The Mulloon Institute shares our living sustainable laboratory for the development and dissemination of knowledge about natural ecosystem functions and processes land managers can utilise to build productive and resilient natural capital that produces food, fibre and fuel sustainability.
The Mulloon Institute’s research methodologies are recognised by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and take a multi-dimensional integrated research approach with three key elements:
- Environmental impact of the rehydrating landscapes
- Economic impact of the landscape rehydration on landholders, community and the nation
- Social impact of the landscape rehydration on community members
We build reliable knowledge so that we can take immediate action
We don’t have time to wait for 20 years for conclusive proof of innovative agricultural systems before we make changes to agricultural practice. We support an evidence-based discussion of fundamental natural processes and functions, which will assist land managers to make improved decisions now, and to enable them to monitor leading indicators of performance.
We are increasingly looking to our indigenous culture in Australia that managed the land and survived from it for thousands of years. Blending this expertise with that of our introduced “European” systems can lead us forward to survive and thrive in an uncertain future as climate changes.
Our research prioritises improvements to:
We are rehydrating our landscapes by reconnecting them to our rivers and streams and returning landscapes to as close as possible to their original state. Rehydration techniques bank water in the floodplain - under, not over the land. We all benefit from greater availability of naturally filtered, clean water when we need it. This has a significant positive knock-on effect to the health and balance of the ecosystems correcting salinity and creating landscapes more resilient to drought, floods and bushfires.
We are reforesting and recovering landscapes using appropriate shrub and tree species and measuring the impact. Sophisticated drone technology and aerial mapping helps us to conduct vegetation surveys. We also provide grazing and cropping advice to land managers.
Healthy soils are the foundation of life. We support best practice farming techniques that build soil, rather than deplete it. Grazing management and natural rehydration help to build organic carbon and soil quality.
Providing diverse and complex vegetation systems helps to create critical wildlife corridors for endangered wildlife and nationally listed threatened species.
Through social surveys, regular workshops and field days, we engage in two-way discussions with participants and equip farmers and land managers with the knowledge and tools they need to manage their land and water resources sustainably, productively and profitably.
The Mulloon Institute is integrating these three elements of landscape repair techniques to develop a landscape repair simulation tool, which delivers important feedback loops and can be used as a planning tool for the roll-out of future landscape scale projects. This tool will measure and demonstrate:
- Return on investment for landholders;
- Value of ecosystem services provided for greater community;
- Value of natural capital created for Australia.
Our approach is to have an advocate rather than an activist role, with an emphasis on dialogue rather than debate. We take a three-pronged approach to advocacy:
1) Engaging business leaders with the view to implementing major change in industry behaviour
2) Promoting contributions of excellent farmers and land managers
3) Helping governmental to create enabling legislation and policy reform on issues that affect the management of water, plants and landscape.
We believe that a bipartisan and apolitical approach is needed to successfully manage our natural resources in an uncertain future.
We believe that we have a responsibility to share our learning, experiences and knowledge not only with today’s farmers, but tomorrow’s leaders, policy makers, and stewards of the land and nature.
Mulloon Creek Natural Farms is the living sustainable laboratory for The Mulloon Institute. Our education programs offer a wide range of learning experiences for community groups, land holders, local business owners, Indigenous groups, schools and volunteer organisations including:
- Field Days – These days provide the public with a first-hand opportunity to learn about our research, regenerative work and biological farming methods currently in place on the property. Field days can also be arranged for private groups.
- School Tours – By integrating the classroom curriculum into the farming environment, school tours increase the student’s learning on animal husbandry, farming methods, environmental issues and land care.
- Creek Tours – Walking Mulloon Creek with a guide is the best way to learn first-hand about the principles of Natural Sequence Farming and how it repairs our waterways, restores the riparian zones, and hydrates the landscape.
- Training Courses and Workshops – Working on the principle “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Courses are generally designed to be hands-on and provide you with practical skills and development that can be put into action when you return home.
- Intern Program – Our internship provides keen bean, go-getters with an opportunity to exchange their time and labour for learning. Interns become part of our farming family during their internship working beside the managers of our different enterprises. Interns gain valuable hands-on experience, learning about biological farming practices and land regeneration. The Mulloon Institute welcomes participation by community members to learn, contribute, engage in education days and if appropriate, adopt landscape rehydration activities with our guidance and advice.