Tag Archives: herbicide free bio-diversity

Brooding Blue blood super and an eclipse moon at midnight tonight…..31st of January.

Zinnias in full flower.

This gully is where the lyre bird was seen during our spring. We are working up the creek which runs through it, slowly slashing and mulching lantana.



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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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Cane toads on the move.

With temps fluctuating up to 35 degrees yesterday to a low of 20 on other days, the weather is certainly not able to be very accurately predicted anymore. Sudden claps of thunder, a few spots of heavy rain and the skies clear with in minutes.

But the cane toads are out. Found 3 dead in the gardens and 4 more around the recently dug out pond. I fear eggs have been laid, a female can lay up to 30 000 eggs in a season so I can expect some to survive.

Unexplained the dead toads. No body injury, all 3 in very good condition. Recently read somewhere that cane toad legs have appeared on a Darwin menu.

I have become a lot more realistic to the permanence of the cane toad.  Millions of dollars have been spent on its extermination, even in this Shire, so my admiration for the determination and strength of this creature has increased.


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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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First serious summer smoke.

Unregulated until reality catches up.

Pathetic really.



One of the three resident Carpet snakes shedding its skin.

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Wednesday. Rain having a day off.

Good working morning mulching lantana. Cool and the sun shone for 10 minutes.

The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and the European Chemical Agency (EChA) have completed their assessments of the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate. Once again it was concluded that the evidence does not support a classification of carcinogenic for glyphosate. However, members of the European Parliament requested the raw data on which this assessment was made (previously ‘commercial in confidence’). The limited data they received was again analysed by Dr Chrisopher Portier (Former Director US National center for Environmental Health, Former Director US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, amongst other positions). He found “Both EFSA and EChA  failed to identify all statistically significant cancer findings in the chronic rodent carcinogenicity studies with glyphosate.”

His full letter to the European Commission, containing his analysis, is at https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/open-letter-from-dr-christopher-portier.pdf  .

Once again we see that regulators are corrupted at the highest levels.



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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Byron Chemical Free New site.

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare’s next fortnightly working bee will be on Saturday, the 17th of June, 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. We will be working on the front dune, doing Bitou Bush seedlings.

This month we also will held an event on the 12th of June, public holiday, at Federal Community Preschool. We will be removing Duranta, another popular nursery plant, that has become a  environmental weed. It’s seeds are highly poisonous to pets and children, with one death of a 2.5 year old being recorded in Queensland. We will prune it and remove with the tree poppers. All welcome to come and help, I have 10 pairs of loppers to share. Thick leather gloves, as it has large thorns.The Pre school is located at 898 Binna Burra Road, FEDERAL NSW 2480.

Please wear boots, long sleeved shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves, and bring water, rain coat and some morning tea. Tools and first aid kit will be provided. Please call 0478272300 to find us if you come later.

Letter from The Greens.


Dear Donald, thanks for your email regarding the use of Glyphosate.
The Greens are supporters of chemical-free weed control methods. Only this year, new Greens Leader and health spokesperson Richard Di Natale wrote to the Office of Chemical Safety requesting a review of glyphosate use in Australia following research by the International Agency for Research on that claimed that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen. See: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-26/chemical-group-disputes-finding-that-glyphosate-causes-cancer/6349246

A new study finds that Indian farmers in rain-fed areas are being driven to suicide from the increased cost of growing Bt GMO cotton varieties that confer no benefits to them, writes Eva Sirinathsinghji. The extra expenses arise from buying new seeds each year, along with increased chemical inputs, while suffering inadequate access to agronomic information.

Alternative systems such as organic farming have already been shown to produce superior yields. Bt cotton, instead of bringing farmers out of debt, is fuelling the problem and should be replaced by short-season, local and organically grown varieties.
A new study directly links the crisis of suicides among Indian farmers to Bt cotton adoption in rain-fed areas, where most of India’s cotton is grown.

Many fall into a cycle of debt from the purchase of expensive, commercialised GM seeds and chemical inputs that then fail to yield enough to sustain farmers’ livelihoods.



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Saturday date for Volunteer Herbicide free work.

Hi this a kind reminder about this Saturday working bee:

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare next fortnightly working bee will be on Saturday, the 6th of May, 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. We will be doing follow up work of Bitou Bush seedling on the front dune, please call 0478272300 to find us if you come later.

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. Meet at the end of South Beach Road fire track gate, not far from the Surf Club. We will be doing follow up work of Bitou Bush seedling on the front dune, please call 0478272300 to find us if you come later.

Herbicides and Environment

Edited by Andreas Kortekamp, ISBN 978-953-307-476-4, 760 pages, Publisher: InTech, Chapters published January 08, 2011 under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license
DOI: 10.5772/550
Edited Volume

Herbicides are much more than just weed killers. They may exhibit beneficial or adverse effects on other organisms. Given their toxicological, environmental but also agricultural relevance, herbicides are an interesting field of activity not only for scientists working in the field of agriculture. It seems that the investigation of herbicide-induced effects on weeds, crop plants, ecosystems, microorganisms, and higher organism requires a multidisciplinary approach. Some important aspects regarding the multisided impacts of herbicides on the living world are highlighted in this book. I am sure that the readers will find a lot of helpful information, even if they are only slightly interested in the topic.Herbicides and Environment
Edited by Andreas Kortekamp, ISBN 978-953-307-476-4, 760 pages, Publisher: InTech, Chapters published January 08, 2011 under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license

All too often, Monsanto and the rest of the “Big 6” pesticide corporations distort information to make their products seem safe and necessary — but they’re not.

Myths about pesticides are a testimony to the power of advertising, marketing and lobbying. Pesticide corporations, like big tobacco and the oil industry, have systematically manufactured doubt about the science behind pesticides, and fostered the myth that their products are essential to life as we know it — and harmless if “used as directed.”

The book Merchants of Doubt calls it the Tobacco Strategy: orchestrated PR and legal campaigns to deny the evidence, often using rogue scientists to invent controversy around so-called “junk science” to deny everything — from second-hand smoke causing cancer to global warming to the hazards of DDT.

Here are eight of the seemingly plausible myths we hear from the Big 6 every day:

  1. Pesticides are necessary to the feed the world
  2. Pesticides aren’t that dangerous
  3. The dose makes the poison
  4. The government is protecting us
  5. GMOs reduce reliance on pesticides
  6. We’re weaning ourselves off of pesticides
  7. Pesticides are the answer to global climate change
  8. We need DDT to end malaria, combat bedbugs, etc.

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More Rain.

In-between showers I take the camera out and photograph, searching for the extraordinary explosion of fungi sprouting on fallen branches, patches of exposed soil and tree trunks. Recycling in its purest form, not inhibited by herbicides or pesticides.

In the pond this afternoon.

Click on photo to enlarge.

The tadpoles feasting on a pineapple top. Click on photos to see their eyes.


Distressing news this morning on the upsurge of Queensland’s  land clearing.  Seems to fit nicely with the Queensland’s labour government’s fill steam ahead with the Adani Coal mine approval.

Why do we have environment ministers, both federal and state when laws are not enforced and banks profits come way ahead on the environment ?




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My letter to Dawn Walker……………New State MP.

I read you inaugural speech you gave on International Women’s day.
Thank-you, inspiring and I wish you a dynamic career as a defender of our ecology and the potential for worthwhile employment.
I really liked what you said about the environment and when you walked with your Dad and drinking from a fresh water creek with cupped hands. I can still do that safely here on my Herbicide-free regeneration property. Yes, and the water is sweet and a total experience when I drink after working.
My concern though has increased over the years as we see poisoned Coral trees falling into the Wilson Creek, spraying along side drains and general common sense fence maintenance being done with herbicides. The F rating of the Richmond River at Ballina is a shocking reality.
Also this week we read that Byron Shire Council is to spray the Bangalow sports fields with Metsulfuron methyl and MSMA, both with negative readings from PAN, the opposite from the herbicide makers selling advertising.
In your speech you talk of employment. Late last year the final days of the now disbanded Green Army came and worked with us,  Huonbrook Herbicide-Free Active Volunteers, as we removed the targeted jump-seed from the side of the public road. Land-care and Council’s contractors wanted it sprayed. Over the last three years, a small group of volunteers have hand removed 2 tons of the plant.
 A keen, knowledgeable ,delightful group of young people who expressed concern on their future employment prospects. In my volunteer work alongside the public road I see numerous rain forest seedlings emerging amongst the privets, camphor’s ect.   These volunteers knew their plants and under the tutor guidance of their leader, John McVicar,  I felt what a waste if these young people couldn’t find worth while employment following this down at ground level education and experience.
I see employment potential everywhere alongside our poorly maintained roads. Causeways needing to be cleared out, plantings on erosion points around these causeways. transplanting’s of the many indigenous trees emerging from the silt sites, rock walls around drain run-offs into creeks ect. Coppicing of misplaced plants and on it goes. If hands on maintenance was in place, our roads would function better as problems were dealt with as they emerged.
Huge potential to give young keen budding environmentalists a worthwhile employment opportunity to become true guardian’s of our remaining ecology.
A three day working week perhaps?
We need a massive re think re our environment as climate change is rapidly changing reality on the ground level.
A positive read for me has been Fred Pearce’s “THE NEW WILD” with an endorsement from James Lovelock.
A view I have held after 40 years of owning my property here is that invasive species can have a positive role in maintaining a new balance as wide spread ecological damage adapts to climate change. I see numerous nectar seeking birds and parrots feeding on the introduced Coral tree flowers in winter. Volunteers road side weeding workers have been delighted to witness black cockatoos amongst the pigeons feasting with their young,  from the camphor laurel seeds. Many more examples of birds adaptation abound. If these introduced plants had not replaced the wholesale milling of indigenous trees we would have even fewer bird species surviving.
Vanilla orchids are grown on Coral trees in India. Economic value is there if we seek it. We just have to adapt and let go of an outdated view of our ecology, usually based in a pre European settlement ideal by the old conservationists………………as Fred Pearce says ” the dynamism of “alien species” and the novel eco systems they create are helping nature regenerate. Embracing the NEW WILD is our best chance for the future.
Thanks for reading this far………………our frustrations at the lack of progress regarding herbicide use in the Byron Shire is increasing for the growing number of concerned environmentalists. Opportunity being squandered in our Shire where we should be growing our organic food production and reducing our dependence on artificial fertilisers and poisonous pesticides and herbicides.

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