Potato farming & Conservation, 3 June

Thanks to Lesley Peden another successful K2C event was organised - this time on a somewhat cold but sunny day (3 June) at 'Rosedale' a property Grabben Gullen Road north of Crookwell.

Many eyebrows were raised when Lesley suggested holding this event on a potato-sheep grazing property. However, those who attended the event quickly realised why she had chosen Rosedale.

Rosedale is owned by Garry Kadwell who describes himself as Garry Kadwell, a 4th generation farmer producing commercial certified seed and new varieties of gourmet potatoes on a large scale at his Crookwell farm. Garry is a truly amazing person who throws himself into whatever he does, whether it is farming, conservation or charitable work.

Garry has many people visiting Rosedale as an Annual Potato Harvest is held there. He is also well equiped to handle many visitors and to lead tours. With the aid of a large army jeep, which can cater for 20 people or more, attendees were transported around his property. First we were given a guided tour of his potato and sheep production activities, the result of careful and well researched planning - Garry is self educated and an amazing and successful farmer.

Next we visited many sites that he had placed under conservation management - some 38 percent of his property. Some of these areas present have large weed issues but as Garry was able to demonstrate he knew how to restore these forest/woodland areas, particularly the under storey to native vegetation. Particularly impressive was an area that had returned to a kangaroo grass dominated native grassland/woodland. However, his most impressive efforts were his creation of wetlands. Garry showed no reluctance to put in his physical and financial resources to obtain great conservation outcomes. Fortunately the author sat beside him on the jeep and was able to ply him with many questions about his production/conservation techniques - he is seriously at the forefront of production/conservation/native veg restoration thinking.

We finished the tour with some potato harvesting with participants helping themselves to a sizeable quantity of potatoes.

Lunch, like morning tea was a treat, a feature of Lesley-organised activities. Here she was assisted by Ryl Parker, whose name appears many times in K2C despatches.

The afternoon was a time for sharing thoughts and reflections. It was a great conversation about the nature of conservation effort, self-learning and citizen science.The main aim of the field event was to promote Land for Wildlife and the conversation brought out the rich tapestry of landholder conservation efforts. Garry was asked to share his thoughts on Upper Lachlan Foundation which he initiated and is currently president. I would recommend that readers check it out <http://www.upperlachlanfoundation.com/about-us>.

Crookwell is is in the Kanangra to Wyangela (K2W) region, a sister regional partner to K2C in the Great Eastern Ranges where K2C has been doing Land for Wildlife assessments in partnership with K2W. The event was funded by the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife from whom K2C received a grant.

A big thanks to Garry, Lesley and Ryl and the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife.