Happy birthday dear p and p

Projects and plants of course! Yes our first two projects are about to turn two. As we cast our eyes across the fields and walk among the rows of happy plants we estimate we have around an 80% success rate. On top of this an abundance of flooded gums have come through as well as quite a few other native species. There is evidence of native fauna taking refuge.

We cannot have imagined how these projects would breath life into the entire farm. All along the banks of the creek and river are looking lusher, denser, happier for being fenced away from the sheep. Look how it has all changed in these few photos from two year ago to now. No blog is complete with a photo of the dog. She is sound asleep on the couch after a long day supervising us.

pi19  IMG_2035

Our plant babies

Our plant babies


IMG_2062IMG_2055Jorn and Jezza 2093


Return visit, only took 25 years!

Anna with a glass of champagne waiting for yet another glorious Western Australian sunset overlooking City Beach.

Anna Ringborg last visited the farm 25 years ago when Jörns parents were still farming there. It was fabulous to show her around. Here is Anna at the coast (we didn’t have one of here at the farm…..). Anna travels DownUnder most summers, she is a renowned equestrian specialist who fell in love with our long hot summers and the Indian Ocean many moons ago.  besides it is winter and sooooo cold in Sweden whilst she is here.  Yes it was raining (something she was not used to seeing here) when we embarked on the farm tour with Anna.                   Above is a photo in the driveway looking back. Great to see the older trees in the background with our babies in the foreground. This is our own personal little regeneration area.   A great shot by Anna looking at Cockatoo Creek. There is a lot of water there for this time of the year. Plus we have noticed that the trees and bushes around the creek and river are looking healthier.


Yes the dogess Jezabelle supervising the farm tour, unusually from the back seat of the van. She prefers the front seat….. naturally …. and a beautiful tree I call the sentinel as it overlook sees our regeneration projects on the farm. The tree is truly majestic and a powerful presence helping our dreams for the farm   IMG_2036 IMG_2037

Jorn looking busy!

Looking back towards the road this is the driveway into the property.

yes she is heavy…. and unwilling

no the plant has not died – it lives on!

out for a walk in the countryside!

Kayla’s Woodland

yes we have begun! The year ahead sees us spending plenty of time at the farm in Orchid Valley. Sunday March 15th our project officer from Southern Dirt, Kayla Ringrose and her husband Dereck travelled out from Kojonup to visit us for a farm tour. They had a little trouble finding us as Tone Rd has a big kink in it…… Orchid Valley Road naturally goes straight ahead and Tone Rd turns, why not. except the Tone Rd sign seems to have gone AWOL. Luckily we had one dot of reception so a few phone calls and text messages soon had themdriving towards us.

They didn’t get too far inside the farm gate far as we have a small regeneration project on Tone Rd, the perfect place to start. We then took them to see our two previously funded projects and showed them where a lot of the 25th Anniversay Landcare work would be done.

Naturally we left the best till last, the Southern Dirt project! Now officially named named Kayla’s Woodland. we have laid out the strainer posts and are tinkering with the amount of land we will give back. We will once again return to nature more than we originally planned. Once you get out there and start you see how valuable the regeneration work is  you become more generous. Jorn and I had toured to the back of one of the projects a few days prior and we can easily see how much healthier the tea trees and other vegetation is after only 21 months.

Dereck, Kayla and Jorn in the SWCC regeneration zone

Standing on the Eastern side of the Jarrah Woodland soon to be fenced to exclude livestock.


So let’s raise a toast to the beginning of this project “Kayla’s Woodland”.

Christmas came early for Bellalee

December 18th almost 300 community groups and individuals across Australia received a wonderful Christmas present. An email that let us know will we share in $5 million to enable communities to take practical action as part of the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme. Yes we were one of the privileged successful individuals given the go ahead.

We are still pinching ourselves. This funding will allow us to neatly finish most of the regeneration recommendations we received in our original Land For Wildlife Report. That report marked the official start of this journey.


Bridal Creeper on Death Row! Hope So.

We have begun to fightback with the information and expertise gained from Kayla Ringrose from Southern Dirt inDSC00740 Kojonup.   We are using a combination approach with both the recommended chemical application away from the waterways and spore water near the Tone River, Cockatoo Creek and Muir’s Brook (waterways on the property).

Bridal creeper has the relatively unusual ability to invade undisturbed native bushland. Dispersal of seeds by native birds enables it to reach remote and inaccessible places. Once established, the stems and foliage smother native seedlings and understorey plants, and the aggressive tuberous root system forms dense, impenetrable mats, inhibiting the establishment of native trees and shrubs. Underground tuber reserves enable the plant to survive unfavourable conditions for many years, while fragments of underground rhizomes can be spread inadvertently in soil or mulch to begin new infestations.

