Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Farming and Infrastructure

'Farming' cannot ever be talked about as though it's a single activity. It depends exquisitely on a host of factors: altitude, soil type, depth of soil, rainfall, rain shadow, growing degree days (which are crop-specific), and that's just the beginning.

Parts of the Canterbury Plains (e.g south bank of the Waimak from Annat to Courtenay) have been cropped intensively for a century and a half, and are still going strong. Te Pirita was Strugglers Flat for that same century and a half until the Selwyn Plantation Board, tired of the ETS hoo-ha, mulched every single one of their downland planations, sold it for dairy, and with the application of mucho dihydrogen monoxide, the dairy farmers made those dry stony plains Verdant.

'Infrastructure' has a surprisngly long life. There are Roman drains still running under York Minster, and much of central Christchurch horizontal infrastructure dates back to the efforts of the Christchurch Drainage Board in the early construction period 1875-1889. That's 130 years give or take.

So when learned common taters worry about 'intergenerational equity' and how it is sooo last-century, let's just recall that 7 generations of Christchurch have benefitted from one concentrated burst of 19th century drain-laying.

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