If you think that there is no much work to do in winter and hung your gardening gloves a couple of month ago, you made a really big mistake and want to reconsider.
In fact, you can do even more during the winter, than during the summer, because:
What we are planting during the winter?
They prefer sunny position with generous amount of sand incorporated (for drainage and soil composition), as the most of Victorian soil is clay. Add a well – rotten manure as well. Very hardy plant, excellent liver cleanser, love it, here is one of my favourite recipe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In7z9VWTKRE
I usually interplant them with spring onions.
Another hardy plant to grow. Find some sheltered place, add some manure, not much though as this plant is as other beans is a “soil nitrogen fixer”. Remember, that at some stage it will need stalking and also produce a lot of shade.
Stick to a crop rotation technique and don't plant where other beans used to grow last season (minimises Fungle and pests problems). I like to plant tomatoes after them.
Here is my post how to grow cabbages.
Just an important addition: if you live in a night frost area, plant them in a high raised bed.
Here is my post how to grow carrots.
And here something new that I've learnt: before planting, mix seeds with finely ground black pepper to ward off ants, they like to eat sweet carrot's seeds.
With carrot you add to salads, soups, roasts and can prepare kimchi, fermented food that will boost your metabolism and improve digestive system.
Like there relatives – cabbages, cauliflowers like rich, heavy and firm soil with a lot of manure applied. Interplant them with onions, garlic, nasturtium.
As broad beans likes sheltered position and produce a lot of shade.
Soil: as for cauliflower and cabbage, see above.
Easy to grow, yet it hate waterlogging (needs good draining) and this can be a challenge for a winter Melbourne condition. Try to grow them in a well – established no-dig, raised garden bed.
Spinach and Silverbeet.
Hungry and thirsty leafy vegetables. Plant in a soil where you applied A LOT of manure (after harvesting apply a lot of manure again, as they take a lot of nutrients).
Very easy to grow, however, they love well – rotted compost applied before planting.
don't like to be too wet. Plant them in a raised beds, if possible, apply well – rotten manure before.
can grow quite long, that why you need to choose a deep bed and incorporate sand and well – rotten manure before.
Very easy to grow. For the best results, ad some well – rotted manure before.
coriander, parsley, dill... You can plant all of them now. It's bit too hot for them during the summer here.
Some of the winter vegetables takes a few months to grow (garlic, onions, cauliflower). I've always found that it's a good idea to interplant them with some faster growing vegetables as salad, rocket, radishes, spring onions, shallots etc.
Don't be disheartened if something go wrong (hail, waterlogging, snails, aphids, list is endless). It's better to eat cabbage touched with a bit of frost than to buy one from the shop that always looks like it was kept since Christmas; or add in your sandwich salad with a holes than the perfect supermarket's one (11 pesticides, herbicides and insecticides were applied for a stunning look).
Happy winter gardening!
Consumerism is the main driver of our economy and thus is a guarantee of our standard and style of life.
Consumerism is such a big chunk of our life now that we are spending around four years of our life watching commercials1. Shopping now is a part of our recreational activities and studying how to increase and promote it is a big part of our educational curriculum (economy, mass – media, marketing just to name a few subjects we are studying).
So, what is a consumerism?
There are quite a few definitions, starting with simple Collins dictionary one:
“Consumerism is the belief that it is good to buy and use a lot of goods2”.
Or, Merriam Webster dictionary:
“The theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable.3”
E. Wright characterises consumerism as “the belief that personal wellbeing and happiness depends to a very large extent on the level of personal consumption, particularly on the purchase of material goods. The idea is not simply that wellbeing depends upon a standard of living above some threshold, but that at the centre of happiness is consumption and material possessions.4”
All the above definitions are lucking one major part. The idea of consumerism was developed and now supported by state's ideology (just bear with me, we'll consider it below).
Based on the above, we can draw our own definition of this phenomena: “Consumerism are set of beliefs, supported by the official ideology that buying and accumulating goods is the only way of leaving and a core of happiness.”
When did we become consumers? The idea of consumerism is quite new and the history of it is recent.
2.History of consumerism.
Consumerism became possible in the end of XIX century because of the combination of a few factors.
Firstly, it was the temporary abundance of cheap fuel in the form of oil, coal and gas. Together with an industrial revolution and the invention of assembly lines, machinery, powered tools it made possible first time in the human history produce enormous amount of goods at low cost (and this was the major contributing reason of Great Depression later). The goods became available to everyone.
Then came the WWII and science pushed development of technology even more: rockets, communication, nuclear power, radars just to name a few.
Supply has been outrunning demand in a geometric progression and there come a problem for corporations and government how to create a demand in a geometrical progression to keep up with a profit maximisation (the only one corporate's goal) and avoid recessions and civil unrests (one of the state's purpose).
“Buy now, pay later!” and “keeping up with Joneses”, were two genius mottoes, invented by General Motors in the ‘20s. It meant that you don't need to pay for the car right now and you need to update your car model only because the latest is available.
