Philosophy 9 – Keep all the links in the chain.
Our emphasis on diversity provides resilience. To keep a chain functional, all the links need maintenance. The links in the ecosystem chain need managing (not controlling!). As we export our farm produce from the farm system, we need to review the impact on the system.
In the Australian climate, with its droughts, this is of particular importance to the natural ecosystem elements. Diversity ensures there is complexity in the web so that if one strand fails, there are multiple support mechanisms to ensure the regenerative nature continues.
The Echidna is one of our system health indicators. When we continually come across echidnas, we are confident the ecosystem is healthy. We have many bird species indicating ecosystem health too. We have many threatened bird species such as; the hooded robin, and the diamond firetail, that make Eaglerise Farm their home
This redgum tree has been “scarabfied” (the origin of “scarified”) by the pigs. They were able to identify the soil below the branches where the scarab eggs had previously fallen and developed into grubs. There was minimal digging in areas away from the branches.
This is a Mulberry tree. It has been surrounded by four Tagasaste trees (Lucerne trees). The tagasaste provides a wind break, shade from the scorching hot dry sun and, being a legume, it provides nitrogen in the future drip zone of the Mulberry. As the Mulberry grows, the tagasaste is annually pruned until it eventually gets removed, thus mobilising the increased soil nitrogen. The prunings are simply left to break down and add mulch to the soil around the tree.
Here we have one of our goannas. Part of their ecological niche is to be a native bird population controller. We leave dead trees standing to provide valuable habitat for wildlife. This tree has hollows being used for nesting birds and the goanna climbs the trees looking for nestlings and eggs to eat.