What's New in March 2019

BCLN E-news

Hello to all of our Landcare members, partners, sponsors and friends throughout the Bass Coast Landcare Network and welcome to the March edition of our E-news. 

This edition gathers together some great upcoming events, new funding opportunities and features some stories on events held in the past month. 

Grab a cuppa and scan below to read our snapshot stories or click on the links at the end of each story to read more information. Enjoy!

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Gippsland Intrepid Landcare AGM

Celebrate, eat, drink and plan with Gippsland Intrepid Landcare at their AGM on the 24th of March at Gurney’s Cider to organise their calendar of events for the upcoming year.Who can come: Anyone interested in being part of Gippy Intrepid (even if you just want to check them out, get a free lunch and not commit to anything.) RSVP is essential by clicking the link below to the Facebook event, so they can get indication of numbers.

Gippsland Intrepid Landcare is a volunteer group for passionate, creative and energetic 18-35 year olds, Connecting young people to their region through environmental projects and epic adventures, new members always, always welcome.

Click here to take you to the event page to RSVP.


Fighting Back: saving Australia’s threatened wildlife

This event hosted by the South Gippsland Conservation Society/Peregrine Walking Club will feature speaker Leah Royle, Senior Development Executive for the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

On March 24th at 2pm at the Anderson Inlet Angling Club in Inverloch, you will discover how the not-for-profit Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) is implementing ground-breaking new initiatives to save Australia’s wildlife from extinction.  AWC protects more native Australian wildlife than any other non-government organisation.  They are developing an exciting new model for conservation capable of reversing the sharp decline in Australia’s unique fauna. This is a presentation that will leave you feeling inspired about how we can successfully halt and reverse the tide of extinctions in Australia. Proceeds from donations on the day, after paying for room hire, will go to the AWC.

RSVP’s essential to Bronwyn Teasdale on 0428 559582 or by Email [email protected] 


Where Land and Care go together - Biannual Landcare Forum

At the end of this month from the 29th to the 31st of March, the biannual Landcare Victoria Inc forum is being held at Halls Gap. Learning between landholders has always been a true strength of Landcare. This forum investigates what we can learn from our traditional owners and looks at what farmers are doing to ensure productivity and sustainability.  Learning builds knowledge, sharing builds connections and together we build a resilient community.

Click the link below for more information and to RSVP.


More Master Tree Growers in the making

Expression of interest are sought from Gippsland farmers to become participants in the 2019 Gippsland Master Tree Growers Course.  This is an amazing opportunity to increase your knowledge and apply it to your farm.  The course will be delivered by local and national leaders in tree growing on farms and involves visits to many outstanding Gippsland farms and forests.  

Click below to find out how to submit your expression of interest by 31st of March

Protecting Melbourne’s Strategic Agricultural Land

The Victorian Government has just opened up an important community consultation process. Join the conversation about what strategic agricultural land we need to protect around Melbourne and how. The consultation process closes on 23 April 2019 and involves regional workshops. At the workshop you will hear about the process used to develop the draft criteria and map, and be able to provide input about what strategic agricultural areas need protecting and how. The closest workshop to Bass coast will be held at Koo Wee Rup from 10am to 12pm, Tuesday 2 April.

RSVP’s are required, click here for more information and to register your place.


Master classes for classy growers… Starting on April 27th with homegrown herbs

Our exiting 2019 River Garden Master Class series begins on Saturday April 27th and will run on the fourth Saturday of the Month until the end of the year. Our presenters are horticulture expert Jarrod Ruch and our local organic seedling provider and vegie guru Colleen Aisling. Jarrod will be covering topics such as herbs, pruning, grafting, and permaculture while Colleen will conduct a seasonal vegetable growing series with tips from propagation to harvesting.

