<<Preview Text>>
 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
Issue 12 - March 2020
Message from your RALF

Hi everyone, welcome to the 12th edition of the Sydney Small Farms Network newsletter. 

While some of you are still recovering from drought, others have now unfortunately been impacted by flood. This edition includes information on recovering from these events, various funding opportunities and a large variety of upcoming workshops and events, including 'Small Scale Poultry Keeping', 'Pasture Recovery', and 'Grazing Management for Drought Resilience' workshops..

If you know someone who might be interested in joining the Greater Sydney Small Farms network, they can register
HERE. To provide ideas on how the Greater Sydney Small Farms network can help you,  please email me or phone 02 4724 2151 or 0436 803 337

Richard Stephens
Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator (RALF)
Young Farmer Business

Despite the average age of farmers in Australia being 57 years, it did not rise last year as more younger farmers enter the sector. There are several new initiatives helping young farmers, including the 'Young Farmer Business Program' and 'Young Farmers Connect'.

The Young Farmer Business Program held its inaugural conference last month and the Sydney Small Farm Network was represented by two young farmers, Christina Kelman and Indigo Cassey. Some of the key messages heard were: 
  • Constantly calculate the 'sale value' of your farming business, even if you have no intention of selling
  • Have an optimistic plan
  • Ensure clarity of purpose, and regularly revisit this
  • Discussion is more productive than debate
  • Celebrate your wins.
For more information on the Young Farmer Business Program' and free training events available, click HERE.  

Young Farmers Connect is a not for profit organisation that provides an expanding network, resources and a community for young farmers. Greater Sydney Chapter of Young Farmers Connect is being set up and held it's first farm walk at Five Serves Produce, Richmond, on 14 February. The interaction was great, information exchange valuable and connections made worthwhile.   

For more information on the Greater Sydney Young Farmers Connect chapter, go to YFCGreaterSydney Facebook page.
Christina Kelman and Indigo Casey represented the Sydney Small Farm Network at the Young Farmers Business Program inaugural conference.
Alice Warner explains her propagation techniques to the Sydney chapter of Young Farmers Connect at Five Serves Produce.
World first - university degree in regenerative agriculture 
Southern Cross University is now offering a Bachelor of Science with a major in Regenerative Agriculture from its Lismore campus and online.  The course is based on specialist knowledge delivered in a whole-of-system approach to food production and farm management. It is specifically designed to address environmental issues in agriculture, degraded soils and reduced water holding capacity in the landscape. For more info, click HERE.
Five million trees for Greater Sydney
Greater Sydney Landcare will deliver one million trees to Greater Sydney by 2022, part of the NSW Government commitment to plant five million trees by 2030 and aim to bring 40 percent tree cover to Australia's largest city. Individuals can register trees purchased  for backyard habitat For more information, click HERE. For help in choosing a plant for your environment, go to 'Which Plant Where'.
Spot market price for biodiversity credits 
Want to know more about the spot market price for biodiversity in NSW? The
Spot Price Index (SPI) is a web based tool for biodiversity credits based on the BioBanking Assessment Methodology. The Biodiversity Offsets Scheme (BOS) enables organisation of biodiversity credits among all market participants. Using the SPI helps market participants search for biodiversity offsets and simplifies the process of obtaining and presenting biodiversity credit market data. Click HERE.for biodiversity assessment resources.

The future of food is diversity
Mike Lee, from the US-based Alpha Food Labs, claims the future of food is 'diversity'. "It's estimated that 75 per cent of the world's food is made from just 12 plants and five animal species", and Mr Lee wants to see that change. "Nature really wants diversity; diversity means strength for animals and plants, and we have defied that for centuries," he said. "I think we need to find a way to increase the different types of foods we are cultivating and eating."Listen to an interview HERE.
Kikuyu poisoning in livestock
Be on the lookout for Kikuyu poisoning as it is known to occur in autumn after a period of drought followed by summer rain and rapid grass growth. Stock placed onto these pastures two to three weeks after rainfall are at greatest risk and paddocks left ungrazed for long periods provide a significant risk. Cattle are most affected by kikuyu poisoning, however, sheep and goats are also susceptible. Symptoms include: Drooling, tongue paralysis, dehydration, distended rumen, smelly green diarrhoea, lack of coordination, staggering, lying down, reluctance to move, death. For more info. click HERE.
Pasture Recovery Workshops 
Monday 23 March, 12noon - 4.30pm - Richmond, click to register
Monday 30 March, 9.30am - 2pm - Central Coast, click to register
Tuesday 31 March, 9.30am - 2pm - Camden, click to register.
Cost: FREE - But numbers are limited and registration essential!
These workshops will provide practical advice on: Assessing pasture condition and identifying the main pasture types; Pasture management options including resowing, rejuvenation, resting and maintaining; Improving bare soil and/or poor ground cover; The right species for different soil types; Management options following drought, fire, compaction, etc.  For more information and registration options, click HERE. 
'Free up your natural capital' conference
Dates: 24-25 March 2020

