Tag Archives: chemical free regeneration


Extraordinary week within Australian politics with the climate change deniers now in place to take over our Government.




Great news, however we already know it is danger, how are we going to convince locals that it is danger to use it, until it becomes prohibited?

BSCFL is a project of Mullum Seed
Mullumbimby Sustainability Education and Enterprise Development Incorporated

Nadia de Souza Pietramale
Project Coordinator
0478 272 300

Tragedy is land-care and other Herbicide users still have not listened to the readily available science.

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare next fortnightly working bee will be on Saturday, the 25th of August, from 9 am to 1 pm, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Beach Road fire track gate, not far from the Surf Club. Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water, and some morning tea. Tools and first aid kit will be provided.

The great news is that we have completed all Bitou Bush primary work. Well done and thank you all who have offered a hand for the last 8 years.

Although the south east corner was sprayed, a patch was left in the middle, so at our last working bee on Saturday the 11th of August the remaining plants were cut and crowned. Unfortunately we haven’t heard back from Crown Lands about who did the spraying.

Sadly we have documented the deaths of juvenile Coastal Banksias that were sprayed while the unknown contractors were spraying solitary Bitou seedlings. There was not many seedlings to spray as we do regular follow ups and the ones left would not produce seeds for another 2 years, so the spray was totally unnecessary, disrespectful, uneconomic, and inefficient.

Illegal camping is still our biggest challenge. One local camper, as I documented on Saturday the 11th, has just burnt a patch of regeneration to place his tent, a highly dangerous approach, as it is very dry and can lead to wild fires.

We already had 3 acres burnt recently, caused by illegal camping. I have asked several times for help from the police and Crown Lands regarding illegal camping, however we have been ignored. As if the fact that it is very costly to put a fire out isn’t enough, it is life threatening if it goes wild toward Brunswick or Tyagarah. So I need your help with letter writing. Can you write to Byron Shire Council, Police and Crown Lands requesting urgent action to better manage this matter. Our site is under Crown Lands management, Lot 428.

I have checked the New Brighton site and it is still too early for us to work there – we need to wait for the Bitou Bush to grow larger before we can start to pull all seedlings.

The next working bee task will be to follow up Bitou bush seedlings and Tea tree, starting from the North boundary and heading South.

Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday.

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From Pan.

Dear don,
Last week, two historic court rulings signaled to the pesticide industry that they no longer have free rein to profit at the expense of human health.
First, a panel of judges ordered EPA to ban Dow’s brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos within 60 days. Then a jury ruled that Monsanto must pay $289 million in damages to DeWayne Johnson, whose cancer has been linked to their flagship herbicide, Roundup.
It was quite a week.
The chlorpyrifos win is the outcome of a case we filed with partners way back in 2007, when there was already enough evidence to justify a ban. As I noted in our statement to the press, this court order was a huge win for children, farmworkers, rural families — and science.
The Roundup cancer ruling sets a precedent for the 4,000+ other legal cases against Monsanto that are expected to move forward in the coming months.
Each of these cases is a tremendous victory in its own right. Taken together, they could well mark the beginnings of real change — loosening the grip these corporations have held over food and farming for far too long.
As part of the PAN community, you’ve helped make this happen. From pressing your policymakers to act, to bringing your voice to public conversations, to making generous donations when you can, supporters like you make real progress like this possible.
We know there is much work ahead, but right now we’re taking a moment to celebrate these historic wins — and we invite you to do the same.
With gratitude for all you do, thank you.





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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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More volunteers who want to work with-out HERBICIDES.

Great working bee last Saturday the 2nd of July and thank you for the volunteers: Judy Paterson, Rameshua Drew and Stephanie Stone for their contribution. We did some primary work, however the main focus at moment is to complete the follow up work of Bitou Bush seedlings on the entire site wich we did great progress  and we are aiming to complete it at the next working bee. Also, I would like to welcome Doug Ketley that joined the group last Saturday.
We had delicious organic apples for morning tea thank you to  Nick, from Mullum Farmers market.
Byron Shire Chemical Free Land care next fortnightly working bee will be on Saturday, the 16th of July, from 9am to 1pm, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Beach Road fire track gate.
Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water, rain coat  and some morning tea. Tools will be provided.


BSCFL is a project of Mullum Seed

Mullumbimby Sustainability Education and Enterprise Development Incorporated

Nadia de Souza Pietramale

Project Coordinator

0478 272 300




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Slash, pull and mulch.

The full of life black soil the lantana cover has been protecting.

Good progress on the lantana front. Already the bolly gum and bangalow seeds are sprouting, seeds scattered by the Grade 5 pupils from the Steiner School.

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A winter week.

A busy and different week just past highlighted by the visit of my sister Heather and her husband Bruce. Town adventures, shopping and computer problems solved , thank-you Bruce.


Damp days when my family were here, 3 days of sun-shine has followed. Heavy gales forced us back to the cabin on Friday. Hurling spearing dead branches made edge of mixed forest work dangerous. The roar of the wind in the canopy is a sound I sometimes dread. I am satisfied at our progressing work. Through the mulched lantana many rain-forest trees are growing.


And the garden where the bees are still busy, monarch butterflies developing visible through their cocoons. No frost yet for the gardens. I am hoping for a couple before the air warms.



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Great working conditions.

With low humidity and below 20 degree mornings, lantana slashing and mulching is a pleasant task.

Satisfied. Great effort, thanks to Steve and Nic.

Every morning this carpet snake suns it self for an hour then retreats back into the old wood stove.

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Pencil cedar forest with red cedar, bolly gum and numerous other seedlings growing at ground level. This area was manually slashed, layered and mulched with lantana during 1997.

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Snakes, misty rain and work.

Unusual for this time of the year, 3 snakes are moving around the gardens. One quite thin. Keeping the hens in their pen, the two young ones are a nice size snack. The next photo shows the scar along the snake, perhaps a whipper snipper injury ?

Work on the 3 hectare ex banana growing site is progressing well. Yesterday rain dampened our slashing but still managed to get a swathe slashed and mulched.


A pilot study of American mothers’ milk has found levels of the herbicide glyphosate around 1,000 times higher than allowed in European drinking water. Campaigners are demanding a ban on the use of glyphosate on food crops.

What we are now looking at with glyphosate-based herbicides is a similar situation to what we all faced in the 20th Century with PCBs, DDT and Agent Orange.
In the first ever testing on glyphosate herbicide in the breast milk of American women, Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse have found ‘high’ levels in three out of the ten samples tested.

The shocking results point to glyphosate levels building up in women’s bodies over a period of time, which has until now been refuted by both global regulatory authorities and the biotech industry.

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Contribute your time during Earth Week.

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare next working bee will be on Saturday the 26th of April, from 9 am till 1:30 pm, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Beach Road fire track gate. If you come later, walk along the dog walking beach heading South for 50 m and you will spot us loping Bitou bush on the front dune. During the last dry spring and hot summer we sweep through the whole site with our hands, 4.75 hectares, pulling seedlings of Bitou Bush. This work also give us a chance to see what is happening with the site’s natural regeneration and we have great news, many seedlings of natives where spotted included more threatened species. So now we are ready for more primary work and new volunteers our welcome. We have 15 pairs of loppers, so if you have some spare time and want to learn how to restore the dunes using the chemical free strategy please come and join us.


We know pesticides can drift onto neighbouring farms and into homes, parks and schools. We also know children romp in all these places, and that their growing bodies are especially vulnerable to pesticide harms. Time to let your spraying/injecting neighbours know they are causing harm.

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