The first day in this series will feature both experts taking an in-depth look at herbs, how to propagate and grow them using a herb spiral method which creates ideal microclimates for a range of varieties. Bring your gloves and your notebook as this day will be hands on learning and involve creating a spiral at the River Garden while learning lots of information you can take home to use in the garden or farm.

If this looks like something you’d like to be part of click the here for further information (flyer to be released next week).


Victorian Weeds Conference 7-8th of May

Save the date! Expressions of Interest sought for presentations from Landcare members. Where: the Mercure Port of Echuca. What: The conference program will cover a range of topics on environmental and agricultural weeds including (but not limited to) biological control, community projects, species in the spotlight, innovative solutions and demonstrations.

Further information can be found on the Weed Society of Victoria web-site by clicking here.


Charles Massy- Regenerative Farming Workshop - not to be missed, save the date!

It took a drought and some deep reflection to turn farmer and author Charles Massy from a conventional farmer to one of the leading thinkers in regenerative agriculture today. In this invaluable three-hour session Charles will discuss current challenges farmers face with climate, soil health, water, biodiversity and how regenerative agriculture provides the best solutions to these issues, but also how we need ecological literacy to do this. He will also discuss some of the best examples from Australia and overseas in regenerative agriculture and new developments in grazing, cropping & silvo-pasture.

More details to come although we can confirm that it will be held at the Poowong Football club on Wednesday 8th of May from 1-4pm.

Click here for more information as it is released on our News and Events page.



The Passata Starter Day - River Garden Volunteer program launch

Summer is over and the tomatoes in our swale beds are ripening by the ton! What were we to do with this sweet red glut of goodness? We thought we’d take a leaf (or is that a fruit?) out of the Italian peasant’s book of the seasons and “catch the taste of summer in a bottle” with a passata making day.

On Saturday March 9th we gathered in the commercial kitchen at the back of the Bass hall adjacent to the garden with around 15kg of fresh-picked ripe red romas. We washed them, blanched them squished them through the hand-cranked ‘moulies’ [Italian tomato squishing machines that remove seeds and skins] poured the paste into bottles laced with basil leaves which then stood in boiling water for half an hour.

As the jars cooled we cooked pasta and a 'prima vera’ sauce of River Garden grown vegetables and fresh passata. When our garden-fresh lunch was finished and the conversation wound down, we gathered our bottles of rich red paste to take home and store in the pantry, knowing that in the coming winter we could reach in and crack open the taste of summer.  

Regular volunteer days at the River Garden are running on the second Saturday of the month, click here for all information and to register your interest in the action!​


Apples on the menu for the BCLN Diversification and Innovation Discussion Group

Over 20 people attended a great farm walk at Strzelecki Heritage Apples, including some younger people, our future leaders. A big thank you to Mark and Margaret Brammar who hosted us and took us for an interesting journey through their operation. A wonderful day culminating in some apple tasting and sampling some freshly squeezed apple juice. Thanks to everyone who attended for making the day a successful one.

This farm walk was funded through the Smart Farming in Westernport Project, jointly managed by the Western Port Catchments Landcare Network and Bass Coast Landcare Network. ​

Click here to check the BCLN events calendar for future workshop days


Die Back

Phillip Island Landcare Group have recently joined with Bass Coast Shire Council, Phillip Island Nature Parks and Phillip Island Conservation Society to address the issue of ‘dieback’ on the Island. Dieback is the dying of Eucalyptus trees without the full knowledge on why this is happening. We hope to establish why it is happening and put in processes to stop it. If you wish to share anything with this sub group please email Mike Cleeland on [email protected]

For other activities of the Phillip Island Landcare group and  how you can get involved please click here.​


Grazfert Workshops

We held the first workshop of our 2019 Grazfert program in late February which was a huge success. The 13 landowners in attendance were full of praise and walked away with new found knowledge and an increased understanding of soils and nutrient management. Workshop 2 will be held in March and all participants are looking forward to more learnings.

