Our first newsletter...
This is the first in what should hopefully become a regular Millpost newsletter, we will be writing a little here about the farm, the business, the family and our lives as often as we can.
This summer Millpost has faced the most challenging conditions on record. Extreme heatwaves, the driest year in living memory and a constant fog of dense smoke settling on us from the many bushfires raging across NSW.
We are fortunate to have not been directly threatened by the bushfire crisis so far, but the summer is far from over with little relief in the forecast.
On the bright side some of our native grasses are still growing despite nearly 70 days without rain. Roy even found a beautiful Hyacinth Orchid (below left) flowering in one of our back paddocks recently.
Despite this we are still rapidly destocking at the moment in an effort to protect the country during the dry times.
The drought is also teaching us lessons on which trees and planting methods are most resilient. Direct seeded oaks are performing very well compared to a variety of seedlings (oaks and many other species - native and exotic) planted in the last 12 months. Our nursery is still brimming with young trees, waiting on rain before they can find a spot to live. We have been grateful for the many large deciduous trees in the homestead area, as they keep us cooler on the hot days and provide us with a strong firebreak.
Wildlife has been on the move, this turtle (below right) was a long way from water, presumably forced out of mums shrinking dam. Unusually we’re also noticing many of our large native birds including Crows, Galahs, Choughs, Magpies, Rosellas and Cockatoos sheltering from the heat and dry winds in the thick green canopy around the house.
We’re on self imposed water restrictions at Millpost, hand watering in the vegetable gardens (some have had to be abandoned for the summer), dam swims keep us clean and we are taking our washing to the laundromat to save what precious little we have left in our tanks.
In spite of the smoke haze and the drought, we don’t have much to complain about compared to those who have lost their houses and seen their country burning these last few months. If like us (and many others at the moment) you are feeling helpless and looking for somewhere to donate, can we suggest an alternative to the mainstream support bodies such as WIRES and the RFS? Firesticks is a great initiative, providing a pathway for empowering First Nations people and a potential solution for much of our ecological and bushfire woes. They are currently fundraising for affected Indigenous communities and their Cultural fire conference and training.