Tag Archives: EDO.herbicide free future for Huonbrook


More than 300 pesticides are permitted in conventional agriculture, and some may combine in a harmful cocktail effect. So for your sake and the planet’s, go organic. These are the UK statistics, Australia’s could be even more than 300.


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The death of a living habitat.

The significant camphor laurel forest poisoned along with the fauna that have evolved to depend from the tree.


Wilsons Creek runs at the downside.

A distinct relocation of nectar seeking birds as their Coral tree source were poisoned down our valley, has been obvious here with the flowers of my remaining Coral being a continual nectar source for lorikeets, king parrots, various honey eaters throughout their entire flowering period.


So yesterday, following an other ways very enjoyable town day, I transplanted 34 rain forest tree seedlings which had sprouted in the vegetable gardens. In between showers, I collected blue Quandong seeds to later scatter along a stream bank.

Two recent inspirations. MARIA TINCHER, interview with Fran Kelly on Radio National, the Lady with the Rose in her hair, Gold Coast identity whose book is called DAUGHTER OF A RAZOR. a true story from a survivor, not a victim.

And my first Christmas gift………..James Rebanks…THE SHEPHERD’S LIFE………with the rain set to continue today I am looking forward to the company of a fine writer.

A salad from the gardens.

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Monsanto executives will not be happy about Carey Gillam’s new book.
Released last week, Whitewash documents the corporation’s aggressive efforts to establish, promote and protect their RoundUp Ready seed and pesticide empire. Through investigative reporting, Gillam unveils Monsanto’s dubious playbook, from bankrolling supportive scientists to blackballing critics and strong-arming regulators. It’s not a pretty picture.
An up-close look at corruption
In our line of advocacy work, it’s been clear for years that the pesticide industry has too much influence on public officials and the policies they set. The recent case of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt bowing to Dow on chlorpyrifos is just the latest case in point.
Gillam’s meticulous research shows just exactly how this works, with “friendly” regulators identified and cultivated by industry handlers, and the revolving door placing former executives in seats of public decisionmaking power again and again.
And then there’s the corporate science.
Whitewash documents Monsanto’s decades-long, largely successful campaign to control what scientists say about glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto’s flagship herbicide, RoundUp. Their “friendlies” at EPA convinced agency scientists to ignore early findings that exposure to glyphosate was increasing risk of certain rare cancers in test animals. They promised funds to universities when studies confirmed the safety of their products, and arranged trips and speaking tours for supportive scientists. They even ghostwrote “independent” studies verifying glyphosate’s safety.
When a committee of independent World Health Organization experts found that glyphosate was a probable human carcinogen, Monsanto waged an all-out war to discredit and undermine those cancer researchers and their findings.
But this strategy appears to be losing steam as Monsanto’s credibility wanes. Last week, as Europe considered whether to allow continued use of glyphosate, French President Emmanuel Macron called for “more independent expertise” in the decisionmaking mix. Excellent idea.
Off the pesticide treadmill?
Whitewash’s release could not be better timed. As the fate of glyphosate is being reviewed in Europe, here in the U.S. Monsanto’s next contribution to the pesticide treadmill — a new formulation of the old herbicide dicamba — is creating heated controversy in the heartland.
So how are glyphosate and dicamba connected? It turns out that widespread use of RoundUp Ready crops meant a sharp increase in glyphosate use — leading to the emergence of hard-to-control herbicide-resistant “superweeds” across U.S. farmland. Monsanto’s plan to address this problem, with EPA’s blessing, was to sell a new GE seed and herbicide package and increase the use of a different chemical.
Enter Xtend soy seeds, designed for use with a cocktail of glyphosate and the drift-prone herbicide, dicamba — which this year damaged or destroyed over three million acres of crops in 20 states.
The dicamba story is a textbook example of the “pesticide treadmill.” And it won’t stop here. Scientists predict weeds will develop resistance to this chemical even more quickly than glyphosate, and resistance may have already started emerging in Arkansas.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Thanks to Gillam and others who continue to uncover clear evidence, we know that Monsanto is not, in fact, motivated by an altruistic desire to “feed the world.” Maybe we can finally put the brakes on their self-serving pesticide treadmill and support farmers instead of undermining those who don’t toe the Monsanto line.
Speak up! Add your voice to the call from dozens of farm groups to find a better solution and halt the pesticide treadmill.
Oct 16, 2017
Kristin Schafer

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As we view the anger of the weather in the Caribbean and Florida, its just a question of what region is next. While our sun is shining and already we are seeing signs of drought in our Shire, it is always about adaptation when a crunch comes.



