I purchased 72 hectares at Huonbrook in 1977. Back then it was severely eroded steep land which emaciated cattle were trying to survive off.
My approach then was to learn from the land and what native fauna and flora survived on what remained of the rain forest…………..many human predators of our flora had removed stag horns, bangalow palms, tree ferns and what ever was viable to sell in the City Plant markets.
Lantana growth followed the removal of the cattle and when I returned in 1994. my hard physical labor began and which I am still continuing, the slash, pull and mulch of this introduced plant. The soil beneath is teeming with micro life and within weeks of the lantana being mulched the sight of emerging rain forest seedlings is very visible. I am now seeing many hectares of indigenous trees sprouting. It is extremely satisfying as I see and hear the increasing bird life as we work.
I have never been persuaded that the illusion of the quick easy fix in using any herbicide is safe. And as more and more independent evidence is emerging from around the world on the creeping evidence that glyphosate is now in human blood via food contamination, it doesn’t take a leap of faith to realize that any herbicide, pesticide, fungicide, insecticide will have a wider impact on our whole ecology. Witness the local drains still being sprayed within our Shire, run-off to where?
I was really inspired years ago when the Byron Shire Council had messages coming out to us rate payers that their direction was to be herbicide free. Our Shire’s branding could have been Organic and an example of the way into our changing future as climate change progresses.
Some European Councils are actively involved with their rate payers in educating on the use of herbicide free approaches in their gardens.
It is good to see steam weeding in Mullumbimby instead of the knapsack sprayer.
As awareness and evidence of contamination is exposed the future could be herbicide free which could see increased employment for the many young people I worked alongside in the Green Army. Most were knowledgeable but saw no prospects of paid employment as a herbicide free worker. To work close to nature and the soil is a privilege and satisfying.
I would like our Council to lead the way by showing by example and via educating our many new residents, care followed by pride in our environment is achievable.