Agriculture

Farms For All

Welcome to purslane, a nutritious vegetable used extensively in Middle Eastern cooking, so native to the region that it sprouts up in the cracks of sidewalks  and is harvested from there …

Purslane Source

This drought resistance succulent is high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. It grows throughout the Okanagan.

Here’s some purslane growing in the front yard of the house of worship of a religion that began in Palestine…

Purslane, Okanagan Landing Road

And here is one of its sisters, after the church landscape specialist directed his attention to it …

Food for the Poor, Poisoned

Going, going, gone.

 The gravel of this style of landscaping is perfect for purslane: protection for seed, conservation of water, lots of heat and sun, and no competition, as few other plants can survive in such drought conditions. It’s not just gravel…

New Farmland: The Sidewalk Crack

Perfect for purslane, spinach, millet, coriander, lettuce, and a host of other crops.

One thing about this farmland is that it is right in front of your house. Another is that it makes use of large amounts of water that are collected by the sidewalk infrastructure. Another is that it gathers sand and dust and turns it into soil. It makes new earth.

The Ultimate in Zero Tillage

Cultivation: 0. Soil loss: 0. Water usage: 0. Transportation costs: 0. Every couple years, the soil could be mechanically harvested and redistributed on areas in need of it.

There are tens if thousands of row kilometres of this agriculture in the Okanagan. If automobile pollutants are an issue, then let’s grow crops here that will mine them, to keep them out of our water, and then harvest the soil that they make. Oh, and the argument that plants will destroy the concrete infrastructure? Really? I think snow removal equipment does a better job of that…

Sidewalk Snow Plow Damage

Look at those holes. A guy could grow a nice cabbage in there.

In case I appear flippant, do remember that there are still institutional landscaping projects, such as that purslane-free church above, and that all the processes of which I’m speaking here are natural processes. Here, for instance, is a glacial meltwater river stone recently unearthed and dumped down the hill from a real estate development…

A New World

Rock, water, air and sun. Nothing else is needed.

Here’s a similar rock, a few years later…

Mariposa Lily Seed Stalk and Natural Heat Sink

Notice the moss thriving in the cool months and making new soil and nutrients, which support the plants around the rock, as does the rock’s heat in the cool desert nights.

Every rock on the hill could be given a purslane, which it would care for it like a child with a kitten. A silly idea? Really?  And this isn’t?

Productive Hillside Turned into a Dump

This is infrastructure material for the vineyard up above. 25 acres of vineyard. 50 acres of wrecked land to support it.

We could plant kochia on this stuff, and support a herd of cattle, without water, without land cost, with nothing, just the cost of some seed, without interfering in any way with an elementary private property rights. Kochia? You know, Burning Bush? Another Biblical weed. Here…

Kochia Branching Out Source

The British Columbia Government wants us to get rid of this baby. Why, when it grows on waste gravel, is incredibly productive, enriches the soil, and feeds cattle? Could it be because the government wants to save natural grasslands? Admirable. I’m all for it, but here’s two things about that. 1. Below 650 metres, there aren’t many left; what you see is a brand new ecology of weeds; 2. This is what really destroys natural grasslands…

Vineyard Road Tangle and Weed Hell

aka Kochia Heaven

Meanwhile, this is how cattle get fed [well, in theory]…

The Year’s Single Crop of Hay Turning Into a Perch for Magpies and Hunting Ground for Hawks

What a difference four months of mouldering makes.

This is old orchard land, being cropped with hay to keep its farm status and the low taxation rates that go with that. Just like the hillsides, however, that hay is largely weeds and has no agricultural or nutritional value. Kochia would be a better bet than this.  So, welcome to your new farm…

Your New Farm As the Winter Global Warming Rains Begin

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