Sign Up to start gardening or to stay up-to-date

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What's on when in December

Escape the Christmas rush for a while and enjoy a bit of serenity digging in the dirt or planting with some fellow food growers

Sessions marked with ** will have someone who can provide advice and direction on Communal Crew activities.

Fri 5th Dec         7pm Food Forest Planting
Mon 8th Dec      6.30pm Communal Crew watering system installation **
Fri 12th Dec       10ish - Friday Meetup **
Sat 13th Dec       2 - 5pm - Food Forest Watering demo and hanging about doing stuff **
Sun 14th Dec     10am - 1pm Communal Crew working bee **
Mon 15th Dec    6.30pm - dark - Twilight Gardening **
Thu 18th Dec     6.30pm - dark - Twilight Gardening **
Fri 19th Dec      10ish - Friday Meetup **
Mon 22nd Dec  10am - 12pm **
Sun 28th Dec    9am - 1pm - Garden & Gather and Food Swap (note the time change for Dec, Jan & Feb)

Summer growth

A month or so ago, I introduced you to Barış.

If we had a 'most beautiful and elaborate plot award' at the WBCG, Barış would probably win (although Ali and Enda would probably come close).

Here's a little pictorial update on Barış's plot, plumped by hours of work and new summer growth.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Crucial Compost

West Brunswick Community Garden
accepts compost donations
It's getting hotter (and then colder...then hotter...) down at the West Brunswick Community Garden and so is our compost. We've got a 5-bay composting system, with each bay holding about 1/2 a cubic metres of organic matter in various stages of decomposition.

Composting 101. Why?
Generally there is an array of information about how to compost out there, its even provided by the local council. But what about the why of compost?

What composting does:
    Bay 5 and 4
  • Assist the earth. I don't want to sound preachy, but did you know it takes 1000 years for the earth to create 1 inch of top soil? Composting helps the earth (at least in your garden, your neighbours garden or your community garden - whomever is benefiting from some happy nitrogen-carbon balance break-down) produce more of the good stuff, and that, in turn, helps the plants grow, the bee hum and the birds trill in the whole natural cycle of things.
  • Diverts green waste from your rubbish bin. This is a great point from even those who have the anathema of green thumbs. Even if you do not have a garden, having a compost bin will leave more space in your rubbish bin for, well, rubbish, or just space. 
This is great for two reasons:
Composterdor in action in Bay 1
1. It means that there will be a whole lot less methane produced from green waste rotting in an unbridled way in rubbish tips across the city. This is a great benefit to the environment and limiting climate change. Therefore, composting is one of the little things that you can do for the environment that have a great impact in the long term, along with changing you light bulbs and shower-heads to energy/water saving versions.

2. Less waste in your rubbish bin may end up with you being able to live with smaller rubbish bin all together. In the city of Moreland, downsizing your bin from a 120L to a 80L can save you money on your annual waste collection rates. You can contact the council for more info.
An eye-full of the good stuff!

If you don't have room for a compost bin in your backyard, or lack a backyard entirely, yet still want to compost, feel free to bring it down to the WBCG. We have recently set up a bin near the gate for people to make a deposit. From then on in it's over to all of our gardeners to share in making the alchemy happen, lead by our Compost King, Thomas.

Composterdors (as we like to call them)
surveying the scene

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Christmas presents with a kick

Who doesn't love a baby wearing a gangsta related
 community gardening onesey
For the compost king or queen in your life

It's coming up to that time of year when you might be looking for different pressies and we've got a few things you might be interested in.

Why wouldn't you buy from this selection of community garden and food related goodies? Apart from the shear quality a portion of what you pay will go to keeping our garden growing (that's the kicker)!

Pick a design then apply it to a range of long or short sleeved t-shirt styles, hoodies, kid and baby clothes with heaps of different colours available. We have tote bags, cards and other items with an exclusive veggie design courtesy of Julia. You can even create an iPhone case like no other you've ever seen!

Head over to our Red Bubble shop where you can buy as many as you like safe in the knowledge that you are Doing Something Good. Guaranteed.

Open edible garden this weekend (Heidelberg West)

If you're free this weekend......

From Karen Sutherland

You may be interested in an edible garden I have designed opening to the public this weekend, 10-5 each day.

It's opening with other gardens as a fund raiser for Kew Rotary, 'Garden DesignFest'

This garden at 6 Lae Street Heidelberg West is based around edible and useful plants, so I thought you may be interested to see it.

I'll be there all weekend chatting to visitors and hopefully inspiring them to include more edible (and beautiful!) plants in their gardens!

