Welcome to the most interesting...ever-changing, ebbing
& flowing spot in Australia,
ConFesttm    conference festival

DTE News  109    November  2002        Page 2

DTE News 109              November 2002                Page 3

Dear Folks,    As you know I am really keen to start the management and environmental awareness process for this land.  I am asking if we can find these books for a start as rescource material for flora and fauna information.

            1. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia.  by  Harold G Cogger . - 6th Edition
            2. Australian Museum Complete Book of Australian Mammals. - 1991 publication
    3.  A Field Guide to Australian Birds. -  Michael Morecombe             
                    Best regards.Don Royal

Anne  (see article in letters) and John our 1st aider are working more with plants, trees and weeds. We may be
running some workshops or chats about the property and local flora and fauna. Watch the workshop boards.

DTE News  109              November 2002              Page 4

To contact us  Down to Earth Co-operative
          P.O.Box 295
          Brunswick East    Vic.  3057
or  email        folks@dte.org.au
or  phone us          03  9506 8753
or web          www.dte.org.au
www. confest.com.au

Letters & suggestions:-

To rake or not to rake.

Some campers seem to adopt the scorched earth
policy raking their campsite back to bare earth and then sometimes looking for foreign material such
as straw to cover the fragile ground. Grasses will
flatten naturally where you walk and sit and once you're relaxing you'll see that the natural cover is lovely to look at. Clearing sticks away by hand from where you pitch your tent and clearing around your regulation fire drum is sufficient. Small creatures will naturally move away as you move in and return quickly once you've left, if you've done a minimum of damage.                      Cheers.  Anna.

Thanks Anna, great down to earth suggestion. We may not be able to have camp-fires due to possible FIRE BANS, so check when you get to ConFest and each day at information .  Ed.

email your friends and pass on the confest.com web site!!

No Pets


Dear ConFesters,     
    A few ConFests ago I was nominated to do the difficult job of asking some people to remove their dog  from the property. I visited their camp and patted their beautiful dog. When I asked them to remove their dog they gave me plenty of positive words. Nothing happened. I then asked when they intended to remove the dog and they told me it would be in three days. We discussed the 'no pets' policy and they said that they thought DTE was just "being pedantic". I then further explained the health and safety reasons for this policy and they asked me to write a letter to explain, and make this information available to all.          DTE has always had a No Pets policy.
    Dog shit, like all other shit can be dangerous. Dog shit can carry parasites like Hydadits and a large variety of worms.These parasites can remain undetected in the human body for long periods of time and cause considerable medical problems.
Stepping into dog shit is not pleasant. Dogs also have a habit of piddling on tents and boxes, (as well as trees), raid food stores and tents for nibbles, and some people are fearful around dogs. The discovery of dog and cat food cans in the rubbish clean up was discovered one festival - due to the stench from the maggotised meat left overs in the cans . Yuk. 
  Pets are great, yet unfortunately you need to appreciate the big picture and arrange a holiday for your pet if you are coming to ConFest.              Cheers    R. J.

Dear DTE/ConFest organisers,

I work as a landscape gardner and am noticing a great shortage of straw and mulch materials. I've enjoyed the use of straw at ConFest as a dust reducing medium, but believe that with the effects of the drought you will need to make other arrangements this year. If you do source any it will probably be very expensive. Ecologically we as ConFesters can do without the straw as people working in animal husbandry will need it more than us.            Tim J.

Tim this is a timely reminder for us as we will need some straw for our toilets, sullage and compost pits. Perhaps people can create (recycled) watering cans for dust control.  Ed


I have a 9 litre canvas bag (Paragon Wholesale- made in Australia) which I take to conFest. Dry it is just a small piece of fabric which weighs nothing- no large, bulky plastic container to bring, or to leave behind on a mounting pile of rubbish when ConFest is over. (someone else has to get rid of this)
I fill it at one of the many taps at ConFest which supply excellent quality bore water. Air passing over the wet fabric cools the contents, even when it's a really hot day. The evaporation action also neutralises any mineral taste to give you cool, beautiful water. A person I mentioned this to said they also had a canvas waterbag and the water had a bad taste. Someone else said their bag had leaked excessively. After the first filling when the bag is thoroughly wet I have not found excessive leakage a problem nor had any problem with taste.You need to avoid all contact with chemicals and dry the bag prior to careful storing. I have found a canvas waterbag the perfect, rubbish free way to have fresh, cold water at my campsite.                                    Happy ConFesting,  Anna.

DTE News 109                      November 2002                      page 6

DTE  News  109            November 2002                    Page 7

Surface Mail

Postage paid Australia.

Print Post approved PP 33258/0016

If undelivered, please return to:
DTE  PO Box 295,
Brunswick East,  Victoria    3057

See you at the ConFest  peace, love and light from all of us at Down To Earth.  Nov 2002