Thursday, 20 March 2008

The Desertification of Perth

You know that I whine and rant about the sand here at Wit's End and how I keep adding organic matter into it, mulching it, trench composting it and it still turns back after a few months into a fine grey sand.

Well I watched a gardening dvd yesterday while I was knitting my bag (yes, it's finally happening) and the presenter mentioned that soils in Perth, Western Australia have less than 1% organic matter in them.

That's scary stuff to me! Now I know why no matter how much I keep adding to my soils, it' s going to take a long time to bring them back to a nice rich state.

So Perth soils are wasting away, our food bowl the wheatbelt is dying from a huge salinity problem. The reduction in groundwater levels is causing some Perth suburbs to sink.

Going to do more knitting to ponder on this.


naturewitch said...

maybe line trenches with paper or such?

molly said...

Hey Crone

I live in the Wheatbelt, and I can tell you from experience, the soil here is in a very sad condition on our farms.

Farmers have either over cropped, over cleared, overburnt stubble or hve salt pans appearing everywhere as a result of the above.

You cant tell many of them tho, they need tthe land to make the $ is their argument, try and explain to them that short term gain is at the cost of long term losses for everyone and many do not want to hear it......greed, our consumeristic society......the money machine has many firmly clamped within it's salivating behemoth jaws!

TheCrone said...

I hear you Molly!

I drove out to Kununoppin a few years ago and saw huge white lakes in the landscape. I was told that those are the salt lakes and no one knows why they are popping up everywhere!

I have been reading a little about how Egypt and Israel plan to reclaim the deserts. Surely if it is working over there, WA can apply the same principals?

molly said...

Hey Crone

You raised an interesting question, so I did some research and posted on my blog, hope you enjoy:)


Jodes said...

My parents live on what is basically a sand dune in Hillarys. They sunk a shared bore with their neighbour and have been adding organic material by the trailer load in the form of soil, mulch, lupin hay and compost for 10 years now and over the past couple have been really reaping the rewards.
Mum's organic vegie garden is finally producing fruit and vegetables by the basket load and they all taste incredible!
So keep plodding on because as you are aware, it really will be worth it in the end!