Remember, April 7th is the MTGC Open Session as part of the Library What’s On program. Come along, bring a friend and enjoy the afternoon which will take the place of our normal April meeting. Details can be found here.
On 3 March, Steve Falcioni gave an inspirational talk on Eco Garden products. That’s not exactly the kind of topic that you’d normally associate with the word, “inspirational” but Steve’s passion about organic gardening and his love of beneficial insects (go the bees!) was infectious. I heard several people talking around the coffee urn about how they are going to change some of their old habits – how’s that for high praise of the speaker?
Steve works for Organic Crop Protectants, a wholly Australian company that only manufactures certified organic products (you can buy online or pick them up at Bunnings). They started out servicing the commercial farming market but have branched out to providing the same environmentally friendly, organic products to home gardeners.
Their website says it all about the company and its products so check them out. They have insecticides, fungicides, fertilisers, soil treatments and plenty more. Most (all?) of which can be used in combination. Basically there’s no gap which will force you to reach for the toxic chemical bottle in the back of your shed.
Steve started his talk with an impassioned plea to avoid a really obnoxious family of insecticides, neonicotinoids. Neonics are a particularly scary chemical that lingers for a long time in plants and the soil (which is part of the reason they are so effective and so widely loved). Unfortunately that property makes them a real hazard for the environment – they live on to pollute another day! They’re linked to massive bee population declines in Europe and the US, so much so that Europe has put a temporary ban on use of products containing neonics until more research can be done. They’ve been linked to bird deaths as well. As more of them are entering the environment, more nasty side effects are popping up.
In Australia, products containing neonics are freely available and widely used. The most common place we’ll see them is in a product called Confidor – please, do the birds and bees a favour and avoid using any products containing Confidor (Imidacloprid ).
Don’t forget to check out the gardening column in the Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine. It appears in every issue and features information about the goings on in this club.
Keep an eye on the Upcoming Meetings page to find out what meetings are planned for the rest of the year. The next time we get together is 31 March in our 5th Thursday Excursion to Sue Robertson’s house. If you need the address, you can ask on the Contact page and I’ll send it to you.