TGoG Podcast 091 – Christmas Consumerism

Listen to the Episode Below (00:16:04)

It is about this time of year that I have my annual “consumerism gone wild” rant.

Everywhere you look, the effects of Affluenza are clear for everyone to see.  But what is Affluenza?

Now, Wikipedia defines affluenza as;

affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.

affluenza, n. 1. The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 2. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by the pursuit of the Western Dream. 3. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth.

Christmas ConsumerismNow, wait a minute. There is that economic growth example gets thrown around a lot of late. All forms of government seem to keep telling us that we must stimulate the economy, and increase economic growth. But doesn’t growth mean destroying, sorry, squandering the remaining resources we have left on the planet?  That can’t be a good thing, can it?  More on that in another post though.  Lets get back to the subject of Christmas.

We have lost our way.  It doesn’t need to be like this, but economic growth demands it.

Around this time of year, our consumer culture ramps into high gear, urging to buy the next shiny thing with money that we just don’t have.  So what do we do?  We go into debt by using credit cards, and end up with a big fat debt headache in the new year.

So now you know what Affluenza is, have a listen to the show where I will hopefully convince you that there is another and better way.

Once you have played the entire episode, please leave a comment about what you think of Christmas Consumerism.  I would love to read your thoughts on the matter.

Garlic Harvest 2014

I finally harvested our crop of garlic that I planted back in April 2014.  You can read about where and what variety I planted in this post titled “Planting time for Brassica and Allium“.

It seems very late in the season to be harvesting garlic, but I checked back to previous years, and the timing is about right.  Mid November here in Melton with our climate.

So how did it all go?

Well, it was the biggest and best harvest ever!  The raised garden beds in the front yard are producing the biggest and best produce on our Suburban Food Farm.  It must be all the sunlight that area gets.

You can see that they have a bit of dirt on them, but that is intentional.  When you pull a bulb out of the ground, just dust off the loose soil and allow the bulb to dry.  You do not need to wash them.

Garlic Harvest 2014

So much garlic, and each clove that I planted survived through the year and produced the most wonderful bulbs.  I also found a disused dog bed that I gave a scrub with warm soapy water that is the perfect place to dry off the garlic once it is picked.

I keep it under cover until the tops fully dry, wipe off the layer of skin that has the soil on it, and then I twist off the bulb and store in a wicker basket in the back of the pantry.  If you are wondering how we store it, check out this post titled “How to store garlic“.

Garlic harvest 2014 - Australian Purple Garlic

Australian Purple Garlic

As you can see, this Australian Purple Garlic is amazing.  It produces a decent sized bulb, which is about the size of the palm of my hand.  It also smells amazingly earthy.

There is nothing quite like cooking with fresh garlic.  It is fat, juicy, peels quickly, and crushes easily with the blade of a large knife.

And the flavour?  Well, simply put, it is sensational.  It brings whatever meal you add it to alive with garlicky goodness.

Who else grew garlic this year?  What was the result, and were you pleased with the flavour?

TGoG Podcast 090 – How to Reduce e-Waste

Listen to the Episode Below (00:21:19)

How many of you have old electronic goods lying around, or just dump them in landfill?

I am certainly not one to judge, as I have bought a few computers in my time.  However, I dispose of and recycle my computers and electronic goods as responsibly as I can, or at least attempt to extend their lifespan as long as I can by adding new components or get them repaired.

You don’t have throw them into landfill you know.  You can give them a second life or put them to work again.How to reduce e-waste

Links mentioned during this episode;

Lately you can get devices repaired as there are so many mobile device fix-it shops popping up all over the place.  We have two of these shops in our new shopping mall that I noticed in the last few months.

So next time you think about getting rid of an electronic device, have a think about where it may end up.  Can you repair or upgrade it instead of replacing it?  It is a much better outcome for your back pocket, and the environment in the long run.