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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Last weekend's Food Forest Permablitz & establishing Friends of the Food Forest (Sun 21st July)

A massive thanks must go to the dozens of lovely people who found time to come along to what was a big, BIG day for the food forest last Sunday!

Composting made fascinating
We were very excited about welcoming lots of new friends from the Permablitz collective to help us finish this bit of the food forest rejuvenation project with a bang and we had an amazing day.

Despite the chilly start, we literally got MONTHS of work done in one day with lots of us learning about composting, pruning fruit trees, mulching, planting and weeding (as well as getting in plenty of practice), chatting with each other and eating the yummy food. A special mention for the people who put together the feast and to the diligent diggers who toiled for hours to completely remove a pesky rose that's been coming to haunt us back despite all out efforts to date.

By the close of a long day, the food forest looked loved and refreshed and there were many smiles on tired faces as we packed up and made our way home. In the days since, we've seen quite a few "what an awesome day!" messages too.

The community garden and food forest at Dunstan Reserve provide a great place to connect and hang out as well as to learn about and participate in growing food together and it's being run by and for people from the local community. Days like last Sunday are what this place is really all about.

If you came along on the day and took any photos, we'd love you to share them either by sending us at grow.eat.moreland@gmail.com copies or by uploading them to our flickr group.

Join Friends of the Food Forest

Now we've delivered on this first phase of rebuilding the food forest, it's time to establish a "friends of" group to take on the role of custodians of the food forest, to take care of it, plan for its future, keep it alive and growing.

We'd like to invite everyone who's interested in hearing about this and/or being part of the group to come along to the community garden on Sunday 21st July at 11am to have a cuppa and help plan the next steps.

Pruning - the big hit workshop of the day

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Calling out for plants for Sunday!

Hi everyone,

Sunday is shaping up to be "mega" if I might borrow an expression I've heard some of the young folk using.

Although we already have some plants for planting in the Food Forest, we're calling out to you in case we can rustle up some donations from you lovely people.

Here's what we're after:
  • Mint - plants/divisions with roots 
  • Peppermint - plants/divisions with roots 
  • Apple Mint - plants/divisions with roots 
  • Lemon Balm - plants/divisions with roots 
  • Oregano - plants/divisions with roots 
  • Jerusalem Artichokes - tubers 
  • Nasturtium - seeds 
  • Parsley - seeds 
  • Calendula/English Marigold - seeds 
  • Borage - seeds 
If you have other plants (with roots ready to plant) that you would like to donate, feel free to bring them with you but don't be offended if we don't use them and you can take them home (or pass them on to others on the day). Alternatively, email grow.eat.moreland@gmail.com with what they are and we'll let you know whether to bring them or not.

See you on Sunday!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Composting Going Live

Hey Gardeners,

This week composting will be going live at the gardens. Some brief information on your options (we have something for everyone) and an introduction to some newcomers is presented below.

 If you have room at home, we want you to be a HOME COMPOSTERDon't worry, we will provide you with advice on how to get started.
If you don't have room, or want to see some composting in action before you get started at home, you can become a WB COMPOSTER. 
If you are passionate about composting and want to become a COMPOST CRUSADER , we salute you ! The Compost Team will need a bit of help over the coming months for a range of compost related activities and we'd love you to get involved. .

WB and HOME COMPOSTER's and COMPOST CRUSADER's will all get a free compost caddy (subject to availability) courtesy of Moreland City Council to collect your kitchen scraps in. There's 20 available initially so get in quick when we send you our "GO LIVE" e-mail in the next few days. 

You'll be the envy of all your composting mates
with this stylish caddy.

New at the Compost Bays

There is a couple of new comers to the compost bay. area. A few introductions below. 

Covers


 Richard Browns prototype rain cover to keep moisture out, above, and my prototype "compost blanket" to keep heat in, below. Rumour* has it NASA are interested in both designs. *Rumours have no basis in fact



Storage

Green Free Zone
A new bin for C Rich goodies.No green waste please.This is mainly for leaves while there are plenty around but shredded newspaper or sawdust if we can find a source (Do you know anyone ?) will replace leaves when we run out.

Browns Placed For Your Convenience

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What to sow or plant in June

Damp, isn't it?

But don't let that stop you.

Here are a few things you can sow or plant as seedlings now:


  • Broad beans
  • Cabbage
  • Chicory
  • Endive
  • Garlic
  • Kale (as always!)
  • Lettuce
  • Mizuna
  • Mustard greens
  • Onions
  • Pak choy
  • Radish
  • Rocket
  • Shallots
  • Silver beet or rainbow chard
  • Spinach.


It's also a splendid time to plant perennials such as asparagus or rhubarb crowns, strawberry runners, and all sorts of deciduous fruits like berries and grape vines. Trees like apples, nectarines, cherries and pears have started appearing as bare-rooted stock in the nurseries now, too, ready to go into the ground and get established before spring.

So go on. A little rain never hurt anyone. Much.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sunday 23rd June: Don't miss our amazing June Garden-&-Gather-slash-Permablitz-Working-Bee


A week to go until our fabulous June Garden-&-Gather-slash-Permablitz-Working-Bee

Some trickyness with our website/email thingy might mean you didn't see our post recently about this so I'm just going to post it again in case.

