Tag Archives: herbicide free

Nina Simone and a PAN update on soil and Glyphosate.

I became a huge fan of Nina Simone after hearing ‘Sinner man’ and’ Backlash Blues’ in the late 60s. Her music coincided with the Vietnam War anger and how lads my age waited to have our birthdates selected to enter into the army.



Cool and windy days with the clearest of blue skies. Excellent for the harder physical chores.

Public meetings in opposition to the placing of the micro tower by Telstra. No mobile coverage here and as the land lines are not being maintained by Telstra it is only a matter of time before we will have to depend on satellites. But I am the only person here that does not have a mobile connection.

Telstra is very difficult to get the truth from. When my phone lines were down for a month in December 2017 I made over 20 phone calls to their help centre, based in the Phillipines, to get a different uncoordinated response each time. My sympathy soon lay with the hapless call centre staff I spoke to.

Later, when I found a Telstra local worker that I was able to see how there was 3 different versions as to why my phone was not connecting and how the communication between Telstra workers was way beyond the facts on the ground.

One irony in the notice above. Why is there not a similar response to the hectares of poisoned coral trees and camphor laurels that each require 2 litres of glyphosate to kill?

Evidence now shows that the poison leeches far beyond its target plant. Water run off into Wilson Creek and eventually into the warming ocean?


Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp, has been labeled by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer as a “probable human carcinogen.”
Given the probable impacts of glyphosate on humans it isn’t a stretch to think that it would also be toxic to soil biology, right? I recently conducted a review of the scientific literature on the effects of pesticides on soil biological communities, and found that despite Monsanto’s attempts to frame glyphosate as environmentally friendly, the herbicide’s use at recommended rates can be detrimental and even fatal to some of the most important soil organisms.
Soil . . . it’s alive!
Soil, often dismissed as just “dirt,” actually contains multitudes of life forms. The Earth’s soil provides a home to a wide range of organisms, ranging from earthworms and ants to microscopic fungi and bacteria. These organisms are vital for maintaining healthy terrestrial ecosystems because of their role in providing a wide range of “ecosystem services,” or the benefits humans receive from biological processes and interactions. Examples of ecosystem services include microorganisms’ role in the cycling of nutrients (e.g. nitrogen) and water — both of which are necessary for plant growth and agricultural production.
Glyphosate wreaking havoc
Throughout this project, a few key findings stood out as instances where glyphosate application was detrimental to soil biology:
A 2012 greenhouse study reported that exposure to the recommended field rate of glyphosate led to a significant decrease in the root colonization of mycorrhizae fungi — an essential component of healthy agroecosystems. These unique fungi form mutualistic associations with plants, in which they substantially extend the plant’s root system, enabling increased uptake of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous. Thus, plant growth can be hindered by a decline in the population size of these beneficial microbes.
A three-year study using a silt loam soil from an Ohio farm found that application of a recommended field dose of glyphosate led to shifts in the community size of certain types of beneficial bacteria, such as acidobacteria. Bacteria in this group are believed to be highly involved in the breakdown of cellulose (a primary component of plant cells) and play a vital role in formation and cycling of soil organic matter.
Finally, recommended field doses of glyphosate have been shown to have severe, and even fatal effects on earthworms. In one study, glyphosate exposure resulted in significant damage to the earthworms’ intestinal cells. In addition, the rate of mortality at the suggested field dose was also shockingly high, with about 50% of the exposed earthworms dying. Another study found that exposure to glyphosate at recommended doses resulted in reduced cocoon viability, resulting in fewer juveniles successfully hatching.
A chemical cycle
Without a healthy soil biological community, farmers must turn to synthetic chemicals and nutrients for crop production. However, the use of chemicals such as glyphosate can deteriorate the soil biological community, further entrenching chemical use instead of fostering healthy soil biology.
While Monsanto claims that glyphosate is harmless to the environment, an examination into the scientific literature shows otherwise. Monsanto lauds the fact that glyphosate breaks down quickly after application — but that doesn’t make it harmless to soil organisms. As one of the most widely-used pesticides in the world, the fact that glyphosate is causing harm to some of the most agriculturally valuable organisms is concerning.
However, it is not too late to transform the current soil biological health epidemic; even farmers that have been using pesticides for decades can restore their soil biological communities within a few years by converting to pesticide-free, sustainable farming practices. By fostering healthy soil biological communities, some farmers are producing crops with lower inputs, which translates into lower production costs as well as a reduction in community exposure to harmful chemicals.

