Tag Archives: certified organic


Weather Alert
Across Australia, farmers, small businesses, government planners and major corporations have stopped waiting for politicians to decide whether climate change is real. They’re acting now.

Mounting evidence suggests our changing climate is having an impact on everything – from what we grow, eat and drink, to house prices and the cost of insurance.

Four Corners has travelled from coast to coast to chart how Australians are adapting to the new weather challenges.


The comments  are worth reading beneath this article.


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Showers and cooler at 24 degrees.

Cicada’s are deafening as they have emerged from the earth. Their exit holes are visible around the edges of the gardens. Some mornings I have had to put ear plugs in yet the shrill pitch still disturbs. The male cicada is the shrill one with the females silent.

Beautiful creatures with their nymphal skins discarded on the ground or tree trunk.


Davidson plums. Abundant setting of fruit.

With the continuing showers, ideal transplanting conditions for the mulched lantana slashed sites. Red cedar seedlings in cluster I transplant the stronger ones into the lantana mulch. Blue figs, germinated in the gardens, I replant on the edges of the stream. Slippery work.


Cavendish in the garden here.


And to learn this week tree clearing has increased massively in Queensland .


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Time to start governing for the future.

Santos’ main environment statement on its proposed $3 billion coal seam gas project in north-west NSW lacks key data on groundwater impacts, salt disposal, air pollution and biodiversity, government agencies have found.

In their submissions, agencies such as the NSW Environmental Protection Agency and DPI Water said they did not find “critical” issues to recommend the project not succeed. They do, however, detail gaps in many aspects of the project’s environmental impact statement (EIS) that hinder their ability to assess those effects.


Want to shop GM-free? Well you’re in luck! We’ve compiled this list to celebrate the growing number of companies choosing to label their products GM-free or non-GM. By voting with our wallets, we can support our GM-free farmers and food producers.

Click to access GM-Free%20Shopping%20List.pdf

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2017 ??


New Years Day started for me at 6.

Cloudy and still humid with the chorus of the birds almost deafening. The searing heat of yesterday ( 38 here) has brought out many insects. Spangled drongos were darting and swooping on their breakfast.



Another year flown by.

Looking at my photos from last January and it felt like yesterday.

A busy and satisfying year here. A couple of wwoofers ( Simon and Yoko ) in January and February.  Great dinners prepared by new influences into my kitchen. More sea weed into my diet. Wide range of herbs and leaf from the gardens . The wonderful extra with some wwoofers is their food choices.


My regeneration continual work progressed well with Tim, Victor and others slashing, pulling and mulching. Continual light rain punctuated the days we could work. Leeches, windy days, when boughs of higher trees come darting down, and strong sun, even as early as August, lessened our working hours.

Thank-you to all my real physical workers….. Both the volunteers on the road verges and the paid workers here……great effort too with helping me prepare 500 kilos of turmeric for dispatch.

Overall it was with much satisfaction, as we climbed to our present work site,  through emerging rain forest canopy. From metres above, frogmouth owls watched, brown pigeons scattered to a higher branch, to watch us climb through. The odd yellow breasted robin escorted us through its territory.  Night Caps cliffs look down on us and the emergent bangalow palm forest is now clearly visible.

Surely one of the more beautiful working sites.


Through-out the year. Heather, my sister, came for a very happy laughing time with her. Others too so socially a very good year. My big night out highlight was thwarted by a flood, and I couldn’t attend Barb Jungr’s Byron Bay concert. She kindly sent us her CD singing Dylan and Cohen.  Thank-you Barb.


Politics left me depressed. From our elections here in Australia to the debacle we saw from the US.

Day by day from now on.

Greens take heed. Many of us are disillusioned.


My reading was restricted to those below…………….  THE NEW WILD………….  a positive reassurance in what I am doing here and my approach to regeneration.  With many facts on plants migration and the niches some fill, in a new land, as humans rampage through, this book by Fred Pearce has opened my eyes wider with hope. Anything that grows in our depleted soil is showing us the way is his thesis.

Galvanized my thinking to a satisfactory and comfortable  level and strengthened my approach against herbicides. As Peter Wohllenben says in THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES……………  we deaf and dumb our ecology with our lack of understanding that plants communicate. He was talking about modern whole sale farming practices and the use of herbicides on our food growing areas and hybrid seed. And essentially how that impacts all health, from the micro soil life to us at the top of the food chain.



Radio National is my daily back ground along with Bay FM.  I wait with hesitation, the new programming for Radio National in 2017.  Does not look promising for us old timers. Many programmes I follow when indoors going.

TV, flicked through the food programmes, always about over eating  with Come Dine With Me reflecting our disconnect with the food we take for granted. Food waste is now an epidemic.

