Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Exploring local resources

One of the things I've been meaning to write about I happened to mention at our meeting on Thursday night, but failed to put in the notes I've already posted. We need to think of ways of utilising local resources which may have value, but for reasons of prejudice or lack of imagination may have been overlooked. Two that spring to mind are worth mentioning. How about a source of protein which is easily harvestable, requires no special animal husbandry, is endlessly self-replenishing and at the moment is regarded purely as a nuisance? I'm refering of course to the swarms of bush flies we have to deal with each summer (not so bad this year: maybe it's too dry?). Surely they'd make excellent fish food for raising carnivorous fish such as barrumundi and trout. The problem isn't harvesting them, it's storing them. Freeze-drying? Any suggestions?

The other one is ragwort. A weed, so I have been told, is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. Surely the toxicity of ragwort indicates it could be a rich source of alkaloids which might have all kinds of medical or other uses. C'mon you biochemists! We need your help here!

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