Tag Archives: dune care without herbicides

Saturday 29th……….walking the walk.


Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare’s next fortnightly working bee will be on Saturday, the 29th of July, 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, rain coat  and some morning tea. Tools and first aid kit will be provided.

If you come later, we will be doing followup work of Bitou Bush seedlings at the front dunes. Walk South from the dog beach access track and look west into the dunes for us. You will probably hear us but cooee just in case.

The weather is really beautiful at the moment, the follow-up work is quite light, and the dunes are responding with great growth. Thank you to the wonderful volunteers who are making such a difference. Last working bee this was Stephanie, Aparamit,  Jackie, John, and myself.


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




And probably a good start on the swamping of the planet with greedy humans. Men in the Western world are losing their fertility.



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From Nature Plants UK.

Reducing Pesticides

All too often, pesticides are allowed onto the market before their impact is fully understood and harms to our health and the environment are discovered years later. The science is increasingly clear that even low levels of exposure can harm human health and children are particularly vulnerable.

According to recent research published in Nature Plants, the reduction of pesticide use is one of the critical drivers to preserve the environment and human health. Many farmers are also interested in cutting their usage, especially in view of lawsuits alleging that the most commonly used herbicide, glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup), may be causing non‐Hodgkin’s lymphoma in farmers.

In some ways, the cards are stacked against them. Since the people who often advise farmers on pesticide usage are agrochemical company employees working on commission, reducing pesticide usage is not in their interest, or the company’s, best financial interest, which encourages overuse. Without knowledge of how to reduce pesticide usage, and how it might affect yields, many farmers are reluctant to try.

The Nature Plants study is a major step forward, as it found most farmers can reduce their pesticide usage without decreasing their productivity and profits; and in some cases, the move may even increase them. In a study of nearly 1,000 French farms, there was no conflict between low pesticide use and high productivity and profitability in 77 percent of the farms. Researchers also found 59 percent of them could cut pesticide usage by 42 percent without harming their production and forty percent of these farms would improve production. This corresponded to an average reduction of 37, 47 and 60 percent of herbicide, fungicide and insecticide use, respectively. Results demonstrate that pesticide reduction is already accessible to farmers in most production situations.

The findings are eye‐opening, especially since the pesticide industry has long maintained that their products are necessary to feed the world. Worldwide, an estimated 7.7 billion pounds of pesticides are applied to crops each year, and that number is steadily increasing. Crop rotation, mechanical weeding and other non‐chemical forms of pest control were mentioned as ways that farmers could successfully lessen pesticide use. The current major barrier appears to be education. Nicolas Munier‐Jolain of France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research told The Guardian: “If you want real reduction in pesticide use, give the farmers information om how to replace them. This is not the case at present. A large proportion of advice is provided by organisations that are both selling the pesticides and collecting the crops. I am not sure the main concern of these organisations is to reduce the amount of pesticide used.”

Agricultural pesticides come in many forms. Whilst many people think of them as the type sprayed onto crops after planting, seeds are often treated as well. The majority of soybean, corn, canola and sunflower seeds planted in the U.S. are pre‐coated with neonicotinoid pesticides. Neonics persist and accumulate in soils, and since they’re water‐soluble they leach into waterways where other types of wildlife may be affected. Yet, according to an investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), treating soybean seeds with neonicotinoids provides no significant financial or agricultural benefits for farmers. The researchers also noted there are several other foliar insecticides available that can combat pests as effectively as neonicotinoid seed treatments, with fewer risks.

Other studies suggest reducing the use of pesticides may reduce crop losses. The reason for this is because neonic‐coated seeds harm beneficial insects that help kill pests naturally, thereby making any infestation far worse than it needs to be. Biopesticides, which are those derived from natural alternatives, are projected to grow at a faster pace than chemical pesticides in the coming years. Among them are fungal-based pesticides, which are made from parasitic fungi that infect insects, ultimately killing them. So-called entomopathogenic fungi, which can kill insects, collectively make up about 1,000 species, enough to target virtually every agricultural pest.

Unlike synthetic pesticides, many of which are losing effectiveness due to resistance, fungi interact with pests in a way that makes the development of resistance unlikely. As NPR reported, the risks, if any, are minimal. Currently, biopesticides cost more than synthetics, take longer to work and must be applied more often, but they can be environmentally sensitive, losing effectiveness at certain temperatures/humidity levels. However, as they grow in popularity, new biopesticides can be developed to tackle some of these issues, thus making them more attractive to farmers.

It’s clear that pesticides are not the answer to solving world hunger; they are a contributor to environmental and human health demise. Planting a variety of crops is key to restoring soil health and ultimately feeding the world, as is reducing pesticide usage. According to David Montgomery, professor of earth and space sciences at the University of Washington and author of ‘Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life’ “It makes no sense to continue incentivising conventional practices that degrade soil fertility. We must begin supporting and rewarding farmers who adopt regenerative practices. Once we see through myths of modern agriculture, practices that build soil health become the lens through which to assess strategies for feeding us all over the long haul. I now see adopting farming practices that build soil health as the key to a stable and resilient agriculture. And some farmers have already cracked this code, adapting no-till methods, cover cropping and complex rotations to their particular soil, environmental and socioeconomic conditions.

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Herbicide free advancing.

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare next fortnightly working bee will be on Saturday, the 27th of August, from 9am to 1pm, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Beach Road fire track gate. We will be working on the first patch of Bitou Bush along the beach before the horse track, 150 m down South from the surf club.
Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water, rain coat  and some morning tea. Tools and first aid kit will be provided

On Wednesday the 7th of September, a new Green Army Team, under the supervision of John McVicar, from Envite, will start at our site. The last team under John’s supervision was fantastic and very enthusiastic about chemical free bush regeneration. I will give the new group a tour and a talk about our work. They will offer us 4-5 visits that will be shared between our Brunswick Heads site and a new chemical-free site at Ocean Shores we will start this spring.


All are welcome to join in and help me with the training and we hope to plant some healthy seeds on land management.


And more visits:   on Monday 17th October, a group of international students from Long Island University Global (New York) – Australian Program will be visiting our Brunswick Heads site. This the third year that they have visited us, each time it is with a different group of students. They are based in Byron Bay and do this field day with their lecturer, Dr. Zann Hammerton, as part of their course on Climate Change and Coastal Ecology in the Asia-Pacific. I will offer them the same content we offer the Green Army group: a site tour, a talk on sustainable weed management and show them the strategies and techniques that we use to control Bitou Bush and manage other coastal issues.




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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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Not on Australia.

Recently a friend returned from Darwin and said, while out on a small boat, a live cattle ship passed by and he said the smell was indescribable. So he was convinced the animals  suffering had already begun.



Byron Herbicide free Working Volunteers.

Nadia de Souza Pietramale

Project Coordinator

6684 4771

Hi this Saturday June 18th Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare will be at

Renewfest, at Mullum Showgrounds. Entry is by donation and remember no disposable containers for your food, so bring your on mug, cup, plate and cutlery. Please see attachment for the flyer.

If you would like to help me at the stall please let me know by email.

Our next working bee in Brunswick Heads chemical free landcare site will be on Saturday the 2nd of July.


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Glyphosate ( Round-up) under increased scrutiny in Europe.


The most commonly used type of weedkiller, which includes Roundup, could be banned from use in the European Union within weeks amid concerns it might cause cancer.

It had been expected that the license to use glyphosate-based herbicides in the EU, which runs until 30 June, would be extended for up to 15 years.

But, amid disagreement between EU member states, a vote on relicensing has now been postponed for a second time with officials deciding it would not be possible to get a large enough majority for a binding decision.

While the UK and 18 other countries support the use of glyphosate, France and Italy threatened to vote against while Germany, whose own government is split on the issue, and six other countries planned to abstain.

“Since it was obvious that no qualified majority would have been reached, a vote was not held,” a Commission spokeswoman told Reuters.

Greenpeace’s EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg accused the European Commission of favouring attempts to relicense the weedkiller.

“The Commission has continued to ignore the concerns of independent scientists, MEPs and European citizens,” she said. “It’s time for the Commission to change course.”

Glyphosate had been viewed as one of the safest herbicides until the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer announced that it “probably” caused cancer last year.

However, since then the WHO itself has said glyphosate, which has been found in human urine and breast milk, is unlikely to pose a risk to anyone who eats food contaminated with it.

Campaign group Pesticide Action Network UK said in a statement: “It is clear that there is serious disagreement among Member States about how, or if, this probable carcinogen should be approved for use across the EU.

“Whilst no new deadline for a decision has yet been set, if there is no decision by 30 June it is possible that the use of glyphosate in all areas – including agriculture – will be banned as this is when its current approval period comes to an end.”

It added that the public did “not want this toxic poison to be used to grow our food, contaminate our parks and playgrounds or be sprayed in our home gardens”.

Bayer has recently made a bid to takeover Monsanto.





One tiny step forward here in Huonbrook when Council used whipper snippers instead of spraying sections of the road verges.

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27th February, a date for locals.

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare, next fortnightly working bee will be on Saturday, the 27th of February, from 8am to 12pm, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Beach Road fire track gate. If you come later, walk 150 m along the beach heading South, from the dog walking track beach access track, turn west and you will spot us on the dunes, doing followup work of Bitou seedling and Glory lily. Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water, rain coat  and some morning tea.

More information 0478272300 or go to www.byronshirechemicalfreelandcare.org.

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare is a project of SEED (Sustainable Environment Education and Enterprise Enterprise)




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