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Friday, July 26, 2013

Fair Food Week at Coburg Farmers Market - volunteers needed (Sat 24th August)

Coburg Farmers Market

Hi everyone,
As part of Fair Food Week we're doing a few things including having a tour on Sunday 25th and contributing some surplus veg to an Open Table dinner.

Here's another way we can be involved.

The Moreland Food Gardens Network (which we are part of) is looking to host a table at the Coburg Farmers Market on Sat 24/8 between 8am - 1pm.

The market are planning to renovate the schools kitchen garden and promote a few local groups in a big tent. There will be a table which we and other groups in the network can staff to chat to people about what our groups are doing. It'll be informal and friendly, an easy way to spread the word.

Merri Corner Community Garden have committed to 8-11am, hopefully some other groups will step up too.

We need a couple of volunteers to cover 11am-1pm and to help with packing up. 
Who's up for it? Email us at if you are.

If you haven't been to check out the market, here's your chance!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Has it been a month already? July Garden & Gather this Sunday 11am-3pm - All Welcome!

Just a quick note to remind you all that this Sunday between 11am-3pm is our monthly Garden & Gather down at the West Brunswick Community Garden & Food Forest.

Here's what will be happening:

  • Catching up with each other and what's been happening in and out of the garden
  • General maintenance around the garden
  • Clearing the space between the shed and the compost palace in preparation for building our propagation area (yippee!)
  • Paint our blackboard (weather permitting)!
  • Participate in the amazing compost workshop at 11am!
  • Witness the progress in the north communal bed!
  • Wander the wonderful food forest!

We'll enjoy a nice lunch at 1pm so bring along something yummy to share for lunch

As always bring gloves and sensible shoes.

Sorry it's been a bit quiet recently, lots of planning going on. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll aim to let you know more about what's coming including:

  • our propagation area
  • building the remaining raised "access" beds
  • perimeter planting
  • shade and seating
  • Friends of the Food Forest
  • signage
Thanks to everyone who has paid their membership, personal plot and communal garden contributions. It's not too late, your contributions really do help. If you want to know how to contribute, email us at

See you on Sunday!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Soup and Mulled Wine recipes from our June Garden & Gather/Food Forest Permablitz

We've been asked quite a few times to share the recipes for the soups and mulled wine we enjoyed at our Garden & Gather/Food Forest Permablitz in June. Here they are! Enjoy.

Pumpkin Soup

This was adapted from the Covent Garden Soup Book. It suggests cooking 200g of the pumpkin separately and popping it into the soup after you've pureed it to give it some. It also calls for 150 ml of milk at the end to give a bit of a creamy taste/texture but I don't reckon it needs it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

What to plant or sow in July

What glorious growing weather!
Hope you've had a chance to get out in the winter sunshine.  It can be hard to get some seeds going in colder weather, but we're having great success germinating undercover in our barbecue-turned-seed-sowing-central at the Brunswick West Community Garden. If you don't want to try sowing seed, there are plenty of seedlings around now to get your winter garden off to a strong start. Here are a few things you can try:

  • Bok choy
  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Chicory 
  • Endive
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Mizuna
  • Mustard greens
  • Onion
  • Pak choy 
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Rocket
  • Shallots
  • Silverbeet or ruby/rainbow chard
  • Tatsoi.

You can also plant tubers of Jerusalem artichokes, crowns of asparagus and rhubarb, and you'll find strawberry runners and seed potatoes in the nurseries now. It's probably getting too late for the standard varieties of broccoli and cauliflower, but you can find green and purple varieties of 'sprouting broccoli' that grow more quickly and provide lots of small tender heads,  as well as year-round cauliflowers.
The odd frost is hard on flowering peas and the tender young shoots of potatoes (and on gardeners' fingertips and ears), so choose your position for these carefully or be prepared to cover them on frosty nights.  A good layer of mulch such as pea straw or lucerne hay can help keep the soil warmer too. On the other hand, a good crunchy freeze is excellent news for Brussels sprouts and kale. It's all swings and roundabouts in the winter garden.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

See an amazing edible home garden, raise some money for our garden, do someone a favour at the same time - 13/14 July

Hi everyone,
Fancy sitting down for a few hours and earning a donation for our garden? Excellent, we have just the job for you!

