Up2Us Newsletter – June 2013

Good Living Picnic Fest

Sustainable Small Acreage Tour

We had a cool Mansfield morning as we gathered at the Information Centre for the bus tour.

Thank you to Rowan and Amanda Swaney who had a well planned tour of their property, taking in the vegetable garden, the paddock structure, the tomatillo enterprise and the improvised poly pipe bending tool Rowan had constructed. Their produce was displayed beautifully in the garden and much interest
and discussion resulted from their property.

Thanks also to Rowena and Mick Ellis who clearly demonstrated that thorough research, hard work and a willingness to trial something new can result in a rewarding enterprise. Rowena inspired many of the attendants with her story and interesting discussions resulted on the bus trip back.

Good Living Picnic Festival

‘Live local and love it!’ was the catch phrase for the Good Living Picnic Fest. Organiser Uschi Steedman said “We wanted to create a relaxed and positive atmosphere where people felt welcomed and challenged, from all reports that is what happened.”

Inspiring skilled local presenters were fired with questions about their topics and workshops were well attended despite the cold southerly wind Mansfield turn on for the event.

Organiser Suzie Healy stated “Having local people inspire local people made all the hard
work worthwhile”.

The small committee have had such positive feedback that there is talk of it becoming bigger and better next year – keep posted.

A final thank you should be given to the sponsor of the event – Mansfield Shire.

Amanda Swaney discussing their produce on the Small acreage tour.

Amanda Swaney discussing their produce on the
Small acreage tour.

Many interested people listening to Ian Thomas talk on growing vegetables.

Many interested people listening to Ian Thomas
talk on growing vegetables.

High Country Library supported the event by running kids activities on the day.

High Country Library supported the event by
running kids activities on the day.

Delatite Landcare Group

RIFLE BUTTS AND WILDFLOWERS

Delatite Landcare Group are combining forces with Parks Victoria in helping to care for Rifle Butts Rd Reserve. Whilst the discussions are still occurring between the parties, it is planned to have a combined Planting Day with the Mountain Bike Club of Mansfield on August 4th. This will form one of the National Tree Planting Days in Mansfield for 2013.

All those who turned out to last years wildflower walk with the Delatite Landcare Group were inspired by the vast array of knowledge within the group and the variety of wildflowers within the local area. The success of last year has inspired them to once again hold a similar event. The details are still to be confirmed, so stay tuned.

Please contact John Gilson (President) for further information.

Upper Broken River Landcare Group

TREE PLANTING, BBQ AGM, LEGLESS LIZARDS

Upper Broken River Landcare Group are hosting a tree planting day on the 17th August at Harpers Rd. There will be a BBQ lunch and a discussion on direct seeding for those who wish to lend a couple of hours to tree planting.

The UBRLG AGM will have a different focus this year. Along with a social gathering and BBQ, the UBRLG would like to showcase their commitment to being River Guardians demonstrating how working with neighbours can deepen friendships and make positive environmental change.

The hunt for the Legless Lizard is on again and UBRLG would once again like to sponsor the event. Bertram Lobert, local expert will be leading the expedition and all people will be welcome.

For further information please contact Rowan Swaney (President).

Ancona Valley Landcare Group

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Frogs in Bogs & Perfect Paddock Trees

Ancona Valley Landcare Group have received a small grant from the Goulburn Broken CMA.

As a component of the grant they are hosting 2 workshops. Frogs in Bogs will be presented by Bertram Lobert on July 27 focussing on Farm Dams. Perfect Paddock trees will be presented by Kim Wilson later in September and will focus on protection and preservation.

If you are interested in travelling out to Ancona for an evening with the locals, please give John Rogers a call or email
John Rogers
President
57789658
[email protected]

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News of upcoming programs with Up2Us

Small Property Peer Support Group

After the success of the guide to Sustainable Land Management for small acreage, Up2Us would like to continue to support education and action of small landowners.

It is our intent to work in partnerships with a variety of agencies to deliver a seasonal program for small landowners.

It will be a fun time of learning and getting to know people in similar situations with local expertise to help action on the ground.

We look forward to see this plan come to fruition.

Family Landcare

Up2Us are looking at supporting a seasonal based family landcare initiative. We are creating free events with the focus of social networking, fun for kids and caring for the environment.

