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Help get Garnaut's voice heard!

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

garnautreport.jpgWrite a letter to the editor of your local paper to help make the Government feel the pressure to endorse Garnaut's recommendations and get the positive aspects of the report heard. The Government are currently considering the Garnaut Report but it is the polluters' voices who are being heard in the media.

GetUp! have provided a handy tool to help to write to the paper of your choice. There is a Climate Solutions Info Sheet with the key findings of the Garnaut Review. Read that Info Sheet here. Go to this campaign page.

 

 

Community Supported Agriculture and shared risk

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

CSA programs operate in SE Queensland and even in the Scenic Rim region. Details will be posted on this website soon.

One of the cornerstones of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is shared risk. "The essence of the relationship," as Elizabeth Henderson states in Sharing the Harvest (see a review of the book below) " is the mutual commitment: The people support the farm and share the inherent risks and potential bounty."

When innocent farmer error threatens the harvest

Rachel Bynum and Eric Plaksin have used hay mulch on Waterpenny Farm in Virginia for many years, purchasing from the same trusted grower every year. Early in the 2007 season they noticed that many crops were doing poorly. The problem was finally traced to the mulch: the grower had used Grazon (with the active ingredient picloram), a powerful herbicide that contaminated all of the mulched crops-about half of the farm.

Even those crops that were not destroyed could not be distributed, even if they had wanted to: Selling produce contaminated with picloram, which is not rated for human consumption, is illegal. When the problem became known in the area, 60 people-including many of the couple's 150 CSA shareholders-helped to remove the 50,000 pounds of messy wet hay from 3.5 acres. The couple cancelled two months of their CSA deliveries and offered refunds.

Is this a different kind of case? Maybe, or maybe not. Though there is no suggestion of negligence on the part of the grower, it is a case of farmer-error, not natural disaster. Even so, many of their members seemed to "get it." They were given two options. Some took the 80-percent refund to cover the balance of the season. A 40-percent refund was offered to cover the loss of harvests until the re-start of harvests in August. About half of the membership took a third, unstated, option: They did not accept any refund. Some even complained that this option should have been stated.

At the time of the incident, the growers did not know how long the effects of the contamination would last, or the true extent of the damage. "It felt like a violation," says Rachel. They were angry with themselves: Should they have known, or suspected a problem? "We even got mad at each other. It was hard to know how to go forward." But members have been extra supportive, according to Rachel, which "helped us a lot to get through it...and now we are back in stride."

Rachel and Eric were careful to explain the problem fully and honestly to their membership - and to acknowledge what they didn't know. "Explaining things felt good, even cathartic," Rachel recalls. "It was best to just come to terms with it." This situation was not as obvious and simple as a flood or hail storm. There was a greater obligation to clarify the situation to farm members. Going forward, Rachel and Eric have a new sense of how interconnected the whole community of growers and eaters really is. One question that comes to mind regarding mistakes made by the grower: Where do you draw the line? Unprotected crops in a frost, inadequately irrigated crops in a drought, insufficient response to insect or other pests...any of these could be deemed farmer-error. CSA growers takes on a large responsibility for their members. We owe it to them to be good at it! (Statement by grower).

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 Rodale Institute is putting its 60 years of sustainable farming experience and extensive research to work to provide farmers with the know-how, tools and techniques they need to succeed; policy-makers the information they need to best support our farmers; and consumers with the resources they need to make informed decisions about the food they buy and eat.

Research from Rodale Institute's ongoing Farming Systems Trials, the longest running research trial comparing organic and non-organic farming in the United States, also shows that regenerative farming methods can curb global warming, improve the nutrient value of food and prevent famine when farmers use these affordable and sustainable techniques

 

 

Biodiversity, Food and Farming for a Healthy Planet

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

cbd-ibd08-logo-en-5.jpgAgriculture is a key example of how human activities have profound impacts on the ecosystems of our planet.This year's theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD), "Biodiversity and Agriculture," seeks to highlight the importance of sustainable agriculture not only to preserve biodiversity, but also to ensure that we will be able to feed the world, maintain agricultural livelihoods, and enhance human well being into the 21st century and beyond.

Read more...
 

REPORT ALL ADVERSE EXPERIENCES with agricultural chemical products

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

poison_sm.gifThe national body the Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority APVMA states on its website that it investigates all reports of adverse experiences with agricultural and veterinary chemical products. An adverse experience is an unintended or unexpected effect when the product is used according to the label instructions. This includes impacts on human beings, animals and crops, and damage to the environment. There are SEVERAL WAYS TO SUBMIT A REPORT - online, email, complete printed form and post, phone and fax. This page from the APVMA website  has links for those options and other background documents. For your convenience the form to complete for human health issues is here. To report environmental issues use this form.

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REPORT ALL SIGHTINGS OF DEAD WILDLIFE

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

Reporting of wildlife sightings and personal recording is of vital importance. Community members play an essential role in monitoring widlife movements and populations - especially if we notice something out of the ordinary. Residents in the Kerry /Laravale /Tamrookum areas are currently witnessing more dead dying and vanishing wildlife than ever before.

Read more...
 

Chemical misuse gains media attention

Last Updated on 12 March 2012
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Parents from Darlington State School in the Scenic Rim area were interviewed by reporters from Channel Nine news Tuesday 29 April 2008. The school has been closed for over a week now and students relocated to Hillview State School to reduce any further potential health issues. The school is being decontaminated.

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The reporters from Channel  Nine news also interviewed a local resident whose property was also subject to a similar event earlier. There are potentially many unfortunate environmental outcomes arisng from using dangerous chemicals - even when used as directed. All families in this area of the Scenic Rim usually enjoy drinking the water which they harvest and store - but what water can they drink now? Roofs and tanks have to be decontaminated.

What are stock going to drink? How can we "clean the creeks" for the wildlife? There are many questions but answers?

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Planning for a community public meeting to be held at Kerry Memorial Hall is well underway.

 

Look at the events page for latest update.

 

If you would like to make any comments suggestions, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

We look forward to meeting concerned citizens at this meeting.

 

2020 Ideas Forum on Getup is open!

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

banner_getup_2020_175.jpgGetup and express your opinion to add to the discussion on topics discussed at the Australia 2020 Summit. Although it has wrapped up its discussion,  you can still contribute to Getup's! Get involved and talk about what you want our country's future to look like.

 

How Healthy Is Your Home?

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

Healthy Home is a unique online tool designed to help you reduce the environmental impact of your home, as well as offer information to assist you in protecting your house and family from from potential environmental hazards eg air pollution, toxic chemicals. In addition it also provide an online calculating tool to help you find out how much rainwater you can expect to harvest from your roof area. This website is provided collaboratively by Suncorp and Planet Ark.

 

Can you change some daily habits?

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

Planet Ark runs a number of environmental campaigns and initiatives. Go to their website, click on any of the buttons to learn how to participate eg recycling, putting used printer cartridges into a ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ recycling box, recycling Aluminium Cans, and buying environmentally responsible products. You can even shop online.

 

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