One of our regular fundraising efforts involves helping on the gate at a Pascoe Vale garden that opens for the Open Garden Scheme (and just happens to belong to one of our members - Karen).

We're looking for volunteers who can help out at the next Open Garden on Saturday 13th or Sunday 14th of July.
  • Shifts are available from 9.30-12.30 or 12.30-3.30 on Saturday or Sunday
  • Two people are needed for each shift
  • Food and drinks provided for volunteers
  • You'll receive a voucher to one of Karen's classes.
It's easy, casual, great fun AND we receive a donation which goes a long way. We get a chance to talk about our place with lots of people and it helps a supporter and friend of our garden and the food forest.

Please, please, please volunteer.

If you can help, get in touch by emailing and let us know which shift you can do. Any questions, please ask.

Even if you can't volunteer, you should make the effort to along to the Open Garden anyway, it's an amazing edible garden. The address is: Gunyah – 22 Lochinvar St., Pascoe Vale

Keep digging and see you soon!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Personal plot options: how to upsize, downsize or register

At the moment, we have 28 fantastic, blooming personal plots of different sizes both raised and in the ground and a short waiting list for plots of all sizes/types. There are also rumours that some personal plot holders might like a change.

We thought it might be good to fill you in on a few things to do with this part of our garden so you know how it works.

Building more raised beds

Soon we'll build some more raised beds which we intend to be accessible to people who are in wheelchairs or who, for other reasons, can't work the other beds we have. In lieue of anyone with these needs, these beds may be offered to people on the waiting list (and existing plot holders who may want to relocate) and we may use some for communal growing space too. More on this soon.

Requesting a plot or changing your plot

A few plots might become free as we go through the annual renewal process, so, if you:
  • have been thinking about applying for a personal plot
  • would like to move to a bigger/smaller/raised/in-ground plot
  • can't manage your plot at all and would like to give it up
Please email us at and let us know.

Requests for new plots or changes will be added to the waiting list and when a plot becomes available, we'll do what we can to keep everybody happy.

Qualifying for a plot

Remember anyone who would like a plot must be a member and a Moreland resident.

That means signing up and paying your $10 annual membership contribution if you haven't already. If you are a concession card holder you don't need to pay this but you still need to let us know that you want to be a member.

Please email us at and let us know.

How do we allocate plots?

When a plot becomes available, the plot selection committee will look at all the paid up members living in Moreland waiting for that type of plot and we assess a number of things including (not in any order):
  • Are they a health care card holder?
  • How close they live to the garden
  • What is their volunteer history with the garden?
  • How much space do they have available to garden at home?
We use the information you supply when you sign up so it's important to keep that information updated. You can go here to do this.

Once we've assigned a plot we'll get in touch and sort out the details.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Forming the Friends of the Food Forest - Sunday 21st July at 11am

What's happening? A meeting to establish the Friends of the Food Forest

Where? West Brunswick Community Garden

When? Sunday 21st July at 11am

Have you taken the time to walk through the fantastic food forest we have at our "doorstep" in Dunstan Reserve? We are the lucky custodians of this inspiring, unique resource. It's ours to look after and learn from. It compliments our community garden beautifully, providing a permanent and perennial partner with a mixture of over 30 fruit, nut and olive trees as well as berries, herbs, natives, ground covers etc.

We've made a great start over the last year and had a fantastic day in June that really gave the area a real boost. As the first part of the rejuvenation project comes to a close, we're looking for a group to continue to develop and maintain the food forest.

The food forest a long term project. It's been there for more than 15 years and we have the chance to grow it into an even more amazing place. Where else will you have a chance to work with such a wide variety of mature trees and establish a complex, self-sustaining mini ecosystem.

Who can join?
Although we're obviously happy if you have relevant skills and knowledge you don't need to have any to get involved, we have a wide range of skills to draw on. If you're keen, use this as a learning space or somewhere you can put your knowledge to good use.

What next?
Are you interested in joining the group that will help take care of things like planting, pruning, berry wrangling, soil enrichment, pest management, signage, harvesting (and eating!), running events and workshops (and of course watering and weeding)?

If this sparks your imagination, send us an email at and lets get together for an informal chat and a cuppa on Sunday 21st July at 11am down at the garden so we can flesh out some ideas, roles, interests and get to know each other.

Looking forward to seeing you there.