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Millpost Seasonal Report

The wet winter continues. We had 137mm in June, 67mm in July and already 46mm in August (with every day in the next 7 predicting a chance of rain). The farm is so wet even 5mm causes the creeks to rise a little. We are avoiding driving around the paddocks to minimise wheel tracks gouging deeper.

The wet ground has benefitted tree planting. It's a rare pleasure to plant into such moist soil. Here's hoping we get a lot more trees in the ground over the next few months. It's obviously an opportune time in the drought/flood cycle.

There was a feature article in last Saturdays Sydney Morning Herald ("Carbon Dreaming") which outlined the climate crisis. There was the usual of reducing carbon emissions. But also how excess carbon could be captured and stored. An ambitious and untested idea was described which would involve growing plants to burn in incinerators which would capture and store the carbon somehow. An area the size of two Australias would be required to implement the plan at sufficient scale.

I am no scientist, indeed a bear of little brain, but I am more inclined to agree with Greta Thunberg that the machine we need to capture and store carbon already exists. It's called a TREE! If we go back to using timber in building and furniture we can store the carbon for centuries.

Our Bungendore Landcare Group is running with the hope that mass global forest planting and encouraged natural regrowth and revegetation is a potential solution to global warming. We are working on a website and online resource called Trees For Climate which will tell you everything you need to know about getting trees growing.

I am afraid local government around here has not yet embraced the Think Global Act Locally idea. Our local council is about to spend $15 million prettying one block of the main street in Queanbeyan even though it will continue to allow huge trucks to roll on through. We could plant millions of trees across the district with that sort of money.

Meanwhile the ACT government has just cut down lots of deciduous trees along the Kings Highway, apparently regarding them as environmental weeds. "Hello, ACT government" if we are going to seriously address the climate catastrophe we will need trees to grow like weeds.

We've been trying some cool burning lately. Despite the recent rain, the dry grass from last summer is burning readily. We are trying to reduce fuel loads before next summer. Post drought we don't have enough sheep to eat the long grass down, our usual fuel load reduction strategy.

The burning produces a useful green pick for the sheep. More importantly, it can stimulate germination of dormant seeds of plants we have never seen, given the paucity of fire at Millpost during the white mans reign.

I recommend reading Peter Sutton and Keryn Walshe's Farmers or Hunter Gatherers. It is a fascinating alternative view to Bruce Pascoes Dark Emu. More importantly, the new book should get more people thinking about how the First Australians managed this land. We have so much to learn.


David Watson 25/08/21


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