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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Moreland Community Gardens Tour 2013 - all welcome!

Hi everyone,
Last year in August, to give us some ideas for how our garden could look and work, we organised a tour of 5 community gardens for the members of the various gardens. It was lots of fun, a bit exhausting for those on bikes and I certainly made some new friends as a result, I reckon others did too.

We've managed to organise another tour of the same community gardens this year and agreed on Saturday 23rd November as THE DAY.
The inspirational Merri Corner Community Garden

It will be really interesting to see the gardens more than a year since the last tour and also at a different time of year. It'll also be useful to see how the other gardens tackle the challenges we face now which were only theoretical a year ago.

I hope you can come along. Here's the timetable:
  • 11am Luscombe St CG East Brunswick
  • 11.45am Merri Corner CG East Brunswick
  • 12.30pm PepperTree Place Coburg (BYO Lunch)
  • 1.30pm West Brunswick CG
  • 2.15pm Mulberry Garden Glenroy

The big difference this year is that we agreed we will share the tour with a wider audience so we'll be opening the tour up to everyone. 

It'll be a chance for others to come and see what we're all up to at our various gardens in Moreland and find out how to get involved.

Please RSVP by emailing and let us know if you need a lift or you're able to give others a lift.

We'll get in touch with those who RSVP to provide more information closer to the date.

I hope you can make it and start spreading the word! (hmm that sounds strangely familiar…)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Exciting addition to this Sunday's G&G (making clay signs) and a minor whoops

We've been talking about making some signage for the communal beds to let people know what's what, what to pick and what to leave. Thanks to Susan who has been trying to get this done. Today, one of our new members got in touch today with a brilliant idea.

Sophie is a potter and also teaches hand-building and throwing. She was thinking we could make these signs out of clay, she'll then take them home, glaze and fire them for us and then we can write on the glazed surface in texta and then rub it off when you want to change the sign! Like I said - brilliant. Oh and fun.

Sophie will be coming along this Sunday to the Garden & Gather with clay, tools, a work table and we'll have a go. Everyone is welcome, kids too.

Oh and the correction I mentioned in the subject.

When I listed the different sessions we have organised over the course of each month, I made a couple of grammatical errors. It should have read:
  1. Midweek meetups - every Tuesday and every Friday 10am-12pm
  2. Sunday sessions - every Sunday (except 4th Sunday) 9am-12pm
  3. Communal Crew sessions - 2nd Sunday of every month -10am & 3rd Tuesday of every month - 7pm-8.30pm (Summer only)
  4. Friends of the Food Forest - 2nd Sunday of every month - 10am-12pm
  5. Garden & Gather - 4th Sunday of every month 11am-3pm

If you want to know more about any of these, get in touch!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Garden & Gather (Sunday October 27th) - Other News & Requests

Well, if today (Sunday) was anything to go by, we've got some work ahead of us this Summer! Still we made it through last Summer successfully and this year we've got another year of gardening under our belts and more people to help. Gotta be better this year. Right?

Next Sunday 27th October between 11am and 3pm we have our monthly Garden & Gather where we get together, have a laugh, something to eat and do some work together to make the garden better. It would be great to see a few more people down there, if you haven't been down for a while, come and say hello, tell a joke and lend a hand.

NEW!! This time, and every month from now on, we'll do an introduction for new members where we'll provide some background to the garden, explain how it works, show you around - that sort of thing.

So, here's what we'll be doing:
  • 11.10 - Intro for new members
  • 11.30 - Compost workshop
  • installing the steel tables outside and anchoring them
  • putting together the remaining staging for inside the greenhouse
  • spreading the remaining sand near the greenhouse
  • some other bits and pieces around the garden
Remember - bring a plate of something edible to share, a hat, suncream and gloves.

In other news...

More ways to be involved - TICK!
When can I meet others at the community garden? Let me count the ways...

  1. Midweek meetups - every Tuesday and Friday 10am-12pm
  2. Sunday sessions - every Sunday (except 4th Sunday) 9am-12pm
  3. Communal Crew sessions - every 2nd Sunday -10am & 3rd Tuesday 7pm-8.30pm (Summer only)
  4. Friends of the Food Forest - every 2nd Sunday - 10am-12pm
  5. Garden & Gather - every 4th Sunday 11am-3pm

Hold our AGM - TICK! 
Thanks to those of you who came along to our AGM last week. It all went very smoothly and was most convivial. There have been some new faces elected to our board, we'll post something soon about this soon.

Build the last of our raised beds - TICK!
Yesterday (Saturday) Barish, Thomas, Nico and Fergus built the last of our raised garden beds, the ones we've been calling our 'access beds'. These beds are:
  • a little higher (so you can garden more comfortably sitting in a wheelchair or standing up), 
  • narrower (so you can easily reach the middle if you're reach is limited),
  • surrounded by firm granitic sand paths (a flatter, more stable surface)
It was a tremendous effort on a pretty hot day. In the next few weeks, we'll have some soil delivered for filling them and we can get growing in these too. 

Some boxes arranged to represent some garden beds
Four of these will be personal plots (we'll allocate them according to our normal criteria/process) and the two long skinny beds will provide some accessible communal growing space.

Some requests...

  • If you bring newspapers for the compost, please make sure they are stacked neatly inside the shed. If they're left outside, they get blown about by the wind.
  • We don't have a rubbish collection at the garden so please take any rubbish home with you.
  • We don't have a shed cleaner/tidier - Had a cuppa? Put your teabags in the compost, wash/put away what you use. Put some plants in? Stack your pots neatly with the others or take them home and put them in your recycling bin.