Jun 14, 2018
Brittani Gallagher

And from the mountain I was born nearby.





Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Working bee at the Community Hall.

Good working bee at the Wilson Creek Hall. Robyn whipper snipped the grass, Dave extended the lomandras plantings and I brush hooked the lantana creeping across the road edge barrier.


You may remember that I emailed you a few months ago about the Government’s Review of its National Gene Technology Scheme. The government has a clear agenda to lift the state moratoria on genetically modified (GM) crops, remove GM food labelling, deregulate a number of new GM techniques and to allow the GM contamination of organics.

The Government will be hosting a series of workshops around the country over the following weeks – starting with Sydney and Adelaide this week. Please register and let them know what you think of their plans to gut the regulation of GMOs in this country.
And if you haven’t already, please email the Assistant Health Minister to ensure that all GMOs are assessed for safety before being released into the environment and our food chain.
Thanks so much for your support!


Those who serve themselves.




Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Humidity and 130 mls of rain.

Its always an amazing feeling when rain follows extreme heat. And what heavy rain it was. My access road is severely rutted and today I will bucket gravel up from the newly created drain to fill the worst of the pot holes.

During the rain a goanna came and sprawled out on the verandah and rolled around in ecstasy in the warm water.




Einstein, he say:

‘We cannot solve our problems with the same kind of thinking that we had when we created them.’
– which is why we continue to create problems.
Selfish humans again…………………… why can’t we adapt?  As the oceans get warmer and our river outlets are changing the ecology of the salt/dirty water as they merge, humans need to wake up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Watching another wallaby.


Green’s beginning to implode or still growing up ?

Take the environment back to the core Greens.  Australia is increasing its carbon output. Our indigenous species are in free fall and our creeks and rivers are in very poor health.



And an earlier report……….https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/02/i-joined-the-greens-because-of-bob-brown-but-now-he-has-broken-my-hear


Boycott bad eggs!

If you pay extra for free range eggs, you deserve the real deal. But there are plenty of “free range” eggs on supermarket shelves that come from chickens kept in cramped conditions that are not guaranteed to go outside.

Eggs that come from chickens that don’t go outside regularly or have high stocking densities don’t deserve the free range label. Boycott these eggs because the government’s regulation on this is insufficient.

When you join the campaign we’ll send you a list of free range eggs that we think are the real deal, the list of bad eggs and an app to help you find real free range in the supermarket.

After a week of rain.

After a week of rain.

Update before the next year. Over 2 hours long but a valuable catch up to why and where the planet is now.






Leave a comment

December 22, 2016 · 9:21 pm

Defending the environment from ecocide.


What we are trying to counter. A man spraying into a drain on left Bank Road. Friday 11 November 2016. It rained soon after. Also 2 people told me of the edge spraying at Cape Byron.



Long-nosed Bandicoot: Parameles nasuta
My photo taken here outside the cabin on Thursday night.



Following a storm which gave the garden a much needed watering.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Burden of knowledge that comes with Scientific fact concerning Climate Change.


2 part programme. The second programme was how we manage our sense of despair at what we witness, hear and see.  In support of Scott Ludlam and all the other front line environmentalists who bear an enormous burden with the knowledge they carry.

After a week-end visit with people who spent the whole time here justifying their excessive use of Round-up on selective flora they didn’t like and pointing out the remaining 2 Coral trees I have here, I couldn’t help having a dejected few hours following. No listening to me when I pointed out the value I see in the trees, nectar for winter birds, erosion control and the numerous rain forest trees germinating beneath them. Hard to respond after a man had to keep justifying his use of sprays to do his landscaping.


Rodney Weidland  Photo, taken here.

Coral trees have been a direct target by land-care with an intensive poisoning programme through-out our valleys. Many of the blackened poisoned trunks can be seen fallen in the creeks. A recent study found the outlets to these creeks are in a poor state when reaching the ocean.


No taking into account any of the many non chemical company funded scientific studies that all show evidence of contamination of water, soil and air from this product. Unfortunately, some of the newer city people moving to the valley’s do not have an environmental cell in their body with the wish to replicate some idealized image of a rural landscape taken from way beyond the reality of here. Another recent new comer wants to kill every snake he sees because one ate his city dog.

And then there is the grant funding, targeted by land-care enthusiasts for an easy, yet toxic, regeneration fix with chemicals, aimed towards the newcomers and the over valued real estate market.

Come on Greens……………….get active and start educating. MAJORITY of our newly elected Councillors are on record saying NO to herbicides.


Hi Donald

Right now, we are living with the consequences of bad decisions, discredited ideas and short-term thinking.

The big polluters. The coal charlatans. The subsidised destruction.

The politicians who forget they represent the people.

But we don’t accept the story we must sacrifice nature for a quick buck. We can make different choices.

Bound by our concern for Australia’s future, yesterday I stood with an unlikely coalition of 17 influential people. Together, we handed the Minister for Energy and the Environment, Josh Frydenberg, a copy of our new blueprint, Our energy future – a plan to transition Australia to clean energy.



Joni’s birthday is on November 7, and there are many musical tributes to her this year – check out the list. Be sure and attend if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby. Also, you can wish Joni a Happy Birthday yourself at WeLoveYouJoni.com.

Joni is slowly recovering after a serious run of bad health. She is painting again and writing.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Over the last 4 weeks I have discovered four dead cane toads within the garden confine, unseen before the last 2 years. In Fred Pearce’s book, THE NEW WILD, Rick Shine of the University of Sydney says “the vast majority of smaller predators learned not to eat the poisonous cane toad. Slowly, the larger predators got the message too. Fresh water crocodiles learned to nibble the toads fleshy back legs and leave the rest of the body. The black kite and the crow have both developed the trick of avoiding the poison gland by attacking its throat and belly.

“Aversion learning”, Shine concludes.

No injury marks on the dead toad below. Another one I found a year earlier had its eyes removed and was sitting, still alive, in the hot sun. I felt sorry for it.


Another news item this week. Herpes to be introduced to Carp in the Murray-Darling Basin. I was wondering if Carp would feel the same pain human herpes sufferers feel?


I am NOT convinced and have been thinking of all the products that could come in incentives from Governments to support Carp entrepreneurial thinking.  Fertilizers, fish farm food, food supplement for hens, recipes galore for humans ect.

Surely there is a better way?

Invasion, from introduced plant species, to cane toads and Carp, are filling the niche we humans have usually  created.  Create a space and something will inhabit it if nearby and favorable.

Dingo’s, the sheep and the rabbit, all introduced through migration, have all helped to evolve Australia into what it is ecologically today.


The unforeseen danger of any bio-control is that they can start to impact on the wider ecology and with far reaching consequences.




Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A date for herbicide free activists.

Hope this email finds you well in the New Year.

We are meeting next week at 9.30 am on Wednesday 20th January at the end of McGregor Street, Suffolk Park for a walk through one of the Suffolk Park Dunecare sites.

Please find map attached.

In the event that it is raining we will meet at Helen’s house at 38 Alcorn Street, Suffolk Park.

Please find attached a very simple agenda – we can add items as required.

Also attached are the minutes from the last meeting.

Look forward to seeing you all next week,



Alison Ratcliffe

Landcare Community Support Officer for Byron Shire

Brunswick Valley Landcare


Poisoned Coral tree next to Wilson Creek.

With the poisoning of so many Coral Trees along our valley I am wondering what will happen to the many nectar sipping birds who depend on this source of food during the winter flowering season.


Just a reminder for those who believe companies are truthful in their spruiking of their products. Think Monsanto and other herbicide companies who say their product is safe in water, soil, air and on our food.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Welcome Spring.


Present work-site. Fantastic working weather coinciding with September 1. Goanna’s and snakes are making their presence felt and with 2 recently purchased pullets it is an alert time until they learn. Swallows and bower birds very busy.
Cool during the night still.

The slashed and layered lantana …….. into which we are transplanting red cedar seedlings that we find along-side our walking track. Already thirty moved and more to come. They transplant happily if watered for a week. Thistle is plentiful as is the corky passion vine.


Stephen is my Tuesday worker and has adapted so well to the conditions here. Its hard labor and soon we will have to start at day break to avoid the heat. Lots of water and mandarins.



First photos i have posted from the Fujifilm camera. An exercise still challenging my patience adapting to Windows 10.

And with the debate on euthanasia fermenting here in Australia, an interesting read.



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Getting safely involved with-out herbicides.


Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare, next working bee will be on Saturday, the 29th of August, from 9 am to 1pm, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Head Beach Road fire track gate. If you come later, walk 150 m along the beach from the dog walking beach access track, heading South and turn west into the dunes. We will be there, doing follow up work of Bitou Bush. Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water and some morning tea.
More information 0478272300 or go to http://www.byronshirechemicalfreelandcare.org.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized