School holidays are upon us again! If you are heading away these holidays, we hope that you travel safely and return refreshed.
I was fortunate to be part of the Soil Pits and Kits Workshop at Cookamidgera last Friday. We had a bit of a chilly start to the morning, but the day slowly warmed up and when you have good company the weather doesn’t seem to matter much.
In our area, workshops were also held at Bedgerabong and Forbes, with several other workshops around the region.
All participants came away from the workshop with a wealth of knowledge. Nothing beats getting hands on with soil. You can read until the cows come home, but unless you are handling the soil and talking about it, you just don’t benefit fully from the information until you get your hands dirty.
We were fortunate to have a wealth of knowledge in Ian Packer, with support from Stephen Pereira from Central West Local Land Services, who work like a well-oiled machine to deliver these workshops.
As well as learning how to interpret the numbers fed back from soil samples, attendees came away with a fantastic resource folder with just clear information on soil acidity, salinity, determining soil texture, pH, slaking and dispersion.
From the soil pit we compared layers of soil in a paddock that had one been heavily cropped, but had been grazed for the past 20 years. It was interesting to have a look at the soil layers, discuss what practically can be altered with different processes and what just needs to be left alone. Interesting in a world where there seems to be a solution for everything, that sometimes we just need to step back.
Do you know how to read your soil test results or are you relying on someone to interpret them for you?
We are pursuing further soil workshops in the future to help increase the knowledge of our communities and empower individuals to make informed decisions on their patch. The benefit of going to a workshop as opposed to just reading over the internet is that you also benefit from the insight of other participants as well.
Moving away from soils to walks. The next National Parks Association Lachlan Valley Branch walk is being held on Saturday, 8 July at the East Cookies Plains State Forest. Walkers are asked to meet opposite the Bogan Gate Hotel at 0930. This is an easy 5 kilometre walk. Please contact walk leader, Andy Tom the evening before the walk to confirm arrangements, on 02 6862 2536.
Walkers are reminded to bring along enough food and water for the entire day, as well as suitable clothing, footwear, hat and sunscreen. A pair of good binoculars and a fold up chair is recommended. A $2.00 donation for each walker is appreciated.
If you haven’t had your say on the NSW Government Travelling Stock Reserves (TSR) Review, there is one more week to have your say. The Review is seeking input from the community on the current uses of the 6,500 TSRs across the state and the deadline for submissions has been extended until 5pm on Friday, 7 July 2017. The Local Land Services (LLS) want to know why you think TSRs are important and what their values are. For more information and to provide your feedback, go to their website at http://www.lls.nsw.gov.au or drop into their Parkes or Forbes offices.
Until next week, happy Landcaring!