Heat and windy, sunny weather continue delaying sowing and planting summer crops.
Withering heat, windy, sunny weather continue to delay sowing and planting summer crops.
Food production is quickly changing since summer arrived two weeks early…
In Brisbane, winter crops have finished flowering. Their seed is ripe and ready for harvest.
If you put raw silverbeet in your salad, or casually add nitrogen to your vegetables, this book is a must read. If it doesn’t save your life, it will certainly improve it.
Draft notes for Queensland Conservation’s submission to aid in the development of a National Food Plan. The final draft was submitted by QC on 2.9.11…
A National Food Plan is vital for Australia’s ongoing food sovereignty.
Food Sovereignty may be defined as a nation’s self-sufficiency in food, where affordable staples are made available to its people irrespective of their age, personal wealth, or place of residence.
Without a well-researched National Food Plan the long-term outlook for Australian food sovereignty is not good. Our nation produces a relatively small food surplus in good years, mostly meat and grains, sufficient to feed between 30-40 million. This is a small amount of food compared to current and predicted global population statistics.
Australia covers 7.7 million km2, our fossil soils are infertile and 3 billion years old, and our current population is 22.4 million. In a good year we produce a surplus of grains and meat sufficient to provision another 30 – 40 million people. By contrast the neighbouring island of Java covers 1.9 million km2 (1.8 times the size of the state of Victoria), its volcanic soils are young, fertile and well watered, and its current population is 138 million. In a good year, Java is almost self-sufficient in most staple foods.
The most important thing about our garden receiving 594mm of rain this month, (the 50 year December average is 123.2mm), is that I have now lived here and successfully grown food through both extreme, prolonged drought and prolonged, saturating rain, a period covering seven years.
December brought no flooding in this property. Some stormwater escaped our rain-harvesting landscape, a few tadpoles got washed under the house, the zucchini suffered from mildew (and blossom end rot), but otherwise everything is happy.
‘Bellis’, Brisbane’s award winning sustainable house and garden, is now seven years old.
Last October this place won a national Save Water! Award in the Built Environment category. Since its inception, this 810 square metre property has collected over 7 megalitres of rainwater and recycled over 3 megalitres of sewage water. In the ornamental subtropical front garden, grow 118 different plants suited to predicted Climate Change. Apart from the hedge and two potted plants, all of these plants thrive on natural rainfall.
Pictured: driven by famine, a black flying fox drinks nectar from my banana flowers before sunset
Bat Conservation & Rescue Qld President, Louise Saunders, is alarmed by the large number of reports about hungry flying-foxes staying by food trees through the day and not returning to their camps.
“This is of huge concern as bats will stay by food trees until the food runs out. They will then be too weak to fly further afield and will die in people’s gardens like we saw in the winter of 2007. This is starvation”, Louise said.
“This current starvation crisis is in relation to the decrease in available food especially the lack of nectar flow in eucalypt and other nectar producing plants. Other wildlife groups are also experiencing increases in the number of lorikeets coming into care. With the low night time temperatures the nectar feeders, flying-foxes and lorikeets, are unable to find enough food to sustain them”.