A Landcare foot soldier inspired by a true heroine

Alex's babies need watering twice a day

Alex’s babies need watering twice a day

Alex has 1000 babies that demand his tender ministrations twice a day. There must be scores more trailer-loads of trees like this getting twice-daily dousings across Victoria right now, judging by the frenzied timing of the government’s 2 Million Trees program.

We found out we were getting some trees three weeks ago after the local nursery confirmed it could provide stock that must normally be ordered nine months in advance. It wasn’t until two days before we collected them that we knew when they were coming or how many there would be. Crazy stuff!

Even more remarkable is the generosity of a lady named Kaye from our Landcare group. She raises thousands of seedlings every year for anybody who’s keen to get plants into the ground. Her garden is a wonderland of tubes sprouting everything from exquisitely delicate chocolate lilies through to one-day magnificent mannas.

Kaye's generosity

Kaye’s generosity

A font of botanical knowledge, Kaye tirelessly rallies locals to tree planting days, keeps us all in touch with regular newsletters and often personally calls us to drive attendances at events.

This unassuming Landcare heroine has inspired Zoe to embark on a highly systematic planting regime over the last few days. My job is to put the plants in while Zoe waters, collects pots and marshalls Alex to clean and stack them. There’s no mercy for either of us suspected of slackening off and the count for our tiny yet mighty workforce is 301 plants in three days.

This is where they’re going:

Rolling out the pink carpet for our native creatures

Rolling out the pink carpet for our native creatures

The new trees will stretch across the flats, connecting the river habitat that forms our northern boundary with the already revegetated gully. It’s all stained pink with dye so we can see where the pasture has been sprayed out to give the trees a fair go.

Will the cows miss the pasture? I don’t think so. Once they grow, the trees will create a fantastic new micro-climate that will be a real blessing in the heat of summer and the worst of winter.

I can’t put into words how awestruck I am; both by Kaye’s generosity and to watch as her dedication ripples through to my little people. This is what 25 years of Landcare means and, boy oh boy, I am proud to be one of its foot soldiers.

8 thoughts on “A Landcare foot soldier inspired by a true heroine

    • Hi Lavinia,

      Landcare is marvellous and, like anything, it’s the individuals that make it or break it. We are very lucky to have Kaye.

      Winters here are wet and windy. No snow but daily maximums tend to hover in the low teens, so protection from the wind is great for us and the cows.

  1. Your place must be looking great after all the planting. Kaye sounds like a real force. How short sighted of the government to cut funding to Landcare groups. Your energy and enthusiasm are inspiring, Marian, and your children have obviously inherited the same from you!

    • Hi Julie,

      It will look great! We haven’t even started planting the big trailer load yet.

      The first 300 are Kaye’s!

      We will be forever grateful for all the work you, Doug, Dave, Chris have done to make this a better place. It’s the people of the Landcare movement that make it so special.

      I however am nothing special – there are thousands of other farmers out there who feel the same way and who’ve achieved so much more.

      It’s great to see our children growing up with an environmental ethos that Landcare planted 25 years ago!

      • Marian, you said ”I however am nothing special – there are so many other farmers out there who feel the same way and who’ve achieved so much more” but what you omitted to say was that you are half the age of those other farmers!! Given time you will match, or surpass those other farmers, you’ll see. 🙂

  2. Such a small world! We are under the same Landcare umbrella as Kaye and have spent many happy hours with her. She is much loved and respected by all who are lucky to meet her.

Leave a Reply