IN THIS ISSUE (click on the topic to go there directly)
MICROBATS - OUR SMALL UNKNOWN FRIENDS AND ALLIES
Thank you to John Parsons of the Fraser Coast Micro Bat Group from Hervey Bay.
Australia hosts 74 species of microbats and within the
region from Noosa to Rockhampton there are 22 species.
22% of all mammals are bats which are the only flying mammals.
The bumblebee-bat is a pollinator. Current research is looking
into bat numbers in a 50km radius. Bats eat around 1000
mosquitoes per night, moths, cockroaches, midges and spiders.
There are also fish eating bats.
Their predators include hawks and other birds of prey, green
frogs, cats, bushfires and drought. Theirhabitats include holes
in trees, brick walls and places where the climate is warm and
dry. Artificial forests of tubes and green boxes on poles are
being set up in Hervey Bay. Researchers from theUniversity of
Sunshine Coast are involved in the projects. It is anticipated that
bats will improve the pollination for farmers which in turn will reduce
the need for chemicals, the environment will be less polluted and
farmers will save money. Computers are being used to record the
decibels, which can then identify the type of microbat.
The virus Lyssavirus ABvL is carried by bats. WARNING do not handle BATS. Seek urgent medical treatment within 24 hours if scratched or bitten by a bat. When handling bats always wear gloves.
Population sprawl and development are endangering and reducing the bat numbers. We require a permit to keep native animals. Should you put a box up to invite bats or native animals in you will require a permit under Australian Environmental Heritage Protection Act.
The Microbat Group sells boxes and provides receipts, which need to be kept. The receipt number is your permit, which the Group has organised centrally.
Boxes need to be placed away from the wind direction and approximately 3.5 metres high, any higher the wind will not be conducive to the bats. The Microbat Group recommends installing 2 boxes because of predators. Poisons and sprays will affect the bats. Dry bat droppings will upset chest conditions. Bats will be roosting in the Mt Perry tunnel during the 2nd and 3rd weeks of November. John will be our guide there on 8 November.
You can visit All About Bats at: http://www.allaboutbats.org.au/ for further reading from the Microbat Group. Additional information can also be obtained through Google.
PRESIDENTS NOTE – October 2018
What wonderful rain we have had. After rain in towns on the way home from Townsville last Sunday, the 14 October, I found a wonderfully watered garden and an excellent patch of mushrooms ready for harvest. Each morning as I walk I keep an eye out for mushrooms and when possible gather a few to place in a shady and often damp section of lawn. Then after suitable rain and warmth, I harvest my own mushrooms. It’s that easy.
Many thanks to our members for providing seedlings and cuttings in September – turnip, kohl rabbi, tomato, rosella, capsicum, Bishop’s Hat capsicum, sweet corn, sweet basil, 3 cucumber varieties, sambung, leaf ginseng, Okinawa spinach, Ceylonese spinach, cape gooseberries – a tremendous effort.
I am looking forward to the field trip in November to Baffle Dairy and to Miriamvale to see revegetation and remnant original scrub. Also the Christmas party on Sunday 25 November - see you there.
HERB OF THE MONTH – by Chris Jeffrey
How are you managing your garden? I was just looking back over the Herb months, and read that we were celebrating a lovely wet March. Well, things certainly changed after that spell, particularly West from Bundaberg to the SA and NT borders, but we have been blessed here, with the promise of good rain this month.
It is now 2 years since we moved from the Gold Coast to our lovely 5-acre block at South Kolan. While we were fortunate to have some established fruit trees, the immediate rush was to establish more gardens, particularly vegetables and herbs. Well, like every good thing, I have found how much TIME it takes for growth – some quick, some slower. But it’s not just that.
The planning of your garden is essential, and it really takes at least 2 seasons to establish sun, shade and soil conditions- and then you may still find that you didn’t take into account for that big tree growing right where you want to grow more produce. And let’s not forget soil preparation – essential, with composting and mulch. But, don’t be daunted, because help is at hand with the lovely experienced gardeners at your club. Check out the monthly articles, opportunities to visit properties, and learn new skills.
Herbs: I have successfully planted Watercress, and it is now spreading well with good roots, I plan to pot some up, and have available for this months meeting. The herb is quite strong with a peppery flavour, so great for salads and casseroles etc, and also heaps of goodness.
Also, my Herb Robert plant has finally decided to flower and throw seeds around. Hence I have some small plants that will also be available, provided they don’t mind me digging them out of the gravel path.
Herbs have many benefits which include: healing, energising, cleansing, detoxing,taste, pain and swelling relief, and that’s without mentioning all the vitamins and minerals essential to our bodies. Plant a variety, have them on hand, eat, and use when appropriate for special conditions. With summer bearing down soon, Turmeric with its oil is a great healing rub for sunburn.
Enjoy your garden, be blessed, and be a blessing.
Water cress Herb Robert Turmeric
OUT OF THE MOUTH OF BABES - by Pam Burgess
Recently we had the opportunity to host 7 young families for 4 days in our party paddock, camping out at the Haven, Bucca. We had 13 adults & 10 children who enjoyed swimming, kayaking, bikes, exploring & of course, the garden & its produce.
We had a number of garden walks, one of which saw a dozen of us all raiding the mulberry tree for its delicious fruits. Mayhem, mulberry stains & laughter were the order of the day.
The comments that we received during their visit are well worth recording as these children did not all come from families who grow food. They walked, talked, tasted & remembered not only the flavours, but also where they were in the garden, & some of the plants names.
Here are some of the jewels that we heard from them;
"Yum" - " That tastes like licorice " ( French Tarragon & Fennel & Dill )
" Nice" - "Yuk" - (then came later) " Can I have some more of that one?" " What is this plant" - " Is this good for me?" - " Can I eat this?"
After we walked & tasted for a while one of the parents joined us & the comment came from one of the 2 girls that had been tasting their way around the garden for about half hour, " Great, can we go back to the beginning & start again, I want to taste it all again!" What is amazing is that this little girl came from a family who doesn't see the eating world as we do at all. They don't garden.
Also mixed green veggie – mango - coconut smoothies were offered one morning. Six young takers had them & took samples back to parents to try - we had 7 young takers ask for another one the next morning, how awesome was that!! There is hope for young ones if we can involve them early enough.
The message to take from this is that: "children are the future...teach them well & they will lead the way"
Mmmm...sounds like a song eh.
We topped off their holiday with a child/parent project of building some ad
hoc solitary insect hotels to take home. Again noise & mayhem ruled, but
in a surprisingly short amount of time, at least 12 hotels were built, a quick
photo with some of them in it, then off to the dam to swim, paddle, jump,
scream & play. What an amazing time it was. The feedback we got days
later was that all enjoyed themselves & would love to come back & do it all
Cheers from Peter & Pam Burgess
Some of the construction crew. Young Angus with his family’s 3 insect houses.
Planting Guide for October – Kay’s Notes
At last month’s meeting, several members brought along seedling trays loaded with an array of plants for our members and visitors. We should all have something new growing along with our favourite produce.
Recorded below is a list of plantings suitable for our area and climate.
Some vegetables such as carrots and radish, transplant poorly and must be grown from seed sown directly into the soil.
· Seeds to be planted directlyinto your prepared ground:
Asian Vegetables; Beetroot; Eggplant; Mustard Greens; Radish; Silverbeet; Sweet Potatoes; Asparagus; Chokos; Leeks; Melon; Potatoes; Rosella; Squash; Beans; Carrots; Cucumber; Lettuce; Marrow; Pumpkins; Shallots; Sweet Corn; Zucchini.
· Seeds to be planted into seedling trays:
Chilli; Eggplant; Luffa; Silverbeet; Capsicum; Squash; Tomatoes; Cucumber; Lettuce; Marrow; Pumpkins; Sweet Corn; Zucchini.
The club has a seed bank library consisting of seeds from our member’s gardens. Club members have the opportunity to swap or select organic seeds for their own home garden use.
SEPTEMBER SEEDLINGS GIVE-AWAY
The table of seedlings to give away in September was huge! There were seedings to cover two tables plus the floor underneath. Many thanks to all who planted and nurtured them.