Saturday saw temps here of 40 degrees for a couple of hours. Power out-age for 30 hours followed. But once I found a cool spot Germaine Greer’s WHITE BEECH kept me well and truly occupied for the next 24 hours. I intend to post my review once I have finished the last 2 chapters. Briefly the book begins by detailing Greer’s search for land to regenerate, finally purchasing not far north of here in the Numinbah Valley, close to the Natural Bridge over the NSW border into Queensland. Up until finding her 6o odd hectares, her conversations with many land-holders in the NT and in the desert are revealing, how attitudes vary so greatly to our responsibility to the land, from the earnest city academic, whose idealism colours everything, to the old timers, who have watched gradually the land-scape and what it can support change.

A book packed with very useful fact, which applies to our region here. My only hic-cup so far is Greer’s contradictory relationship with herbicides. Early in the book she cites herbicides amongst the negatives Europeans assault the environment with yet is ready to use “a very nasty and expensive herbicide ” to eradicate another garden escape, “ (I have this plant here. I find it very useful when we have heavy rain as the top soil is contained. I remove it when a native palm or tree sprouts and slowly it is being replaced. My hens love to eat it.) Also herbicides are used when misplaced plants emerge through her mulchings. How odd when earlier she tells of 2 men, one called Will, who had already worked in regeneration using the Bradley method, simply weeding by hand and using the slasher or brush hook to remove persistent roots, no herbicides used. Only the one reference to Will. I suspect short term results were paramount hence resorting to poisons. Kind of contradicts Greer’s desire to reproduce a pre 1788 landscape.


When it has cooled down before dark I have been seed collecting in the new forest.

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