As a result in the ‘50s credit cards were introduced as a new financial product available basically to everyone. And nothing fuelled consumerism so much as this, because people started to spend money that they hadn’t earned yet.
At the same time USA government and later all countries around the world adopted the new measurement of state's economical success: Gross Domestic Product - monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country in a specific time period.
That was the last step of formalisation of consumerism and declaration that it was supported by the state from now.
As economist Victor Lebow summed it up in his article published in 1955: “Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption. The measure of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our consumptive patterns.5”
This attitude was was adopted by all major economies.
Consumerism was born.
3.Economical impact of consumerism.
Our current economy (I especially avoid use of term “capitalist'” as I don't want to be seen as ultra left and also because, another type economy I witnessed a few decades ago, the socialistic one, was an ecological disaster also) can expand only when the output rises, the productivity is secondary.
The warranty for the most gadgets and appliances now only one year, because their obsolescence is planned. Then they will go to the tip (most of the toxic wastes like mobile phones, for example, will go to the third world country). And we'll buy the new ones.
When people stop buying the economy goes into recession (70% of GDP comes from consumer spending). That why we are all being pushed to buy more and more and work harder and longer hours by advertising, marketing, government policies. In 2016 in USA on advertising was spent around $200 billions6 in Australia $13.5 billions7. Can you imagine if all of those billions were poured into medicine, education, infrastructure???
As the consumption and production in our current economies increases, so do the needs of resources.
And here comes another ugly side of consumerism.
Consumerism expands at the expense of third world countries, making them even more poorer and increases the hunger around the world.
How does it work?
The rule is very simple: the richer the country, the more it consumes at the expense of others. According to UN statistics, 86% of the world’s resources are consumed by the world’s wealthiest 20%8.
If we look up the list of the most consuming countries, the 1st place in consuming belong to USA, “with a per capita carbon footprint of 18.6 tonnes CO2 equivalent, the unit used by researchers to express the sum of the impacts of different greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and sulphur hexafluoride. The US was followed closely by Luxembourg, with 18.5 tonnes CO2 equivalent, and Australia, with 17.7 tonnes CO2 equivalent”9.
As those countries don't have enough of bio – capacities to maintain their appetite, they are depleting resources from other countries, in the from of mining, extracting resources, using the farming land for producing industrial crop (tobacco, sugar, coffee, just name a few).
As “the world can supply only supply 2.1 global average hectares per person, so already, Americans are consuming four times what the Earth sustainably supply10”.
Resources are very limited, in a very short time, those “other countries” just will not have them anymore.
Besides, consuming natural resources of third world countries, all the major world businesses have moved or in the process of moving heaviest polluting industries in there as well as the ecological standards are much more lower or non – existent.
The other problems, like dumping of food surpluses and concentration of farming land in a hand of big companies in third world countries lead to migration of farmers to a big cities in a hope of a better life and that increase a hanger, slams, medical problems, rise of mortality...
4.Ecological impact of consumerism.
Perhaps, the most profound impact of consumerism is on our planet.
More we consume, more we need to produce. More we produce, more we pollute and environmentally damage the planet in the form of green house gas emission (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane), soil degradation, forest destruction, soil erosion...
This ecological disbalance is very obvious now. And the most apparent demonstration of it is a climate change. Or you can drive your car a few kilometres and have a look at the closest rubbish dump, you'll be very impress, now multiply this dump by a few times, that how much we are going to have only in a few years. Yes, it's very easy to calculate. Just multiply western style of life by 1%,(and it grows much more rapidly with India and China adopting the same consumerism style of life) and it's become more obvious that we are going to use up all the resources very soon and ecological disaster is not that far away.
There is around 1.7 billions of consumers around the world (“group of people characterized by diets of highly processed food, desire for bigger houses, more and bigger cars, higher levels of debt, and lifestyles devoted to the accumulation of non-essential goods11”) and it's misleading at least to think that the major culprits of ecological degradation are big companies. According to Norwegian University of Science and Technology's between 60-80 per cent of the impacts on the planet come from household consumption12.
A good example is beef that we all love so much. It requires around 15,000 litres of water to produce a a kilo of it, 16 % of world's methane is coming from belching livestock and enormous amount of manure goes into the water and a landfield as a toxic waste (plus a lot of beef exported from third world countries, where the land was cleared for this cash produce, see above).
5.Social impact of consumerism.
We are all pushed to work longer hours. To buy bigger houses, latest car models, newest smart phone...Buy, buy, buy...
Where is your previous mobile that you bought just a few years ago? In a drawer, gathering dust? Didn't you want it so badly? Why is it in the drawer then?
Because you were manipulated to buy it.
It worked as follow: celebrities are stating the fashion for a new toys and style of life, elites are copying them and then it trickle down to others; by copying them people can associate themselves with a movie star or a wealthy person.
And what is the price?
