IAC visit to Kalbar seed production nursery
On Wednesday 14 July 2021 the IAC, together with representatives from Kalbar, Mine-Free Glenaladale and East Gippsland Shire Council visited the Kalbar’s seed production nursery.
Kalbar’s Manager Ecological Restoration Dr Paul Gibson-Roy hosted the visit together with staff and provided an overview of the history of the site, why and how the facility was developed, and how it will be critical to developing the seed resources required for restoration of the Fingerboards mining operations in future. Skillinvest trainee Isaac Hoskins was also on hand and gave a brief account of the work he has undertaken during his traineeship at the nursery.
The visitors toured the crop beds and viewed more than 100 species being prepared or growing as native seed crops, and gained an insight into the processes involved in developing crops from wild seed, propagating and developing seeds to maturity, and maintaining them to producing ongoing seed harvests. Also showcased was a pasture seeding trial which has been developed to explore the suitability of different pasture species, which at that time, demonstrated very good plant cover across plots.
Tour participants also saw the nursery’s newly-commissioned temperature and humidity-controlled seed cool room. This facility will be vital to storing seed under appropriate conditions to preserve its viability until use in mine rehabilitation.
The tour provided the IAC and accompanying visitors an opportunity to see first-hand the large amount of work undertaken during the past 2 ½ years to develop native seed resources required to meet restoration goals for the Fingerboards project. It was also an opportunity to learn how Kalbar’s seed production efforts could provide valuable seed resources for the wider community – local government authorities, Landcare, GLAWAC, catchment management authorities and householders – as well as training and education opportunities for the wider community.