2023-08-27 August rained away

Published: Sun 27 August 2023
By Goran

In Blog.

Some like it wet

August came and went. It is usually the warmest month, but this year we had not a single day reaching 30C. After a very dry early summer, we have had for almost every day in both July and August. Very unusual weather. One day we had 80mm rain in one day, during the rainstorm called Hans.

The trees love the rain. They grow like weeds. And the weeds grow like crazy. What a difference from when we planted in April! It is magical to feel the soil start to come alive and the weeds that I chop-n-drop turn into black magic.

Planting in April:

Planting in April

In July: July

Now in August:


Now is a good time to start planning a nut orchard, since November is the best tree planting time in our area, so I am preparing the sales lists for this season. I look so much forward to the sales season, and like every year I am a bit anxious. Sales is a special skill and this is not (yet) my forte. Every year, I do get better and feel more relaxed in the role.

Our Webshop

And I really love the feeling when the trees that I have nursed go out into the real world to produce delicious nuts for beautiful people and animals.

Walnut wood is beautiful

We met a wonderful wood-artist, Anders, who lives 8 km from here. We got a log of an old walnut tree that I could cut up and prepare information signs for our place. The walnut wood is so beautiful!

Energy politics - my minor contribution

Energy availability and scarcity became apparent last winter, even though most of it was quite mild here. All of a sudden, the political majority flipped into a pro-nuclear frenzy. Instead of closing down the 50-years old reactors, they will be patched up and continued. And alongside, ten new reactors will be added.

Since I did study engineering physics back in the day, and have thought a lot about nuclear waste, I wrote a short opinion piece in the largest newspaper of this area.

The title was "Nuclear power is like wetting your pants", alluding to a saying that when you are cold, you can take a leak to feel warmer for a while. A simplified short term vs. long term cost/benefit analysis.

The point I made is that we get a lot of energy for a low cost now, but we leave a terrible mess behind. The nuclear waste is both radioactive and highly toxic. No country in the whole world has built a long-term storage. I think this behaviour is an example of great arrogance towards future generations. They will have all the bads of the nukes we use today, but none of the goods. And the funds that have been put aside to handle this (USD500 per kilo of highly active spent fuel) were inadequate to start with and now quickly inflates away.

We can print and delete money, but we cannot delete nuclear waste with a strike on a keyboard.

Our society is full of magical thinking, the illusion of clean nuclear plants is just one of them.

Nobody will be swayed by an opinion piece, but at least I speak out and show that the consensus is not complete. Maybe the mechanism of the "smokey room experiment" could work here too?

Maybe it is enough to share a dissenting perspective to allow other people to speak out against the madness?

My take on the energy story is that the smartest way forward is to use less energy. Here in Sweden, we have quite a lot of water power, which we could keep running for centuries or millennia. If we keep our society inside the water power budget, we don't "need" nuclear power, nor most of the fossil stuff that we mindlessly burn today.

I think that designing a low-power civilization is a worthy challenge.

The best work that I have seen until now are the initiatives LowTech Magazine by Kris de Decker and Living Energy Farm by Alexis Zeigler. In the last issue, Kris details out how Alexis is doing what he is doing. I think this is the most interesting challenge of our times: How to live a good life within planetary boundaries.

Walnut harvest time

In August, the first nuts are ripe. Hazelnuts rain from the bushes and the Japanese walnut (Juglans ailantifolia) shares its bounty with us and all other nut loving critters.

We use the German-made Roll-blitz from Feucht Obsttechnik to collect nuts and dispose them in a bucket. In other areas of the world, I think that the same product is called Nut-wizard. It is a joy to get buckets full of nuts without straining our backs.

M. is dancing with the roller. Here in a public park of Laholm.

We are eagerly waiting for the European walnuts (Juglans regia) to be harvest ready. Here is a beautiful tree in our small town:

wSoon we will collect, both for eating and for sowing new walnut trees!