Cost:  $440.
The Savory Global network is gathering in Albury NSW in March 2020. The Australian Holistic Management Co-operative is organising two days of open invitation events on the theme that agricultural production and environmental stewardship can both be part of the same approach. For more informatio
n, click HERE.
Food for Thought: Courageous Leadership in Food Systems
Date: 26 March 2020
University of Wollongong
Cost: FREE - Registration essential!
Jake Claro, Director of the Vermont Farm to Plate Plan presents: Viability challenges for regenerative farmers; Delivering social/environmental goods to the public; Key success factors for food distribution enterprises; Combining economic development with enhancing good foo while tackling food insecurity; Critical success factors; Policy frameworks; Governance & engagement. To register, click 
HERE. For more info, email Karen Charlton karenc@uow.edu.au  or phone 02 4221 4754.

Small scale poultry keeping workshop
Date: 27 March 2020
Time: 12noon to 3pm (lunch included)
Location: 40 Edwards Road, Richmond Lowlands
Cost: $85 per person, registration essential.
Designed for semi commercial, free range egg producers, this workshop will cover:  Housing and nesting; Chicks and roosters and how to manage them; Pest control and general care;  Feed and nutrition; Biosecurity (health & disease); Live handling of poultry. A veterinarian will be on-hand. Click HERE.
FARM CHATS - Farming in a changing climate
Date: Wednesday 1 April 2020
Pocket City Farms, 31A Mallett St, Camperdown
Cost: $30, includes first drink & nibbles.

 How do farmers and growers respond to changing and challenging climatic conditions? Hear stories from growers in our region who are feeling the effects first hand and understand what is impacting our local farmers. Panel includes: Olivier Sofo - Living Earth Farm; Lizzie Buscaino - Piccolo Farm; Hayden Druce - Epicurean Harvest; Aaron Brocken -Harvest Farms.  Click HERE.
Food in the Capital
Date: 1-2 April 2020
Thoroughbred Park, Canberra
Cost: $297/hd for community groups, farmers, food companies and students.

The extensive program includes 75 speakers covering a variety topics including: Urban andregional food production; Building local food businesses and social ventures; Integrating renewables, food production and water; Using & reducing food waste; Technology and urban design systems. For more information, click HERE.
Grazing management for drought resilience - An introduction to holistic grazing 
Date:  Friday 3 April 2020
Time: 9:30am - 4pm
Camden Town Farm, Camden

Cost: FREE - Numbers limited, registration essential!
Presented by farmer and educator, Brian Wehlburg, participants will gain an introduction to principles of holistic grazing management. A repeat of the very successful workshops held last year at Richmond, Kulnura and Lower Portland, this workshop provides an understanding of how to use animals as a tool to build soil health. For more info and to register, click 
Two day holistic grazing planning workshop 
Date:  Thursday & Friday,  16 &17 April 2020
Times: 9:30am - 4pm
Western Sydney University, Richmond
Cost: FREE - Numbers limited, registration essential!
If you participated in any of the 'Grazing management for drought resilience' workshops held last year, or on 3 April this year at Camden, and you want to go the next step, this workshop is for you. Understand how to use animals to increase biodiversity and long term profitability; Discover how to monitor grass growth and give plants the maximum opportunity to thrive; Accurately estimate standing feed and budget  your stock feed requirements; Learn how to set up monitoring sites.For more information and to register, click 
Conservation Agriculture in 2030
Date:  22 & 23 June 2020
The University of Sydney, Camperdown
Cost: 10% discount before 31 March, $450 for students, $720 full price. 

