IN THIS ISSUE (click on the topic to go there directly)
Baffle Dairy Fresh- Milk-production using organic principles as much as possible.
BAFFLE DAIRY FRESH
Thank you Katie (L) and Desley (R) from Baffle Dairy Fresh who
spoke at our July meeting.
The Dairy set up on Katie's grandparents property was started
26 years ago and the factory 19 years ago. With the introduction
of deregulation, the family were faced with a decision to either get in
or get out. Their farming practices changed to adopt organic
principles using worm wee from their own worm farm, hair,
chook manure, paper and coffee beans on the pastures.
Since the 2013 floods Baffle Dairy has adopted the natural way
and uses homeopathy for the 200 Jersey, and Jersey/Brown Swiss
Pastures are prepared with valerian along with biodynamic
preparation compost, which heats up the soil, warms the cover
and helps with frosts. These practices have been very successful
especially benefiting cows during the birthing process and producing
healthy milk. No antibiotics are given to cattle, which are milked
twice a day producing 1500 litres a day in an automated 16-cow
herringbone dairy. The milk is transferred to the onsite dairy for
processing. Cattle eat while they are being milked.
The Dairy produces three types of milk – cream on top (green cap), full cream (yellow cap) or skinny (blue). Homogenised milk has the fat molecules inside the milk not on top. Milk will naturally separate into milk and cream. Children from 10 months of age can drink Baffle Milk, as can folk with eczema and dietary issues, cardiac issues, reflux and lactose intolerance.
The cows benefit from the enhanced pastures as the irrigated water stays longer in the ground and the grass stays greener. Cattle are fed on pastures, with corn silage as a top up in winter, together with clover and Lucerne.
With the waning moon soil is prepared and pig and chook manure applied to paddocks between full and new moon. Then worm wee and compost teas and seaweed for foliar growth with the growing moon. Teas are prepared in 1000 litre tanks with worm castings, comfrey, hair and weeds. Tanks are filled with water and sit for 3 weeks until the water goes black. This is then watered down to the colour of weak tea. The Dairy does not use molasses.
The farm doesn’t have much of a weed problem and has not seen the need for veterinary assistance for a long while. The dairy loses the odd cow during calving. Cow teats are only washed if muddy otherwise if dry they are brushed off. Paddock rotation and strip grazing are important strategies. Cows rarely get mastitis and if so are treated homoeopathically. The odd cow will carry ticks and cattle are dipped only if really needed. The Dairy has noticed a change in the atmosphere around the farm since changing to biodynamic practices. The creek has a tree corridor and there are trees in the paddocks. Water is drawn from Baffle Creek. The dairy has expanded beyond the family and now employs workers.
A big thank you again to Katie and Desley.
TREVOR'S NOTES - August 2018
The August Back to Basics held on Sunday 12 August was great. It was well organised. Two new gardens were visited and a very good compost-making set up was inspected. This was a great garden to see and we learnt so much. Then a well-prepared seedling and potting up session was conducted. We are considering repeating these garden visits so more of our members can experience them.
A soil-plant-water issue maybe easier to predict than people. I am preparing to go away for 10 days so have checked the garden and made it ready for the trusty neighbour to keep an eye on it for me. I checked the watering on the wicking beds. I like to water from the top as this encourages roots near the surface and great growth. I filled the pipes through the upright pipe and came back 5 minutes later to add nearly the same amount of water. I refilled the pipes 3 times before I was satisfied the system was full of water. Amazing, the soil must have been quite dry. Confused. Trevor
KAY'S GARDEN TIPS - August 2018
Available from our BOGI shop - see below
Fish emulsion, as the name suggests, is made from fish. It is organic and bio-degradable and is a natural source of nutrients for all plants and soils. It provides an NPK ratio of 4-1-1 and is most often used as foliar feed to provide a quick nitrogen boost. Organic fish emulsion contains ample NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium).
It's an excellent “all purpose” fertiliser that can be used in any situation. It's generally mild and less prone to “burn” plants. Organic fish emulsion can be used as a root/soil drench and as a foliar spray.
As fish fertilizer improves soil health, it also increases soil fertility by providing the primary nutrients necessary for plants to thrive. Fish fertilizers offer a source of burn-free nitrogen, along with the other primary nutrients of phosphorus and potassium.
When applied through the soil, it stimulates the soil microbes, therefore improving soil fertility and plant growth. The natural oils in fish emulsion make it a natural wetting agent, therefore we can add other fertiliser sprays with it. A diluted fish emulsion mix can prepare seedlings for transplant and helps to avoid transplant shock.
You can purchase liquid Fish Emulsion from our BOGI shop at monthly meetings or by arranging with Les de Gunst on 4152 9587.
RELAXING HERBAL TEAS
at our July 2018 Get-together
Those who tasted the Herbal teas at our July Get-together should have gone home very relaxed. Julie and Susan offered us four choices. These included, in various combinations:
Thyme,which is an antiseptic and treats respiratory tract infections,
Ginger, which treats cold, chills and motion sickness, is circulatory stimulant and reduces anxiety and tension,
Lemon grass,which treats indigestion, acidity and sleeplessness, and nervous tension,
Lavender, which reduces anxiety and stress, even just smelling it.
All are well suited to our Bundaberg Region.
July Veggie Challenge and Seedling give away.
