Hot- Hot-Hot

The weather is starting to cool off. Still night last night and quite cool. I had permission for a control burn off and was blessed with the expert help of the Scamander Fire Brigade. It is still very dry here and burn offs in thickly forested areas with a lot of undergrowth and fallen dead trees from the 2006 bushfire can lead to some very interesting times if things get out of control.


the area we are burning off is next to the main house

the burn off commences about 7:30pm

All went well until the next day. I started to clean up unburnt logs and fallen branches , also some stumps were alight and I keep these going.

Later I went to pick some fruit and was soon visited by a very worried wife. The fire had started up again on the fence line as a result of strong winds and was moving fast. Lots of smoke making it look worse than it was. Never the less it is a warning that although we should be dong burn offs at this time of year we shouldn’t relax our vigilance until the fire is completely out.



Horticultural Challenges


In my last post I talked about the particular summer we have been having. So hot and practically no rain for the entire summer. Amongst other things this led to a bumper crop of apricots.
We didn’t have hardly any last year and over the years transport difficulties have escalated making the sale of apricots and other stonefruit (with the possible exception of cherries ) difficult. As you can see a lot of the fruit dropped not just because we didn’t pick it but as a result of the drought and windy days.
My good friend Alan Savins identified fruit fly as a major threat to Tasmania many years ago. His prophecy at the time was ignored but now it has happened. Fortunately fruit fly checks have been going on for some time and the growers are aware it has entered the State. 
Which one is it: global warming or a one off hotter than normal summer. Does it matter? What does matter is the potential for wiping out the horticultural industry as we see it today. What happened to me this summer means fruit fly would have a great source of food and possibly spread like wire fire. (another threat to farming on the east coast).
My management practices will have to change. Many of my trees will have to be cut down so that fruit droppings are minimised. Throwing out unused fruit to the animals will have to be assessed too.
What do we do with waste fruit and general management practices need to be reassessed. Tasmania has been the lucky state horticulturally but those days look like coming to an end. Large scale producers relying on an export market must feel severely threatened. the spread of fruit fly has been stopped in the past probably by the cold winters we normally enjoy. But a hot summer followed by warmer winters creates a completely new scenario.
Backyard gardeners could be the avenue by which the spread of this terrible menace will be unconstrained. Likewise greenhouses create a warmer environment by which fruit fly can overwinter and survive to do more damage in the summer months.
Fruit fly control measures haven’t really stooped the southerly movement through Australia. Sterilisation of the mail fruit fly has helped and of course Bass strait has been a very useful Quarantine barrier but we can see now that it may not be good enough. 

Yes I am worried. Fruit fly getting into Tasmania is a major threat to all gardeners and measures to control it should be made transparent and immediate implemented.

Tasmania’s nemesis: Pokies

I would not normally make a political statement but for this election I will make an exception. I can’t see why the goal of eliminating poker machines in Tasmania shouldn’t be a bipartisan issue.
The fact that the Liberal Government supports the presence of poker machines in businesses such as pubs and casinos doesn’t do them any credit.

Gambling in this manner is practically a mindless activity which just like drugs, alcohol or eating can become addictive. It especially tends to affect those less able to afford it.
With the Farelll monopoly on gambling coming under review it is a golden opportunity to remove this form of gambling.
The ridiculous discussions about loss of jobs if pokies are removed is a further discrediting of the political system and in this case the Liberal Party. If one believed that pokies help create jobs why not escalate their spread and put them in schools, colleges hospitals on public transport and more. Of course everyone immediately recognises that this would be foolishness in the extreme. However just because we have adjusted to the present level of the pokie problem doesn’t make it a righteous one as the Government wants us to believe.
Tasmania promotes itself as a clean green state. A state with a difference, a state with a strong respect for its population. But on the downside the reality of this second statement needs to be seriously questioned. Mental illness , depression are at seriously high levels. Gambling is probably part of the mix causing this problem.
Removing pokies and showing the rest of Australia that we don’t need them should be part of  Tasmania’s well being. As far as jobs are concerned Tassie will survive with them them.

Our only choice therefore in this election but to vote LABOUR or the GREENS. Both parties support legislation to remove pokies from Tasmania.


