“Healthy Soils, Healthy People, Healthy Communities” Update

In 2013 the Upper Lachlan Catchment Coordinating Committee were successful in obtaining a grant for the Upper Lachlan Landcare Network “ Healthy Soils, Healthy People, Healthy Communities” Project through Caring for Our Country Community Landcare Grants.

The project commenced  with two screenings of Symphony of the Soil at Breadalbane and Roslyn in September attended by 65 people.

In October held the 4 day NTS workshop in Sustainable Ag  which was attended by 36 people. This intensive workshop which ran from 8am till 6pm for 4 days covered Mineral Management, Microbe Management, Plant Management and Pest Management with Human Health Management interspersed throughout.

All of the workshops participants received a comprehensive report card on their personal health. In order to receive the Certificate the course participants have been undergoing further online study and exams.

10 Upper Lachlan properties have started doing baseline soil sampling and will endeavor to improve their soils over the coming 12 months using techniques learnt through this program. The participants have been selected as representatives of their local Landcare groups and also to represent a variety of grazing and horticulture enterprises across the catchment.

November UL  joined in with Alice Taylors Hawkesbury Nepean Soil Groups for a nutrient budgeting workshop at Roslyn.

And in December  several people from Upper Lachlan attended Alice’s tour to Bruce Davison at Candelo for a 2 day trip.

Whats coming up:

Jan. Soil tests to continue and results start to come in.

Tablelands Farming Systems “Soil Club” will be holding a presentation  at Crookwell with CSIRO Soil Scientist Richard Simpson on  soil sampling and analysis, and trends associated with soil types on the 24th January. Contact Sherryl Broderick from Tablelands Farming Systems for more details: sherrylandjohn@pinedale.com.au

Feb: 1st and 2nd AgPath Biological Farming Practical Workshop & Small Microscope Course at Garfield Victoria (see flyer) Upper Lachlan Landcare network members may be eligible for subsidy to attend this course or if there is sufficient interest we may be able to run one of these courses locally. (see flyers)FLIER PROFORMA2014. 2 day workshop Preliminary flier. 2 day workshop pub

We are looking at holding a hands on erosion control workshop with Cam Wilson at Margie Fitzpatricks property at Currawang. Here is a blog about a recent workshop held by Cam Wilson (Gorgeous Gullies Revisited)

March: Several of our Upper Lachlan Landcare soil group members  have been selected to attend SoilCare’s Biological Farming workshops with Gary Zimmer and Leilani Zimmer-Durand. Details about the workshops here:Zimmer-BioFarming-Educator-March2014 Zimmer-BioFarming-Grazing-Cropping-March2014 Zimmer-BioFarming-Horticulture-Cropping-March 2014

April: Intro to Biodynamics We are looking at organising a biodynamics workshop sometime in Autumn.

May: 22nd  and  23rd     we have Bob Shaffer coming to do a 2 day workshop on composting. (details will be available soon. here is a brief bio on Bob Shaffer) many of you may remember him from Symphony of the Soil.

Bob Shaffer is a horticulturist, agronomist and viticulturist for Soil Culture Consulting.  Bob has been consulting and training farmers in sustainable, science based farming systems in sub-tropical and temperate environments for 35 years. He is a regular presenter at ACRES USA conferences.

He is broadly experienced in development and management of cover crop systems for farms, orchards and vineyards. Bob looks at cover crops from a whole-farm perspective including soil biology, soil physics and how the cover crop interrelates with food production and quality. His clients include compost companies where in daily cooperation with farmers, restaurants and produce packers they compost tons of food scraps recycled from San Francisco and create millions of tons of compost that are applied to vegetables and vines just north of San Francisco. Bob understands soil, plants, their health and their diseases and works with farmers to develop management practices that fit each farm’s environmental, social and personal needs.

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