Growers respond to fruit fly threat with natural pest control workshops
9 August, 2012
“Backyard fruit growers can be either a great support to local commercial orchardists, or a bit of a hazard” Katie Finlay, secretary of the Harcourt and District Fruit Growers Association said today. “We’re hoping to teach people how to deal with pests and diseases in their backyards, because if they go unchecked it creates a headache for the orchard industry in Harcourt.”
Two local groups (Growing Abundance, the food relocalisation project at Castlemaine Community House, and the Harcourt & District Fruit Growers Association representing commercial orchardists) have joined forces to educate backyard growers about pests and diseases, with financial support by Mt Alexander Shire Council.
The workshops were developed in response to the discovery last year of some Queensland Fruit Flies (QFF) in Harcourt by the Department of Primary Industries. QFF poses a very serious threat to orchards; if flies are found again and an outbreak is declared, an Exclusion Zone will be imposed, with strict controls on the movement, sale and storage of horticultural produce out of the zone.
A series of Natural Pest Control Workshops are being offered to help you learn about preventing fruit fly, as well as a host of other pests. Workshops are taught by local organic orchardist, Katie Finlay. Topics such as common backyard pests and diseases and how to prevent them, as well as general fruit tree hygiene will be covered. Feel free to bring along photos or examples of pests and diseases from your backyard. Morning/arvo tea supplied.
“Last year’s workshops were attended by about 200 people, and we’re hoping we get that many again. It’s so important for backyard growers to learn about fruit fly and how to avoid it.” Katie concluded.
Friday 10th August, 9-11am, Ray Bradfield Room, Castlemaine Victory Park, Castlemaine (near back of the Market Building)
Sunday 12th August, 2-4pm, Harcourt Heritage Centre, High Street, Harcourt
Saturday 18th August, 2-4pm, Maldon Neighbourhood House, Cnr Church and Edward St, Maldon
Cost: $10, tea and coffee provided. To register contact Sas Allardice at Castlemaine Community House on email@example.com or 5472 4842 or drop into the Community House at 210 Barker St, Castlemaine. Bookings are preferred, but all welcome!