It will begin with Ride and Plant at Rifle Butts in conjunction with Delatite Landcare Group and Parks Vic. We are hoping to have a local Carp Fish Out and looking at holding a Bat evening with prizes for the best dressed Bat. Other events for 2014 planned.

We hope to engage populations of people who would not normally attend Landcare events.

Rhubarb Recipes

Those who have veggie patches often have a Rhubarb crown. I have three – all different colours and at the moment all in different states of frost tenderness. Looking at my garden over the last few weeks I was disappointed to see some of my best Rhubarb dying, so I decided to work out how to use it more effectively.

Quince and Rhubarb Jam

After poaching some Quinces and finding the resulting liquid very sweet I combined Rhubarb water and a small amount of extra sugar to come up with a Quince and Rhubarb jam. The combination works wonderfully and I recommend to all who like to make their own jams. My whole family loves it.

Rhubarb crumble tart

For those who like a bit more of a challenge in the kitchen this tart/crumble is delicious!

Ingredients/Method

Short crust Pastry (store bought or hand made will do – I make my Nanna’s tried & true. 75g butter softened, 100g caster sugar, 1 large egg, yolk of 1 egg, 75g ground almonds, 25g plain flour, 3-6 stalks of rhubarb cut into 3cm long pieces.

Crumble: 70g wholemeal bread blended into crumbs, 40g rolled oats, 30g demerara sugar, pinch ground cinnamon, 80g butter melted & cooled.

Blind bake the pastry for 20-30 mins (place baking paper & rice on top for baking) at 180C.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and yolk until thoroughly incorporated. Fold in almonds and flour. Tip into hot pastry mould and scatter the top with Rhubarb. Bake for 20 mins at 200C, remove tart from oven and decrease temp to 180C.

While tart in oven, make crumble by combining all dry ingredients. Drizzle melted butter over and mix well to evenly coat all ingredients. Scatter over the top of hot tart and bake tart for further 20 mins. YUM

WHO IS Up2Us?

Up2Us is the umbrella organization for Landcare and environmental groups in Mansfield Shire.

This includes the Victorian Farmers Federation, Ancona Landare Group, Delatite Landcare Group, Howqua Valley Landcare Group and Upper Broken River Landcare Group. The facilitator of Up2Us is Kerstie Lee.

Amongst other things, Kerstie facilitates activities for groups, and sources funding. She liaises and works collaboratively with a multiplicity of groups and organizations, including Mansfield Shire, to coordinate sustainable land management.

Talking fencing and water with Rowan and Amanda Swaney on the Small Landholder bus tour in April.

Talking fencing and water with Rowan and Amanda Swaney on the Small Landholder bus tour in April.

If you haven’t already:

  • St John’s Wort – St John’s wort results from a lack of Phosphorus in the soil. Now is the time to think about controlling it differently this Spring. Rock Phosphate may be an option for small areas on your property.
  • Veggie Gardens – Start preparing your beds for Spring – the more you can do now the better. Prune cut and cover. Jackie French says that when you are able to feel warm soil, you are ready to plant.
Up2Us and Mansfield Library joining forces for kids entertainment at the Good Living Picnic Fest

Up2Us and Mansfield Library joining forces for kids entertainment at the Good Living Picnic Fest

The organising girls after a long but rewarding day - Good Living Picnic Fest

The organising girls after a long but rewarding day – Good Living Picnic Fest

Local Landcare Legends

JOHN AND TRISH GILSON

If I could sum up John and Trish Gilson in a few words, I would have to say “committed, caring and community minded”.

John and Trish have been involved with Landcare since their teaching days at Geelong Grammar School when they helped plant trees around the grounds for restorative work. Since 2000 they have been involved at a local level.

Over the years they have planted thousands of trees for erosion control, shelter belts and protection of paddock trees. They actively engaged in property planning with the assistance of the Department of Primary Industries. The result being well planned cell grazing and laneways giving easy access over the entire property.

The most recent addition is the new cattle yards which are designed and built for multi-property use. Another symbol of their strong community ethos in life.

John’s closing remarks were that he “has a deep satisfaction in doing most of the work on the property themselves”.

Currently, John is the President of Delatite Landcare Group and Up2Us Landcare Alliance (the network).

John and their new yards

John and their new yards

Rock work as part of the erosion control methods used in a sandy gully on the property.

Rock work as part of the erosion control methods used in a sandy gully on the property.