Summer Joys and Woes`

It has been an interesting summer for us. Well that is one way of describing it. Certainly the driest year in the 26 years we have been settled in Tasmania,
We have been continually irrigating our row crops with mixed results. It is very difficult wetting sandy soil. The more you water the more likely you are to remove the nutrients that the plant needs. With rainfall the mechanism is different and the nutrients outside the rootzone can migrate back to the plant. We have had a couple of showers one of 30mm and the improvement in growth for the strawberries was impressive. But alas that was some time ago and now it is back to the dry conditions.
The main orchard  is some distance away from the farmhouse and much higher. It is on a north facing slope on sandy soil with hard pan less the a metre below the surface. Very poor soil obvious by the lack of vegetation outside the paddock. Even the bracken is having a hard time this year. Gums trees have also been dying. But inside the paddock we grow apricots, plums, citrus and other trees. The citrus have really struggled with many dying. These are shallow rooted trees and thus much more susceptible to drought. 

Gary picking apricts

the yellow carpet of Apricots

A different story for the apricots. Picked a couple of tons this year versus a negligible pick last year. Quality was very good too. Apricots unlike citrus have a deep root structure as they obviously liked these harsh conditions. There were so many that at least 8 tonnes were left and dropped to the ground. 

the 2017-2018 Berry and fruit season has started


Just starting to pick cherries


Blackberries are great


What a season – hardly any rain in the last 6 months. But amazingly lots of fruit. IN the tree crops cherries and apricots are now being picked. Lucky we have irrigation.

Just the same lots of damage from roos and possums who are desperate for food as the surrounding forests are without fodder.

We have lots of berries though. At present picking strawberries, raspberries, black berries, red currants and blackcurrants.

Our shop is open every day and lots of other goodies available. Ann is a great cook and berry desserts, smoothies and our own special icecream are awaiting your evaluation.

Blackcurrants- for 2017/18

The 2017-18 picking season of black currants has started. We are now sending blackcurrants by Express Post to Eastern States of Australia. These are fresh, vacuum sealed and can be eaten fresh or frozen when they reach their destination hopefully overnight.

We also have black currant cordial and jams available in our shop or online.

See full article from earlier post:

For ordering online  go to Farmhouse direct

lots of blackcurrants were picked

lots of blackcurrants are being hand  picked

Jobs at Eureka Farm


Looking for something to do. Part-time maybe. Picking fruit in the morning. This is a good way of earning pocket money for those extra expenses we all have. You don’t have to have had experience as we will teach you.

lots of blackcurrants were picked

lots of blackcurrants were picked

We are quite keen in knowing persons interested in some casual work who live in the Break O’Day Municipality. 


We are a multi faceted operation. We grow all sorts of berries; we  have over 2000 fruit trees including apples, pears and stonefruit. We value add by running a shop, producing icecream, sauces, jams and desserts.

A casual person would have to have the following :

  • be interested in working outdoors.
  • be in good health and reliable. 
  • can be of any age
  • flexible working days so that your life is not too disrupted.




Mulching and other crop improvements

Observations of our berry crops in particular showed poor growth and often heavy weed infestation at the end of last season. This was partly due to the very dry summer and the invasion of weeds and in particular twitch.

I decided that something had to be done. My first response was to hand spray with Basta herbicide. Basta is a glufosinate ammonium and is reported as not as systemic as glyphosate. I have been slow to get on top of just what this meant. Many of the perennials were killed but some broadleafs were not. ( eg buttercup and docks) .

Dormancy of the raspberry and other berry crops is important. Any green material will also be affected by these type of herbicides.

I am sure also that the  wet weather we have been having can pose a problem of herbicides coming in contact with root systems. (remember in many places we have sandy soil and hence no clays to immobilise penetrating herbicides)

I was getting my rows back in shape. It was difficult to tell whether the canes would be affected as they were dormant. But I think the final result was not good with a lot of cane dieback and the twitch quickly  reemerging. It showed up that weed infestations did drop. But digging around the roots showed that couch (twitch) rhizonomes were alive and active. I can’t use glyphosate as it would kill the plants.

I have used Fusilade Forte before but stopped for two reasons . One is it is very expensive perhaps 10 times the price of roundup. And it is very selective with no effect on broadleaf weeds. But I am told it will work on twitch as it is systemic enough to penetrate under the ground along the rhizonomes. This is still a work in progress and I am actually doing it backwards.

As the plants were not growing well I have added feed lot manure to all rows and then mulched with wheat straw which I manage to get. I hadn’t expected to be able to get it this year as farmers were not able to grow as much last year due to the dry season.

So all rows are mulched now but the twitch is reemerging but of course with some difficulty. When it is a little more established I will spray with fusilade. Apparently it doesn’t effect the other crops. The activity of the twitch has to be reduced as it is competing and straggling the  berry plants.