You may not know about this amazing food forest, right on our garden's doorstep. A terrific companion to our community garden, it provides a stable, long term perennial counterpart to the garden's mostly seasonal, transient, plant-harvest-replant cycle. A unique place that will only get better as it becomes more established and we invest some love and attention. You can also read a bit more about it here.

We'll be back in the food forest for the day in a big way for our June 23rd Garden & Gather and it's going to be a bit special, not only for those of you who helped last year to rejuvenate the food forest but also for our new friends who haven't had anything to do with it yet.

"The Plan'
So what are we doing on 23rd June?
To give us a bit of a boost at the end of this rebuilding phase and to spread the word a bit about what we've got happening down at Dunstan Reserve, we're teaming up with the incredible Permablitz crew (if you haven't come across their work, check it out).

They're inviting lots of friends to help give us a last push over the line and prepare the food forest for a soon-to-be-established band of dedicated food forest rangers (more on this soon).

It'll be an extended day (9.30am-4.30pm) 'cos we've got plenty to do and plenty of fun to be had. Amongst other things we'll:
  • prune anything that needs it
  • plant out understorey plants and maybe some trees
  • mulch and weed
  • work on the pergola for the climbing vines
  • help in the community garden if there are enough volunteers
At various points during the day there'll be workshops on:
  • pruning
  • planting
  • food forest design
  • edible plants
  • composting
There'll be lots of us there, come and be a part of it. We'll provide a great lunch for everyone who comes to help.

All you need to bring are your gardening gloves, secateurs, hand tools for planting, sensible footwear and clothing, and a readiness to get stuck in.

Mark your calendar now and we'll see you down there.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

May 11, 2013 - Compost Palace Construction


 Hey Guys,

There were thrills, drills, delicious cakes, good will by the bucketload as a group of gardeners got together on the 11th of May for a very productive day spent constructing the compost palace.

With Thomas' detailed Master Plan to work from and all of the materials ready to go, the group sprung into action. They never looked back all day finishing earlier than expected while still having time for a communal lunch.  

You'll find a few some pictures of the day below and please check out the bottom of this post for a link to some good basic information how to  compost successfully.

The Master Plan

Thomas, The Man with the Plan












Barish was shrouded in a cloud of sawdust for most of the day, manning the circular saw expertly. Luckily there were two drills to every person present so we all got a turn to wield a power tool by days end :) .

Barish taking no prisoners
Alan and Kerry fixing the recycled
plastic sides of the bays in place 

Jules and Thomas pre-drilling planks


Alan led the charge early . Drilling, measuring, bracing and levelling, he barely stopped going all day.  He did stop for a sandwich but I am pretty sure I saw his drill finger twitching while he was eating it.



Alan , hard at it. 
Bracing before fixing










As well as hard work, there was still time for a natter, well-wishers coming and going and some delicious food (well done and thanks to everyone who brought food to share).




The end result is a really great resource for the garden and a mighty fine looking resource it is too.
Well done to everyone who could make it down. If you couldn't, don't worry, you still have a chance to get involved.

The compost team will provide more information soon on how we can all help our new compost pile settle in to the garden by:
  • feeding it the right mix (fresh greens and drier browns), 
  • keeping it warm and moist (tucking it in and watering when necessary),
  • and allowing it to breathe (occasional forking to allow air in).  
We are passionate about our compost and soon you will be too :).  For a really good idea of what a happy pile needs, check out this link Composting Basics and do the whole tutorial.

And lastly LEAVES, LEAVES, LEAVES.....ahem, we need leaves. More on why later but before they disappear please consider bringing a plastic bag of leaves to the garden the next time you visit and leave it in the plastic lined wooden crate near the shed. 

Thanks,

The Compost Crew 


The first load goes in and a pile is born. 





Super special Garden & Gather with Permablitz in the West Brunswick Food Forest (Sunday 23rd June)


You may not know about this amazing food forest, right on our garden's doorstep. A terrific companion to our community garden, it provides a stable, long term perennial counterpart to the garden's mostly seasonal, transient, plant-harvest-replant cycle. A unique place that will only get better as it becomes more established and we invest some love and attention. You can also read a bit more about it here.


We'll be back in the food forest for the day in a big way for our June 23rd Garden & Gather and it's going to be a bit special, not only for those of you who helped last year to rejuvenate the food forest but also for our new friends who haven't had anything to do with it yet.

the plan
So what are we doing on 23rd June?
To give us a bit of a boost at the end of this rebuilding phase and to spread the word a bit about what we've got happening down at Dunstan Reserve, we're teaming up with the incredible Permablitz crew (if you haven't come across their work, check it out).

They're inviting lots of friends to help give us a last push over the line and prepare the food forest for a soon-to-be-established band of dedicated food forest rangers (more on this soon).

It'll be an extended day (9.30am-4.30pm) 'cos we've got plenty to do and plenty of fun to be had. Amongst other things we'll:
  • prune anything that needs it
  • plant out understorey plants and maybe some trees
  • mulch and weed
  • work on the pergola for the climbing vines
  • help in the community garden if there are enough volunteers
At various points during the day there'll be workshops on:
  • pruning
  • planting
  • food forest design
  • edible plants
  • composting
There'll be lots of us there, come and be a part of it. We'll provide a great lunch for everyone who comes to help.

All you need to bring are your gardening gloves, secateurs, hand tools for planting, sensible footwear and clothing, and a readiness to get stuck in.

Mark your calendar now and we'll see you down there.