This week saw the completion of twenty weeks of work with our first Skillset Green Army Team which has been a rewarding time for us all.
As we all know the weather has provided some interesting challenges this year, but the Team has managed to make a significant contribution. The team have planted thousands of trees in the Parkes and Forbes Shires and we look forward to seeing the results of their labour in the years ahead.
One of the most rewarding outcomes of programmes like the Green Army is that young people learn to work as a team, not necessarily with chums, as in any work environment. They have done extremely well and it has been a privilege to get to know them and see them grow over our time together.
We are fortunate to have another Green Army Team commencing in January 2017. This work is available to 17 – 24 year old people. A formal interview process is undertaken with applicants and there are limited spaces allocated to each team. If you require more information, please contact Skillset on 1300 853 525.
On Monday, 5 December we will be holding our next seed collection workshop with Central West Local Land Services and presenter, Mikla Lewis. There are native currently seeding and more to come with the weather warming up over the next couple of months, so now is the perfect time to learn more.
Seed collection and propagation can be a confusing, but rewarding undertaking. Collection can require specialised tools or it can be as simple as picking pods off a bush.
The most important thing to remember is that you may need permission to take seed, so going through the right procedures to obtain cuttings of seed is very important. Mikla will give an overview of this.
With many techniques required for seed preparation with different species ranging from soaking in hot water, stratification, washing, rubbing and many more.
Before all of that though, you have to work out what the plant is, if it is a native and just as importantly, is it a plant that occurs locally (is it indigenous) which is an important aspect to know because it is important to keep natural remnants if possible.
Several weeks ago our Green Army Team undertook propagation of four different species of plants, I have seen about 50% germination, but more seeds seem to be sprouting every day. Some of this seed required heating and soaking prior to planting and, of course, they need water! Once you have some success with sprouting it is a long term commitment to keeping them alive, particularly in our climate where things can dry out pretty quickly in the summer months.
At the Native Seed Collection Workshop we will also briefly discuss Conservation Covenants/Agreements. The Nature Conservation Trust (NCT) provide an opportunity for landowners to enter into a voluntary agreement to protect a special area on their property that is then protected from activities such as urban expansion, intensive land use or commercial use. The area can be as small as 20ha.
Landholders that own properties falling within the Central West Local Land Services (CWLLS) area can contact Andrew Knop to find out more about how the CWLLS can assist with finances and information to find out more about the process and the benefits of entering into a Covenant. His phone number is 02 6841 6523.
Further information on the conservation agreements and inks to items in this article are available on facebook or on our website at http://www.centralwestlachlanlandcare.org
Until next week, happy Landcaring!