Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by duanejen, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. Antonino Giglio

    Antonino Giglio Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    I agree 100% with you! Aborigenes considered sacred a land with weeds as they believe that a healing process is going on. And we know with permaculture that no plants are really weeds for nature. All plants have their own specific place in nature's planning. And more often than not, weeds are an important part of nature's process in healing the soil and the land as a whole. People who hasn't understood this has understood nothing of nature's deep functioning and think that nature has to be dominated instead of understood.
    I personally believe that Peter is so criticised as there are too many ignorant people around (including government) that hasn't understood his work that is truly in tune with nature. And, on the farmers side, I also think that they are sick of the governemnt telling them what to do. Before they were told to chop down eucalytus, now they are told they should plant them and chop down willow trees.
    Complete madness....
     
  2. Luisa

    Luisa Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    I think people who hold the view that there's no such thing as weeds have an ideological framework rather than an ecological framework to their thinking. Weeds are fine where they originated (where they're not a weed) but transplant them to another location and they can be very destructive. If the 'service' was needed where they have been moved to, it would have been filled, no niche is left empty for long. This is the flip side of humans not understanding nature, deciding we need to import something to do a job that may not be necessary.

    Yes cattle degrade the land and the weeds come in to heal it. Now what if one land manager is trying to heal the land (using natural processes) and his/her neighbour is still mismanaging, and weeds from the second block come across the fence (as weeds and pest animals do) and the feedback from those pests/weeds keeps the first block from healing? There are heaps of remote places around Australia where weeds are in abundance, degrading the land in the absence of human activities. They were brought in and let loose, pests and weeds both, and all many of these things are doing is outcompeting the natural species.

    Or what if it 'heals' but ends up something completely different from what was there originally? You might say it has healed but what was there first was there for good reason, it survived millenia against all comers and climates and had value and was resilient. The new coming weeds and pests might be Ok for a few years but who is to say they will survive what is coming? How do we know they won't be wiped out too and the land go back to degraded? The native species are there for 100,000 years+ of reasons.

    I think PC suffers greatly as it seems to have a Zone 1 -3 basis in fact, but much of what we know from ecology that should be applied in zones 4- 6 never get a mention. [eg increased edge is good in cultivated zones but seriously a danger in wilder zones. If teachers aren't explaining these differences people can think that if increased edge is good in zone 1 it must be in zone 6 too.]

    I understand what Peter Andrews says about weeds as a groundcover and the start of healing but still I think we need to be careful of this ideological mindset that there's "no such thing as weeds". Moderation in all things.
     
  3. Antonino Giglio

    Antonino Giglio Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    Bla bla bla.. you have no idea what you are talking about... only judging because you think that your "ecological framework" gives you the power to think as horticultural-nazist and see some plants as weeds... only bla bla bla.. White people bla bla bla.... For Nature there is nothing considered a weed. Nothing... Everything has its own purpuse, its own meaning. Weed is a human concept, humans that only care only about their own interest or ideology... Too much ego.... Nature flows as it has done since the beginning and i find the weed concept such an immature concept. Human being still thinks that they should control nature (based on their own ego) instead of flowing with Nature like Peter is doing, he knows the deep functioning of Nature and it works with nature and not against her. Sorry mate but you still have an old thinking, an old thinking where people are behaving as horticultural-nazist. We need to surrender to nature and collaborate with her, polluting the soil to spray plants considered bloody weeds by our limited views is such a stupid thing that I cannot understand how people can be so blind. Take it easy mate! :D
     
  4. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    It seems to me if his system is illegal and works then Government is wrong.
    He is not a scientist. He is a man with fire in his belly, challenging the perceived wisdom.

    I have a theory about government departments, that if big enough, they end up doing the opposite of what they say they are there for. :?: :arrow: :idea:
    EG
    Taxation department= creates Tax avoidance Industry :!:
    Forestry = Chops down trees. :!:
    Environment department = licenses polluters, tells them -for a price, how much they can dump in the environment. etc :!:
    Agriculture = ?
    Land Conservation =?
    Ag. Science =NPK is the full story :?: (the received scientific wisdom for over 3-4 generations)

    Weeds can be useful. He is not advocating that Gorse needs to be planted everywhere, but that it is a quick solution to the problem erosion. Nothing is growing in some of these eroded gullies now, and anything is better than nothing. He said, "No doubt there are natives that could do this"-- but he didn't know any. When there is something better happening with the soil, the Gorse will die off. There can be very little or no biological activity in the soil without water. Without biological activity the soil is useless to plants.

