Archive for 11/11/2013

Life Periodic

“When the weather is bad and no other work can be done, clear out manure for the compost heap,” recommends Roman statesman Marcus Porcious Cato, better known as Cato the Elder. In his writings De Agricultura, he shares the secrets to running a successful farm-business in the ancient Roman Empire.

In this work, Cato, who lived between 234 and 149 B.C., provides us with an early how-to guide for enriching the soil through the practice of composting.

The Dirt on Dirt (and Compost)

Compost is not actually soil itself, but the dark, crumbly result of a controlled process of breaking down animal and vegetable matter. The resulting product is fairly stable, no longer decomposing at the previously speedy rate, and is full of nutrients (especially nitrogen and carbon) and minerals in forms ready for hungry plants to absorb.

But composting isn’t just any old rot, full of stink…

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The last century saw millions die far from their own countries in conflicts scaled to a global level. In the Commonwealth and other nations, we commemorate that first great war’s armistice each year. November 11 is a day we remember and honour those who never returned and those who came home changed for ever from war’s horrific toll.

1922445322_1cbc83b8aa_bPhoto credit – Maureen Flynn-Burhoe. License – (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

War can also exact a fierce price on kids. Fathers, brothers, uncles lost forever. Homes, villages, towns destroyed beyond recognition. And, in heart wrenching incidents children themselves are killed, maimed, orphaned or pressed into bearing arms.

In the early 1940s, kids throughout the UK were evacuated from urban areas because of the Luftwaffe’s sustained bombing raids. In Glasgow, 120,000 kids were evacuated in a three day period in September 1939.

My folks were then primary school age and lived in shipbuilding…

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PicPost: Harry Potter spotted in Portugal

Picture of a Portuguese Student in ‘fresher’ uniform on the ferry between Lisbon and Cacilhas, October 2013

potato head

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