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27. Our Gardening & Grazing Land

“Janahn Forest” is one hundred acres, (40 hectares) of “Sub-tropical Cool Temperate Australia”, 200 km West of Brisbane. “Janahn” is 340 metres above sea level. Over 100 years, the districts average annual rainfall has been 600 to 650 mm. Since 2007, average annual rainfall recorded at Janahn has been 640 mm.

This amount may also be expressed as 6.4 million litres (or 6.4 megalitres) of rainfall per hectare per annum (or 64000 tonnes of falling rain per hectare per decade). The dimension of a megalitre is 10 metres cubed. 1000 km west of Brisbane irrigators use 10 megalitres per hectare to grow cotton. In this district cotton is grown dryland, that is relying upon rainfall only and some is irrigated. Applications of irrigation water varies from 2 to 6 megalitres per hectare. So how much water do you need for a 200 square metre garden? That of course depends on your soil type and location. It is a good thing to know.

10 Year Rainfall Seasonal Average, Janahn Forest, 2007 to 2017.
Winter 94.5mm       Spring 164.9mm
Summer 239.6mm   Autumn 140.4mm

Our Experimental Gardening and Grazing Land

PHOTO 1: Iron Bark Stump. Giant trees have always been here at Janahn Forest. CIRCA 2014

No Such Thing as a Drought: Whilst Autumn is our most reliable season, seasonal rainfall fluctuates dramatically. Every season is often above or below the long term average. Multiple ongoing seasons of below average rain should always be expected. No such thing as a drought. Periods of below average seasonal rainfall are normal. So, it is from this philosophical view and inevitably accurate future rainfall forecast that our design, management and planning commences. Our driest 8-months recorded only 80 mm of rain during what was already a very dry 18-month period. Local records reveal occasional below average annual falls dipping at 200 mm for 12 months. It is however, also possible to receive half of one year’s average rain in one week.

Temperature Range: Since ’07, Winters have fallen to -7 degrees C (and have been known to go to as low as minus 10 C in the local area). Summer temperatures have peaked at 45 degrees C. Warm weather in July and August often induces budding, which followed by late frosts is a limiting factor for the potential of some deciduous fruit trees.

Our Experimental Gardening and Grazing Land

PHOTO 2: Hardpan in old cultivation on first shallow rip. Hardpans are made over time by cultivation below the depth of the plough. They are typically 200 to 300mm thick and set like concrete. Below the hardpan soil is much softer as it once was, it will be drier due to lack of moisture penetration. CIRCA 2014 when Saltbush Paddock was planted.

Terrain: Janahn is located on the Foothills of the Great Divide, 40 km West of the Bunya Mountain Rainforest Watershed. One half of Janahn is Ironbark Cypress Pine Forest on a Sandstone Ridge, the other half is former cultivation first cleared in the 60’s. This cleared country is the core of our intensive development work.

Soil Types: Heavy Box Alluvial rises to Red Scrub, Gravel, and Sand Clay Duplex, all of which have been heavily eroded and leached of minerals from previous farming. Early farming records reveal above average crop yields. Most of the old cultivation is on a slope. It was almost inevitable that the cultivation practices of the 60’s and 70’s would render it useless for farming. Reason being that in the seventies farms grew one crop a year, mostly wheat or barley. After harvest the paddock would be ploughed twice, then scarified 2 to 4 times prior to planting next years crop. Scarifying and ploughing kills the fungal colonies that thrive in undisturbed soil. The advantage of “no till farming” was that the topsoil was only occassionally disturbed. The old cultivated country when exhausted was returned to grass. Long periods of below average annual rain, combined with too many grazing animals ensured that Janahn was an agrarian wasteland when purchased in 2005.

Our Experimental Gardening and Grazing Land

PHOTO 3: “Fire Eye” rises over Janahn Forest. Janahn is a Kabi Kabi word for Sun or “Fire Eye” as its meaning was interpreted by settlers in the 1830’s. The Kabi would travel from the Sunshine Coast Region to The Bunya Mountians most years to feast with the Wakka Wakka during the Bunya season. CIRCA 2012

The Objective at Janahn Forest has always been to design and make a productive food fuel and fibre entity capable of being managed and worked without machinery.

Our Experimental Gardening and Grazing Land

PHOTO 4: Looking East toward the forested ridge of Janahn Forest. CIRCA 2007.

Fertiliser and Water: Applied nitrogen is sourced naturally from ‘on farm animals’. Stored water is the base formula for production of domestic fruit and vegetables. So from every 100 acres of land on Australia you may deduce a production formula based on available nutrient and water per 100 acres of land.

Our Experimental Gardening and Grazing Land

PHOTO 5: As seen at Sunset, open country beneath the forest ridge. CIRCA 2007.

Plants & Animals: are selected according to their usefulness and ability to be managed as an integrated Gardening and Grazing entity that also sustains an abundance of native wildlife.

Our Experimental Gardening and Grazing Land

PHOTO 6: A broad cut swale designed to irrigate the sub soil. CIRCA 2014.

Produce: Meat, Skins, Biochar, Milk, Vegetables, Fruit, Timber.

Gardeners and Graziers Pty Ltd is a retail entity that offers knowledge and product relative to the inland environment of Janahn Forest and its own particular land use objective. All other lands have unique soils and climates. Other people have different objectives. Before you use anything sold or offered by Gardeners and Graziers Pty Ltd you should be confident in your own methods. You may need to adjust management and planning according to your local climate, soil and objective.

Our Experimental Gardening and Grazing Land

PHOTO 7: View from the windmill of adgingbongs and dam. CIRCA 2007.

In Our Product Range: All references to climate and soil is specific to Janahn Forest. EG: Frost resistant or other similar words and terms refer only to our Little Piece of Australia. Mustard that grew here this year in winter may get frosted next year in an extra cold year, and so on….

Our Experimental Gardening and Grazing Land

PHOTO 8: Calf amongst Mitchell Blue Grass. CIRCA 2017.

Our Experimental Gardening and Grazing Land

PHOTO 9: Avocado Seedling growing in the shade of a Wilga Tree that keeps the avo protected from frost – seedling has survived first Winter with minus 6 C. Now thriving with sacrificial leucaena planted at base to assist with opening up the soil for the avo to establish its own deep root sytem. DATE of PHOTO Jan. 2020.

Our Experimental Gardening and Grazing Land

PHOTO 10: Part of managemnet objective is to grow and prune trees to provide for the integration of gtrazing animals. In this instance this clump is leucaena – a short term sacrificial species planted within an orchard on an adgingbong.  Leucaena is super fast growing tree – that will be cut out – and replanted with another tree – maybe persimmon – that will take advantage of residual leucaena roots (that may be up to 4 metres deep). No other tree species can match the growth and vigour of leucaena in this environment. Trees planted into residual roots of leucaena always grow better. DATE of PHOTO Jan. 2020.

No Advice Given: Gardeners and Graziers Pty Ltd offers no advice, only opinions and explanations gathered from experience specific to the products we sell. All of the product we sell has been proven to grow and prosper with appropriate planning and management at Janahn. Our services have been moulded over time to help you make decisions for yourself. Our Best Advice: The Land and all its Creatures offer you a Lifetime of Learning and Opportunity. What you don’t know now you can learn from others or from yourself. Sometimes the only way is to experiment and to be persistent in your efforts.

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