Conservation agriculture aims to deliver increases in productivity and profitability alongside improvements in soil condition, water efficiency and other environmental gains. Understanding the risks involved and anticipating impacts including community trust issues is vital for conservation agriculture can continue.  Click HERE. 


Landcare Australia bushfire recovery grants 
The Landcare Australia Bushfire recovery grants program aims to support the restoration of wildlife habitat, shelterbelts and fences, protection of waterways, management of weeds and feral animals, working with traditional owners and enable local community workshops.Grants of up to $15,000 (excluding GST) are available. Application close Friday 13 March. Phone (02) 8440 8819 or click HERE.
Churchill fellowships
​​Applications are now open for the 2020 Churchill Fellowships that supports people from diverse backgrounds to explore best practice anywhere in the world for up to eight weeks. Over 100 Fellowships are awarded each year. In 2020 two recipients interested in agriculture will also receive additional mentoring, networking and development opportunities from the NFF. Information sessions will be held in Sydney on 17 March, register HERE. Applications close 30 April, click HERE.
Black Summer Innovation Fund
Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) has announced its Black Summer Innovation Fund to provide grants of up to $25,000 to support innovation in Australian food and agribusinesses impacted by recent events. The aim is to encourage food and agribusinesses to think differently about their challenges and partner with technical experts and researchers, to unlock commercially relevant innovation opportunities. Application close 9 April. For more information, click HERE.
Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT)
he TTTT grant program helps communities access  resources  to support one another through the ongoing effects of the drought. Grants are available for a broad range of grassroots, community-led initiatives that directly and clearly benefit local communities. Three tiers of grants are available: 
Up to $20,000; Up to $60,000; and Up to $150,000. Applicants must speak with the TTTT team to discuss their project before applying. Applications for grants up to $20K and $60K close 28 May, Expresions of interest for rants  up to $150K close 16 April. Click HERE.


Smelling soil, electronically, to monitor soil biology 
A device to monitor the activity of soil microbial activity, known 'eNose' is being developed to detect different compounds at the same time and will recognise different biological communities based on the chemicals they are producing. In the future, it is hoped that growers will be able to use this information to help make decisions on how best to manage their soils to be healthier, more productive and more resilient. For more info, click


How to manage soil following fire
Major effects of bushfires on soil include: Increased risk of erosion; Organic matter and nutrient loss; Water repellency; Irreversible changes to soil minerals and structure; Sterilisation; Changes in pH. Soil Science Australia have published a fact sheet on managing soils and landscapes following fire, click HERE. 
Pasture recovery from floods
What pastures might survive a flood? Pasture species differ in their ability to survive inundation and water-logging. Sensitivity to water-logging also varies with temperature, so a flood in summer kills pasture much quicker than a winter flood. For a NSW DPI fact sheet on 'Pasture Options After a Coastal Flood', click HERE. For a PGG Wrightson Seeds fact sheet on Pasture recovery from flood, click HERE.
Drought recovery guide
The fourth edition of the NSW DPI Drought Recovery Guide has been published. It covers financial management, personal recovery, soil and pasture management, cropping, weed management, controlling pests, animal health and tree management. To download your copy, click HERE.
High risk weeds
Bringing feed or fodder onto your property introduces the risk of weeds. Certain weeds are more likely to be spread in feed and fodder and some are prohibited under the Biosecurity Act, requiring mandatory reporting. For more information, click 
HERE, or call the Biosecurity Helpline on 1800 680 244.
FarmHub connects Australian farmers to a range of resources and services, including: A directory of government and private assistance; Regional climate guides; A learning and development directory; Articles and information relevant to managing a farm business during hardship. Click HERE.
This project is supported by Greater Sydney Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program. 
The information contained in this publication is based on knowledge and understanding at the time of writing. However, because of advances in knowledge, users are reminded of the need to ensure that the information upon which they rely is up to date and to check the currency of the information with the appropriate officer of Local Land Services or the user’s independent adviser. For updates go to www.lls.nsw.gov.au 
You received this email because you subscribed to our list. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Lvl 4, 2-6 Station Street