The rush of a combined shearing/lambmarking is over to be followed by a stop start harvest. Grain can’t be stripped when its wet and too much rain and cloudy weather will downgrade and devalue the crop. A dry sowing period followed by a wet growing season & then a dry harvest is the ideal. This rarely happens and a significant la Nina weather pattern usually brings on a harvest from hell. This is still better than a drought year where there is bugger all to harvest anyway. The coming week’s forecast is drier so we can only hope for the best.
On the bright side the weather didn’t stop a visit from the Dharriwaa Elders group & a couple of academics from UNSW’s ‘Connected Waters Initiative Research Centre’. Thankyou to Wendy Spencer for organizing this & to Martin for sharing his knowledge on paleo rivers & springs. Later in the week I had Anthony, Andrew & Paul from the Biodiversity Conservation Trust of NSW. We are looking at locking up and rehabilitating Warrambool which will involve destocking & ponding & poisoning the African Box thorn. This will only go ahead if the paddock is found to be of significant environmental value and our bid is competitive.
Some research suggests that native fruits & berries need to pass through birds or emus so the seed is chemically scarified by the intestinal acid. Since Indigenous Australians have been here so long why wouldn’t their favorite plant species evolve to suit them? What if it’s the human gut that prepares the seed for germination? What did the people do with their poo? Did they use it as compost in a reserved area or stuff it into the forks & crevices of surrounding trees when expecting visitors? If the people were constantly changing camps the ‘pooping’ situation wouldn’t be an issue but if Bruce Pascoe is right & there were permanent villages then the sanitation situation would need to be addressed.
Humans have long been selecting plant traits that suit them which is why we have the wheat, oats, barley, chickpea, canola, corn varieties we have today not to mention citrus, stone fruit & timber plantations. Its what we do as humans ie change the environment to suit ourselves. Thanks to Bill Gammage we now know how much the burning regime or “firestick farming” changed Australia. Why Eucalypts advanced and rain forests shrunk. Why isnt there some proper research into the most valued native tree species? Why don’t we know why the Rosewood/Boonery tree produces plenty of seed but only seems to reproduce with suckers? Why don’t we know how long they live? We don’t know anything about the lifecycle of many of these important trees – Wilga, butterbush/Gumbie gumbie, Supplejack, false Sandalwood, etc. Shame on academia & shame on our society …