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Friday, April 26, 2013

April Garden & Gather This Sunday

Woah! Where did April go? This Sunday (28th April) from 11am-3pm is our next Garden & Gather, your chance to catch up with each other and lend a hand around the garden to move us closer to finishing the build.

Have you seen our garden recently??? It's looking fantastic! We've got so much done since we started with our Big Dig last November: paths laid, communal beds established, raised beds built and filled, power hooked up not to mention food grown, harvested and eaten. We've come a long way and still have plenty to do but we're getting closer.

This month some of us will revisit our food forest (that's the bit outside the garden with all the fruit trees in it) to give it a tidy and prep for a big session in June (more on this soon). Lots of other stuff will be going on in the garden too.

  • We'd love it if you can be there by 11am so we can explain what's happening for the day (once!). 
  • Lunch is at 1pm - bring something shareable to drink and eat.
  • We'll have a swap table set up so if you have any fruit, veg, seeds etc to swap bring them along too.
  • Oh and remember your gloves and a hat.

What a beautiful time of year for being in the garden. See you down there on Sunday!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Compost is coming! You can help.

I mentioned the other day that we're about to start building our compost palace, a 5 bay compost complex that will eventually pump out bucketloads of black gold to sustain our food growing efforts.

We'll build it on Saturday 11th May starting at 9am. It'll probably take most of the day.

Ways you can help #1: labour
We've got an awesome plan that we think minimises the work involved but it's still going to be a big job. We need at least 6-8 people to help. Experienced or novice, all are welcome, there's a place for you in this crew.

Let us know if you're available.

Ways you can help #2: compostibles
Once we're composting, we'll take all the compostible green waste you can spare but you can start accumulating a few things now to get us going once we're operational:

  • We will need plenty of newspapers which will be ripped up and added to the vegetable waste, so don't leave that copy of the Metro on the tram. Start collecting them at home, and in time we will provide a spot for them to be neatly stored by the compost palace.  
  • Fallen tree leaves are an excellent compost resource, so if you're not going to use them at home, bag them up and bring them in.  Leaves can be stored in the spare apple crate for now (take your bags home).

Hope to see you before then but please put your hand up and mark this date in your calendar.

Cheers and keep digging!

Monday, April 15, 2013

April news and stuff: gate, compost, shed, communal crew, baby, toilets

Hey everyone,
Isn't it great to have emerged from the heat of Summer into this beautiful time of the year? Some of our personal plots are looking amazing and the communal beds are beautiful, having had some love and attention.

Here's a little bit of news for you.

Our next Garden & Gather working bee - Sunday 28th April

April 28th (11am-3pm) will be our next 'all hands' (yep, that means everyone!) working bee.

As well as working in the garden preparing the space for the compost area and prepping the North communal bed, we'll have a crew working in the food forest again. If you were part of the crew that worked so hard around the middle of last year, we'd love to see you back. We'll be pruning the stone fruit trees, tidying up the pergolas, mulching and more.

Please aim to be there for 11am so we can explain the jobs for the day once.
We'll stop at 1pm for a bite to eat so bring a plate to share.
The food swap table will be in operation too.

Calling the Communal Crew

Our Western bed is now primed and bursting with brassicas and all sorts of other things and we've started work on getting the Northern bed into play. Special thanks to Catherine and Diana for their efforts.

Lots of you put your names down to be communal gardeners. Come on out. Don't be shy. Your hands are needed. Now's the time!

Compost Palace

Our 'compost palace' will be something to behold and promises to cope with everything we can throw at it in the way of green stuff, magically changing our waste into black gold to help us grow more food. 

We'll start building it in the next few weeks just inside the big gates. 

Sunday Sessions

Our Sunday Sessions (every Sunday between 9am and 12pm) are really proving popular. A great way to just bump into other people, say 'hi', chat to your fellow gardeners, have a cuppa, check out what's growing and changing. The garden is a lovely place to be at this time of year. See you down there soon.

In other news...

  • Baby! - Our fantastically awesome Vice President, Libby, has had her baby! Please welcome our newest and (for now) youngest member, Grace. We hope to see both of them down at the garden soon.
  • Why is there a gate into next door? - We have a gate into the garden from the child care centre that so that our lovely friends next door, who are very keen gardeners, can easily come through to tend their plot and enjoy the garden. It'll be great for the kids to be able to see where food comes from. By the way, we know their chooks are exploring the garden and we're working on a fix.
  • No more cross-legged weeding - Council have made it easy for all of us to access the toilets by putting a number keypad on the doors. The number you need to know to get in is on a sign on the shed wall on your left inside the shed. If you want someone to show you how it works, ask a committee member on any Sunday.
  • Gardens without fences - We're going to buy some more steel mesh for supporting climbing plants soon. Please remember it's for climbing plants, not for fencing off your plots.
  • Shed - Have you noticed how tidy and organised the shed is (thanks to Kelly or Di)? We're working on a new, bigger blackboard, a letterbox and more shelving. Ideas? Pass them on to Kelly or Di if you see them or email us.

Friday, April 5, 2013

What to sow or plant in April

A little inspiration -
autumn in the Potager du Roi at Versailles

Cooler weather at last!

Many of us have delayed planting winter and spring crops until we can be sure the warm weather has finally finished.

But it's finally feeling relatively autumnal, so let's look at a few veggies you can get into the ground now:
  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Brussels sprouts (if you're quick!)
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard (or silver beet)
  • Choy sum
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard greens
  • Mitsuna
  • Onion
  • Pak choy
  • Peas (early)
  • Radishes
  • Radicchio
  • Shallots
  • Snow peas
  • Spinach
  • Swedes
  • Tatsoi
  • Turnips.

Normally, we'd have sown members of the Brassica family (such as cabbages, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) as soon as the days cool down in March. They take quite a while to mature, and love the cold weather. But at this stage, you'll want to get seedlings of these - rather than seed - into your plot soon.

It's also a great time to plant herbs such as dill, chives and oregano, or sow seeds of coriander and parsley directly into their new home.

Our Communal Crew at the West Brunswick Community Garden is getting ready for a big planting session (or two or three) in the coming weeks, with a list of seedlings and seeds as long as your arm. 

What's going into your plot this autumn?

You might not need to plant quite this many...