"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Weather warnings...


We woke up to the strangest weather on yesterday (Monday) morning.

Bear in mind our weather fluctuates between 14 - 18oC at this time of year.
Well, on Monday morning we woke up to 27oC - at 8.30a.m.!!!  That is a mid-summer type of day, not early Spring.
I kid you not - this is not the moon, but
is the sunrise that greeted us yesterday
morning.  I have never see one so
 "other-worldly" looking
The climatic appearance outside was really weird too - high clouds, and a sunrise like I've never seen before - almost alien.

Add to that this article:


I reckon that those in the northern hemisphere would be well advised to stock up on whatever fuel they need to keep their homes warm this coming winter.  Don't wait until stocks run out.

We have already ordered our firewood for next winter and are just awaiting word that we can pick it up.  8 - 9 months to season it should mean that it is good and dry when it is required.

As for us this summer - we've just ordered another 2 X 5 000lt tanks and a 12volt portable solar pump - we have a spare 140watt solar panel, so we will run the pump straight off the panel with a return pipe so that it will be re-circulated every day ;)

That will give us 40 000 lts of rainwater (and whatever hasn't evapourated out of our +/- 350 000 - 400 000 ltr dam) that we don't have to drain from the municipal supply - if, and when, it becomes necessary in order to keep our crops / fruit trees alive.  All our existing tanks are overflowing - and we're praying that we get enough rain before the end of December so that we can fill the new tanks too, and thus be better equipped to handle the hotter months of January / February / March.
Boy, has this little trailer ever worked for us - as
 you can see it's back gate is in a sad state...
But it still managed to get 1.5 - 2 mtr3 of mulch
safely back to our smallholding
Then, we schlepped the trailer through to Swellendam last week and loaded it up with wood chips from the local sawmill.
The wood chip mulch showed evidence of
decomposition :)
Adding a bottom layer of alpaca poo, and then a layer of wood chip mulch all round should help to retain whatever water we give to all the fruit trees / veggie beds.
20 minutes of huffing and puffing by Rman and
 myself - the wood chips are all offloaded.
As much as is there, I think we may need yet one
 more load...
Preparation is the key - otherwise we have only ourselves to blame...

18 comments:

  1. There has been warnings we are in for long cold winter for while but there will still be those who wont take notice and blame the goverment :-)

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    Replies
    1. Dawn - Personally, I'd rather always prepare for the worst than have "egg on my face". Whatever fuel I didn't use, would be usable in the future. Similarly, helping my plants / trees retain their water isn't going to do any harm - except perhaps save me money which would be spent on municipal water...

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  2. I read somewhere else we are in for a bad winter.

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    Replies
    1. Sol - And, it will probably only get worse over the years. It's payback time now for Mother Nature... ;)

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  3. On Monday I went to Swellendam and it was so windy I could hardly keep upright. On the way out I saw flashes of lightning and by late afternoon, the Riviersonderend mountains were on fire. It burned through the night, part of Tuesday and I saw the last glimmers die out last night. I'm new here so I'm not sure what the norm is, but it really has been a mighty weird week. I feel so sad for the mountain, spring shoots burned to a crisp not to mention the wildlife.

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    Replies
    1. possumqueensa - Ah, a fellow Swellendamian?? Thanks for leaving a comment.

      Yes, Swellendam had extremely peculiar weather - unlike what we've experienced here before. The sky had the strangest colour too, and the berg wind conditions made for extremely uncomfortable humidity - not usual at all.

      Please let me know where you are in Swellendam - would be nice to meet up maybe? :)

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    2. I'm in Riviersonderend actually, I alternate between Swellendam and Caledon for my shopping. I'm a refugee from Joburg, been here for 6 months only and absolutely loving the area, love my house, love my garden, just love the whole darn thing. I am also a total freak about alpacas, unfortunately I can't keep any in my backyard, but I'm enjoying your blogs about your little critters. I went through Suurbraak in March, oh that Tradouw Pass is magnificent, even though the rain was bucketing down. Next time I'm in the area I would love to meet up and if you're ever in RSE, I'm have a delightful red house, no alpaca but a brand new cappuccino kitten (my house warming present) a red tomcat and a bunny that comes and goes as he pleases..

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    3. That would be cool - if ever you go through to Suurbraak again, please drop me an e-mail and I'll give you my contact number. Come and meet Miranda, Minky, Carly and Rupert :)

      I am unable to leave the area to go to CT as someone has to be around for the aminals... ;D

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  4. Really strange weather indeed. We awoke at 5 am to thunder storm activity on Tuesday morning. We hardly ever have thunderstorms here in East London, never mind so early in the day.

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    Replies
    1. Simone - We, too, had unusual thunder and lightning - on Monday.

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  5. Looks like everyone had strange weather on Monday and Tuesday. It was so warm on Monday night I could not believe that it was so crispy on Sunday. During the night we had a terrific thunder and lightning storm, woke everyone up, even the dogs had to come inside. To give you an example: our temp yesterday morning was predicted as 20 in the morning and 22 at the highest. Then we also had a funny cloudy sunny day, all hazy. The sun were so totally funny, a little ball among the clouds. Please check out the Geoff Lawton.com shorties on saving you water and best of all, creating water. I know that you will love the series.

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    Replies
    1. Marlene - The berg wind conditions made Monday very uncomfortable.

      I agree - RMan and I commented that we had never seen the sun like that before. Completely alien - as though we were on Mars almost.

      I did check out Geoff Lawton, and have watched a few of his movies. Very interesting - especially what he did in Jordan. I am going to adapt one of my veggie beds into a swale type situation, and see what difference it makes on my harvest - experimental - with a control, of course :) Thanks again for the link.

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  6. Our National Weather Service says that the South will be warmer and wetter than usual this winter. But the Farmers Almanac says it will be brutally cold and lots of snow. I am going with the Farmers Almanac. It's more often right than the weather people.

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    1. Harry - I've never heard of the Farmer's Almanac. We have to rely on our local weather forecasters... ;( They certainly don't always get it right!

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  7. It certainly seems that the weather is going ever weirder. We're entering into official drought conditions here. And the overnight lows are well below average while the daytime highs are well above average. What??
    You're right about preparation. Next month's topic at our monthly sustainable living gathering is basic emergency preparedness. We're FAR better prepared than most and yet I'm sure our preparations are inadequate for most major emergencies.

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    Replies
    1. Bill - Can anyone really ever be completely prepared? But, being able to anticipate situations certainly helps to mitigate whatever arises. We have to do what we can, otherwise what are we doing here?

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  8. Strange weather everywhere Dani. You know that coincidentally I wrote on my blog about the dreadful winter we are being warned about in England. Good to see all your preparations for the coming season.

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    Replies
    1. Jayne - Yeah, was co-incidental we both did weather postings on the same day. You're preparing for winter, and I'm getting things organised for summer. Yin and Yang of the seasons :)

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