  • We were lucky to get large bales of wheat straw. But they were very hard to handle.

On top of all of this continual rains means that many fruilt trees won’t set fruit this year. Apricots are practically non-existent and peaches /nectarines have struggled with these same wet conditions. The front and back orchards have had flooded sections which has caused root rot problems. Some of the die back we have experienced in the blackcurrants and raspberries may also be partially attributed to these wet conditions. But weather in between showers is improving and we will see what happens as the ground warms up. New growth looks very good and if we can contrain twitch I am confident we will imporove things.

It is these learning experience which I think keeps my enthusiasm going. Only wish I had a second life once I had gained the necessary knowledge.


The Avenue- the exploration of a long distance trek through Break O’Day



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Cocky me on the 5th September I proposed the following adventure on my Facebook Page
“A must do adventure has been on my mind for 25 years and hopefully I will start later the week. It is a cross country trek through forests bordering our farm.——–
I have been a proponent of walking trails for many years and to date by enthusiasm seems to fall on deaf ears. So I figure the best way is to just do it.
Potentially there is so much that could be done to improve the activities available in our municipality. I had hoped to do a long distance walk to Launceston via Ben Lomond but time does not permit me to do so right now. The Ben Lomond path via Storeys Creek offers lots of possible ventures to extend this trip. One of my objectives of this trip will be to stay off roads as much as possible. This trip starts at Eureka Farm and goes to Upper Scamander where it essentially follows the Avenue River to its source and thence to Evercreech and Mathinna.—-” 

the rucksack feels heavy- but too bad as I must get going.

Goodbye, goodbye. Not sure Ann expected to see me again


Well it took a few days before I actually started this trip. The main reason was the weather on the few days before was iffish and not much better was promised. When I woke up Sunday,11th – it looked like a great day so I just decided to go.

To make sure of authenticity meaning that I started from Eureka Farm I decided to ride my racing bike on the fire trail behind the house. This would allow me to get to the pipes more quickly. However the reality was quite different as the these fire trails were in bad condition and not at all suitable for a bike with slim tires. I actually walked quite a bit of the way until I came to McIntyre creek where the bridge had been burnt out after the 2006 bushfire. The is just after the turnoff to Schiers track. As I was due to meet Ann at the pipes I decided to go back along Schiers track and then get to my rendezvous via Upper Scamander Road.

Even though this part of Upper Scamander Road was gravel it made for very enjoyable riding and from then on I  made good progress to the Pipes.

Ann had brought me some lunch. So we sat next to the river ate our lunch and then said goodbye.


The purpose of this story is to outline what I saw for others who might want to follow. The Avenue River met all my requirements in that it provided me with an instant adventure to places unknown and unfrequented by the Masses. Whilst there is no track the river is not for most of the time difficult to walk along. A word of warning though this is not a river you would want to be on after heavy rains. Flood debris was evident many metres up the side of the river from the June floods and movement along the river would have been impossible and dangerous then.

One last thing is maps. I had some digital maps on my PC downloaded from Maps Tasmania. Printing such maps didn’t lead to high enough resolution. this may have been due to my inexperience. I also had a KMZ format which theoretically you can load into Google maps. However the file size was too big and thus didn’t work. You can load them into Google Earth but still some problems printing. I did manage to save a Google map file of my trek but there terrain resolution is poor compared with Tasmaps 1:25000 topographic maps. One thing that was excellent is that once you have a downloaded map of your proposed trek you can get GPS everywhere even when there is no mobile reception. This feature is most reassuring when you are in narrow valleys with no visuals to outside landmarks.

Finally I would recommend that trekkers download PDF Maps app which has full free access to all TasMaps topographic. The resolution is very clear even better than the printed map if you are getting old and eyesight is not what it used to be. It also has GPS connectivity.  There are a number of other features in this app such as keeping a route map of your trek. One precaution you might like to think of is having a battery backup so that you can recharge your smart phone enroute.


Starting at the Pipes  the Avenue River had plenty of water in it. There was much evidence of the June floods along the banks too. You certainly wouldn’t want to be walking in the creek during that time. It did make me a little apprehensive too as the weather wasn’t as stable as I would have liked and when the sun disappeared it could be decidedly cold.

