Queensland Fruit Fly

Queensland Fruit Fly Monitoring Project

Queensland Fruit Fly trap

The fruit growing season is nearly upon us and so are the ideal conditions for the Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF). The fly breeds at temperatures of 15°C and relies on the moist conditions of spring that are developing over the next few months. According to the BOM’s climate outlook estimates the Ballarat region will reach stable breeding temperatures into October. Furthermore, the BPG QFF group are launching our monitoring program not long after the recently published IPCC special report which projects a future of ongoing expansion of warmer and wet conditions from southern hemisphere tropical and sub-tropical regions further southward.

Now is an ideal time to join us in our monitoring program to assess how far south the Queensland Fruit fly comes and in what numbers they appear. Great numbers of fruit fly will threaten home and community gardening projects as well as agriculture in any region. We want to investigate the fly’s reach in Ballarat.

The problem facing us is that we do not know how bad the fruit fly problem is. Our Northern friends in the Sunraysia region of the state have been dealing with fruit fly migrations south through community fruit fly monitoring and prevention programs for many years now. This project also recognises the efforts of citizen scientists who have added fruit fly sightings on iNaturalist, with occasional sightings in the past year as well as the ongoing smaller monitoring programs by the state government. We think that we can enhance this already valuable data together by discovering the numbers of flies in monitoring traps with broad community support.

That’s why the BPG is inviting all members and interested citizens to help us find out what’s happening in their own backyards by hosting a trap. It’s a great project that brings us closer with local ecology and the importance of garden hygiene. This monitoring program will increase our collective knowledge of how we live in our region to confront climate change.

To register you interest please see the Queensland Fruit Fly page

PDC, Permaculture courses

2021 Permaculture Design Course (PDC) – finally complete

Congratulations to all our 2021 Permaculture Design Course (PDC) graduates, who finally completed their journey in late August!

Two postponements of the final weekend meant that everyone had plenty of time to polish their presentations, although lockdown in Melbourne meant that two people participated via Zoom rather than in person.

The students showed fabulous patience as we negotiated several sets of rescheduled weekends due to lockdown, so it was a collective sigh of relief as we got over the line!

We're already planning a reunion in early November - hoping for a relaxed day with a garden tour followed by lots of catching up at a pizza party in the evening.BIG thanks to the PDC organising team and special mention to Steve Barnes and Breanna Hodges who filmed many sessions this year (as a backup for future years when we may be "COVID interrupted").

If you're looking for some practical ways to implement permaculture during lockdown, you might like to enrol in the Permaculture Living Course offered by Milkwood Permaculture.  BPG financial members receive a 25% discount on the enrolment for this 12 week course.  We recommend the 'lifetime access' option so you can dip in & out of the course whenever you want.

Events, Permablitz

Upcoming BPG Blitz – Haddon – Postponed, due to lockdown 6.0

Unfortunately, our sold out blitz for this weekend has had to be postponed, due to lockdown 6.0. We are working on another date, but will need to see how we go.

Maintaining your garden in winter is just as much fun as it is in summer, especially when it's with like minded people!

Our next blitz is in August with a whole host of permie jobs to do. There may also be a flow hive set up demo too. Bees are an essential part of our natural habitat so makes sense to know how to integrate them into our permie set up.

Bookings are essential - please click the link below to ensure you are part of the fun!

COVID protocols will be followed on the day.

EDIT: In light of this afternoon's announcement regarding COVID, we will monitor the govt website in terms of the lockdown protocols, and advise accordingly.

Details of the upcoming blitz:

The jobs are:

• Pruning, cleaning up and/or reducing quite a few established fruit trees.

• Rebuilding one dilapidated compost system, and building a second, new 3-bay compost system in a different place. These will be made from pallets and star pickets.

• Weeding, and cleaning around the many fruit trees, sheet mulching with cardboard and topping with wood chip mulch.

• When the trees are pruned, there will be access to the veg garden which needs weeding in preparation for spring planting.

There is plenty of longer grass & weeds around the trees and blitz attendees should bring their own gloves. The ground is uneven in places (rabbit diggings) and possibly muddy if wet, so attendees should wear good fitting boots or gumboots. There is a nearby unfenced dam, so children should be supervised by their parents (as always). You will have the opportunity to learn pruning and rejuvenating established but neglected fruit trees, and learn how to make compost bays from pallets & star pickets. Our host has also offered an additional activity for children & other interested adults in making insect hotels.

Upcoming Events

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