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TAS Country : January 27th 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011 Tasmanian Country 5 Scrappy idea for royal gift ONE from Australian Wool Inno- vation's ''bright ideas'' depart- ment. Having previously embraced Prince Charles's monarchical marketing powers, AWI now sees an opportunity to hang off the coat- tails of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding. This week, AWI is appealing to woolgrowers to send in small samples of their clip (even a few staples will do, apparently). From these samples, the AWI brains trust hopes to assemble sufficient wool to be processed into cloth as a gift to their future heads of state. We suppose we can be grateful they are not also asking for small donations of cork, which would be suspended from an Akubra to be worn whenever the Royal couple see fit to visit the antipodes. As each envelope will carry the property details, it is hoped repub- licans will be able to restrain themselves and not enclose dags or skirtings. If they can't, AWI will know where to find them. Surveys to dig all the dirt on soil SOIL samples are being col- lected from 200 Meander Val- ley farms as part of a major State Government program to support irrigated agriculture in the region. The Wealth From Water program will provide resource information, market and busi- ness support to farmers and potential investors in irrigated agriculture ventures. Department of Primary In- dustries, Parks, Water and Environment workers have started soil survey work across 20,000ha of the east and west Meander Valley irrigation dis- tricts. A soil core of 1.5 metres is being taken from 200 sites using a trailer mounted soil coring rig, DIPWE Land Con- servation Branch manager Peter Voller said. ''Testing is being conducted on the soil samples and the information will be used as reference points for a digital soil mapping process,'' Mr Vol- ler said. The fieldwork will continue until late March. Mr Voller thanked land- holders for allowing DIPWE to access their properties. ''If a site lies within an existing crop the site will be bypassed or left until after harvest,'' he said. The trial includes develop- ing field operating processes, computer modelling and land evaluation systems. A network of climate sta- tions is being built to collect local climate information over a 12 month period. The climate data and soil information will be used to generate land suitability maps which will be available on the internet. The Tasmanian Insti- tute of Agricultural Research (TIAR) is also contacting local landholders to discuss land use. For further information con- tact Chris Grose or Rob Moreton on phone 6336 5422 or 6336 5441. braids make pungent plaits TWISTED TAIL: Working with the freshest garlic makes braiding easier. FLEXIBLE FINGERS: Wendy Elphinstone has spent seven years perfecting her skills at braiding garlic. 'The green stems are more pliable, you can get them to bend without breaking. When I get right down to the end and it breaks off, I get pretty frustrated.' JENNIFER CRAWLEY WENDY Elphinstone braids the garlic her husband Graeme grows on their Upper Stowport farm. The Elphinstones have just finished harvesting 3500 bulbs of certified-organic garlic and Wendy has been busy braiding. Garlic seed is sold to The Lost Seed company at Sheffield, and braided garlic is sold at local community markets and to customers throughout Tasmania. ''We get lots of phone calls,'' Wendy said. ''Word just gets around.'' Wendy learned braiding on the job and picked up clues from the internet. She said it has been seven years of trial and error. ''It's exactly like braiding hair but harder,'' Wendy said. ''This year I decided to braid it out as soon as it came out of ground. ''The green stems are more pliable, you can get them to bend without breaking. When I get right down to the end and it breaks off, I get pretty frustrated.'' If she's not happy with the finished result Wendy will do it again. ''It's hard to get them even as you come down the braid,'' she said. Wendy starts off with three bulbs and ends up with 12 as she adds bulbs to achieve the right effect. People like braided garlic hanging in their kitchen, Wendy said. She has never bothered about the pungent garlic smell on her fingers after braiding. ''I like the smell,'' she said. Wendy suffers from chronic illness and said braiding was therapeutic and relaxing. ''Braiding gives me something that I am able to do,'' she said. ''I can sit down and do it.'' Wendy has been unable to braid over the last two years because of her health. ''I couldn't do it the one thing I've been able to do to help on the farm,'' she said. She's back braiding this year and couldn't be happier. The Elphinstones farm organically and do not use pesticides. They say they produce food for health benefits not for money. ''We believe in it,'' Wendy said. ''We have been told we can sell for a lot more. ''Our food is reasonably priced so everyone can afford it.'' The Elphinstones grow and deliver organic vegetables to customers and grow myrtus berries or Chilean guava. Graeme is flat out delivering Elphinstone vegetable boxes across Tasmania's top end and the myrtus berries are sold in Melbourne. The flavour of a myrtus berry is a cross between a strawberry and a pineapple with a tiny minty aftertaste, Wendy said. ''The kids eat way more than they pick,'' she said. 001611 Call 1300 WIDE SPAN (1300 94 33 77) Check out our full range online at www.sheds.com.au Zinc = Zincalume all over / CB = Colorbond walls & trim, Zincalume Roof All promotional pricing is valid for 14 days from date of quotation. Offer ends when steel allocation runs out. All prices quoted include GST and are for building kit only. 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January 13th 2011
February 3rd 2011