The side of the river had a pebbly cobblestone banks along which a four wheel drive car had apparently gone before me. It seemed like the best way to go and it wasn’t long before I was crossing back and forth across the large pools as I made my way upstream . There was no way I was going to keep my shoes dry and for that matter my shorts too. My unease settled down as I emerge from one pool to the next as I trudged up a rather straight section of the river. Where the tire tracks were going I don’t know as they disappeared presumably as the water holes got deeper. At the end of a relatively straight section the river turns to the right and goes around a long u bend. I knew this and prepared to cut across the U bend rejoining the river where Catos Creek  flows in. The where tp leave part was the difficult choice as there was no indication that a track existed, In front of me though was a large pool which went from bank to steep bank and this looked like a good place to leave the river. This I did.


a small hideaway- nestled along the Catos River and looking over a small cleared paddock. A haven indeed

My old legs were getting cramps. probably a combination of my foray into bike riding and followed by long immersion in cold water. Whatever the reason they weren’t working as they should do. The bush along side the creek was also formidable. More water in this region led to mulga scrub , broken and dead undergrowth and flood debris. Persevering you soon get to a less formidable region and reaching the crest one finds himself back in dry sclerophyll forest. And believe it or not there is a track which leads to the one sign of habitation on the river.

Yes it was getting cold now and as I sat there I thought for a moment that this would be a good place to camp for the night. It did feel secure but come on man don’t be a wimp. Kicking myself a few times I set out again for the lower paddock and the river I had left. In trekking along this river I made a mental note of the bends. The river runs approximately in a westerly direction but the U bends are at right angles in either direction. I anticipated 3 more U bends before reaching my camping spot for that night.

  • The Avenue displays its treasures
    Magic Rocks in Crystal Clear Pools

Lots of waterholes ; some deep too so that not much below the waist remains dry. The water though is very clear but I can’t see any fish in it . ( maybe it is too cold and they have all gone elsewhere). Not much animal life either as vegetation away from the river doesn’t look like it would support much. As the river sweeps around to he north I know I am approaching another U bend. I have to leave the creek too as the pool incloses the entire creek and the sides are steep. But getting out of the river is not so easy especially for me as I am becoming severely cramped.

I drag myself up and the bush levels out but is heavily scrubbed. I more or less know which direction I must go but just in case I make a check with my ancient Silva compass. Scrub and ferns all the way. With cramping and rotting trees no one would find me if I came to grief here.

I break through to the Avenue again and with relief. Cold and wet as you trudge along the river it hasn’t been a bad day with reasonable times when the sun blessed me. I come to a more interesting section of roughlty carved rocks and small rapids. Not so easy now to travel in the creek and I make several forays over rocky obstacles joining the creek only when it seems passable.

I am looking for Long Gully Creek but didn’t really note a creek flowing although I did think that there should have been a creek in the valley to the north. Kept going and after another straight section come to the junction of two creeks Big Hop Creek and Little Hop Creek. Just where they should be and confirmed on my iphone. Nice creeks with clear water flowing but no camp sites at this junction and looking around the corner a number of large pools.

However I did notice a sandy embankment 50 metres back which will be my camp for this night. Frozen as I am I don’t stop for fear that I might seize up. I get the fire going with some driftwood lying on the pebble  sides to the creek and put my tent up and get my gear out. Alls dry in my rucksack but anything in my shorts is beyond redemption.

Shoes off, no others to wear but fire providing some well earned warmth and rehabilitation. Surprisedly I am not hungry just thirsty. I have found that lack of liquid is a major cause of cramps. So I make a billy of soup and some coffee and sit beside the fire and watch the last rays of sunlight. By about 7:30pm I am ready for bed. I was worried about cramps occurring in the sleeping bag. That can be a real nuisance trying to get mobile when locked in a bag.

But no this didn’t happen. It has only been one day ( really much less as I didn’t leave Eureka Farm  until 10:30am) but what a day. So many visuals and body but to heavy work. I go to bed contented and drowse off thinking what a great life I am having.

  • 1:A good sleepiing bag - and don't I look the worse for wear
  • 2:looking down the Avenue, my cosy U.S tent has served me well. ( not sure how well it would be in rain - but fortunately it wasn't tested on this occasion)
  • 3:
  • 4: food looks good for Breakfast. A long cold night but beautifully clear and I lost count of the stars.
  • 5: my poor little footsies
  • 6:

The cold seeps in and eventually I add my other clothes which are few to improve my warmth. I wake up before dawn – opening the tent door I can see the stars above. All is peaceful except the gurgling of the river . No animals to be seen – a little drizzle at night but the better weather still holding out.

I start the fire to cook up some fresh mince so that it doesn’t go off. Warm my bare feet , more coffee and muesli. Actually very similar to my normal Eureka Farm breakfast. The trees and undergrowth lighten up and the sun appears down the valley. It never reaches me as clouds come over too. I thank my lucky stars for the good campsite – one of a very few that exist along the river, pack up and am on my way by 8:00am.

Soon as I round the bend and pass Little Hop Creek a large pool awaits me.

  • 1: Just after Little Hog Creek more ponds. Every bend offers a different vista.
  • 2: Black Hole- a deep section on one of the U bends- greenish hues
  • 3: looking down the river at Black Hole
  • 4: still going well, body in good shape today
  • 5: before Ballyhoo Flat: Here is the fire trail- the only intersection with the outside world until I get to the upper reaches of Durham Creek
  • 6: now heading for Durham Creek

Such a change from farm work. Muscles are in good shape today. All is looking positive. Rucksack hasn’t changed much in weight but feels comfortable. It is over 30 years old and has been a regular companion of so many of my trips. Shoes are not much fun putting on as they are cold and wet but that won’t matter as they will soon be immersed in the Avenue.

Black cockatoos screeching as I trudge up the river. Is this an omen that rain is coming?  Some pools are very long and I wish my camera was more ready and that the GPS had been turned on. But I was worried they might get wet and so had the camera tucked in my rucksack. Every corner seems to want me to photograph it.

Eventually I come to the first firetrail which helps notify me exactly where I am. My iphone is still working but google maps is not so definitive and I had not at this stage switched over to pdf maps.

I had hoped the track going up the creek would take me further up the creek but no it quickly reversed direction and joined the firetrail heading uphill. Still I followed it as the pool above the trail was quite deep. Open country once you get out of the creek and some signs of clearing of the bush. It looked easy to cut back to the creek which I did. There is a big U bend and when I looked down on the creek it had disappeared. How could I have lost the Avenue River in such a short distance?  I scrambled down to the creek  as it happened I had to go down in the gully as there were cliffs just beneath me from that observation point. When I reach the bed it can be seen that the creek flows underground coming from a south east direction. This is an area known as Ballyhoo Flat. Nice country with what probably at one time was grazing country but now overrun with wattles. Possible campsite in this area.

The creek here has quite a bit of flood damage making it difficult walking along the banks loaded with debris. Walking through some deep pools still seems to me to be the best way and I accept being wet hopefully from the waist down as part of the deal.  Soon after a big pool the Avenue swings off to the right and Durham creek  is to your left. The beginning of Durham creek is wide and readily accessable.  I had a choice of Durham Creek or Barnes Creek. I choose Durham as it looked to be the bigger of the two with pools showing on my map  but in hind sight it would have been more expedient to take Barnes Creek,

  • 1: ca massive pool just after the intersection with the fire trail
  • 2: the Avenue River disappears under gravel- for a moment perched above I wonder where I am
  • 3: flood damage on Durham Creek is still visible and the rock pools can be deep
  • 4: this is one where I had a little trouble and nearly fell in - overcast and looking llike rain
  • 5: what's next????
  • 6: durham Creek eventually joins a second fire trail - which will eventually take me to Barnes Road and the Creech.
  • 7: the Climb out of Durham Creek is not fun and it is repeated at Barnes Creek
  • 8: the path down to Barnes Creek looks very similar to the one I took coming up from Durham Creek. I can't image a 4 wheel drive vehicle would have enough traction on this trail.
  • 9: leaving Barnes Creek when I reach the crest the soil looks rich - lots of she-oaks and grass for the Roos.

A little drizzle accompanies me as I move up the river. In the lower reaches there are some good sized pools but eventually the creek gets smaller. A nice surprise for me is to find a wombat trudging along the river on the opposite side. He (or she) is obviously some distance from safety and I guess didn’t expect to see me. No other company to report and eventually I make it to the second fire trail which marks my exit from Durham creek. I am quite tired and decide to take my lunch break here. It is good to sit down for a while but the trail out of the creek looks very steep and can’t really imagine vehicles being able to travel on it. But obviously they do as fallen trees have been recently cut away from the trail. The trail takes me to the crest and then back down to Barnes creek. Such a waste of energy and then another climb out of Barnes creek  to reach Sugarloaf Road which runs along the pine plantations to the east of the Creech.

