Archive for February, 2012

Elise’s Journey

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Elise Wenden is the driving force behind Fruition Nutrition, a consulting business involved in sustainable agriculture in Charlton near Bendigo. She also represents NTS in Northern Victoria. Elise has recently become a finalist in the 2012 Victorian Rural Women’s Award and she is using the associated media interest to promote the cause of biological agriculture. Elise attended an NTS four day certificate course in 2010 and this served to inspire the move into her own business venture. I called her recently to check on her progress and I will share some of the conversation (more…)

Biological Blueberries are World Beaters

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

biological blueberriesTwo years ago, as part of an NTS field day, we visited Dean and Helen Bryant’s blueberry farm at Peachester in the Sunshine Coast hinterland (Brymac Industries). During the visit I was demonstrating the use of a refractometer by testing the brix levels of the leaves of the healthy and vibrant blueberry bushes on the property. I was initially convinced that the refractometer was faulty because I could not detect a reading with the device. The view through the eyepiece revealed a single colour with none of the normal delineation that indicates the relevant brix level. Then I noticed a delineating line running right at the very top of the screen. (more…)

The Top Ten Farming Tips for 2012

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

sun rising over wheat - farming tips 2012For the first time in my memory we are confronting a new year that holds more threat than promise. The triple specters of a European meltdown, a bursting Chinese property bubble and fragile “recoveries” in the US and Japan, present a torrid, tightrope walk through the coming months. Even if we muddle through and somehow avoid a major recession this year, we still need to survive the week before Christmas, which the ancient Mayans tipped to be a momentous moment in human history. In what is shaping up to be the “year of fear”, it seemed like it might be a good idea to offer some constructive suggestions to help farmers counter this most negative and destructive of human emotions. Breaking the cycle is critical because of the self-fulfilling nature of fear-driven inactivity. Now, more than ever before, we need strategies that help us rise above the negativity. Food, after all, is historically recession-proof, but you need to be in the driver’s seat to secure that inherent protection. Hopefully, these strategies will serve to cement your rightful place as the helmsman in the storm. (more…)