What great produce for our veggie challenge. So good that again we couldn’t judge a first prize. Of note was a perfect cabbage from Joy, which did not have a single nibble from insects and wasn't covered to protect it.
The table of seedlings to give away was also excellent. Many thanks to all who planted and nurtured them. We gave our visitors first choice and they were most appreciative.
Some excellent notes from our Tinaberries talk in June
taken by Leslee Ryan's young daughter, aged six.
Strawberries don't like the rain. Sun is good for strawberries and plant them in rows North to South.
Microbes that live in the soil are very important for the strawberries to grow yummy.
~ Lucia Ryan, 6yrs old.
HERB OF THE MONTH – VALERIAN - Valeriana officials - by Chris Jeffrey – August 2018
At our last meeting, we had the pleasure of a presentation by Katie from
Baffle Dairy Fresh. She mentioned a couple of times about Valerian acting
like a blanket for our compost piles. This intrigued me, so I researched.
Here is what I found.
VALERIAN - Valeriana Officinalis- means ‘to be strong’.
Valerian is considered an alternative to Valium that is safe for most people.
However, as we are all different, it can on rare occasions act as a stimulant
rather than a sedative to the body. If that were to happen, discontinue use
and seek an herb that is more suitable for you.
The root brewed with the addition of a little liquorice root, a couple of raisins
and a pinch of anise seeds, makes an effective expectorant for persistent
coughs. For nervous conditions, valerian is sometimes combined with
St Johns Worth. A poultice can also be made with the tea to give relief from
rheumatic or swollen joints, wounds or rashes. This certainly sounds like
another of those ‘go to’ herbs for many health issues that can occur regularly
in our busy lives.
Valerian is a perennial, 20—150cm high, with a spreading root system. It will require a well-drained loose soil, and yes, it will need some shade in our sub tropic temperature. Katie's description of Valerian being like a blanket for your compost heat is because the plant stimulates phosphorous in the vicinity – meaning your veggies and herbs will benefit. Valerian leaves in the compost will add extra minerals and aid decomposition. Used as a foliage spray monthly helps to promote health and disease resistant plants.
For details about its constituents, actions and mineral uses, please see my sources: ‘How to use herbs in my daily life’ by Isabel Shipard and ‘The gardening show’.
September weekend invitation to Pam and Peter's Haven at Bucca
We have booked an event at our place for the weekend of 22/23rd September for anyone from Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and districts who would like to pick Peter's brains aboutbuilding large solar dehydrators like the one he is just finishing.
For anyone who wants to camp over, they can come on the Saturday morning and set up camp. The official conversation time will begin at 1pm - around the dehydrator and fire pit area. For those who want to talk about produce and varied uses I will be available.
It is going to be very relaxed, low key and fun. For those who want to stay and talk about all things organic and food forestry, a shared potluck dinner, fire and sleep over camp is on the menu. Sunday will be for anyone who wants to be a bit more hands on with Peter regarding building details if not already covered. Basically it is a relaxed weekend at the Haven for like-minded people to mingle and share what they know. It is being promoted on face book. Anyone from BOGI that wants to be part of the fun will be most welcome.
Pam and Peter Burgess.
Back to Basics - 12 August 18
We visited 2 new gardens and had a super organised demonstration and then potted our own seedlings. Those who didn't attend missed a great opportunity to look and learn about gardening and meet up with friends.
We started at Sue Jackson’s garden where the compost system is outstanding. There are 4 bays approximately a metre square and a metre high, so a metre cube, with the sides opening as gates to allow simple turning and removal. The bins are constructed of small weldmesh that is covered with shade cloth and held together with cable ties. Composting material is added in layers and PVC pipes with holes are added up the heap.
Layers of shredded garden and pruning material are added along with comfrey, Blood and Bone, water and molasses and also layers of old compost – this adds microbes and kick starts the process. The top is covered with black plastic and weighted down to stop the plastic blowing away. One bin is filled and starts composting and gets hot! Once the heat lessens, the bin of material is transferred to another bin to mix and turn in the edges to complete the process.
When the black plastic was lifted, lots of creepies and crawlies were present. Sometimes mushroom compost and Lucerne mulch are also added.
In Sue’s garden we saw some kale, Bishop’s hat capsicum, comfrey, dill, broccoli, tatsoi, large pumpkins, herbs, marigolds and more. Sue keeps a “weed brew or tea” to feed her plants and keep insects at bay.
After adding green weeds and allowing the brew to mature until all odour has gone it is applied 1:3 to plants. The recipe is simple: stuff a 20-litre bucket full of weeds, comfrey and green material and cover with water. Stirring for aeration is optional.
The Okinawa spinach was doing well. It is a host for the Blue Tiger Butterfly. Dill is grown alongside the brassicas to deter grubs.
The Tom Quinn Centre was next where we saw the veggie garden and also discussed the productivity from a garden and a series of plantings to achieve a constant harvest of one veggie over several months. Can you harvest tomatoes every week of the year?
The garden here had 1 or 2 types of veggies per bed so only gave a harvest for a short time before waiting for another complete crop cycle. The sweet corn crop was good and once harvested then seed would take 120 days before the next harvest.
Tomatoes were also nearly ready for harvest. Lovely. Then we moved to the nearby park for smoko and potting up workshop. It was agreed the Searle’s potting or seedling mix are very reliable and make seedling growing a little easier. Seedlings of bok choy, kale, leaf ginseng, yellow capsicum and more were potted. Selection of pot size was discussed.