SBS Food channel disappointing to the extreme with further encouragement for binge eating.

Reminds me of a Japanese saying ” one grain of rice left in your bowl is a bead of sweat on the brow of a rice farmer”.  Why not some vegetarian and vegan cooking programmes?

Land-line always informative. Science programme CATALYST axed. Why ?

Solar rebate ends today. Paying us 6 cents when the sun shines and selling it back to us for 36 plus cents. Time to off grid.


The renovation shows along with Grand Designs, reflect the status of home builders which is more than often dominated by the third bathroom and space large enough to house 10 instead of two or four.

How do we adapt to climate reality I ask?  AUSTRALIA’s carbon output is still rising. And no real debate or incentive to do anything to reduce it.

There is no real will and my thinking along that line is reinforced when high profile so called environmentalists fly off to another countries campaign while our koalas and many of our indigenous creatures are in rapid free fall in  numbers here. So few want to get involved on the ground.

And life style changes with-in the home, like turning off all standbys, is seen by many as pointless.

The Green party should have their feet on the ground as close to local ecological reality and inform the general population on very real environmental issues, like herbicides in our creeks and drains and on our food.

Advise and engage with what the individual can do. We have been talking about plastic bags in this Shire for over 10 years to finally see initiative from our local IGA and the Mullumbimby Music festival in 2016. Many of those ten years we had a Green dominated Council.

Climate change is about adaptation and softening our carbon and other outputs. Not wasting food, car pooling, growing where you can instead of mowing and encouraging local food self sufficiency.


Our leadership in our no herbicide approach to plants someone decides to poison, has gathered momentum and support. More non chemical company research is being published, after peer review, and its not finding most herbicides a plus for the planet.

A total of 80 hours I, along with Jayne, have put in each, to the hand removal of jump-seed from the public road’s verges. Our volunteer workers, Lou, Shea, Lil, Pav and Tim have had some enjoyable work mornings as we laughed and talked and sung as we mattock  out the beautiful jump-seed, with its soft green broad leaf centred with a dark red. Always a good feeling after we finish.


My projected hopes for 2017 ?

Continue our herbicide free Shire campaign, gather information on a setup for a Shire wide Organic Certifying body  through a public meeting. Publish peer reviewed fact on herbicides.

Will ask to contribute,  Nadia, Ellen and Mary Gardener, Geoff Dawe.



Continue the gardens and ready for a winter harvest of turmeric, ginger, galangal, yacons and yams.

And have a good steady slash, pull and mulch of lantana throughout the winter months here.


Happy New Year.

The year facts will overwhelm fiction.


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World Vegetarian Month. October.

It’s World Vegetarian Day – here’s why you could make this lifesaving change to your diet

Science backs up the vegetarian diet – studies have shown that, compared to meat-eaters, vegetarians enjoy better overall health and are less prone to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and other health problems.


From the Independent.

Quotation from Montaigne’s Essays


It is a rare harmony when saying and doing coincide.




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Council Election, Saturday 10th September.

Chemical Free Byron Shire

Despite a courageous announcement by Mayor Richardson that the Shire will be chemical free in five years, there appears little has moved forward since it was announced in November 2013. Yet there is steam-weeding taking place now in children’s playgrounds and most Council-managed sports fields. Is this an area of interest to you and, if so, how will you facilitate Council moving towards this goal?

Group A – Our Sustainable Future

Recently Council supported my ‘small steps to healthier roadside vegetation’ initiative to actively replace weeds with self-sustaining native vegetation on rural roads, which will reduce chemical use as native plantings expand. Supporting residents and community groups who do this already is key to the program.

Group B – The Greens

Yes and we will continue to increase steam-weeding to replace the use of chemicals.

Group C – Country Labor

Yes, I believe where it is possible and effective steam-weeding should be pursued by Council.

Group D – The Middle Ground

While I recognise the mayor’s work on this issue, he has had eight years and a green majority in the previous term to progress it, in which little was done.  His past council actually approved aerial spraying of our dunes and beaches with glyphosate until I lobbied to have it halted.  Without my support this term and the unanimous support of all councillors, progress would not have been made. There is still much to do and I will be pressing to secure not only a chemical-free council but a chemical-free shire. This is the very reason I put my hand up for council four years ago and a strong motivation to run for mayor this coming election.

Group E – James Wright

Yes, it is. It is only common sense to progress the removal of destructive and harmful agents like these from our immediate environment. With only a limited understanding of the current initiative, I propose the combined use of GIS systems and soil analysis to determine the areas that are putting water and food-producing areas of the shire at the greatest risk from run-off and those public spaces at risk of direct exposure. These stats should identify the areas most needing immediate attention and change. From these a further wind-down process can be scheduled and indeed carried out toward this courageous goal.

Group F – Gail Fuller

I would support any attempts by council to look at chemical-free weed control. It must begin with ourselves first on our own land though.

Group G – Byron In Balance

Any attempt to reduce the chemicals used in daily life should be encouraged; however, the reality is that they will always be needed in some form. Steam-weeding in playgrounds, sportsfields and public spaces is a good start; however, how are macadamia farms going to be insecticide free? We need to be realistic with some of these initiatives and not use them as political point-scoring mechanisms.

Group H – Community Byron

I would encourage chemical-free weed maintenance but I’m no expert in this area. I imagine it is a big job and will take a lot of personnel and time to achieve. 

Independent – George Graham


Independent – Matthew Hartley

Actually I recall Richard Staples pushing this idea in the 90s, and I supported it then. Unlike Simon, I believe in a methodical process where you examine, step by step, where chemicals are used, then seek alternatives. Next you test, evaluate, and decide if an alternative is effective.  It needs a week-in, week-out steady process.

Independent mayoral candidate – Jack Sugarman

It is of interest to me as I myself am clearing grass on steep slopes to continue planting Big Scrub rainforest species on my property.

From the Echo.


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Another 95 mls of rain. Total over 2 weeks, 575 mls here approx.

Now my swollen sprained ankle is returning to normal I went for an adventure alongside the recently flooded Coopers Creek. Where I have left introduced plants, lantana and Asian ginger, absolutely no erosion from the banks.  Where lomandras have replaced removed lantana, no erosions either.  Indigenous trees emerging everywhere and I returned with a bag of black apple and bolly gum seeds.






Dear Donald,

The Baird Government has released their Biodiversity Law ‘reform’ package and it is bad. It will lead to more land clearing, more biodiversity loss and exacerbate climate change.

The new system for land management will remove the ‘improve or maintain environmental outcomes’ test for land clearing and allow broadscale clearing. There will be little to no compliance checks on clearing, just a reliance on ‘self-assessable codes’ instead. It will also further expand the biodiversity offset system which we know doesn’t work. Even worse, developers will no longer be required to even find offsets themselves or meet the ‘like for like’ criteria – instead they can just pay into a fund.

The consultation process for the reforms is now open and submissions close on 28 June.

To help with your submission, we have put together a submission guide to assist in you in opposing these laws.

We will also be joining a community rally outside Premier Mike Baird’s office at Manly this Friday (24 June) at 11am. Register for the Greens contingent here .

Together, we can defeat these regressive laws.

Best wishes,

Dr Mehreen Faruqi

Greens NSW MP



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Heavy Rain.

Unusual for this time of our year…….its reversed…………our summer rains are usually this heavy and  today the winds are almost cyclonic at times. Winter is usually our dry months. By Sunday morning 360 mls have fallen in a little over 28 hours.


Making chilli and apple sauce.



My date at the Barb Jungr concert in Byron Bay was not possible due to  flooding. So disappointed too as I rarely go out at night and this concert was keenly looked forward to.


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Unusually hot.

Started early in the garden but by 11 am just got too hot. 2 pademelons had got into the garden and had neatly pruned the young broccoli. Took me an hour to find the breach in the fence with them both jumping over it. Sweaty start to my morning.

Already 32 on the verandah. Parts of Sydney had the hottest April day on record yesterday.


The stunning and bountiful ginger is in flower. I will try and get a better photo at dusk when the flowers are at their best.


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Preparing dinner for 4.





Former Macadamia Farmer Files Lawsuit Against Monsanto, Says Roundup Caused Cancer

HONOLULU –– Another farmer has filed a personal injury lawsuit involving Monsanto’s Roundup product, contending that his years of using the herbicide while working at a Macadamia farm caused him to develop cancer.

In the Feb. 19 complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, plaintiff Aaron Johnson said he “personally mixed and applied Roundup to and around crops on numerous occasions from 1997 to present.”

According to the complaint, Monsanto started using glyphosate in its products in 1974 under the brand name Roundup. Twenty-five years later, glyphosate was the “most-used active ingredient in American agriculture,” …




Dear Don,

The Hon. Jane Mathews AO, EDO NSW Chair, requests the pleasure of your company at the annual EDO NSW Gala Dinner.

The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, is the keynote speaker and Julie McCrossin is the Master of Ceremonies.

blue_bar.png  Wednesday 6 April at 6:30pm
The Ballroom, Doltone House Hyde Park
181 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW



Enjoy fine food, drink and a live fundraising auction.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here or telephone 02 9262 6989.

Can’t attend the dinner? Make a donation to support our work.



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