Sunday, October 02, 2022

Government 'Time thieves' at it again


so-called Daylight saving (Eastern Summer Time)  started today. Hard to believe that anyone thinks it's a good idea. Time marches on at the same pace whatever governments decree! Politicians just like to delude themselves and bully all of us. They are a waste of space.

The concept of daylight saving has been controversial since its inception. Winston Churchill suggested that it enlarged "the opportunities for the pursuit of health and happiness among millions of people." Retailers, sports, and tourist businesses have historically favoured it while farmers and some religious groups have always opposed it.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Sand extraction threat to our region and our farm because of bureaucratic inaction


Pious declarations about action over climate change would ring more true if action was taken where it matters – such as keeping trees alive and retaining native vegetation. When we bought our property at Grantville, we quickly realised the importance of the native vegetation on the site which provided the only vegetated link between the Bass River and the Grantville Nature Conservation Reserve. We chose to opperate as a free range egg farm rather than clear all the land to graze sheep or cattle. Now our property and its resident wildlife faces the threat of the wholesale removal of vegetation on adjoining land to prepare for a massive sand extraction industry.

Bass Coast Shire supports the clearing and subsequent contamination of the Bass River and adjoining land. Its Planning Department claims “The Native vegetation removal by Barro Group was exempt from the need of a planning permit. It was undertaken for fire prevention purposes and an exemption under the Planning Scheme is afforded to them to have undertaken these works.” However, the Shire has failed to specify what the fire control measures were supposed to protect and why clearing on the river was not referred to Melbourne Water as required by legislation. The importance of the vegetation as a wildlife corridor was identified in the Regional Sand Extraction Strategy, Lang Lang to Grantille. This defined a clear biolink – all the Shire needed to do was implement (and enforce)the Sand Extraction Strategy from 1995.No one at Landcare or in the CFA has the skills required to match the work undertaken by those who developed and mapped the plan of the vegetation and wildlife corridor. Led by consultants AGC Woodward Clyde, they included Biosis Research, Andrew Paget of Ausbotany Marcus Marsden and Nicolas Day as well as countless hours put in by members of Friends of Bass Valley Bush Landcare Group.Trashing habitat in the Bass Valley demonstrates the low priority given to ecological issues. Bass Coast Shire has failed to enforce permit conditions.If the Council was serious, it would cancel the Barro Group planning permit. The importance of the area has been recognised for years, including The 1970’s Westernport Environmental Study conducted by Professor Maurice Shapiro and the 1990’s Baseline Studies of Bass River conducted by Friends of Bass Valley Bush Landcare Group for the Natural Heritage Trust in addition to the Regional Sand Extraction Strategy, Lang to Grantville.More than 375 types of native vegetation have been documented here with over 140 bird species, 17 mammal/marsupials and 22 types of reptiles.

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Washing eggs makes them more dangerous


We still get questions from customers about washing eggs and if eggs should be stored in a refrigerator The answer to both is NO!

American egg farms wash eggs before sending them to market, in the mistaken belief that will minimize the spread of any salmonella bacteria on the outside of the egg. They ignore the fact that washing removes a cuticle from the surface of the egg- a natural barrier which keeps the inside of the egg free from bacteria. After washing, eggs must then be refrigerated so that any bacteria on the eggs  don't have a chance to invade the egg. In Australia and many other countries, eggs are not washed as a matter of course which means that the cuticle keeps the egg’s interiors safe from any bacterial invasion for at least a couple of weeks without refrigeration, however eggs are best kept cool rather than in a warm kitchen. Washing eggs generates more potential health problems. If eggs are so dirty that they need to be washed before sale, the producer has a flock management problem which  needs to be rectified. Nest boxes and laying sheds must be kept clean with hens on fresh pasture (rather than on mud or manure). Check out our website and read our handy eBook on setting up a freerange farm. In general,the only eggs washed automatically are from major producers who sell through stupidmarkets.

Friday, September 02, 2022

World Egg Day October 14

 World Egg Day is here again, October 14. Check some one-pan recipes here

Freeranger Eggs is still only able to supply our local,regular customers. A combination of  Government restrictions over the Covid pandemic and fox attacks has limited our production.

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Egg shortage in some supermarkets


Shortages of eggs labelled as ‘free range’ have been reported in some supermarkets.

The seasonal reduction in daylight hours plus Government imposed disruptions in response to Covid19 infections are blamed for contributing to supply chain issues .

A spokesman for Woolworths said that reduced production on a number of farms had affected the supply of eggs in some regions.  Reduced daylight hours have no impact on egg production in caged flocks where lighting in sheds is always consistent. That shouldn't be a big deal as almost all eggs in supermarkets are from intensive facilities with many thousands of hens in climate-controlled sheds including permanent lighting.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Food safety videos for egg producers

 Agriculture Victoria has developed online videos covering the Primary Production and Processing Standard for Eggs and Egg Products., to support food safety . The rules apply to anyone who sells eggs -but are usually ignored by backyarders who claim to be exempt even though some sell many eggs each week.

Each video outlines a specific section of the Egg Standard to assist producers and staff to better understand their obligations.

Ten new videos are recorded in both English and Mandarin and are available to watch on the Agriculture Victoria website.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Eagles and land clearing

 Ptotecting a flock from predators is a major issue on free range farms – which is one reason many egg producers keep hens locked in sheds.

Maremma guardian dogs are a great help against foxes but not so good against wedgetail eagles which can swoop in before the dogs see them. Thankfully eagle attacks are not common but it's still sad to see  a pile of feathers at the point of contact. The Victorian Government and Bass Coast Shire Council may solve the problem with their drive to exterminate local wildlife by failing to enforce planning permits and allowing the destruction of vast areas of native vegetation.