Is there hope in 2020? The stream of requests for me to give people hope continues to grow. As a conservationist, I’m really sick of being right.
If you want hope, I suggest you read the most intelligent thing to be said about leadership and coal in 2019 and then push for it to happen: ‘New coalmines in Queensland don’t help existing communities, they hurt them’, by Richard Denniss.
If you want leadership, look to people like Carol Sparks, Mayor of Glen Innes Severn Council, NSW: ‘We’ve been in bushfire hell in Glen Innes – and the scientists knew it was coming’.
At a time when we urgently need stronger laws to regulate GM business, the Australian Government has removed regulations designed to keep us and our food safe. This means that from now, many genetically modified (GM) animals, plants and microbes will enter our environment and food chain with no requirement for safety testing or traceability.
On 13th November 2019 the Senate will debate whether to disallow these regulatory changes, and Labor Party support for the disallowance motion will be vital.
Now is the time to act. If you want to know that the food you are eating is GM free, please contact your local MP and senators to demand that all genetically modified organisms are assessed for safety and labelled for consumer choice.
Please sign this petition organised by Friends of the Earth, Melbourne.
You may be aware that Gene Technology multinationals are on the media warpath claiming that communities are wrong to oppose their new GM yellow rice, an artificial plant invented with higher amounts of Vitamin A than normal rice as their contribution to help combat malnutrition of the world’s poorest people. Think again.
Between 2013 and 2019, UK Aid funding allowed the International Potato Centre and partners to deliver pro-vitamin A-rich, sweetpotato cultivars to more than 2.3 million families in five African countries and Bangladesh.
In the last two decades, the Australian government has failed to have PFAS sites remediated or PFAS wastes destroyed. This failure has resulted in offsite dumping including release of PFAS contaminated water to rivers and the ocean. The most shocking example was the almost a million litres of PFAS contaminated water that was used in to make NuGrow compost.
In a region greatly affected by the worst drought in living memory, we were united in seeing gardening as a great way to alleviate anxiety and bring the community together. We had planned for 50 – 80 to attend, but 140 registered. An indication of how valuable our gardens are and how practical regional gatherings like this can be for our mental and spiritual health and our sense of community.
“There is one rainforest plant from northern Australia every coastal garden should grow: Phaleria clerodendron, the scented daphne. This compact tree can be grown as far south as Sydney and it will fill a garden with fragrant flowers up to three times as year…unless Australians discover and grow this magical plant, who else will?”
“Let’s keep planting the right lilly pillies for trouble-free hedges and a diversity of Syzygium species to enhance our environment and keep our culinary traditions alive.”
If you’re watering plants with grey water, the type of detergent you use really makes a difference to both their health and the health of the soil.
How do you approach tree planting? “All life on Earth is now experimental. Thanks to a lack of Australian climate leadership, we grow crops and plant gardens in uncharted climate territory. If this is the future of gardening, then we must embrace experimental tree planting for shade, food, fodder and biodiversity”. Jerry Coleby-Williams, Founder of Bellis, Brisbane’s award-winning, affordable sustainable house and garden; Director, Seed Saver’s Network; Patron, National Toxics Network; Patron, Householder’s Options for Protecting the Environment, 2nd February 2019.
Question: A Brisbane landscape supplier sold me soil for my raised vegetable beds. All my vegetables keep failing. I did a soil pH Test and the result was pH 9. Is there any hope I’ll be able to grow spring crops successfully?
Thuan’s market garden: 1,500 sq m of alluvial, sandy loam in a flood plain of the Perfume River catchment, Hue, Vietnam. Fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, flowers, poultry – and incense – in a prolifically productive, wet, inland subtropical climate.
We ignore the following key aspects of sustainable food production at our peril:
* A culture of forgetting – we forget our horticultural history;
* Declining crop diversity, both in the range of species grown and in the genetic diversity within each crop;
* The oversimplification and impoverishment of systems of food production;
* A reluctance to apply the precautionary principle where using the least toxic solution in crop protection comes first;