A new way of farming which began 11 years ago and boosted productivity by 60 per cent has been adopted by an entire catchment measuring 23,0000 hectares near Bungendore in the NSW Southern Tablelands.
Straddling the Great Dividing Range, Tony Coote’s Mulloon Creek Natural Farms have been practicing biodynamics, natural sequence farming, permaculture, keyline pattern cultivation, holistic grazing management and tree planting, along with a system of “leaky weirs” designed to retain water flow and deliver clean water into the Shoalhaven River.
In the latest interview in the Soils for Life YouTube series the owner of Mulloon Creek Natural Farms and Founder of The Mulloon Institute, Tony Coote AM, says that their model had encouraged the 12 farms in the catchment to follow their example.
“We were able to get everybody involved, which covers the whole of the catchment, so that’s about 23,000 hectares, or 60,000 acres, and about 50 kilometres of creeks and tributaries”, Mr Coote says.
“We had created a model at our home farm, starting in 2006, that showed monitored scientific results. We were able to show that we increased the production by about 60% carrying capacity”.
“We were able to show that we had more water flowing out the bottom of the valley than was going in the top, and that we had increased vegetation and increased precipitation including nearly 100 millimetres a year of just dew”.
“We formed The Mulloon Institute about 10 years ago. It’s called The Mulloon Institute for Environment, Farm and Society because we think you deal with the environment first, and once you fix that, you can do things within it”.
“Soils for Life has done an extraordinary job and the dedication of these people to the farmers in this country, right across the country, and to the future generations of this country is absolutely in synch with what we have established with The Mulloon Institute”, Mr Coote says.