Posts Tagged ‘Organic’

Wildlife leaves Glyphosate Bank – finds refuge in Organic Garden

March 22, 2009

21-03-2009Previous Bluecray articles have dealt with consequences of using herbicides in land stewardship. I have written these stories around Butterflies, Rufous Bettongs, Goannas and Frogs. The stories have links below.

However, there are many small animals (vertebrate and non vertebrate) that inhabit the weedy areas of the Mt Warning Caldera Region.  Some of these weed infested areas are often chosen for active land management , such as revegetation, habitat enhancement and enforced weed management.

I would like to say more about glyphosate and lantana management.

There is a trend to mass spray herbicides to manage the threat of Lantana, as it overtakes poorly managed land throughout SE QLD and NE NSW and much of Australia. This is being done in the name of BIODIVERSITY, habitat restoration and healing the land. However, the irony of it all, is that the acts of clearing, herbicide use and mass “management” actions, unless followed up immediately by vigilant seeding, planting, stock management and general land stewardship, will create more areas of threatened biodiversity and more areas of “weed”.

weeds.org.au – An Australian Weeds Committee National Initiative – Weeds PORTAL

Weeds.org.au – about John Thorp – policy and weed strategy directions

The Dynamics of Lantana camara Invasion of subtropical Rainforest in SE Queensland  by Daniel Stock – at Australian Digital Thesis Program (Griffith University 2005)

Macleay’s Swallowtail – a beautiful green and brown butterfly – bluecray.org

Philosophy of Environmental Destruction in the Name of Healing -bluecray.org

Litoria species – a little Frog of Wetlands, Forests and Woodlands – Habitat Care and Stewardship – bluecray Balance of Faeries blog

PK & Litoria look for Rufous Bettong – a threatened species listed as vulnerable by the NSW Government – bluecray Balance of Faeries blog

Rufous Bettong and the Glyphosate Bank – bluecray.org

PK and Litoria look for Rufous Bettong, and on the way, meet up with Goanna – bluecray Wisdom in the Land blog

Goanna leaves the glyphosate Bank, the butterflies leave too – bluecray Wisdom in the Land blog

Why Goanna left the Glyphosate Bank – bluecray.org

Growing by Organics – Food Gardens and Sharing – bluecray Wisdom in the Land blog

Land and Water Stewardship in the Mt Warning Caldera Region  – food for thought – bluecray.org

 

The Mt Warning Caldera Region has many disturbed, poorly managed lands and waterways. Lantana, Camphor Laurel and many other "weed" species abound. There is a trend for revegetation projects, (land for Wildlife, landcare, caring for our country etc) to incorporate herbicide spraying into the projects. Many projects are along waterways.

The Mt Warning Caldera Region has many disturbed, poorly managed lands and waterways. Lantana, Camphor Laurel and many other "weed" species abound. There is a trend for revegetation projects, (land for Wildlife, landcare, caring for our country etc) to incorporate herbicide spraying into the projects. Many projects are along waterways.

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Organic Gardening and Growing the Biosphere

February 22, 2009

Organic Gardening , growing food with love and respect for the environment, dates back further than the history of writing. Once the different cultures of the world became agrarian, they began to settle and accumulate wealth. This wealth took on differing forms, and today, much of this wealth supports entire sections of our society.

Running through this history is the legacy of growing food organically. This legacy is extremely old, sustainable and healthy. It is based on living with biodiversity, water conservation and practical plant breeding and cultivation. Scientific knowledge has enhanced Organic Growing on many levels, however, it has also unwittingly caused the demise of much organic growing throughout the world.

I have just been for a short journey up to the Beechmont Plateau (Mt Warning Caldera Region), in the hinterland of the Gold Coast, Queensland. There are quite a few Organic Growers around Beechmont, and in the surrounding area.The Beech Mountain General Store has a nice range of Quality Organic food, and dotted along the roadside are a number of produce outlets.  Some practice Permaculture principles, some simple organics, some sell the food to the public on the Beechmont Plateau and others grow and collect seed for the industry.

pk_goes_to_beechmont_markets1PK on his way to the Beechmont Markets – across roadways, fences, cleared land and new developments – he finally makes it!!!

The organics industry is not only for food. It is also for textiles, beauty products, herbs and medicines, fodder crops, land restoration and habitat management to mention a few things.

