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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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Southern Dirt/State NRM Project

Southern Dirt/State NRM Project.

via Southern Dirt/State NRM Project.

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.

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The plant is nearly as tall as Jorn!

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Jezabelle supervising us as usual

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a few of our thriving plants

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Along one of the rows to give you an idea

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

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

The long and winding road……

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Just over twelve months ago we started fencing of land to prepare for our biodiversity projects at Bellalee.

Some said it will never work, others advised they had tried and not a single plant had survived. Others helpfully suggested we were being foolhardy and to expect nothing. Another high ranker suggested that if we had a 20% stick rate after the first twelve months we will done done exceptionally well.

All very disheartening.

We listened however took no heed.

We have a 90% strike rate……. Every where we planted there are wonderful healthy little plants dreaming of becoming big plants. They have survived the long summer and are looking forward to some steady rain. 

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Late December Regeneration update.

photo 1 photo 2Late December 2013 and here we are. The plants are very healthy and going the distance.

Tom (my eldest son), who was one of the volunteers at planting time, recently went down the farm with his mates for a short break from city life. He reported back to us and we are delighted with the progress and that the plants are thriving.

Our bush regeneration attempts to protect and enhance the plant biodiversity along Cockatoo Creek and the Tone River as they flow through Bellalie. We hope that we have provided conditions conductive to the recruitment and survival of our native seedlings. Plus it is envisaged that dormant seed stock will sprout adding to the bio-diversity.

Australian plant communities require some level of perturbation to trigger germination from long-buried seed banks. Some areas of the project were not only ripped and mounded but had additional disturbance-based burning to trigger new growth.

We are very proud to be involved in an active conservation program for remnant vegetation. The aim of this bush regeneration, is to restore and maintain ecosystem health by facilitating the natural regeneration of indigenous flora and to provide linked corridors for wildlife.

Thank you to the South West Catchment Council (SWCC), Land for Wildlife, and the the Department of Conservation for the grants we received and the invaluable assistance in guiding the projects.

we’ve only just begun!

We have signed of on one of our two projects. In this one project 52 hectares has been given back to assist regeneration of of the creek and river system. By the time we add both projects together over 100 hectares is now forming a corridor for wildlife and an ambitious regeneration plan to improve the biodiversity of the area.Image