Saturday, May 26, 2018

They're baaaaaack, moo and moo again

If you've been following for the past couple of years you'll know that I've been experimenting with grazing. The principle from the Savory Institute is simple: brief periods of intense grazing improve soil health. Since my place is a dry land  ranch I'm after any way I can to help sequester carbon in the soil and keep rain water from evaporating when it does fall.

When you compare grass fed to feedlot there isn't any question. Carbon sequestration happens with grass fed. 

So the question is- what about mob grazing compared to no grazing? Can desertification be reversed?

I reset the rain gauge in June and this is the total for the year including snowmelt. Three inches came in April.  It's not the lowest I've recorded but it's 5" below average.

After that 3 inches in April this is what we had:

Pretty impressive since the 2017 grass was dormant until this Spring.

...but after April- came May- this month has had .02" of rain- total- yes- there is a decimal point in front of the zero- that's two hundredths of an inch of rain for the month. The growth of April is already turning yellow... and the fires have already started burning....

Cows- better grass and fire mitigation all in one go..... we hope.....

Previous years of moo.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Brick, Mortar, and Blood

One Billion British Pounds Sterling.

That's what the new BBC Broadcasting building cost in 2011.

...and 2 years later?

.... over 500 jobs gone.

.... and 6 years later?

....  1000 more layoffs.

.... but..... we have a pretty new building. Why does Shelley spring to mind , I wonder?

I took a tour yesterday. A building addition is being planned and the cost will be $1,000,000.  When I asked if there would also be new security- of the human analog variety- to check ID and verify each person and parcel- the answer was "No." Adding another employee cost too much.

$1,000,000 for brick and mortar- no problem.
$50,000 for one job- nope.

Now I don't know how many of you have been in buildings without checkpoints- where only digital surveillance is used. I often wonder if anyone is watching the video feed.  I wonder how easy it is to cut the feed- or steal the feed. I wonder who is watching. I wonder where the blind spots are. I've seen demonstrations of facial recognition (think talking to Siri with a head cold) and demonstrations of mind-reading (scary as all hell). I think of all that and I'm swinging more and more to the view that , yep, AI will replace humans. We already value AI and tech more than "us".

We value what we build more than the people who build.

That isn't anything new. The Great Wall, the Pyramids, Borobudur, Angkor Watt...  there is a legacy which reaches beyond the builders in these... and yet... and yet... when I see handprints of Anasazi mud brick ... when I see the paint pots left on the floors of Pompeii ... when I see the snapline in an Egyptian Architect's tomb... when I can run my hand over ancient hewn wood and sense the strokes of the adze... those lives may have been nasty brutish and short but there is something of the builders left behind ... some breath... some sweat... some self.... It's why there is a weaver's path in a Navajo rug to let the life of the weaver escape on the path of the thread.

Isn't that really the source of our fascination? We don't fear the Great Ozymandias but we sense the hands which carved the stone and the minds which shaped the metal.

So why do we value the work
more than the worker?

The obvious answer is that the work doesn't talk back except with the voices in our own wee little minds.... which brings me back to AI. What happens when the building does talk back and we disagree?

Groasis Update 2018

Here's the Spring 2018 Groasis update:

Chokecherry planted in 2013-2014. As you can see there is a lot of difference between plants. Some are still small at about 3 inches still inside the waterboxx and others are growing past the wire cage.

I had to take two pictures of the "star" which is over 2' Choke Cherries are supposed to be a "fast grower" well... around here survival is considered "fast growth"

Yes that is a Black Widow Spider egg sac you see... 
the spiders really like living inside the opening for the plants. 

This is a little "shooter" growing out from the bottom of  waterboxx.

Here's the link to earlier posts: