Up2Us Newsletter – April 2014

A busy March

Erosion Control with the Guru

In March on a windy and stormy day, a group of ten farmers braved the conditions to learn about methods of tackling erosive soils during a field day at Bonnie Doon. The guru of erosion, Kerri Goshnick from DEPI, was the guest speaker for the day. He spoke to the audience about the importance of covering soils with vegetation for prevention purposes, methods of managing erosion on hill country and the importance of developing long term farm plans for continued maintenance.

“It was a great day, where all our questions were answered patiently and thoughtfully” said Kerstie Lee organiser and participant. Up2Us would like to thank Andrew Feher who allowed us access to his property in Bonnie Doon for the event. We look forward to further days where we can utilise DEPI’s expertise for the benefit of all property owners.

erosion-control

Family Friendly Carp Fish Out

Six families (25 people) gathered at Lake Nillahcootie to learn about Carp, our environment and fishing protocol in fresh water on the last Sunday in March. David Cleeland from Fishcare Victoria provided an informative talk on the effects of Carp in our waterways, and local fishing expert Rick, joined us describing the intricacies of rods and reels as well as appropriate tackle usage. Cheryl Breaden who was one of the participants said, “I have been fishing for many years, but I never knew half of the information that Rick has told us tonight., it’s been great.” No Carp was caught that night, but families were keen to have another go when the water warms up again. Thanks Rick & Dave!

family-friendly-carp-fish-out

Delatite Landcare Group

International Clean Up Mansfield’s Day

A huge THANK YOU goes out to members of the Delatite Landcare Group who participated in the ‘International Clean Up Mansfield’s Day’ in cooperation with the Mansfield Shire Council. John Gilson, Jeremy Madin, Steve Curnow and Kerstie Lee spent an hour at Rifle Butts Rd Reserve on the 2nd of April checking on plants, collecting plastic guards and removing old stakes.

“With the effort taken to plant and beautify the place last year during National Tree Day, it was a great opportunity to revisit and show that we really care about this patch of bush” said John Gilson, participant and president of the Delatite Landcare Group.

As a part of the Clean Up Day, we had the opportunity to recycle resources such as tree stakes and guards and estimate a 60-70% survival rate of plants despite the hot summer.

Upper Broken River Landcare Group

The Barjarg Bounty

With the bountiful energy of Amanda Swaney (Vice President UBRLG) together with members of the Barjarg community, a very successful Barjarg Bounty was enjoyed by 42 people. The Barjarg Bounty evening grew out of an desire to share summer produce, to connect with the local community and encourage people to think about how they use their smaller farms. Megan Knapp generously allowed the group to use her kitchen door facilities so that the Barjarg community could share their autumn harvest in pre-prepared dishes. For more information, photos of the event and the complete story by Amanda Swaney please click here.

Ancona Valley Landcare Group

Opportunity for weed and rabbit rebate in Ancona Ancona Valley Landcare Group are in the process of collecting invoices for weed and rabbit work over the past summer as there is a small rebate available for all members of the AVLG.

If you would like to find out more about this incentive or to join the Ancona Valley Landcare Group please contact John Rogers (see first page) or Kerstie Lee (Landcare Facilitator).

Feeding the masses at the Family Friendly Carp Fish Out - plenty of food for all budding fisherfolk.

Feeding the masses at the Family Friendly Carp Fish Out – plenty of food for all budding fisherfolk.

Mansfield Do It Festival

mansfield-festival

Up2Us Landcare Alliance was able to attend the Mansfield Do It Festival in March, where many conversations about our local environment ensued, increasing the interest of Landcare around the Shire.

I was able to engage in many conversations with urban dwelling members of our community who are interested in participating in Landcare type activities.

Coffee extreme in Vietnam

On our family trip to Vietnam in Jan 2014, we decided our culinary experience would not be complete without tasting a cup of Weasel coffee!

We travelled to an organic coffee farm in the central highlands of Vietnam where we were taken on tour of the coffee production as well as the Weasel nursery.

The coffee bean is grown, then eaten raw by the Weasel, collected, washed, dried and roasted – a process which takes about 12 months.

The coffee was like tasting a fine wine where the flavour alters and deepens with time and passage.

This experience highlighted the often neglected appreciation of food process – the growing, the storing, the developing of flavours and then the production onto our table.

Farming for any type of food needs careful planning and diligence so that the best flavour and nutrients are extracted. A tribute to all food producers.

There was also much interest in developing a Landcare type group in Bonnie Doon for support with rural issues such as rabbits and weeds.

I look forward to how these conversations will be put into action over the next few months.

coffee-extreme

Mansfield Primary School Water Biodiversity Day

A group listening to Murray the Fish’s journey Students presenting his journey

A group listening to Murray the Fish’s journey Students presenting his journey

Mirimbah was an ideal setting for the 2014 water biodiversity day when Up2Us Landcare Alliance and Jill Breadon joined forces to educate grades 2 and 6 students about the need to protect and preserve our waterways.

With approximately 80 students, the day was well organised by the teachers at Mansfield Primary School ensuring that all students complete four different activities over the course of the day. Jill Breadon was one of the highlights with the kids being able to get into the water and collect interesting mini-beasts for analysis and developing an understanding of water health.

Another group went on a journey with Murray the Fish who travelled from his home and encountered many obstacles and chemicals entering the waterway.

The teachers focus was on leadership training and creating a support network between the students at the school, using games and activities to accomplish their goals. Overall a very successful day which was thoroughly enjoyed by the students.

Up2Us has a spray unit for loan

spray-unit

Up2Us has purchased a 200lt spray unit with a 30m hose for use by Landcare members. Up2Us has a collaborative relationship with the Mansfield Shire Council whereby they store and maintain the unit for us. Collection and drop off of the unit will be at the Mansfield Shire Depot in Lakins Rd. For booking, please contact Kerstie Lee (Landcare Facilitator) on 0400613344 [email protected] For further information and specifics about the unit please see our website www.up2us.org.au or contact Kerstie.

Blue Range Creek signs are installed

After a long wait, many conversations with a patient community, the signs for the Blue Range Creek picnic area have finally been installed!

The Blue Range Creek community together with the Upper Broken River Landcare Group (funding from the CMA) have been working on a joint project to make and install interactive signs for the picnic area. Instrumental in the process of making these signs an integral part of the picnic area was Julie Aldous and Rowan and Amanda Swaney who dedicated time and energy to the project.

In the process of making and installing the signs the group has been in contact with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, the Taungurung Clan and Up2Us Landcare Alliance who have helped in varying degrees.

Thanks to the community of Blue Range for the drive and commitment to ensure this project was completed.

For project ideas and assistance in grant applications, feel free to drop in and see Kerstie Lee (Landcare Facilitator) Shop 3 12-22 Highett St Mansfield or write a note: [email protected]/0400613344.