So early start in the gardens where I had to chase out a swamp wallaby and a pademelon who had enjoyed feasting on what greenery is still flourishing. Fennel and parsnips seem to be their preference with both munched to the ground. They have learnt how to jump the fence.

Early start in the rain forest where I enjoyed 2 hours of slashing and layering remnant lantana plants. Had the rare glimpse of a Albert Lyre bird as it scurried to seek cover from me.

Unusual this time of the year to this  Lesueur’s frog in the bath.

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The beginning of summer.

Gale force winds, trees discarding leaves and birds and reptiles seeking water.

Smoke haze filled the valley casting a dark blue shadow. Then a storm, lightening and thunder at 9 pm.

A good relieved sleep followed.

Dave arrived at 6 30am,  slashers sharpened, gloves on and water in our back backs.

Back into zone 34 in a follow up few hours. Another amazing light hour as the softer morning sun, still veiled with smoke haze, cast its light in many colours.

The bush fire has been reported as being started by campers.

We started early, spotting rain forest seedlings emerging, a variety amongst the wild raspberry and the odd sprouting lantana, regrowth from the original slashing, pulling and mulching. We removed the lantana and ventured further west. Good site for summer work follow up, emerging canopy with spots of lantana growth. Shade until sun becomes too hot to work. Coopers Creek nearby.

Young  Red cedars abundant rushing to fill the canopy gaps.

A highly toxic weedkiller not authorised for use in the EU is being exported to developing countries from a UK factory.

Paraquat, a pesticide so lethal that a single sip can be fatal, has caused thousands of accidental deaths and suicides globally, and was outlawed by EU states in 2007.

But Swiss pesticide manufacturer Syngenta is exporting thousands of tonnes of the substance to other parts of the world from an industrial plant in Huddersfield

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Excellent working week.

As we slash, pull and mulch our way up the slope, care has to be taken as beneath the sparser lantana where many red cedar seedlings have sprouted.

Cooler weather makes our work pleasant and exhilarating.

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Preparing for a July celebration.

In July it will be 40 years I have had guardianship of this land at Huonbrook.   A naïve starting point for me, when the steep hills were struggling to support a number of cattle, many suffering from brucellosis, an infectious disease of cattle, goats and pigs, caused by a bacteria of the genus Brucella and is transmittable to humans. Kikuyu  grass, introduced from South Africa, had been planted to impede the heavy loss of soil after the forest had been removed and exported. Unfortunately for the suffering cattle,  it supplied a poor nutrient value to their diet and did not fare well with the then 2 metre plus average rainfall.

Feral dogs in packs, (older farmers left their dogs here when they moved to town) could be seen dragging new born emaciated calves into the undercover. Already dying at birth, the calves either succumbed to ticks which circle their necks or provided an easy meal for wedge tail eagles or the dogs.

Most hard wood trees had been removed and what did remain, lease holders, before my purchase, had ripped out every stag horn, birds nest and bangalow palm to sell on.  Fishing nylon line had been tied around trees to grow on  epiphytes for the city markets. Many trees had begun to die.

My first task was to remove the cattle from the denuded hills which saw the beginning of the slow recovery into what mostly is now rain forest. Cut the fishing line off scores of trees and I began to really watch nature evolve and become my teacher and guide.

Lantana followed the removal of the cattle and that I am still slowly peeling back. I am very lucky lantana colonized the disturbed degraded soil. It could have been blackberry.  Protecting the remaining soil from heavy rain and intense sun, it was an ideal cover plant to shelter the durable rain forest seeds dormant in the soil.  Peeling it back is like the removal of a wrapping on a present, beneath lies a whole new micro life waiting to be activated by light.

Herbicides, to my knowledge have never been used on this land.

Its been an incredible journey……..from the early days here, when the rainy season was fairly predictable, the gales used to arrive like clock work, to roar throughout the month of August. Not unusual then to see rain fall continually for 6 months of the year.

Not predictable any more.

Winter time was our dry cool season. Now, in 2017 the weather is entirely unpredictable as we are seeing now this second deluge during our autumn and winter.

What a poser I am……………..photo by Rodney Weidland.

Read what other communities are doing to combat herbicide and pesticide use. Dicamba, now used by our Council on sports fields despite  investing our money in a steam weeding machine.





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