You can read about the garden here

Hope to see some of you there!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Melbourne Cup Tomatoes

What is it about Melbourne Cup Day and tomatoes?

Well according to the locals, it's traditional to get your hands in the soil and plant out tomato seedlings on Melbourne Cup Day.

Whether or not this is true, having a midweek public holiday is a great excuse to get out in the garden.

It certainly is tomato planting season, as the earth warms up and winter veggies around the plots and communal beds go to seed.

Here are a few tips about tomatoes and also the all-important trellising of them. 

Planting: 40-60cm apart. Plant when seedlings are >10cm tall for best results.

If the soil stays soggy where you want to plant, build a raised bed.

Soil: Tomatoes like a pH of 5.5 - 6.8. They prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. 

Companion planting: Good with - Parsley, basil, marigold, nettles, carrots, asparagus, chives, roses, onion, nasturtium and garlic.

Not friends with: Corn, potatoes, apricot trees

Trellising: Remember that the aim of trellising is to create airflow around the tomatoes, to help protect against fungal infections. You can invent any way that works for you. Check out these creative ideas from plotters at the West Brunswick Community Garden...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Gardening Activities for November

Plenty of chances in November to garden together or just visit.

Now that the lovely weather and longer days are upon us we'll be down at the garden in the evening a lot more. 

Tue 4th Nov      5 - 7pm - Twilight Gardening **
Fri 7th Nov        10ish - Friday Meetup **
                           6 - 7.30pm - Food Forest "Weed & Wine"
Sat 8th Nov       2 - 5pm - just hanging about and doing stuff **
Sun 9th Nov     10am - Communal Crew Working Bee **
Fri 14th Nov     10ish - Friday Meetup **
                          6.30pm - dark - Twilight Gardening
Sat 15th Nov     2 - 5pm - just hanging about and doing stuff **
Tue 18th Nov    5 - 7pm - Twilight Gardening ** (inc. berry training/Q&A w. Karen Sutherland)
Thu 20th Nov    6pm - dark - Twilight Gardening ** (inc. bed edging)
Fri 21st Nov      10ish - Friday Meetup **
                           6pm - dark - Twilight Gardening
Sat 22nd Nov   10am - 12pm
Sun 23rd Nov   11am - 3pm - Garden & Gather & Food Swap
Thu 27th Nov   10am - 12pm **
Fri 28th Nov     10ish - Friday Meetup **
Sun 30th Nov    9am - 12.30pm

Sessions marked with ** will have someone who can provide advice and direction on Communal Crew activities.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Our MEGA Garage Sale - Saturday 25th October

Come down to the 

West Brunswick Community Garden on Saturday 25th October to take part in 

our first Garage Sale!

I know many will come just to experience the beautiful surroundings and to chat to our gardeners (there is no charge for this incidentally) but we have an amazing array of things for you to browse through and buy. All money goes towards helping our garden to grow.

This is a big deal for us so we would love your support.

Where: West Brunswick Community Garden - Dunstan Reserve, Brunswick West (Enter from Everett St, we are behind the Moreland Child Care Centre at 49 Everett St) more info here

When: 9.30 - 3.30ish Saturday 25th October

What: There is so much stuff but here is a little selection: a fish tank, jewellery, books, quality CDs (not your normal Op shop rubbish), plants, seedlings, a big bookshelf, a table, a standard weeping Japanese maple tree, lots of clothes, toys, crockery, a table tamp, glasses, shoes, ornaments, a compost bin and more.

Why: All the reasons listed below and more:

  1. Help divert perfectly good stuff from landfill
  2. Pick up something you really need but for less money than buying it new
  3. Pick up something you didn't know you needed but will love and won't find anywhere else
  4. Help us keep our garden growing

Unlike all the 'home' garage sales your money is not going into someone's pocket, it'll help our garden to keep growing. Just makes you want to get your wallet out right now doesn't it? Well you'll have to wait but get in early so you don't miss out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Versatile Vegetables and Libby's Beetroot Chocolate Cake

Where there are people there's food. Down at the West Brunswick Community Garden, we're lucky to have some very talented foodies, including Libby.
Before we get onto Libby, and her amazing recipe, a word about the amazing versatility of vegetables.

Gone are the days when carrot cake and pumpkin scones were the only desserts made of veggies. 
People are getting adventurous and we are seeing more veggie-versions of desserts and sweets appearing. An amazing inspirational blog is Veggie Desserts.  Kale and apple cake? Ginger and pumpkin protein balls? Yes please! 
These are a bit on the extreme side of "Hey-let's-try-something-a-bit-different", so here's a great way to try some veggies versus sweet: a Beetroot Chocolate cake. 

