Jodi Byron, acting director of Stuarts Point Preschool, was delighted with the visit to the Grassy Head Nursery in April this year. A big thanks to Chris Kaczan who was on hand to help each child plant seeds in a pot and then walk out to the dunes to plant native wattle!!
TREE AND PRODUCE FAIR MARCH 1st
Despite the rainy weather the combined Kempsey Tree and Produce Fair and the Riverside markets were a success. The Fair attracted 14 stalls selling a variety of goods from native and exotic seedlings, sustainable books, and fresh local produce.
As part of the Australian Government funded project ‘Biological Farming in the Macleay’ the Landcare tent hosted a presentation by local (retired) organic and biodynamic dairy farmer and soon to be chemical-free Lucerne producer, Roslyn Rowe. The group was very interested in Roslyn’s story and what she has learned from a very long history of observing natural responses and processes to her organic and biodynamic practices. There were lots of practical questions answered during the extended session as Roslyn shared her wisdom with the group.
As the weather deteriorated, so too did the crowds for Harry Kibbler’s presentation about Australian Native cut flowers. We will try to have Harry back again to talk about this industry and his initiatives to make it more sustainable on his farm at Verges Creek.
Jack Waterman Compost Workshop - March 15th
This was a fantastic workshop with a mind boggling amount of information. Firstly we would like to thank Sally Ayre-Smith and Marcus Skipper for allowing this event to be staged at their beautiful property. And the amazing organisation from Sharon Cunial and Jeremy Bradley. The day was filmed by Neil Cracknell, and hopefully this can be made available at some point. Please let us know if you might be interested in this. Workshop notes are available here.
Hot House Workshop - April 9th
Organised by Landcare NSW, this was an informative day designed specifically for volunteer groups covering all kinds of topics. Specifically Fiona Adams from Landcare NSW presented on Work, Health and Safety; Managing Volunteers; Web Management; and Communications & Advocacy. Their worksheets available on their website are concise, easy to understand and fantastic information. Visit www.landcarensw.org.au for more.
Dung Beetle Workshop with Bernard Doube (at left)
Bernard Doube from Dung Beetle Solutions Australia was recently in the Macleay valley to present his latest and very practically written book ‘Dung Down Under’. Together with Ian Poe from the North Coast Local Land Service, they emphasised the importance of the humble dung beetle in sustainable agriculture and the chemical free role that the beetle plays in controlling Buffalo Fly, in improving soil fertility and structure, trapping and storing carbon and increasing soil moisture retention. For More on this check out our newsletter link on the home page.
Land for Wildlife Workshops
The Land for Wildlife Workshops held in March., provided attendees with some valuable and innovative information to help them manage wildlife on their properties. The workshops combined to cover topics which informed participants on ways to not only improve wildlife habitat but also improve productivity at the same time. Participants received a reminder that conservation and utilisation of our natural resources are important to increasing sustainable agricultural production through diverse agricultural systems. The MLN is hoping to run similar workshops in the future.
Bob Shaffer Soil Workshop - May 17th
International soil consultant Bob Shaffer delivered a soil minerals and microbes presentation to 84 registered attendees. Bob shared knowledge he has gained from a lifetime of work focused on improving the health and productivity of agricultural soils. Bob highlighted the most important consideration in producing healthy plants and animals was in maintaining healthy soil. Bob emphasized that to maintain or build soil health a whole system approach needs to be considered. Bob discussed how some practices focus on feeding plants with nutrients however plants rely on more than just chemical nutrients. Bob explained the role healthy soil microbes play in making nutrients available to plants when they need them.
Local microherders leader Jeremy Bradly gave a presentation about what is happening locally in the biological farming sector and encouraged people to come along to microherders meetings. Jeremey also highlighted the importance of a diverse range of soil microbes for healthy soils and hence productive farming systems.
Biological Farming on the Macleay
Announced, June 2013
Macleay Landcare have been successful in securing $50,000 towards a biological
farming program which will support farmers to learn biological farming approaches through peer and specialist farm based workshop series and farm tours, through Adopt A Farmer- school farming educational sessions, one-on-one support to farmers and a small grants scheme to support farmers
to get started! What is biological farming? Click here for more on biological farming.
MICROHERDERS PROGRAM- also secured through the Hastings Landcare through CLG Ag Grants- to roll out between Hastings and Nambucca! more news soon....follow on the Facebook page...
Announced, July 2013
Macleay Landcare moved to the Showgrounds on August 1st 2013- new address 19 Sea St, Kempsey. We will no longer be office front based, and prefer all visitors arrange prior booking/appointment as we will be sharing the office space with Showground staff. Access is via the street frontage entry.
Announced, July 2013
Macleay Landcare was successful with a Kempsey Koala Corridors project to be run in partnership with Kempsey Shire Council and a sponsored grant for Grassy Head Dune Care.
Grassy Head Dune Care-Restoring Grassy Head dunes and rainforest-$34,705 1 year
This project aims to support local Grassy Head Dune Care volunteers to continue regular working bees restoring littoral rainforest, themeda grasslands, swamp and dunes in 18.4 hectares to tackle a range of weeds and conduct restoration activities. Conduct professional weed control on endangered ecological community (EEC) themeda grasslands post fire to reduce any post fire establishment of bitou bush, lantana and weed grasses and conduct important post fire recovery research, support activities that will prevent further dune erosion including planting, silt fencing and weed control and to restore significant remnants of EEC littoral rainforest. The project also aims to remove several coral trees in EEC swamp oak forest and estuary margins. The group will work collaboratively with the Grassy Nursery Volunteer group, who grow provenance local plants for dune care restoration activities.
Macleay Landcare Network Inc.- Kempsey Koala Corridors $80,075 2 years
This project aims to work with landholders to protect koala corridors through revegetation, habitat restoration, education, awareness raising and a ‘Friends of the Koalas in Kempsey’ register in core koala habitat areas. Private land conservation will also be available to landholders through a Land for Wildlife program. The project also aims to conduct koala surveying for the 330-600 known koalas in the Kempsey local government area, within previously surveyed areas and a new urban area where koalas have been recently sighted. This surveying will assist to develop an urban corridor assessment of habitat quality and connectivity and provide for future management options. The long term goal is to enhance, increase and improve the conservation of koalas in the region and raise awareness of their declining habitat across the valley.