CALENDAR AND EVENTS
Valley Lake Conservation Area Caretaker Orazio Cultreri (far left) and the Environment Group.
Environment Group members take a break in a shady spot at the Valley Lake.
environment group visit to CONSERVATION area
U3A Environment Group visited the Conservation Area at Valley Lake for its November outing. Caretaker, Orazio Cultreri showed us around the facility and explained the work that has been carried out and ongoing and future plans. The area is owned by the City Council but the majority of work is carried out by a handful of volunteers. Much of the area was heavily weed infested but a revegetation program has seen the area transformed. Native grasses and groundcovers have reduced the weed problem. The weeds still exist and much of the volunteer labour goes towards controlling them. Now that a good ground cover has been established the revegetation is focusing on upper storey to encourage a wider variety of birdlife to area. Several wetland areas incorporating shallow and deep water have been established and breeding of native fish has been carried out to restock other wetlands. Installation of signs to explain the various habitats and the flora and fauna utilising those areas would be a help to visitors. If you have not visited the area for a while I recommend you do so as it is a wonderful area right on our doorstep. It is an area we should encourage our Council to take a greater interest in as visitors from other areas could be encouraged to stay longer and taste the natural environment of our area.
Kevin Mott, Environment Group
Mary Anderson gets close and personal with a camel at Humpalicious, Robe.
Inside the camel dairy at Humpalicious.
Environment group visit to robe
On Friday October 1 the Environment Group travelled to Robe to visit the Humpalicious Camel Farm and Transmutation Recycling Shop. Despite a drizzly start in Mount Gambier the weather was fine at Robe. We joined other tourists at the camel farm just north of Robe and all up there were about 30 people. We met at the ticket office before making our way to the dairy, stopping off to look at the non milkers on the way. All up they have about 50 camels with about eight currently being milked. Wild camels only produce about two litres of milk but the domesticated ones have been developed to produce up to six litres. The camels are milked once a day and left with enough milk to feed their calves. As the camel manure from contented camels is solid balls the milking area is a lot cleaner then cow dairies so does not need the large volumes of water for cleaning. The milk from the farm is used to produce camel milk, freeze-dried milk powder and camel milk gelato. The camel milk is beneficial to many with health conditions that do not tolerate cow milk. We were able to taste the camel milk, which is whiter than cows milk. It tastes like non-fat milk and does not leave a fatty after taste. The farm runs off grid using wind and solar power.
Following the camel farm we visited Transmutation recycling shop. This shop has developed a process to repurpose milk tags into plates and bowls. They are also developing a product made from polystyrene that will meet foodsafe standards. Other recycled products from groups here and overseas are also sold in the shop. Both of these are small ventures starting up and running in an environmentally sustainable way. It shows what we can do if we make an effort.
Kevin Mott, Environment Group
Members at the Half-Yearly Gathering congratulate Robin Conboy (centre) on being awarded an OAM in the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours
More than 40 members attended the 2021 Half-Yearly Gathering in the Senior Citizens' Hall on July 2.
The guest speaker was new Mount Gambier City Council CEO Sarah Philpott. It was her first public engagement in her new role.
She fielded questions about the provision of a hard waste service, city bus routes, library funding and future accommodation for U3A.
Secretary Rosemary Carter
Vice President Trish Wolinski