Australia
(Replace "foulspambegone" with "optushome" to reply)

"Parenthood is like the modern stone washing process for denim jeans. You may
start out crisp, neat and tough, but you end up pale, limp and wrinkled."
Kerry Cue
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