This recipe is provided by Libby, a stalwart of WBCG since July 2012. Fairly new to community gardens and gardening when she first became a member, Libby is now part of the Organising Committee, Communication Committee, garden Treasury, Communal Crew and Food Forest team. Her general interest in learning more about gardening was coupled with missing the social outlet of work after the birth of her first child. Thus, she volunteered to meet people and the rest is history. 
As for dessert-style vegetables, she loves being able to use veggies in ways that her two young children will eat them, and also to use up vegetables that might otherwise not get eaten. She has experimented her way through hummingbird and carrot cakes and hidden zucchini in sweet pikelets. She yet to find a way to make her kids eat silverbeet though! 
This recipe is Libby's personal melding of a few recipes foraged for on the internet. Enjoy!

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

This will make 1 large cake or 2 smaller loaf tins

1/2 cup coconut oil (you could use olive oil instead)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup (you could use golden syrup)
80g dark cooking chocolate
250g raw beetroot grated
3 eggs lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups SR flour
1/4 cup cocoa

Preheat the Oven 160oC
Warm oil in pot on low heat (I used a large pot and made the whole cake in it - less dishes!)
Add sugar, maple syrup and chocolate, stir over low heat until chocolate melted.
Remove from heat and cool for several minutes to avoid eggs cooking instantly when they are added.
Add beetroot, stir well.
Add eggs, stir well.
Add flour and cocoa, mix until throughly combined.

Bake for 50m to 1hour, make sure oven temp remains low to avoid burning.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Garden Therapy - Mental Health Week and Gardening

October 5-12 is Mental Health Week
What's this got to do with gardening? Well, a lot. Gardeners far and wide already extol the benefits of gardening, but now science is adding weight to the idea that gardening is "relaxing".

One study has found that smelling roses and pulling up weeds can lower blood pressure, increase brain activity and produce a general upbeat feeling. 
The journal Neuroscience published another study where researchers from Bristol University and University College London discovered that a "friendly" bacteria commonly found in soil activated brain cells to produce the brain chemical serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are linked with a number of disorders including aggression, anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, and even irritable bowel syndrome.

Of course, A community garden provides many other mental-health improvers apart from soil to get your hands into. We've got sunshine, physical activity, a sense of achievement, a place for learning, access to healthy food, and very importantly, a place for community interaction and inclusion with a welcoming, accepting culture at its heart.

We have heaps of dates in October to write in your diary, come down to and join in on. You can learn from people who have been gardening for years, and practice any skills you might have already. 

With the different garden-in-company days, and the different groups within WBCG, such as the propagation group, composting crew, communal crew, and food forest group, and other opportunities to volunteer at events, there are boundless opportunities for people to socialise, share meals, knowledge and tasks.
Every meet-up we have a variety of tasks people can join in with - you'll be contributing the beauty and productivity of the garden while exercising and socialising, plus you can take home the freshest of fresh veggies and herbs. 

Now that's a winning recipe for good mental health.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Gardening Activities for October

Happy October to you!

There are heaps of ways to enjoy spring in the garden coming up this month, we look forward to seeing you.

All these sessions will have someone from the organising committee or from the communal crew (or both) on-hand to help with questions or to show you around the garden (if you're a recent member or thinking about joining).

Those marked with ** we'll have someone who can provide advice and direction on Communal Crew activities.

Fri 3rd Oct         10ish - Friday Meetup **
Sun 5th Oct       3.30pm - Propagation Group
Wed 8th Oct      9.30 - 11.30am
Thu 9th Oct       10am - 12pm **
Fri 10th Oct       10ish - Friday Meetup **
Sat 11th Oct       2 - 5pm **
Sun 12th Oct     11am - Communal Crew Working Bee **
Tue 14th Oct     5.30 - 7.30pm - Twilight Gardening **
Fri 17th Oct       10ish - Friday Meetup **
Sat 18th Oct       2 - 5pm
Sun 19th Oct     9am - 12.30 - inc. Propagation Group
Fri 24th Oct       10ish - Friday Meetup **
Sat 25th Oct      GARAGE SALE TRAIL!!
Sun 26th Oct     11am - 3pm - Garden & Gather - This month: NO WORK, JUST FUN!
Thu 30th Oct     10am - 12pm **
Fri 31st Oct       10ish - Friday Meetup **
Fri 31st Oct       5.30ish - Evening session

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

West Brunswick Community Garden Plotter Profile No. 1

Barış, gardener, carpenter and WBCG'er
Barış (pronounced 'Barish') is originally from Turkey. He first met with gardening through his grandfather, who had a vegetable garden as large as the whole WBCG space.

