Monday, October 20, 2008

The Land and its Rhythms

At times it feels timeless up here, one's attention is captured by the likes of flocks of black cockatoos or amazing shooting stars daily.

Blackwarry Farm (for want of a better name - ideas?) is a 67 acre private property purchased for permaculture horticulture and forest regeneration in the eastern Strzelecki's at Blackwarry. It consists of partial blackwood rainforest, logged rainforest and mature cool temperate mountain ash stands making up to 50 out of 67 acres total. The remaining area is pasture. There is a beautiful permanent running creek that is one of the headwater tributaries of Merriman's creek. The top (southern) end of the creek running off the Grand Ridge is a large aquifer spring within a 1991 Hancock pine plantation. The creek runs south to north down to the northwest end of property, ending as "crown land" with a large scenic waterfall. From the property you can see Mt Baw Baw clearly, and on Grad Ridge road above the view is to Wilson's Prom. In just a few weeks we have seen wombats, kangaroos, lyrebirds, kookaburra's and huge flocks of black cockatoos and parrots in the area. Having been basically untouched for over 10 years the wildlife has had a chance to flourish, something we hope can continue with a formal wildlife corridor status in the future.

Looming large over everything is the knowledge of the Strzelecki's incredible and more recently tragic history. Industrialism and forestry is what the LaTrobe valley does, and irrevocably the nearby land and forests have been consumed giving us what we now see. There is a early history post for those interested.

We arrived to find weeds for miles, erosion, experienced gale force winds (no wind breaks) and a very sticky muddy road surrounded by looming pine plantations. So the first weeks have been about having a temporary shed and kitchen built, fixing the road, making a wood fire stove and a humanure composting system (so cool!), pulling out thousands of weedy ragworts (not so cool) and starting at the total infestation of blackberries. Its all good healthy work and we are loving it!

Cool waterfall huh!

The lovely work surrounds looking up the creek.

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