Ridgey didge we need a light sabre errr life saver

“You do know where it is don’t you”, said Jorn as I happily announced we had been successful in obtaining funding from Southern Dirt for more re-generation work. “Yes, Land for Wildlife site 5”, says I, not really knowing where it was. Okay, over there as I clearly point to the map of the farm. Not really knowing exactly where, you know over there…

Apparently it is rocky ridge country, blink of eye lashes, and this means? River views? Location location in real estate parlance. Good Internet connection potential? Certainly none down at the house.

“How are we going to IMG_2022get the posts in”, clearly I think Jorn is having a lend of me, I am after all country born but lived most of my life as a city girl, I bring a smile and enthusiasm however very little practical knowledge….. I am good at the paper work and writing submissions for grants (apparently). My answer clearly, we do it the way we always do, with the Donnybrook donger Jorn made back in early 1980’s. Here is Jorn out one of the areas to be fenced under the 25th Anniversary Landcare project. Easy, flat, no rocks. We apparently need a little more that old faithful.

As luck and a few telephone calls would have it we have found our saviour in the form of Orchid Valley fencing contractor Kim Sanders. Over we went to visit with some test poles in hand. We use former electricity poles, a bit more work as we have to cut them to size however cheaper than commercially available poles and quicker than finding wood to use from the farm.

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Kim has opted in to rescue us! All we need is a little patience (something that I do not possess). Kim is in demand,very, very busy. However he along with his hydraulic post rammer and tractor are spot on for the task to ram the strainer posts into the very rocky ridges that is “Kayla’s Woodland”. (And yes there are views.)

Action plan implemented! The poles aka strainer posts, are all laid out ready to go. We just need to wait for a window of opportunity for the light sabre!

We could never have undertaken any of the work we have done without the unfailing generosity of friends and neighbours. Bellalee has been leased since the year 2000, thus the majority of the equipment used is begged and borrowed. We feel very blessed to have been able undertake this work.


Bridal Creeper and South African Reed given their exit orders

IMG_1095Six months ago we added Bridal Creeper to the list of weeds to eradicate/control at the farm. Kayla Ringrose from Southern Dirt was a fabulous teacher on the various ways to control Bridal Creeper. Six months later I walked through the areas we are targeting to check out the progress. (Keep in mind here this is a seven year programme!). Along the creek line luckily there was only one small patch, however not so lucky in other areas. Once again of I went, spray pack on my back on a murderous spree with the prescribed dosage of weed killer for the problem. Delighted to see very little re-growth after the long summer. Kayla stressed diligence was needed! The Bridal creeper here is in one of the areas soon to be fenced under our 25th Anniversary Landcare agreement.



Spiny Rush is in an increasing problem in the local area. It can be found along drainage lines and low lying areas. Spiny Rush favours areas where its tolerance to salt allows it to out compete other plants and dominate. Choking waterways and providing harbour for foxes and rabbits, we have been working to control spiny rush before it can form into dense infestations. It can be easily confused with native rushes however once you get you eye it in it is easy to spot. Yes I spent a few days mattock in hand digging up spiny rush, section by section.

Like the Bridal Creeper this is a long term project to rid Bellalee of the invading pest!

planting time

Jezabel supervising Cassie

Jezabel supervising Cassie

Wednesday June 10 and we are back in the city.

Now two weekends ago, it was a long weekend here in Western Australia. Many months of planning and fencing were about to see the plants not only arrive but be planted! Amazing. Over 16,500 native plants  were planted to create a bio diverse environment for wildlife. They have now all been given there place out on a mound.

Every plant have now been been planted on Bellalee. They were delivered by Steve Blyth from Blyth Tree Farm WA on Wednesday May 29th in the afternoon afternoon.

Out on site with a small selection of the plants

Out on site with a small selection of the plants

The plants will cover approximately 16 kilometres of mounds. We omitted to tell our wonderful team just how far they would walk… Even to me the scale seemed a little surreal.

Our thanks to our wonderful team:

Carol Canzirri , Alida and Bob Dohrmann, my eldest son Thomas Zaunmayr, his girlfriend Cassie Paxman, their friends Sarah Mullins and Alicia. 2.5 days of intense work over the Foundation Day long weekend. A special mention to the sustaining fruit and nut cake supplied kindly by Evelyn Bowen, plus the guidance given as usual by Jezabel the dogess.

A planting we will go

A planting we will go

Cassie watering the plants prior to us planting them
Cassie watering the plants prior to us planting them
Jezabel the dogess checking out progress

Jezabel the dogess checking out progress

— with Jorn Ramel.

Barefoot in the kitchen


Whilst Jorn is down on the farm out in the field working away at our regeneration projects, I am here in the city in the kitchen!

Advanced planning to feed the kind people who are giving up there long weekend to travel down to the farm to help us plant 18,000+ native plant seedlings. So far two soups have been made and are ready to go into the freezer. Spicy carrot, coriander and red lentil below and above is a Moroccan harira soup – no idea – nor did I, lamb, chick peas, puy lentils and more. Both big hearty soups, great for the expected cold weather. Shall remember put in an order for some bread rolls from the baker in town. This is just a start, I have plenty more food to prepare.

Here in Western Australia they celebrate the founding of the State with a long weekend, the first weekend of June. We are counting down till planting time. Plenty of work to be down in the field and the kitchen over the next two weeks.