2021 has come upon us quickly and hopefully you all found some time to relax during this time.
Some producers have had some great successes early in 2021, with good crops and many producers selling out of their products each week at markets and through other channels.
We have had a fantastic response so far for the artisan agriculture project survey released by Hepburn Shire Council, in late 2020. If you have already completed the survey, firstly thank you, as your feedback has been wonderful and secondly there is no need to take any further action.
Due to the Christmas New Year period falling within the survey period, we are extending the survey time, until Friday 29th January,2021.
This will hopefully allow enough time for those producers who may need the extra time to find the few minutes to fill it in.
To complete the survey please click on the following link.
Please feel free to reach out on email or mobile if you would like to discuss any areas of the project or survey with me directly.
In his wonderful video, UCLN Secretary Adrian Robb shares the thinking behind the creation of his beautiful Pollinator Garden and lets you view the progress he has made!
Have you ever noticed the mob working beside you in your vegie patch or orchard?
The birds, bats, butterflies, insects, and bees that are attracted to your property by flowers are the often-overlooked pollinators of our world striving beside you to assist you with getting the best out of your food plants.
Together with the wind, pollinators spread pollen from plant to plant increasing the productivity in your fruit and vegetable garden.
Soon, they will find their garden is buzzing with activity. It will be full of pollinators because they have planted a variety of flowering plants to attract them to the once dormant area of the property between the kitchen garden and orchard. From the beautiful vantage point they have established; Adrian and his partner will be able to watch the flowers being worked by our native pollinators.
During his recording, Adrian discusses their decision to plant this area with a mix of indigenous and introduced species, offering something for the introduced European honeybees to comb the pollen from to make honey for their future hives and the native buzz pollinators to release the pollen from by using the vibrations from their wings.
With different aspects from full sun to shade; a mix of habitats including rocked areas that provide minerals, mulched and low to mid storey planted areas providing shade and shelter, a water source and a variety of species that offer year-round flowering and provide plenty of food sources, this area is ideal for a planting dedicated to pollinators.
While Adrian lives on a large property with plenty of locations to choose from, the concepts behind his pollinator planting can be easily replicated in any sized space. Provided you can offer a sheltered spot, a safe waterer (see UCLN Treasurer Chris Gymer’s video) and year-round flowers, there will always be something in your garden to tempt pollinators to visit.
An invitation to our Community from the UCLN President, John Walter!
Seasonal greetings and best wishes to you all on behalf of the UCLN team. I hope you all manage to have a somewhat normal Christmas celebration with your families after this rather extraordinary year.
The UCLN has been successful in establishing a Research Partnership Agreement with Dr Mark Hall and Western Sydney University and we are working behind the scenes to put things into place so our on ground pollinator surveys can commence in January 2021.
Mark will work with us in the next couple of weeks to identify some primary pollinator corridors across our landscape and we will jointly survey specific sites within the landscape for pollinator species and numbers over 2021. The resulting survey data will become baseline data for pollinators in the district, and we will monitor changes in both diversity and numbers over coming decades.
We are now urgently looking for expressions of interest from all local Landcare members who would be interested and willing to have surveys occur on their property.
We are seeking farmland, gardens, bushland and native grassland, riparian zones and in fact all landforms and land use types. We also want some sites that will be open to have supplementary plantings added over time and some that will not – to act as control sites. You do not have to become actively involved in the surveys if you offer part of your property as a survey site, but you would be most welcome to do so.
The actual size of a survey site will most likely be fairly small. Remember, this project also includes the towns of our region and some survey sites may be a park or a garden within a town.
We may not be able to initially cover all sites offered within our survey program – but please do not hold back on offering as we intend this to become a growing and long term process. While our initial focus will be on “primary corridors”, we see the future landscape being more akin to a river delta system with a fine network of corridors fanning out across the entire landscape.
Don’t be shy! Send us your suggestions or give Bek or myself a call so we can discuss things more fully with you.
A quick response is the most important thing here so we can make our final survey site selections and get our surveys underway while the pollinators are still active in January.