|A small spring rivulet at Springview Eco-Farm|
New aquatic ecosystems are emerging and plant species we haven't seen since we came in 2013, demonstrating the amazing seed-banks which lie dormant for sometimes years.
It is yet another layer of learning about the hydrology of this small area in the Flakeney Ranges south of Wagga Wagga, regarded as a unique area on the planet as a particular soil is found only in these humpy hills.
Wildflowers are bursting out everywhere, even behind the duck house in sheltered spots between fallen branches and decaying leaves. The numbers of lillys bursting forth is incredible and here, we see vanilla, chocolate, fringed and flax varieties. The area where they are growing this year has increased from last year which begs the question, for how long can they remain dormant? I've read that chocolate lillys can survive for at least 70 years without flowering, as discovered in some old cemeteries which contain the remnants of white box grassy woodlands, a community of plants which co-exist. When these communities are left undisturbed they function year-in and year-out. However, if disturbed by cultivation or heavy grazing, the chocolate lillys retreat until the conditions are again suitable for blooming.
When the ground dries out a bit (a $64,000 question at the moment as to when that will be) campers are welcome to experience this beautiful and rather unique property. As well as the extensive flora, fauna and fungi here, we are just five kilometres from the Livingstone National Park, regarded as an important habitat for many of the endemic plants, birds and animals of the eastern Riverina.
This place is a photographer's dreamland with ever changing light from early morning to evening sunsets. There are many vantage points to capture views and horizons extending from the Snowy Mountains in the east to The Lion of the Plains (The Rock) in the west.
Photographing wildlife also is easy, especially kangaroos as they are often found in the garden! The garden immediately next to the house is quivering with the little 'twitterer' birds nesting in the jasmin, geraniums, native irises and eucalypts. I am constantly amazed at how such tiny little fluff-balls can have such loud voices, especially the blue wrens.
We grow happy paddock piggies here and, without exception, they love having their bellies scratched. They welcome guests and enjoy the new smells each person has; remember, pigs' sensitive snouts and sniffing abilities are used to detect truffles and detect drugs in luggage at airports.
There always are piglets of all ages as we stage farrowings evenly throughout the year and - yes - baby piglets are the cutest critters of all!
Guests are welcome to see what and how we feed our healthy piggies and to participate in farm activities. All dogs MUST be kept on leashes at all times; this is to ensure all animals are kept safe while here.
Food - glorious food is a specialty at Springview Eco-Farm and, each year, we are more self sufficient. We have planted dozens of fruit and nut trees, we have perennial fruits and even broccoli and cabbages have become producing year-round plants. Permaculture principles guide our decision making and activities including recognising and using the available resources; for us that includes the timber, soil, piggie-poo, rocks, water and sunshine to build, grow, maintain and increase our food growing capacities.
There is so much to do here - Springview Eco-Farm is a centre for learning through fingertips, soles of the feet and via our hearts.
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