After the storms that hit Brisbane yesterday you might expect that I could give watering a rest for a while. Continue Reading →
“With the right breeding and care, food plants have – so far – fed and sustained human civilisation”
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.
Trish & Malcolm have finally solved their citrus fruit drop problem.
Autumn is an important season for citrus maintenance, especially if they’re growing in areas with summer rainfall.
This is because heavy rainfall leaches nutrients through the soil and citrus are really quick to show they’ve got deficiencies.
For a quick nutrient fix:
To four and a half litres (4.5L) of water add:
3 tablespoons of seaweed concentrate, 1 teaspoon of trace elements, 2 teaspoons of iron chelates
Mix it all well, and water it in around the roots.
We’ve been in touch since 2006. On 13.2.10 Gardening Australia screened one of my Citrus Care segments, and last September Trish & Malcolm emailed me to say:
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.
The Queensland government has been humiliated by the rejection of the proposed Traveston Crossing Dam on the Mary River. But in proposing the dam the government has also ignored key opportunities for sustainable, responsible development.
Instead of squandering over $500 million of taxpayers money on an unviable dam project, the state government instead could have invested taxpayers’ money in small to large scale businesses, securing our environment and boosting the SE Queensland economy and local jobs.
The first step in reducing medium term demand for water involves turning on the tap.
As an Executive Member of Queensland Conservation, I wholeheartedly support the Save the Mary campaign.
I am deeply concerned that any government could consider building the Traveston Crossing dam for several reasons. Continue Reading →
Is gardening fashion fanning ill health?
Cairns City Council has increased on-the-spot fines for homeowners found to have mosquitoes breeding on their property to $400. John Pilspanen, of Queensland Health, says the disease will keep spreading until everyone takes the necessary precautions.
Queensland Health is concerned about the increasing infection rate of the current dengue fever outbreak in far north Queensland. Described by a Public Health physician as “the most rapidly spreading outbreak”, forty staff are involved in mosquito control work. Continue Reading →