Towards A National Food Plan

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… Introduction 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…

A Gardening Cycle Is Complete

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…

‘Bellis’ – A Model 21st Century Garden

‘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…

Queensland’s Flying Foxes Are Starving – Again

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…

Sustainability Beyond Traveston Dam

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…

Lood Mitigation For Southeast Queensland Starts Here

Today Tamworth is cut into two by floodwaters from falls of over 150mm rain. Storms are predicted for southeast Queensland and the Northern Rivers of NSW, and southeast Queensland continues to mop up and count the cost of flood damage caused by two nights of rain. NSW State Emergency service’s Namoi division controller Kathleen Caine…

Big Solutions Create Bigger Problems

ABC news on line reports that the Queensland Premier believes that the proposed Traveston Crossing dam at the Mary River Valley is a cheap solution for SE Queensland’s water needs. The truth is somewhat different: as Oscar Wilde said “The cynic knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing”… The Traveston Dam proposal…

The First Day Of Crematoria

The first koel of summer has called, the first mosquito has bitten and the first dust storm has sprinkled Brisbane red ochre. While I’m out there watering, counting every drop as it falls onto the crisped ground, thunderstorm clouds are full of promise yet lacking in rain. It’s the first day of crematoria, south east…

Using Every Drop More Than Once

The last thing we want is for any water to go down the drain. By mid-morning today, heavy showers filled our 21,000 litre rainwater tank. It’s starting to overflow into our network of drainage pipes, which soak the soil deeply from 70 cm down and below. When this network has done its job the subsoil…

Autumn Harvest And Wild Weather

We’ve just enjoyed a good picking of autumn crops from the garden On Friday I planted out the mangelwurzel seedlings in their final positions. We ate the tender, leafy thinnings which taste like silverbeet in a stir fry. Damo provided sugar syrup for the honeybees, which aren’t foraging in this wild weather. The native honeybee…