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In April, we belatedly participated in Clean Up Australia Day, focussing our attentions on the final lode of rubbish in the gullies and constructing erosion control structures in areas of active erosion. Kitted out in dust-masks and gloves, our amazing team of volunteers completed in an hour what it would take us weeks to do alone, and by day’s end had removed six trailer-loads of steel, and about 20 sacks of rubbish, together with miscellaneous sun umbrellas, fitness treadmills and bmx frames. (See our Curated Junk page for similar treasures – undoubtedly there are more to come!)

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Extracting a trailer from the depths.

Meanwhile, others set to work constructing erosion control structures, based on the work of Bill Zeedyk and Craig Sponholtz. At the head of the dam feeder creeks, one team used local stone to construct a Zuni Bowl and One Rock dam to arrest a headcut and catch seed and sediment, while on a gully floor freshly cleared of corrugated iron, fridges and old lawn mowers, another team built One Rock Dams from salvaged rubble. While our erosion control experiments have had encouraging results so far, we’ll keep you updated on their effectiveness through the wet season.

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Erosion inspectors

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A newly constructed rubble One Rock Dam, awaiting water flow.

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Completed Zuni Bowl and One Rock Dam combination, intended to stabilise an active headcut.

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The newly constructed Zuni Bowl, looking downstream.

With another section of the gully cleared of waste, it’s almost ready for planting out with the onset of the winter rains.

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Lunch break

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Gully exploration

Collaboration with community has always been at the heart of our aspirations for Yarnauwi, that the farm could be a medium for strengthening both our connections with each other and with the landscape. That we should have friends and family who willingly, even enthusiastically, offer their time in the grimy work of hauling rusty steel from gullies, or huddled against the cold in tree-planting season fills us with gratitude and reminds us again of the power of community. Our deepest thanks go to Anthony, Andrew, Arlo, David, Freya, Gillian, Innis, Jeremy, Mary, Nat, Pete, Sal, Shani and Steven for their contribution.

For more information on the erosion control methods used, please see our Resources page.

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