Click here to find future training opportunities offered by BCLN


Phillip Island Nature Parks launches new 30-Year Conservation Vision

Beyond the Horizon was officially launched at a conservation celebration at the Koala Reserve in early March. It was a significant milestone for PINP and marks a new era for their conservation actions over the next 3 decades. Current research and environment programs will be combined under the one banner of conservation, where they will play a strong role in protecting native threatened species to create an Island Haven that is a key model for Victoria and Australia. The new plans will also adopt Traditional Owner knowledge alongside modern conservation management expertise, working together towards a better future for Phillip Island (Millowl) where conservation and ecotourism excellence inspire people to actively protect the natural environment. We look forward to working with PINP to implement their conservation vision.

The 30-Year Conservation Vision - Beyond the Horizon along with the 5-Year Conservation Plan 2019-2023 which details the actions required over the next five years are now both available to read in full by clicking here.​


Busy Bees at Bass update

This month’s Beekeeping Masterclass was held in Rob’s kitchen, where the group learnt how to spin honey out of the frames. Rob showed us how to uncap and spin the honey and then what to do with the frames after- either return them to the hives for the bees to clean up or remove the wax and start again. It was a great and knowledgeable session, which left many inspired.

For details on upcoming Master classes offered at the River Garden please click here. 


Bee Loss

In other not-so-good bee news, in the past week we have had a major setback with our bee colony with a mass-death in one of our hives. We can’t be sure exactly what has caused this, but the symptoms that the dying bees were showing were identical to that of a poisoning. Whether it be spray drift from a nearby farm, or possibly the bees collecting pollen from sprayed flowers, it is a good reminder to all of us the devastating impacts that pesticides can have on sensitive bee colonies. We are working to save the hive, monitoring the situation closely, and we are doing all that we can, so hopefully at least a small number hang on and we can build the numbers up again.



Community Climate Change Adaption Grants open

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is delivering a small grants program to build resilience to climate change impacts through community-driven adaptation activities that address identified gaps and priorities in Victoria’s regions. Grants between $25,000 to $75,000 are available to:

  •  identify and support practical projects focused on adaptation activities with clear community benefit;
  • foster partnerships between communities, local governments and regional stakeholders on adaptation; and

  • generate and share lessons on good practice approaches to community adaptation.

The 3CA Grants program is part of the Victorian Government’s Supporting our Regions to Adapt initiative, a three-year program providing practical support for communities to prepare for the challenges of a changing climate. Applications close at 11:59pm, Sunday 31 March 2019.

For grant guidelines and how to apply click here.  

The Communities Environment Program

The communities and environment program will provide up to $150,000 to each Federal electorate in 2019-20 for community-led projects that deliver real environmental benefits. A perfect fit for Landcare projects across the State. Each electorate can receive funding for up to 20 projects, with the minimum grant amount being $2500 and the maximum grant amount set at $20,000.  Sitting Members of Parliament will consult with their community to identify potential projects for their respective electorates.

Small-scale, community-led projects will focus on environmental priorities such as: waste and litter reduction, protecting native animals, including our threatened species, addressing weeds and pest animals, restoring and improving coasts, wetlands, riverbanks and waterways, greening parks and urban areas. This program aims to support the environmental priorities of local community and environment groups in their regions and neighbourhoods. It aims to not only recover and strengthen our environment, but also to build and strengthen our communities.

Please click here for more information on this program. ​


Pig Farming Webinar

If you're a small-scale pig farmer or are thinking of diversifying into pigs, then this is essential viewing. Courtesy of the Victorian Farmers Federation, this webinar is a great source of information for those who want to find out more about looking after pigs.

Well known pig vet, Dr Trish Holyoake, talks through the following: responsibilities of owning pigs, biosecurity (keeping your pigs safe), pig husbandry on a small farm, pig health 101 and more. 

Click on this link for the webinar with everything pigs.

And the winner is….

