Cabbage for lunch.


This is Marilyn. This afternoon a couple of additions to the hen house when two unwanted pullets are coming. There will be chaos for a few days.


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August 31, 2014 · 12:04 am

Snake skin.

The carpet snake discarded it’s skin yesterday.


A detailed article on soil in Sydney’s back-yard gardens.

And some of us here in our beautiful Shire think adding another contaminant in their use of herbicides is the only way.

Variation in toxicity among formulations and species makes it difficult to extrapolate results to all species and all formulations of herbicides. We exposed larval wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) from four populations to two glyphosate-based herbicides, Roundup Weed and Grass Control™ and Roundup WeatherMax™. 96 hour LC50 values for both formulations varied among the populations (RWGC: 0.14 to 1.10 mg acid equivalents (a.e.)/L; RWM: 4.94 to 8.26 mg a.e./L), demonstrating that toxicity varies among the formulations and that susceptibility may differ among populations. [Christopher Edge, Meghan Gahl, Dean Thompson, Chunyan Hao & Jeff Houlaha (2014). Variation in amphibian response to two formulations of glyphosate-based herbicides.

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry,

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72 mls of rain.

Over 150 mls of rain over the last few days, in August too which is unusual. Rain this constant is the norm from January on. Later than May is highly at odds with regular readings in the rain gauge. Also a lone monarch butterfly sitting on a mustard flower which I have never seen this late in the last days of winter.

It is thought the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus ) first appeared in Queensland in the 1870s. Speculation then was it had migrated from Brazil under their own wing power but it is now thought it was imported with the Wild Cotton, an introduced plant, which had been dispersed far and wide by 1856. Wild Cotton (Gomphocarpus fruticocus ) is another plant targeted by herbicides in the Byron Shire. The Monarch pupates on the Wild Cotton. I remind readers us Europeans were imported too.

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Growing so fast.


Growth in the garden is rapid during this wet spell.

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Seedlings emerging.

A week-end which has seen 84 mls of rain fall here.

Photos below are the seedlings emerging through the lantana mulch. The seeds were scattered by pupils in Grade 5 from the Mullumbimby Steiner School when they visited during an open day.


This is the site where the seedlings are popping up. This morning I counted 11 different rain-forest species emerging from beneath the lantana mulch.

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On the contrary to the recent orthodoxy of herbicide use.

With another grant flowing into the local land-care it is time the conventional recent up-take of herbicides in regeneration is seriously challenged.

Discontent amongst many locals at the use of herbicides- along-side sealed and gravel roads- up steep banks where tobacco and lantana are sprayed- is seeing an increase in frustrated resentment.

Cat-fish are being found dead in the creeks and there is also the mystery deaths of 2 platypus. All near heavily herbicide areas. Along-side of the visible damage, the question of the run-off of the herbicides used into the creeks where some residents take their domestic water from.





With all the described toxic effects of glyphosate, it becomes imperative to assess the level of contamination of the water supplies, our source of drinking water. Recent research in Catalonia, Spain, revealed widespread contamination of their groundwater [103]. In the US, glyphosate has been detected in rain and air samples [104].

Research recently performed in Germany detected glyphosate in the urine of all tested Berlin city residents, including one person who had been eating organic food for over 10 years [105]. Levels reached 5-20 times the established permitted level in drinking water in the EU. Even those who live away from farming areas are not protected. Glyphosate was previously found in urine samples of farm workers at concentrations shown to have caused endocrine disruption.
Sourced from Permaculture News.



Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Round-up use and the alternative in Melbourne.

Our friends at Save Our Environment are doing great work to protect our natural resources and wildlife, including important pollinators like monarch butterflies.

Monarch populations have been dropping dramatically in the past decade, in large part because of widespread planting of Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready corn and soy crops and canola — and the accompanying use of Monsanto’s flagship herbicide. RoundUp is rapidly wiping out milkweed, crucial habitat and food for monarchs.

From the USA>

[City of Yarra Bulletin 09 May 2014] MELBOURNE — City of Yarra, who are the 1st Council in Melbourne, Australia to complete a major pilot program using steam instead of toxic chemicals, found that Weedsteamers’ steam weed management was an effective way to eliminating weeds and control seed bank regrowth. The pilot program for steam weed control was conducted over a four month period within an area of Carlton North. The company engaged to undertake the works was Weedsteamers Pty Ltd, who utilise the Weedtechnics system of ‘saturated steam and hot water technology’ for weed control. The mixture of saturated steam and boiling water cooks the weeds on contact. The streets within Carlton North taking part in the trial were treated four times from September 2013 to January 2014. The trial determined that steam application was effective in eliminating weeds and controlling seed bank regrowth. The streets within Carlton North taking part in the trial consisted of bluestone kerb and channel and laneways. The benefit of steam weed treatment is that overtime it controls and limits the ability of weeds to generate new seed banks, while traditional herbicide spraying does not. Therefore it may be assumed that after a number of years of steam weed treatment, a large portion of seed banks will be eliminated. This reduces the number of applications required to control remaining weed growth, which in turn should reduce the overall cost of future treatments.

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