Ten landholders from across the Fitzroy Basin gathered at a Sandringham Plains property last week to learn how to restore their properties natural function and rehydrate their land and enterprise.
Peter Hazell from the highly regarded research, education and advocacy organisation The Mulloon Institute, conducted the highly specialised two-day workshop. Both under the shed and out in the paddock, Peter provided participants with the theoretical and practical skills needed to start improving the condition of their land.
Peter is an expert in landscape hydration with 15 years of experience in the public and private sector. He has experience as a remote sensing specialist, a water scientist, and as an Australian Government NRM Facilitator. Based in the Mongarlowe watershed in NSW, Peter put his regenerative agriculture expertise into action through rehabilitating his 374ha farm with his family.
Focusing on dissipating the power of water and pushing it across and into the land, the group learnt how to design, survey and build specialised structures. Together the collective made a water-spreading bank and Porus Check Dam. These structures rebuild soil fertility, restore lost biodiversity, improve water quality and moderate climatic extremes. Ultimately leading to increased production of high-quality nutrient dense food and therefore, improved agriculture productivity.
After two-days of with Peter, here is what the attending landholders listed as the top five takeaways.
1. Knowing where and how (the practical skills) to start rehydrating land.
2. Learning the three aspects if dissipating water energy:
Increase water flow surface area
Decrease speed of flow
Increase surface roughness (with vegetation)
3. Learning how water-spreading contour banks work (i.e. how they get water in the ground). Plus, gaining the skills to identify where to put contours and spill ponds.
4. If you want to plant a tree, plant it well. Spend a little extra time and money to ensure that your tube stock thrives.
5. “Every tonne of organic mulch will hold five tonnes of water which can produce 20 tonnes of organic matter and increases your carrying capacity” – Peter Hazell.
Thanks to the Fitzroy Basin Association for allowing us to reproduce this article on our website.