Thank you to all of the people who responded to our recent Training needs survey! We had a great response of over 260 people. The lucky winner of our $200 farm supplies store voucher goes to.....Brendan Spence of South Gippsland Landcare Network. Brendan is looking forward to getting some new boots and other bits and pieces from the Poowong Dairy and Hardware store.

The valuable data collected in this survey will be used to bring you events, training and opportunities that best match your preferences and needs throughout the Mornington Peninsula, Bass Coast, South Gippsland and Western Port Catchment Landcare Networks over the next few years. 
Survey bought to you by: Western Port Catchment Landcare, Bass Coast Landcare Network and Mornington Peninsula Shire as part of the Smart Farming for Western Port Project.

Click here to get to our Training website page where the results from this survey compiled into a Training needs analysis report will be available in late April. 


Fact sheets available for free download on the BCLN website

You can learn about a lot of different topics by looking through our Fact Sheets online, with individual topics covering everything from rabbit control to pasture management. There is even a great section on the types of birds you may spot on your property, and some great brochures on native plants and invasive weeds. With nearly 40 documents, there's something there for everyone.

Click this link to check it out!



Growing Southern Gippsland Project update

Exciting times are ahead for our climate change project. The project was originally titled the ‘Climate Change Land Capability and Capacity project’ and has been rebranded to ‘Growing Southern Gippsland’, not so much of a mouthful when comparing it to the original project title.
Funded though the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Innovation, the two-year project aims to support Southern Gippsland agriculture as it transitions to a changing climate. One key outcome of the project is the development of a web site that will provide the agricultural community with a resource and decision-making support tool. The Growing Southern Gippsland brand now has a presence on the web with the development of a preliminary landing page.

Watch this space over the next few months as this site continues to take shape.  The next update will include a formal logo and branding design which will guide the look and feel of the website. Exciting times are ahead. For further information on the ‘Growing Southern Gippsland’ project contact the Joel Geoghegan from the Bass Coast Landcare Network on 03 5678 2335 or [email protected]

Click here to view the Growing Southern Gippsland website and stay tuned for updates on the project.

Offset your car emissions in local planting projects!

If you feel passionate about the environment and want to do your bit for our beautiful native flora and fauna, why not consider offsetting your car emissions with Bass Coast Landcare Network?
Just click on your car's size to make a donation, which will cover the planting of enough indigenous plants to offset your car’s emissions for a year.  You will also receive a great sticker for your car to show your commitment to the environment. 

To offset your car emissions with BCLN click here.​


Bass Coast Arc – Landcare Public Fund making projects a reality - Donate today to make a difference

The Bass Landcare Public Fund is a regional non-profit organisation focusing on conserving biodiversity throughout Bass Coast.​ The Bass Coast Arc – “Community Access to Public Space” concept supports community groups to work with public land managers to improve the environment of our public spaces and create appropriate access to these unique areas.

Your contribution no matter how small, helps to protect native plants and animals in Bass Coast’s most ecologically important landscapes.

Click here to find out more about how you can assist this important work. ​​



Jye Andersen

Jye has been a casual on the BCLN Works Crew for two years after completing a University Work experience placement with us. As of this March he is now working alongside Dave Bateman as a Project Officer on the Biodiversity response planning project, involving weed and pest mapping and control. Jye grew up in a farming family in Bass Coast so he is very excited to combine his passion for conservation while staying connected with the farming community.

For more information about the BCLN Staff team click here

Finally, we would like to leave you with this inspiring quote from the amazing Dr. Jane Goodall.


What's your story?

We would love to hear from you and your Landcare group with stories and photos of what's been happening in your area and suggestions of things that you would like to see in your E-news. Any feedback on our new format is most welcome. 

We especially can't wait for you to send us in your before and after shots from any Landcare works you have done on your property.

We look forward to meeting and catching up with you at events and activities in the new year around Bass Coast.

Until April, 

Happy reading, from the Bass Coast Landcare Network.

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