Even when I make it to Sugarloaf Road it is a long traverse to the Creech. Finding the right roads is not so easy either and that was where PDF Maps came into their own. I make a few doglegs and eventually get to Barnes Road. Feet killing me and evening is fast approaching. No traffic and a strong possibility that I will have to camp. It has started to drizzle and campsites in the plantation look forlorn. But I am in luck as two forestry logging vehicles come by and are obliging to pick this old bugger up and deliver him to the Creech.

All the comforts await you at the Creech. I would highly recommend Justin and Jill for their hospitality.

All the comforts await you at the Creech. I would highly recommend Justin and Jill for their hospitality.

Not many people walk into the Creech and certainly not in the drab state that I looked. But fortunately Jill beleived my story  and made me more than welcome. The Shearer’s quarters have got all the comforts, the showers are hot and finishing the day in the crib room with an open fire is a great ending to this section of the trek. My hosts were forewarned about my arrival and groups would be acceptable with prior notice.


I hope to revise the end part of the trek perhaps to cut across  to the South Esk from Barnes Road and avoid the radiata plantations. More on that later hope my readers will be inspired.

To finsih up my remble I noted an article in the Age (OCTOBER 1 2016) by Katherine Johnson which supports my philosophy:

  • Wild Medicine: there are greater truths in nature than our brains can comprehend

 “Wilderness as salvation” is a relatively new concept in Western thought. And remnants of the old definitions – of wilderness as dangerous after-lands that challenge individuals and societies with their savagery and lack of rules – still linger. They rear their heads when our defences are down. When we are tired and stressed, heading off somewhere remote, particularly with children in tow, can seem too difficult, even crazy. But perhaps—— that’s just what we need to snap ourselves out of our Wi-Fi-induced comas and busy routines, the constant blah-blah of a 24-hour news cycle and the impulse to “check mail”. Perhaps launching ourselves into unknown, untamed spaces is, in fact, the sanest thing we can do.

Nature might make you slow down. it might make you strip off and jump into a cold mountain lake for the fun of it.









Travels of a Spent Mind

time marches on -ancient becomes obsolete

time marches on -ancient becomes obsolete

Our sojourn in the States has come to an end. Back on the farm it is cold and wet. Under such circumstances we miss the warm weather, the hospitality of our new and old American friends and the unending new experiences we enjoyed.

I must say you get used to being a hermit. On the farm I get very involved in my work. I know I am speaking somewhat for myself as Ann always realises there is another world other than our farm. The work is very time consuming and you never get to the end. My fellow farmer friends from the States would concur with me on that one. There are advantages though too in that you do get satisfaction in being the minder for your piece of land and the realisation that the land needs you too in order to survive. Perhaps to some city folk this handshake could seem a little ridiculous but alas it does exist for me.

It is nice to grow things and to do it well. Much of the America that I visited is blessed with good soils. Nevertheless I was somewhat alarmed to see the level of mechanisation that has taken place in America particularly California.

monocultures of almond trees in southern California

monocultures of almond trees in southern California

You don’t have to be a genius to understand why this happens. The temptation is always there for the farming to improve his mechanisation, change the way he works and greatly improve his production. But producing more we saw doesn’t translate into sales. More often the grower faces more stringent prices ; in effect cancelling his production improvements.

It is sad to see small holding being eaten up by agglomerates , farm houses standing derelict as the forests of trees or whatever are being grown move across the countryside in endless repetition. It is sad to see that the Dairy farms too look like factories where the animals have become machines and grass no longer is part of their environment.

But yes I can see what will happen in Australia too. Already bigger mass produced berry farms are coming to Tasmania and with that those changes probably we will not be able to compete. Already it is difficult for the small producer to supply the bigger food chains. For one thing small producers cannot meet their volume requirements but more importantly a small producer hasn’t got the oomph to stand up to them and be respected. Surprisedly for me was to see in the States even being big didn’t offer you security with your buyers as then you enter a world market. More and more it would seem that individuals smaller holdings have to take more control over their destinies by value adding thereby entering the market at a higher level or by selling directly to the consumer via say a farmers market.

Whether there is room for the two markets initiatives still remains to be seen.  Whether people will pay more for products produced on a small scale with possible benefits such as órganic’ is still a question. Whether the customers will continue to pay in hard times is difficult to know.

In Australia the feast and famine approach to farming  seems to be ongoing. for example many pastoralists in Tasmania planted trees some years ago as the profits looked good. I t seemed like easy money and the the timber company wanted the trees for pulp went broke. Now the trees remain and no one seems to have found another use. Even more recently the dairy industry was encouraged by the milk produces to largely increase their production The China market was booming they said. It was a guaranteed way of makiing money – until!