We are all spending less time with families, friends, communities; leaving stressful and meaningful lifes... to accumulate more and get more into debts just to “keep up with Joneses”.
This model of economy and lifestyles we are having now are not sustainable in a long run. In a very short time resources will be depleted and ecology will be damaged at a no return point.
So, what’s the solution?
Frankly, I don't know.
If we stop spending our economy will collapse (meaning: total unemployment, crime, taxes are not collected, hospitals, schools are shut....) as we know only this type of economy.
Perhaps, we need to reconsider our aggressive consumerist pattern of behaviour.
Or come back to Protestantism with it ascetic ethic13.
Also, we need to be more careful who we are giving our votes on election. Most of the politicians are just are mere re-presenters of a big businesses.
And definitely, the measurement of a Gross Domestic Product should be replaced as it is potentially misleading and treats Earth irreplaceable capital as it were income14.
We need to remember that our planet is our home. And its going to be home for our children and grandchildren also.
13Ironically enough, according to Max Weber, protestantism was one of the major contributing factor among others of development of modern capitalism. See his brilliant book “The Protestant Ethic and the spirit of Capitalism”.
Really, is there any difference?? Or its just another wave of fashion?
We are bombarded with organic cosmetic producers’ ads about superiority of their products, while their opponents are telling that all organic, including skin care is a myth.
From a consumer point of view it’s all very confusing.
I am proponent of organic style of life. I've been an organic person all my life. I have my own skin care range, that I am very passionate about and I am getting a lot of questions from people who just started to use organic cosmetic or want to start to use it.
The usual questions are about:
Usually, mass market creams spread well and for the organic ones, you need some time to rub it into your skin.
Why? Because the mass market creams (and also lotions, moisturizers) are made from petroleum (Petroleum jelly is a mixture of hydrocarbons, having a melting point usually within a few degrees of human body temperature, approximately 37°C) so this cream spreads quickly, but it is made from petroleum!
Yes, from the same oil as gasoline and mineral oil in car engines!
Organic cream is made from organic certified oils (e.g. rosehip, avocado, jojoba etc.) that people have been using in skin care for years. If you think that your skin is similar to an engine – use mass market cosmetics (and it spreads better).
Velvet feeling (touch)
Why do the mass market creams have a velvet touch and the organic ones don’t?
Because the mass market creams (lotions, moisturizers) are often made with silicone, which helps to spread and gives a velvet feeling. Silicon can lead to allergic reaction, acne and eczema. Words as “dimethicone” or “methicone” indicate that silicon is present in your cream/shampoo.
Organic cream doesn’t contain silicone. Instead it contains beeswax, which is a softening, nourishing and anti-ageing component but it slows down the cream’s absorbability.
Why does the mass market cream has 3 years’ shelf life and the organic just half a year?
Because all mass market creams (lotions, moisturizers) are preserved by formaldehydes and parabens, but the organic creams contain only certified natural preservatives like gliceril caprylate.
Formaldehyde is highly toxic to humans, animals and all leaving creatures, regardless of method of intake. People exposed to formaldehyde-releasing ingredients may develop a formaldehyde allergy.
Parabens are dangerous to the endocrine system and also linked to cancer. They also can cause skin irritation, contact dermatitis and rosacea in individuals with paraben allergies.
Studies indicate that methylparaben applied on the skin may react with UVB, leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage. Look up for the words “propylparaben”, “methylparaben”, “ethylparaben” and “butylparaben” in the list of ingredients if you want to avoid it.
Organic preservatives like gliceril caprylate are usually used in cosmetics as skin-conditioning agents and can’t preserve cosmetics for longer than 6 months, but they are perfectly safe for human health.
Why does the mass market shampoo produce more foam than the organic?
Because all mass market shampoos are made with laureth sulphate. Like many other non-organic detergents, laureth sulphate is an irritant. It has also been shown that laureth sulphate causes eye or skin irritation in experiments conducted on animals and humans.
Organic shampoo is made with glucosides that are derived from plants and do not irritate the skin but don’t produce much foam.
So, what is the difference between the mass market and organic cosmetics?
First of all – organic cosmetics are non-irritating, non-toxic and have minimal impact on nature.
The mass market cosmetics are made from petro-chemistry, can cause various ailments.
Big companies invest money to make cosmetics look and feel better and don’t worry about our health and/or sustainability. If you pay $20 for a jar with petrol-based components and a viscosity improver, you should understand that you pay just for the brand but not for the quality.
And it is definitely not good for your health and skin. Remember, that everything that you apply to your skin is absorbed into your blood stream as if you'd eaten it. After all, the skin is a larger organ in your body.
More than 80% of the price of every bottle are spent advertising expenses.
The more you spend on the branded cosmetics, the more advertising you get in return!
And, finally, who are the women that promotes most of skin – care ranges? 18 year old models with a tonnes of make up on their face or Hollywood actresses that have undergone numerous facial surgeries! Do the really they look like that because of the extensive use of Estee Lauder, L'Oreal, Nivea or whatever?