All Things Sustainable

ecology, economy, community


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It rained last night, 30mm fell leaving the garden and the bush refreshed. Farther North in Queensland they are dealing with floods but here we are just happy to see the rain and happy to hear that follow-up rain is also a possibility.

The young almond tree is opening the shell of its fruit and I can now gather the nuts. Not a large harvest but then the tree s only three and it still has a lot of growing to do. The orange tree also a three year old, carried a massive amount of blossom this season and had good fruit set only to lose it all. Probably a bit of heat stress and maybe I didn’t give it enough water during the hot dry spell. The tree is still looking very robust so maybe next year…..


On the beach in the heat

Bermagu Beach

Horseshoe Bay

Friday 18th January 2013, a beautiful morning in Bermagui, fine and hot but with a refreshing breeze coming off the ocean. On the beach an energetic group explored contact improvisation and “fight – dance” movement. As the day progresses the heat is mounting, we caught up with friends for lunch and shared some sustainably harvested fresh fish, fresh calamari and chips of unknown pedigree.

Around lunchtime the temperature rocketed reaching a very uncomfortable 46 degrees centigrade, a record for the area. It was so hot we had to swim but by then sea was up and there was quite a rip, the beach we chose was not patrolled and the surf was getting wild so we did not stay long in the water.

I went home and when I opened the door the house felt cool by comparison but when I checked the temperature it read 36C – usually way outside my comfort level! I shook the sand from my shoes, my beach towel, my hair, my ears, my bathers, my cleavage and had a quick shower but I left the car full of sand – I will deal with that tomorrow.

An hour or so later a gusting wind blew the outside furniture across the deck and as the cool change came through the temperature dropped by about 20 degrees. I walked down and fed the chooks.

The gum trees rained dead leaves. The grass crackled underfoot. Elsewhere in the State many fires were burning, some only 50kms away and Rural Fire Service volunteers were working stressed and exhausted probably as they battled to save houses and livestock. I just wish we could get some rain.


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Market Day in Bega

Market Day in Bega

This is a photo taken at the Bega Farmer’s Market which is held in the Littleton Gardens every second Friday although the interest is such that it may well go to a weekly market eventually. There are only around thirty stalls and they are selling fresh locally grown vegetables, olives and olive oil, seedlings that you can grow on in your own vege patch, coffee, tea or chai from a mobile coffee maker, home made biscuits or cakes (availability varies) fresh eggs, organic meat sold from a refrigerated display van and more.

Is it the start of a new economic system or the revival of an old one perhaps? Whatever it is it is attempting to prevent the demise of the small farmer in the Bega Valley by giving them an outlet that is not managed and controlled by multi-national mega businesses or the supermarket duopoly.

It is reported that areas of Queensland will soon only have access to ultra heat treated long life milk, no fresh milk or cream because the number of dairy farmers has plummeted as a result of the milk price war in the supermarkets.

In summer our population more than doubles when the tourists arrive so if you are coming to our area why not support the local farmers and the local economy and come to the market? The stall holders are always happy to chat.

The Bega markets in 2013 are on 18th January, 1st February and every second Friday throughout the year