‘Tis the Season: Sustainable Stocking Fillers

2020 has been an incredibly busy year, and looking back over the wonderful events we have attended and organised – and what we have learnt in the process – we realised there were several items we would love to find in our stockings this year!

So just for you, we have put together the RALF’s gift guide for the discerning landholder! These are far better pressie suggestions than the new socks and jocks that have more than likely been wrapped up under the tree in Christmas’ past. 

  1. Refractometer/Brix reader – To check sugar levels in plants.

These clever little tools are calibrated to give a Brix reading, which tells you the percentage of sugar in your plant tissue sample. A high Brix value indicates good crop taste and quality . A crop with a high Brix value can also be preserved longer, additionally plants with a high Brix value are more resistant to insect attacks. These are at the top of our Christmas wish list. 

  • Soil pH test kit– For a quick and easy way to check your soil pH.

Soil pH test kits are a great little tool for any green thumb. They’re cheap, cheerful and colourful (depending on your soil pH ) and though they don’t replace full soil tests, they have their place, especially for gardens and small land plots. 

  • A Worm Farm!

Worm Farms are readily avaialble from  your local hardware store  alternatively you can make your own (broccoli boxes work a treat!). Worm farms are an incredibly efficient way to reduce household waste and they produce nutrient-rich fertiliser for the garden.

  • A Cage Trap – For feral cats and foxes. 

If you have these feral cats or foxes frequenting your property, then you need one of these! Even better, you don’t need to ask Santa, you can just ask to borrow one from NACC! Cage traps are available on loan for up to 6 months. Let us know if you’re interested.

  • An Alpaca! 

The ultimate multi-purpose creature! Alpacas can offer herd protection to your sheep or poultry flocks against foxes and other small predators. In addition, Alpaca wool is a very good quality. Fibre is highly insulative, strong, elastic and tear-resistant and if that wasn’t enough it is also soft, hypoallergenic, and eco-friendly. If you don’t want to wear your wool, you can use it as a soil-improving mulch for your garden. Plus, these guys are super cute! 

Bonus gift ideas-

  • A bag of compost – Not super exciting, but your garden will love you for it. Soil improvement from Santa, perfect!
  • An aerial photo of your property – Essential for good property planning and they look awesome framed, especially photographs taken during different seasons. 
  • Chickens – We couldn’t include worm farms and a bag of compost on our list without adding in these cute little cluckers. They’re the ultimate composters- turning household food scraps into tasty eggs. You can’t get better than that! 

Annabelle Garratt & Lizzie King – Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitators

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