A word from Colin Owen - co founder of Coolmunda Olives
Dr Colin OWEN AO
MB BS (Qld), FACCRM, FRCGP, FRACGP, FAMA, D. Obst. RCOG
The original Coolmunda concept was based on two premises:
A viable agribusiness situated in a sustainable ecology, and
That this land would be a better place for our having been here
‘At Coolmunda we tread softly’
We are certified organic. This is fully compatible with the above: there can be no contamination of the land, air or water.
The property is extensively treed. The concept of photosynthesis with the capture of carbon dioxide and the release of oxygen is central to our vision of sustainability.
‘The tree is a living symbol of boundless benevolence…..the tree asks for so little and gives so much…..it even gives shade to the woodcutter who comes to cut it down.’ Buddha
Our Olive Grove currently has eight thousand trees of ten varieties.The olives are processed on site - both table olives and extra virgin olive oil.
We believe in multiculture in terms of plantings. Approximately one third of the property is residual dry sclerophyll bush land ;
iron bark, box eucalypts, white cypress, pine, belah wattle and brigalow
We are developing a sclerophyll aboretum on one block of approximately 100 acres. We obtain plants from all over Australia that will grow in our semi arid environment.
We believe there will be a shortage of hardwood in the future. We are planting an agro forestry of mainly Eucalyptus crebra, an indigenous hardwood that many consider to be the toughest in the country.
Because of our organic status, we do not use herbicides and pesticides. We run organic dorpers (sheep) in our groves and paddocks to do this work.
We believe that agribusiness and a sustainable environment can coexist.
Sustainable living is a practical philosophy that aims to reduce personal and societal environmental impact by making positive changes which counteract climate change and other negative environmental concerns.
Additionally regenerative agriculture, a method of organic farming that restores carbon and health to the soil is an incredibly exciting movement that could both draw down carbon from the atmosphere while improving productivity.
Currently the Coolmunda Grove has had some olive lace bug (Froggattia olivina) issues. This is an Australian sap sucking insect which affects our trees vigour, flowering and fruiting is delayed. Heavy infestations defoliates the trees and then can kill them.
In response to this issue Coolmunda has taken the biological control option by introducing the native green lace wing bug (mallada signoutus) which is a hardy generalist predator who eats the destructive lace bug.