Saturday, August 20, 2011

Action at the West Brunswick Food Forest - Pruning and Planning

Finally, after all these months of talking, we have actually done something!

Food Forest at Cedar Cottage Community Garden - 052720117953
Food Forest at Cedar Cottage
Community Garden - 052720117953
by Roland
You may remember back in April (yes, sorry about the tumbleweeds you see rolling across our web site), we posted here about our plans to rejuvenate a neglected food forest in West Brunswick.

Although it's not a community garden in the normal sense, we're approaching this project as a way of getting something under our belt, testing our mettle and generally showing we're serious about our commitment to supporting community gardening opportunities around Moreland.


Well, while we waited for news on our council grant application (only promising rumours so far), we were missing the Winter pruning season. After discussing with Council, they agreed to support a few pruning sessions during July to get the trees back into some sort of shape.


Right or wrong, we limited these sessions to a few experienced people to get the work done as quickly as we could. Thanks must go to the 9 people who came down to the first session and got the bulk of the trees tidied up. We were lucky enough to count among us on that day a man who worked with the original food forest group even supplying some of the trees we were pruning.

Among the trees we recognised apple, pear, pomegranate, fig, mulberry, hazelnut, plum, apricot, locquat, almond, citrus, cherry and I'm sure there were probably more that I've forgotten.

It was exciting to see what a difference the afternoon made to the area. Subsequent sessions have tidied the grape vines and given the olive trees a hard prune to bring them down within picking reach.

If you get a chance, get down there and have a look. It's looking better already.

Council have mulched around the trees and the area we hope to rejuvenate in our first phase is more clearly defined now. As the weather dries out the ground, they will get on with laying the lilydale toppings to make paths through the forest and removing a couple of trees that are really beyond saving.

While all this is going on, we're drawing up a plan of the space and trees and making lists of possible plants for the understory. Once we have the list, we'll start scouting around to see what we can get from where.

Hopefully we'll have our agreement with council sorted out soon and we can formally invite people to get involved.

Watch this space for more news.

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We're working together for a vibrant, sustainable network of community gardening locations in Moreland.

Our a 100% volunteer-based non-profit community group currently manages two community gardens in West Brunswick and Pentridge a food forest (also in West Brunswick).

Stop and think for 1 minute and you'll come up with at least one good reason for having community gardens all over the place. In case you don't have a minute or need some help, here are our top five!
  1. To bring people together.
  2. To hold on to Moreland's character and gardening knowledge.
  3. To provide somewhere where people can do some physical activity, relax and enjoy themselves
  4. To encourage sustainable gardening
  5. To make it easy for people to get hold of healthy locally grown food