Back in the 1980’s, I was lucky enought to meet with the Brisbane Organic Growers. Their founding members were an inspiration to me, full of knowledge, sharing and practical stories. Before, and since that time, many other organic groups have started up.  About the same time, I started meeting permaculture enthusiasts and bio-dynamic growers. All growers echoed similar principles of respect, love and natural increase for the land they worked with.  Permaculture offers a wider range of sustainable options to just organic growing –Permaculture is about sustainable lifestyle and much much more.

From then, I have watched the evolution of the Organic Standards across Australia, the melding into mainstream society of organic growing and the contrasting, very mainstream “traditional growing” of the Agricultural Chemical Industry, high energy input, monoculture, water intensive farming practices that still make up the mainstay of Australian agricultural and horticultural industries.

The more natural, time proven method of growing “organically” helps create more life force in the biosphere, by building up the soil and it’s humus, the natural systems about the growing area and keeping networked people close in the natural system

The less natural method – by far the most common type practiced in Australia, helps destroy the life force in the biosphere, based on extensive machinery cultivation, soil destruction, weed & pest chemical warfare, genetic modification and alientation from the smaller natural systems closeby.

It is easy to be trapped by the latter system – decades of education have sustained it.  Easy wealth and pride have championed it.  Science has condoned it and further been made rich by it.  There are many farmers (corporate, community, family, individual and small scale) who are trapped by it’s methods, beliefs, quick fix mentality and prestige.

 

It is not hard to change from one method to the other. Nature backs the organic way. Nature leads us back to the organic way.  Urbanised social systems and leaders (economics etc)back the other way. Now, I know who I would put my money on, in this regard. 

Yes, I would back nature over urbanised social economics any day for best practice sustainable outcomes.  There is a growing population of people supporting Organics and the Industries that support Organic Farming.

Each time you buy a spray, run a machine, over irrigate, and consume, consume, you are eating away at nature:-

  • by subsidising chemical companies and their stranglehold on non biodiverse seed crops:
  • by subsidising a petrochemical industry that has a history of environmental degradation that is almost unsurpassed;
  • by using water that is stored and diverted for irrigation purposes, thus justifying more and more large dams;
  • by giving your money and power to giant industries that control genetic manipulation, you support constant release of new and often dangerous new chemicals into the food chains of earth;

These above practices are furthering the myth of prestige through large industry, machine and landholdings.

 You are, in short, giving your money to the people who are not very well educated in sustainable ways and land custodianship, and expecting them to take care of you, in return.

With organics, you are subsidising nature, often subsiding local community, creating a healthier planet and showing by example that it can be done this way. You are helping nature in growing the biosphere.

Now, don’t get me wrong – Science has alot to offer – valuable learnings, recipes, methods, machines : HOWEVER……..I shall back nature over the monocultured/genetically modified/irrigation , chemical and machine intensive system any day! 

Some useful LINKS:

Seed Savers Network 

Select Organic – seeds for home gardeners

Organic Food Directory : Regional Organic Groups

Gold Coast Organic Farmers Market : location, times, articles, information

Threeworlds Organic Pizza Mermaid Beach Gold Coast, Qld Australia

Biological Farmers of Australia – Australia’s largest representative Organic Body: increasing consumer awareness of organic food and supporting  growth of local food economies

Demeter Bio-Dynamic Agriculture in Australia – 

  • The Bio-Dynamic Agricultural Association of Australia (BDAAA) : farmer based advisory organisation for commercial producers 
  • The Bio-Dynamic Research Institute (BDRI) : Organic and Bio-Dynamic Certification Organisation responsible for the DEMETER Trademark (Australian Accredited).
  • Biodynamic Marketing Co. Ltd. (BDMC) : Distributes Bio-Dynamic produce to Australian consumers and facilitates export

National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia  -Australian and International Organic Certifier : resources, networks, links, steps to organic certification

Organic Research Group -Links for Organic Research ( University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia)

Organic Growers of Australia  – links and more

You Pick It – Farms & Roadside stalls at Organic Food Directory – Australia – find food by location, learn more about Organics and reasons to become Organic or support the Organic Industry 

EcoDirectory : food, farming, blogging, organics and alot more

USA : National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service : Market Gardening – A Start Up Guide . Although in USA, this site still offers relevent info for starting up a market garden

Finding a market in Mt Warning Caldera Region (NE NSW & SE QLD) : you can try some of the following links to locate a market in this region-

Qld Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries 

NSW Department of Primary Industries and Associated Agencies