    Weeds can tell you what is going on in your soil. they can tell you what your soil pH is. They can tell you about mineral and trace element deficiencies. They can even tell you if you have precious elements like gold, silver etc under them. Many have edible and medicinal uses--even gorse. Nature will not tolerate a vacuum (or a monoculture) . Even in France during WW1 when the soil was being mixed and "ploughed" by huge explosions, poppies started to grow. In England when a house was bombed in WW2 "Fireweed'" (not ours), that had not been seen for generations, started to cover the bare earth.

    The world is changing very fast now. Yet the pace of change of our minds is VERY slow. Perhaps it will be our downfall. To be "in" with other scientists, further your career you need to accept the "group-think'. Don't rock-the-boat otherwise, like Peter Andrews, you will be punished-- as all whistle-blowers are.
    It saddens me that we are not able to take up new ideas without extensive lead time for the "collective wisdom" to coalesce. There are solutions to global warming, water scarcity, land derogation, salinity, pollution, soil fertility etc. However we don't seem brave enough, or bright enough to risk standing apart from the pack that nurtures us. Too risky for our egos, career, social status,bank account,standing (seating?) at the Rotary Dinner.
    If Governments can't help us, the least they should do is get out of the way.
    :bear:
    ............................................
    On the fireweed thing.
    What is horse owners obsession with it? I have seen horses who were raised in paddocks with spots of fireweed and the horses have learned not to eat it. I guess if you racehorse has been bred in an air-conditioned stable and sees it for the first time, on mass, with nothing else to eat, there will be problem. Everything is poisonous, if eaten in sufficient quantity,-even water.
     
  5. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    Antonio, calling people nazis is hardly conducive to permaculture either. Unless you are proposing getting rid of humans, then human interactions need to be sustainable like everything else.


    Luisa, the problem for me with your argument is that ecosystems take no account of fencelines. So the problem you describe is not for the ecosystem so much as the farmer who thinks a certain thing should be happening on their land despite what the ecosystem itself is doing. I think we still need to be careful with what we bring in, but I don't think we can expect to restore native ecosystems on every piece of degraded land. We certainly can't do that with land we expect to feed us.

    My definition of a problematic weeds is a plant in the wrong place. Who gets to decide is the topic of much debate ;-)

    Some of the most badly degraded land in NZ has virtually no native ecosystems left on it at all. The only thing keeping it from becoming desert is weeds. One thing that interests me is what is about the vigor of plants in a place they didn't evolve in that allows them to outcompete the natives? And when and how can we use this vigor well?

    Leaving aside the philosophical issues for a minute, purely on a pragmatic level we need weeds because there is no way that we will commit the resources to healing land via native plants. I think we need to protect native ecosystems as much as possible, but we also need to ask the introduced life forms for help too. Afterall most of us are not native to our land.
     
  6. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    For some reason I keep expecting to see a cane toad jumping across the screen when reading this thread.

    introducing a species of anything to any area should only be done if we can see the likely impact in 5, 10 or 50 years time.

    If the introduced species can not be controlled or removed without further degredation why do it in the first place... defeats the intended purpose, creating yet another reason for science to re-create yet another toxic chemical to eradicate more of our mistakes.
     
  7. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    So is Andrews putting invasive weeds on properties that don't exist in that general area? (say within 100km)
     
  8. Wyche

    Wyche Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    This story is about property rights. I don't know if I know the whole story after watching the program, I'm sure I don't. As long as he doesn't infringe on anyone elses rights or property, why can't he do what he wants to on his property? His land wasn't growing anything before he blocked up those rain gullys and now there is. Every one around him would be smart to do the same thing. As far as these weeds go, why did he have to introduce some new plant? Doesn't that area have a grass or weeds that would do the same job? Why did he lose his ranch anyway? I know it said he was not able to pay his note, but why? Was it due to government harassment or bad business practices? I agree with Michaelangela, that doublespeak seems to be the language of governments everywhere. I think most governments serve industry anyway. They only really deal with us to prevent revolt.
     
  9. duanejen

    duanejen Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    People may be interested to see an extended interview with the former Governor General, Michael Jeffery and extended interviews with Prof Richard Bush, Tony Coote of Mulloon Creek Natural Farms, where Geoff Lawton is running PDC's, Noel Kesby of the Southern Rivers CMA and Peter's son Stuart Andrews at
    https://www.abc.net.au/austory/
     
  10. Wyche

    Wyche Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    Definitely a property rights issue. Illegal to grow weeds or hold the water back? What in the world?
     
