Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


My 2009 crop of garlic

We all know that over 90% of all garlic consumed in this country is imported from China.
That leaves 10% to split between Mexico, Argentina, and our own growers.
It's an insult.
Of all crops, there could hardly be an easier one to grow: you prepare a bit of soil, you stick a clove in with the pointy bit up, somewhere around Easter, you keep it moist until the rains come, then you harvest somewhere in November.
Yes, it is labor intensive.
So what?
Too many of us are not labor intensive enough and our bulging waistlines are testimony.
Next on the list is apples.

A Granny Smith from my brother's farm in Bridgetown WA

They are supposed to keep the doctor away.
If we don't grow them ourselves we can no longer be sure.
Many Australian growers are already spraying too much on the trees, around the trees, under the trees, but we have some controls, some security.
Speaking of which, security concerns a lot of folk. Next time you meet such a folk, tell them there can be no greater security for a nation than the ability, the willingness, to produce its own food.
Then ask them where they buy their vegies.
In particular, their garlic.
Not only where they buy it, but where it is from.
Apples grow well in the colder bits of this vast land, in particular the colder bits of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and West Australia.
I grew up on 30 acres of Granny Smiths.
She sustained me, nurtured me, kept me alive and romantically attached to seasons.
In primary school some folk called me Little Johnny Appleseed.
It was apt.
At a 30 year school reunion, an old mate said: "You know, one thing I remember about you, Dousty, you always had an apple."
I reached down into my back pack and removed two apples.
We ate and laughed.
Don't allow this to happen, this invasion of apples.
Lobby your local member of whatever variety.
Tell them we need to grow our own.
But before you speak, hand the bastard a locally grown apple.
To catch-up on the possible invasion, go here

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Another Sunday

Here I am, in Albany, my home, for another couple of days. But not for long. The city, Perth, beckons.
It doesn't beckon with a seductive "come on, call me, don't be shy, call, now".
Nuh, it beckons with a necessary "hey, I've got the money and you ain't making any down there, so come on up, get it, then go home and chill".
So I do.
I drive up, fly up, get up whatever way I can, do the gig, grab the money, rush home, chill a bit, hit the beach, run hard and surf like an aging man who wants to be 16 again.
Not an emotional, spiritual or intellectual 16, or even a physical 16, but be able to do what I could have done with a 16 year old body, but with the little knowledge I have gleaned between then and now.
Is that too much to ask?
Over the last two months I have pounded the streets of Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne to push "Boy on a Wire", been all the way to Kununarra for the Kimberley Writers' Festival, Geraldton for the Big Sky Writer's Festival and back home for Albany's own Sprung Writers' Festival.
No surprise I'm buggered.
And the book will be reprinted over the next week or so.
And this week I will fly to Perth again.
And the week after that.
The week after that? Probably.
I'm fly in fly out.
I'm running short on carbon credits.