Look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Monday, October 14, 2013

What to plant or sow in October

Spring. Beautiful one day, freezing the next. It's a very confusing time for all those little seedlings - not to mention the gardeners out in all weather.

But it's splendid for growing, and one of the busiest times of year in the veggie patch. So let's look at a few things you can get into the ground now:

Bok choy
Potatoes (late)
Sliver beet or rainbow chard
Spring onions
Sweet potato*

*if you're confident the last frosts have passed - and right now it's hard to tell.

Whew! That ought to keep you going for a while.

You can also plant herbs like basil, dill, fennel, tarragon and parsley now.

We've had a few people ask about which tomatoes to plant. There's no right answer to that question. It depends on your own taste and also what you use them for: salads, pasta sauces, preserving or gobbling straight off the vine. Perhaps you want an all-rounder? Do you want to go for volume or taste? Prefer some different colours?

This year Hungarian Heart and Jaune FlammĂ© took the honours at the Diggers tasting in Adelaide. Last summer I decided to test out a few different heritage varieties, having always grown standard Roma and First Class for sauces and Sweet Bite for salads. The surprise for me was Amish Paste - I grew it for making pasta sauce but its taste fresh from the garden was divine - and it bore kilos and kilos of fruit per plant. Tommy Toe is a prolific variety with small fruit about the size of an apricot that often win the Diggers taste tests and explode with flavour in the mouth. Black Cherry looks and tastes great, but in my test didn't bear as much fruit as expected. Tigerella not only looks great, with its orange and yellow stripes, but it bears well and the flavour is sensational too. The heritage varieties seem to win the flavour - and appearance - stakes every time.

How about you? Have you got any favourite tomato varieties you can recommend? And any great tips for getting the most out of your spring and summer crops?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Nearly half of Moreland's landfill waste is food! Can you Zero your Waste for a Week?

Food waste is a huge problem, locally, nationally and globally. In Moreland around 29,000 tonnes of waste goes to landfill annually, almost half of this is food waste!

Australians throw away an estimated $5.2 billion worth of food every year, or one in five bags of the food they purchase.

When food waste breaks down in landfill it produces the harmful greenhouse gas, methane. This gas is 23 times more potent than the carbon dioxide that comes out of your car exhaust.

Using a compost bin or worm farm for the food waste you do produce is a great way to reduce waste to landfill and recycle nutrients back into your garden. However, what is even better than recycling your food waste is to avoid creating it in the first place.

Food waste avoidance saves all the water, energy and non-renewable resources that went into getting that food from the farm to your plate. Food waste avoidance means only buying what you can use, being creative with what you have in the cupboards and getting your storage right to get the most out of your food.

Moreland residents! Take the Zero Waste for a Week Challenge this November and reduce your landfill waste to zero for one week. 

It’s not as hard as it sounds, changing the way you buy goods and produce, composting food scraps and recycling more all make a huge difference. 

Free workshops will be available throughout November on food waste avoidance and composting to help you cut your waste to zero. 

For more information or to register call Council on 9240 1111 or go to...

Please note that registration for the challenge is only open to Moreland Residents but information is open to everyone, visit the website for some great Zero Waste tips!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Of interest: Significant tree tour - Sat 19 October

F  r  i  e n  d  s    O f    B  u r  n  l e  y    G  a  r  d e  n  s    inc.
Saturday  19th October  2013


Led by former National Trust Project Officer and FOBG Chair, John Fordham, we are offering the opportunity to visit a number of wonderful trees in their spring glory located in the inner Melbourne and west of Melbourne area.

Many of the trees we will visit are listed on the National Trust’s Significant Tree Register which records unusual trees, historical trees, best examples of species and particularly large trees.

  • We’ll board the bus at Burnley and proceed to the University of Melbourne’s main campus in Parkville. There we’ll look at trees on the Significant Tree Register and also those that were classified last year by the City of Melbourne. From there we’ll take a walk (or bus it) to the Melbourne General Cemetery to look at a pine on the register and have a brief talk about the cemetery.
  • We board the bus again and head to Werribee Mansion for lunch. You can bring your own picnic or settle in to the Mansion cafĂ©  (own cost). After lunch we’ll look at the trees on the Register in this magnificent garden. We’ll have some time to explore the formal gardens (thought to have been designed by William Guilfoyle), the Mansion Heritage orchard and State Rose garden with 5000 roses on display.
  • On the way home we’ll stop at the Domain (next to the Royal Botanic Gardens) and look at the trees on the Significant Tree Register and then return to Burnley.It promises to be a packed day and as usual booking early is wise. Bookings close on the 8th  of October.

COST : $ 100 (members FOBG) $ 125 (non-members)
TIME : The bus will leave from Burnley at 8.30 am and will return by 6.00 pm approximately.
ENQUIRIES: John Fordham 0407 330303 or Andrew Smith 9035 6861
BYO: Mug, water and walking shoes. Bring a picnic lunch (if desired).

BOOKINGS and PAYMENT: Bookings close Monday October 14, 2013 (early bookings appreciated).
by EFT
BSB 063420
Account No = 10018095
Account name = Friends of Burnley Gardens Inc
Please notate with your name

Please cut off this section and send a cheque payable to Friends of Burnley Gardens.

Please include your NAME:
Friends of Burnley Gardens Inc.
500 Yarra Boulevard
VIC 3121
Significant Tree Tour - Day trip- Saturday October 19, 2013
Name (for tag)..………………………………………………………………………

Contact details (phone/email)…….…………………………………………….