A wallaby feast.

A pumpkin, sculptured by wallaby teeth.

The wallaby’s found a way through the garden perimeter fence and took a liking to the pumpkins. Then, after a 4 30 am chase out of 2, a mother and her young joey had found their way back into the garden while I was in town. I found this little beauty entangled in the wire netting and unharmed, I released it back to its anxious mother who was waiting for him outside the fence gardens.


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Crazy appointment.

The Abbott government has found 4 million dollars to fund the climate sceptic, Bjorn Lomborg, who quite often doesn’t even make sense in his speeches, to head a consensus centre at the University of Western Australia. I read this morning that the University is cooling on the appointment. It is hard to believe when the people of Australia have seen real science funding severely slashed by this present day government and when other heavy emitters, like China and the USA, challenged us this week on our head in the sand attitude to climate change. But as the seriously heavy rainfall we are seeing more of, when our fragile and remaining topsoil become silt and is being washed off the land like we have never seen before, its becoming more obvious our politicians are in it for the short haul, both for the country and themselves.


And on a brighter note the tamarillos are continuing to ripen beautifully for more home-made chutneys and sauces.

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Autumn is here.

Sudden drop in temperature has made my warm up rain forest regeneration work easier. I did 2 hours this morning, kind of a body warm up after months of humidity and discomfort if slashing and mulching lantana.

Night sky two nights ago had waves of flashing soft light dancing across the sky. At first I thought a neighbour was playing with a strong flash light but when I walked down into the garden, I was able to see it was lightening. I have never seen anything here like this before. I am wondering if any one else viewed this light.


Footnote. Australia is spending 350 million dollars on the Anzac “celebrations”. Sad the returned women and men from the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles are not adequately cared for here.

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Goannas and carpet snakes are still very active….. with a hen that’s developed a limp the goannas have sensed an easy catch.


Rich pickings one day.

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From Nadia. Byron Shire Chemical Free Land-care.

Next working bee at Brunswick is April 25th.

About 2 years ago we crowned a few Brazilian Cherry trees on the dunes using a tree popper to lifte it from the ground and a pair of loppers to cut the lateral roots from the main part. We did it as an experiment to see if the lateral roots would produce suckers or if it would be like the Bitou Bush, that doesn’t produce suckers. So last Saturday we went to follow it up. It did produce suckers, however we pull it with no much effect with the whole lateral root coming out. Why we ask? as it did not happen at first when we crowed the tree 2 years ago. So the main difference, as volunteer Stephani Stone pointed, was that the small sides roots of the long lateral roods died back, making it very week and easy to pull. So that is how we develop chemical free approach towards land management, by experimenting and getting to know the biology of each plant. We wouldn’t never discover it if we apply a chemical approach by drilling and injecting glyphosate. So often a chemical reproach no just polluted our environment but also steal our creativity and ability to develop knowledge.

Hope to see you on site at our next working bee, on Saturday, the 9th of May, from 8 am to 12 noon, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Head Road fire track gate. If you come later, walk 200 m along the fire track , turn East into the dunes. We will be there, doing follow up work of Bitou Bush and Glory Lily. Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water and some morning tea.

More information please call Nadia 0478272300 or go to http://www.byronshirechemicalfreelandcare

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Tamarillo/tree tomato.

Follow-up removal of resprouting jump-seed in our herbicide free effort…. to avoid more Council Contractors spraying…. has been postponed due to a couple of showers at 7 am. So to avoid the leeches in damp outside working conditions, I am making tree tomato chutney/sauce today instead.

3 kilos tree tomatoes, scooped out of their skins with a teaspoon.

3 large onions, garlic optional.

4 apples, peeled, cored and chunked.

2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger or tablespoon of dried.

1 teaspoon (5 ml ) each of salt and pepper.

1 tablespoon ( 20 ml) of chilli powder or 6 bell chillies, finally chopped with seed to get the heat.

3 ( approx 750 ml ) cups of brown or white sugar.

3 (750 ml ) of cider or white vinegar.

Place and combine all ingredients into large pot or boiler. Slowly bring to the boil stirring occasionally. Once to the boil reduce heat to a gentle simmer. I place a couple of glass marbles ( my Mother taught me this ) into the pot to prevent the mixture catching. After 60 to 90 minutes and after observing the texture of the mixture turn the heat off and let stand. In the meantime prepare and sterilize the glass jars and lids. Decant mixture into jars, let cool then place lids on firmly. Ready to impress within a couple of weeks.

Thanks to various chutney recipes which I combined with what I had in the larder and garden.

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I have grown Yacon (also called the earth apple in the Andes where it originates ) for a few years now and value it as a raw treat in autumn and winter while working in the garden. Its tubers are still valued as a water source in some parts of South America but also more importantly, they are rich in the indigestible sugar – inulin – which is used extensively in the Philippines in the making of sweets . Also a vital sweetening agent for diabetics and without the calories.

Yacon is a perennial plant, easy to grow in soil which tomatoes would do well. I plant it along the edges of my gardens as it tends to grow to a metre or more. It sets small daisy like yellow flowers in autumn after which I begin to scrape the soil away from around the large edible tubers alongside smaller yam like tuber roots ( pups ) which will be re planted for next years crop.

Various uses in the kitchen and I recommend a google or other search for a myriad of recipes. I like it raw in salads or just as it is. Another use is in a stir fry.The leaves too shouldn’t be undervalued as the can be used as a successful substitute for vine and cabbage leaves.

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