  11. TassieSteve

    TassieSteve New Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    What Peter Andrew's offers is insights into designing systems that provide permanent sustainable solutions, however it is only one tool in the toolbox, especially for broadacre permaculture. It will work in particular zones, but other tools and techniques need to be considered as well, including keyline design, holistic management, agroforestry, pasture cropping, organic cropping and using ZERI solutions. We need to remember that as designers we need to take into consideration long term succession of species and put in place systems that will provide resources for future generations as well as repairing the damage done. It is not easy convincing Pharmers and others stuck in a NPK and pesticide paradigm that there are solutions, however there is some groundswell as a result of ever increasing energy costs. We need to be able offer design solutions such as natural sequence to those that are willing and ready. The world is changing and its going to be an exciting ride.
     
  12. janahn

    janahn Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    if such a scheme was in place we humans would have never made it out of africa. ah yes, the thoughts of a genius.
     
  13. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    I accept that pest plants or animals can have a good role in certain circumstances, but no-one can convince me that the rabbit or cane toad have done good in australia. Yes, the entire family of my grandparents lived off rabbit caught by the sons during the depression, but they would have eaten much better on kangaroo, sheep and cattle (the pest managed) if the grass hadn't already been eaten roots and all by the plague of rabbits.
     
  14. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    I'm not sure if this is true in Oz, but in NZ sheep overgrazing furthers the rabbit problem not the other way round. i.e. when you keep the grass short by sheep grazing you get much worse rabbit problems. Longer grass limits the rabbit problem.

    I don't think it's a matter of rabbits or introduced weeds being 'good'. It's a matter of them already being here and mostly we will never get rid of them. The approach then needs to be how to manage that in a way that takes into account sustainability rather than just throwing poison at the problem (which is what happens in NZ). eg for the rabbit problem, change farming practices, and see rabbits as a resource (food and skin and fertiliser).
     
  15. duanejen

    duanejen Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    Thanks to everyone on this thread.

    You may like to return the favour for my intrusion on your forum, by going to https://www.naturalsequencefarming.com/forum

    There you may participate and your comments, discussions and contributions welcomed.
     
  16. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    Sorry, didn't think i would have to explain that a "(any)thing" meant plant or animal, not human :?
     
  17. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    Perhaps when the grass is low rabbits come out looking for a feed, hence a larger problem. When the grass is long they have plenty to eat so only stick to the edges (so to speak) ?
     
  18. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    G'day All

    Sorry to rock your world, Eric, but I think you will find that Homo sapiens are indeed a member of the animal kingdom:

    https://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/s ... piens.html

    Seriously, Andrews should be congratulated for doing 'something', while others sit on their hands and do 'nothing'.

    Sure, invasive plant and animal spp. (and I include Homo sapiens in the latter) are of a concern, but on the scale of 'things that need to be done', rehydrating the land is the primary concern.

    Don't fret too much, Eric, the people to whom Andrews is 'advising', "Get some gorze in there", are hardly the kind who are going to let things 'run wild'.

    Anyway, as Holmgren said (Bendigo PDC 2005), "You'll never get rid of weeds. Best outcome we can hope for, is a better class of weed". I reckon that goes for the most invasive kind of 'weed', too... Homo sapiens.

    Cheerio, M.
     
  19. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    Wouldn't it be more sustainable planting a species of hardy plant that could be cut down, shredded and used as a mulch. Perhaps Canola or something that can be cut/slashed before seeding. Do that a few times and you could bring in a legume or something more nitrogen friendly.

    Even Hawkbit or any smaller species of "weed" that tends to thrive in dry conditions. The argument here is not about the idea / theory but on the invasiveness of the species used.

    I must admit i have not seen the episode mentioned (and in question) but have heard and read a lot on the theories behind the types of systems and ideas discussed.
     
  20. duanejen

    duanejen Junior Member

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    Re: Peter Andrews to appear on ABC's 'Australian Story'. AGAIN

    Invasiveness?

    What is it that two words impact so much on people's perceptions....weeds and invasive??

    Nature has a system already worked out for the building and repair of landscapes.

    If for any reason, natural or man made, a landscape is disturbed, the plants that come in to do the repair quickly, have to be invasive. They get in quickly and in suffient numbers to heal the 'wound' and stop the land from any further damage. Usually these plants have thorns or alkaloids to prevent animals from eating them, so as to perform the job Nature intended.

    It is only we humans who percieve these plants as 'weeds'....Nature does not!
     

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