The Mulloon Institute  -  Enews - March 2018

From the Chairman, The Mulloon Institute

In giving thought to this month's update I listed the various things that have been happening at Mulloon Creek Natural Farms, The Mulloon Institute and Mulloon Consulting Contracting & Certifying, and you guessed it! There was a big list, countless in fact, a "myriad"! Thus  "Myriad March". Mind you "maximising" March also would have worked, as would "Massy" March but I'll explain that one later.
Catchups, connections and meetings

During March, I met with Niels Olsen who has developed machinery called Soil Kee that shows how to maximise the soil's microbiome, and thus carbon sequestration. Niels is an interesting person who works with Corporate Carbon and has been involved in developing a more economic and practical method of measuring soil carbon. A myriad of things to follow there!

I also caught up with John Thwaites who heads up Climate Works in Melbourne. When I saw him he was preparing for a UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN) summit to be held the following week. Some of you may remember that I presented at the 2016 summit on TMI and the Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project (MCLRP). Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend the Melbourne summit this year but you can read a summary of it here.

And I grabbed a coffee with Bob Debus and Rose Crane from the Great Eastern Ranges who are linking people and projects to help protect and repair the environment. Bob Debus (a former State and Federal Minister) is the Chairman and it was great to chat with him and Rose Crane about how we can collectively support each other. There is a lot in common and certainly when it comes to advocacy it is always best to work together. Bob was very complimentary of our work and we agreed to keep in touch.

The Mulloon Institute Board met during March too, to keep our strong governance focused and ensure we are on track with the MCLRP and further develop opportunities for future funding so we can complete existing projects and training programs, and take on more. TMI continues to be strongly supported by Tony and Toni Coote and Mulloon Creek Natural Farms but it will take many more dedicated philanthropists and corporates recognising the value of environmental repair and regenerative agriculture to expand our reach. Something our myriad of followers could assist us in achieving.

Tarwyn Park Training

The fourth instalment of Natural Sequence Farming training was delivered as a four day workshop with Tarwyn Park Training in the middle of March at Mulloon Creek Natural Farms. Stuart Andrews, Duane Morris and Gwyn Jones were on hand along with Cam Wilson and Peter Andrews to demonstrate practical methodologies for landscape repair and rehydration. The updated version of TMI's "Landscape Rehydration - Theory and Practice" guide will soon be available to workshop participants once further changes have been incorporated. This was the final workshop that provided subsidies from a Local Land Services grant, but since education is core business for TMI, and Tarwyn Park Training is keen to continue working with us further workshops will be planned into the future.

Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project

Normally Pete Hazell is on hand during the Tarwyn Park Training workshops but this time he was preoccupied with on-ground works for the Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project which began in February. 

During March he and the team completed seven in-creek structures - wonderful work and a major start towards the total catchment repair. The next phase of construction will begin in spring with Pete and Cam completing the design work over coming months.
School visits

The Scots College  came to visit MCNF, with Year 12 students and teachers camping out at Mulloon Creek during March to study TMI's work and benefit from our knowledge. Luke Peel put together a great program for the visit and given their enthusiasm we expect

this will become a regular part of their science and agriculture curriculum. 
Canberra Girls Grammar School has been sending students to observe and study at Mulloon Creek for many years and also visited during March. Visitations such as these are a core business for TMI as we strongly believe that having students understand what is happening on the ground with respect to landscape functions will ensure there is a broader cross section of the community working

to improve not only our environment, but also agriculture.
Read more about their visits here and here.

Mulloon Consulting, Contracting & Certifying

Carolyn Hall and Cam Wilson have put together an excellent report on their visit to The Scots College's rural 'Bannockburn' property on the South Coast. We look forward to working with the school to take that proposal forward. 
MCCC is also preparing for the workshops it has been commissioned to deliver in North Queensland in coming months.

Bungendore Harvest Festival

Mulloon Creek Natural Farms  ran a stall at the Bungendore Harvest Festival to show off its wonderful eggs. Production on the farm has been steadily rising in recent weeks as Michael Fitzgerald and his staff bring more birds into production to meet an increasing demand. MCNF produces pasture raised, organic and biodynamic eggs. We proudly let customers know that they are truly free range with a density of 350 hens per hectare - substantially less than the regulated allowance of 10,000 hens per hectare! But with the expansion underway that measurement has been recalculated and in fact we have found that the density is actually less than 250 hens per hectare! Now there you have some very happy chicks!

Land to Market Australia

Tony Hill (a TMI adviser) has been doing a wonderful job developing Holistic Management branding in Australia, with  Land to Market Australia recently being launched thanks to funding from the Australian Government's Farming Together program.

Land to Market Australia aims to identify and address the need and emerging demand for ecological outcomes verification, and is part of a global movement instigated by the Savory Institute

Several staff from TMI and MCNF have been taking part in a reference group (including myself) to help progress this work. Tony is now developing a cooperative model for the farmers who are joining this initiative.
Regenerating landscapes and rehydrating Australia

Kelly Thorburn has been working with various staff and supporters to put together a couple of flyers summarising what we're all about. Feel free to share these flyers with interested parties and potential supporters!

' Regenerating Landscapes'- looks at the services  Mulloon Consulting, Contracting & Certifying has available for land managers. 

' Rehydrating Australia'- looks at  The Mulloon Institute's work on the Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project.
Other news

We've been in the media a little bit recently, including my interview with Joshua Becker on ABC radio last week discussing the Federal Government's review of the interaction between agriculture and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Hopefully we'll be able to share a link with you soon.

' One man's vision spreads to 23,000 hectares', Soils for Life article
' Tony Coote - The Farmer', Soils for Life video
Call of the Reed Warbler

In finishing off this monthly update I'm very pleased to give a plug to Charlie Massy and his recently released book, Call of the Reed Warbler - a New Agriculture, a New Earth. I finished reading the book during March thus my reference to "Massy March". It really is compulsory reading and will probably become (and should become) a prominent reference book for a myriad of students including environment, science, natural resource management and agriculture students.
The book is effectively a result of Charlie's PhD so it is full of superbly researched information but the key for me was the detailed descriptions of what some of the innovative farmers across Australia have achieved.

An excellent summary paragraph from the book states:

"The evidence is overwhelming, for those who want to hear, that a key pathway to returning to health is eating healthier and more diverse foods off healthy regenerative landscapes, and also reconnecting to nature, along with becoming more physically active again." - Charles Massy.
Wise words. 

And the healthy regenerative landscapes can be achieved via the work of The Mulloon Institute and Mulloon Consulting Contracting & Certifying. I look forward to reporting again at the end of April.


Gary Nairn AO
The Mulloon Institute, Chairman


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