Where Did June Go!

Our friends gathered around us and joined in the fun as 23,000 seedlings arrived earlier in the week. That was over two months ago now. Time has flown and the seedlings have grown. However here, belatedly; we take a peek at that first long weekend  in June and the days that followed. Larissa and Dave ready and firing away!

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Our thanks to Larissa, Carol, Hayley, Dave, Mark, Paul and eventually my son Tom who graciously assisted in planting our little seedlings into their new home on the eastern side of the creek and river. We proved the ground and placed them down, closing the soil around them so that they may thrive. We lucked out with the weather, the rain and cold cold forecast did not arrive. The food was abundant and the days flowed by. Happy days and nights indeed.

And so it began and we thought it would never end. Potty Putkis and stampers, feeding tubes and basket and basket went out all day long. However plenty of laughs and good food saw us down and dirty and ploughing through.

We both collapsed once the weekend was done with still quite a few thousand to be planted once our friends had gone. Over the days that followed Jorn, myself and naturally Jezabelle continued to plant. We were really glad when the job was finally done. Reporting to follow then in a moment we were gone! Thank you SWCC for the funds we received, and the land thanks you even more.

 

Colour My World

Our beautiful seedlings are now just over two years of age. We took and extensive walk through the sites this week during a break from our current round of fencing projects. It is always uplifting to walk amount the rows of plants seeing howIMG_1714-0 they are faring.

They are doing so well, we estimate we have an 80% strike rate which is phenomenal. Plus the dormant seed bank has started to really kick in and a great mix of local flora has popped up in around the the sites, especially along the river banks. The entire area is looking vibrant and healthy. The former water logged areas are now stabilizing with a thick matting of native Sandfire and native grasses  spreading ins between the rows giving the whole area a lush wealthy feel. We look out a former head of Landcare for a walking tour and he could not believe how much work had been done and how good the projects looked after such a short time.

Early spring has seen soIMG_1710-0me of the plants bloom, so we though we would share a little of the colour that has come to life here in both the SWCC and NRM project sites on the western side of the Tone River and Cockatoo Creek.

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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!

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.

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.

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First line…….

Under the watchful eye of Morton and Ric, Jorn takes to the field.                                      the all important first line

Site preparation usually involves two elements: weed control, and soil disturbance. Both aim to allow seed or seedlings to grow more easily. Weed control is needed before establishment of new plants can occur as weed species compete for nutrients, water and light on the site.

Soil disturbance aims to destroy competing plants and loosen soil so that germinating
plants can access nutrients, water and other resources more easily, and so that roots have space to grow. It is usually undertaken using equipment, such as you see here