Home' Smart Farmer : February 2013 Contents February 2013
THIS summer, nearly 1200
South Australians are growing
native seedlings in their back-
yards through environmental group
Trees For Life.
When the growing season ends in
May, an estimated 623,000 new
plants will adorn SA's landscape.
One of those growers making a
difference to the environment is
Salisbury North resident Sharon
White who, together with her hus-
band Bob, has been revegetating a
once-barren property in the Mid
Murray township of Cambrai for the
past six years.
Sharon said they bought the 9.5ha
property with plans to eventually
retire in the country.
"It had been a wheat and sheep
property and all the vegetation had
been totally cleared with exception
of about five old-growth Mallee trees
along one border -- but the view
along the hill face was beautiful,"
The Whites have always had an
interest in the environment and
soon after buying the property,
decided to join South Australian
environmental group Trees For Life
with the aim of growing their own
Sharon bought growing kits from
Trees For Life, which included seeds
for natives specifically suited to the
Mid Murray region, as "it was the
cheapest way of obtaining the
"I began growing at home -- I had
big ideas and ordered the maximum
boxes -- followed by the planting-
out and that proved to be too much
initially as we both worked full time
in the city and travelled to our prop-
erty on weekends for working bees,"
"A neighbour had also told us we
wouldn't be able to grow trees with-
out water or a bore, which we didn't
have. So we put a 22,000 poly tank
on the highest point and started
from there. We got the work done
and put the trees in all on our own,
all with poly pipe and dripper irri-
gation with water we paid to have
trucked in by local carrier."
Sharon said their first priority was
to plant a windbreak, shelter belt
around the borders of the property.
Other plantings were planned to
provide some protection for their
new house, which should be fin-
ished later this year.
The main species planted are pep-
permint box (Eucalyptus odorata),
pink gum (Eucalyptus fasciculosa),
silver mulga (Acacia argyrophylla),
golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha),
umbrella wattle (Acacia oswaldii),
and some seedlings grown from the
original Mallee trees on the property.
The Whites are not fazed by the
reputation they have gained
throughout the district as "those
crazy people planting trees", and
Sharon said their first-year trees
were now well above head-height.
"We have planted more than 4000
seedlings with a good 85 per cent
success rate. We only water for the
first two summers, they are then left
to survive on their own," she said.
Apart from the successful growth
of their trees, they have been excited
to see Google Earth images that
show the difference they are making
on the landscape.
At ground level, small birds other
than magpies and galahs make a
visit to their property while cooler
months attract native animals
"We have also resisted slashing the
whole property -- just fire breaks
and the quarter where the house will
sit. We have found that if we do not
slash, some regrowth of the original
vegetation is happening ... we have
even had patches of native poppies
during the spring and little blue
bells," Sharon said.
The Whites are among 434 SA
landholders growing seedlings for
themselves this summer, while 729
volunteers -- mainly from metropol-
itan Adelaide -- are growing for
country landholders and revegeta-
tion projects for councils, govern-
ment projects and private
When Salisbury North
resident Sharon White
(left) and her husband
Bob bought the Cambrai
property (above), it had
very little native
vegetation but six years
later, the landscape has
with native trees standing
more than head-high.
Help for agvet clean-up in bushfire season
TWO of Australia's on-farm
chemical waste programs are
lending a hand to those affected
in the bushfires by assisting the
clean-up of agvet chemicals and
containers damaged in the dev-
More than 200 homes and about
as many sheds across the coun-
try have been destroyed by the
raging fires in Victoria and New
ChemClear's national program
manager Lisa Nixon said they
would undertake to collect any
chemical that is registered from
bushfire areas as quickly as pos-
"We've been told there may be a
considerable amount of agvet
chemical destroyed," she said.
drumMUSTER sites are available
to farmers who want to deliver
their empty agvet containers
during any bushfire clean-up.
Its national program manager
Allan McGann said regional
teams would assist anyone
impacted by the bushfires with
their drum delivery disposal
• Need to know more?
www.drummuster.com.au, 1800 008
www.chemclear.com.au 1800 008 182.
Whites change colour
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