Bridal CreeDSC00738per is on WONS (Weeds of National Significance) one of the worst environmental weeds, posing a serious threat to our biodiversity. If you have some please consider taking up the challenge to get rid of it. Plenty of great info online to help you.

These photos were taken on a recent trip to the farm on November 27th. You can see some progress however we are well aware this will take maybe years to control. We are lucky that spore infected plants are already on the property so we did not have to search!


18 months ago and now today.

The journey to regenerate has been amazing. Every time we get down to the farm the progress of the growing plants amazes us. We thought it would be great to have a little peak at what it was like a mere eighteen months ago compared to today.





Southern Dirt/State NRM Project

Southern Dirt/State NRM Project.

via Southern Dirt/State NRM Project.

Creepy Bridal Creeper……

Kayla showing the way

Kayla showing the way

yes we have some and yes we are getting rid of it……
Seems crazy to think that this weed was still used in bridal bouquets in the 1990’s. Originally introduced into Australia in 1895 and sold commercially in nurseries from 1905 it is now out of control and strangling everything it wraps itself around. Yes it may look pretty however the affects on our native bush are devastating. It literally smothers everything it envelops
Yesterday we joined with a number of concerned caring citizens at Lesser Hall, Kojonup to become better informed and equipped to deal with Bridal Creeper. it is on the national weed register Australia wide and in the top twenty of nasties we need to try and control.
Southern Dirt applied for a grant from the State National Resource Management (NRM) office to raise awareness within the local community. They are working closely with the Kojonup Shire to reduce the spread of the weed.
Kayla from Southern Dirt gave us a detailed information session in the morning on various control methods.
Personally we were very keen to learn about the biological control of the weed using spore water. I had read about it but did not know where to purchase it and was hoping to come back to the farm with some! Well thankful it is much simpler than that. The Spore water is easily made, all we needed was some rust infected Bridal Creeper. If you are interested you can obtain information from your local DAFWA Biosecurity officer. To assist there is plenty of information available online from http://www.weeds.org.au/WoNS/ . Another great resource if you are outside the Kojonup district is to contact your local Landcare officer, shire council even YouTube. Put Bridal Creeper biological control in to the search box and some excellent information comes up. The big stress is that it can take up to seven years to control a single bridal creeper plant. Persistence plus is required.
A big thank-you to the Country Kitchen who supplied a great selection of scones to fuel us up for the field trip.
Kayla had been out earlier and set up the site for us, collecting rust infected bridal creeper to put into the large buckets or rain water, swirl it in the water, strain into the pump packs and of we set spraying up and down Denny Road. A few of the local farmers joined us as they wanted to know what we were up to. This really is about awareness, once they were shown the creeper, they, like us spotted it everywhere. This was also our experience. We thought we had one small patch, then we we really looked we noted just how far it had spread. It is easily spread. We came down from Perth the night before especially for this workshop. Kayla helped us collect some rust infect creeper to bring back to the farm. From July through to September is the optimal time to collect the rust infected plants. The great thing about this method is no other plant is affected.
If you are in the Kojonup district and want more information including where to find rust infect creeper you can email Kayla at projects@southerndirt.com.au she is very passionate and eager to spread the good news on how you can help.





Tis a wet wet winter

We arrived back in Oz after two months away. We headed straight down to Bellalee to recover from our jetlag. It was wonderful to wake up to a misty cold morning, looking out at the rolling hills and trees on the farm.
Later we ventured down to the regeneration projects. Some of the plants had been ring barked by cheeky cockatoos. Jorn expected them to die. I was insistent that the young bushes and trees wanted to live. Live they have!
We dropped into Blyth Tree Farm in Katanning on our way down to pick up three trays of seedlings, about 90, just a few less than the 16,000 we planted last year. It was great to catch up with Steve Blyth and see how his business has expanded.
We planted the newbies out along the road, our third regeneration area.





10.5 months later – amazing!

We have just returned from the farm and are amazed by the growth and health of the plants. We have had a long hot summer and they are thriving. The summer has officially ended, although we have had no rain. The days are a little cooler, early to mid 20’s and the nights around 10. It is a loverly time at the farm before the business of planting this seasons crops.


The plant is nearly as tall as Jorn!


Jezabelle supervising us as usual


a few of our thriving plants


Along one of the rows to give you an idea


Jorn swimming in a spring fed pool in Cockatoo Creek, the water is beautiful, clear and drinkable.


a few more rows to give you an idea of the scope of the project