Barış's passion for gardening, and the limited space to grow anything at home led him to join the WBCG in October 2013. He wished to share the experience of gardening with others. He also has a thirst for knowledge, and wanted to learn by doing, and by talking with other gardeners, rather than trawling through books and surfing the Internet. 

He has since created his very elaborate and densely planted plot. He has used a lot of recycled materials rescued from worksites where he has been employed as a carpenter. His prized plants include rescued commercial silverbeet (it was meant to be spinach but grew into silverbeet instead), mizuna, celery, marigolds, parsley, and cauliflowers that refuse to produce because they were planted too late in the season. Barış also saves seeds from his plants, and will soon collect the seeds from his mizuna, which is flowering now.
Barış's plot with his propagation boxes made of old milk bottles
His plot also includes his interesting array of hanging propagation boxes, which are fashioned from milk bottles. They were inspired by a photo that his friend emailed him as a space-saving idea.

Barış suggests for anyone who is interested in getting into gardening to start with flowers. Flowers may not be edible (although many varieties are, as Barış pointed out), but flowers are easy to grow. As the flowers come to bloom, gardening-newbies will be encouraged by watching nature take its course.

Interview and words by Monique Miller

Friday, September 19, 2014

3 ways to support our Garage Sale and raise $ for your garden!

Our first garden fundraising event for the year is going to be a big one, but only with your help! 

Time to sort through your clothes, clean out your bookshelves, and dust off those items in the garage. 

It’s time for the 

West Brunswick Community Garden’s first garage sale

Saturday 25 October! 

The fundraiser is part of the Garage Sale Trail being organised for this date. Lots of people go around the sales on the day so we hope to get lots of people visiting us. 

Here's what you need to do:

1. Save things for us to sell and drop them off on Friday 24th Oct

Get together your plants, books, CDs, DVDs, clothes, kids stuff, and your unwanted clutter (but not rubbishy or broken stuff) and bring it all down to the garden on Friday 24 October (sorry we can’t accept donations before this date – we don’t have a lot of storage space).

If you have a particularly interesting item for sale please email a photo to so we can promote it.

2. Volunteer to collect money or show people around the garden on the day

Please volunteer for the day by emailing us at

3. Most importantly - Promote the day

Share it on Facebook, send emails, print off and put up posters at work, in your area – whatever your medium we need lots of people to come through the gates.

Here's a bit of a blurb you can use, modify and send to work colleagues, friends and family:
My community garden joined the Garage Sale Trail which is happening in locations all over Australia on Saturday October 25, 2014.  Check out our sale here: and please help us to spread the word.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Monthly food swap at WBCG starting 28th Sept

Grown too much silverbeet and don't want to waste it?
Loaded with parsley seeds but really need a pumpkin?
Stuck with surplus worm juice and need more thyme (who doesn't)?
Cookbooks taking over your kitchen?
Got an extra garden fork?

You can solve all these problems at a food swap.

Swappers deposit their stuff and then ‘shop’ from the table of stuff left by others. What you pick up should be a fair reflection of what you have put down. No money changes hands. There are food swaps happening everywhere all the time and they have been around forever when you think about it. It just works!

At our next Garden & Gather (from 11am on 28th Sept) we're relaunching our food swap at the West Brunswick Community Garden then we'll hold one every month on the 4th Sunday.

Everyone (not just people connected with our garden) can come along and exchange things like fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, seeds, honey, preserves, tools, seedlings, cookbooks, fruit trees, compost or worm juice, but don't let this list limit you, be imaginative. Community garden or home grown, it doesn't matter.

Why are we doing this? To have a bit of fun, share delicious local food, create friendships, build a stronger community, reduce waste and encourage a grass roots response to food access issues in Moreland and beyond.

Foods swaps are popping up all over Melbourne, in community gardens, local parks, meeting places and even beside traditional markets. Every weekend you can visit a Food Swap in Moreland and from Fawkner to Footscray, Cockatoo to Coburg, Food Swaps are sprouting up all over Victoria.

Monday, September 15, 2014

September's Communal Crew Sunday

Julie and Barış survey the west beds
Sunday the 14th of September, communal crew jobs decided and divided, some old hands and new faces joined forces at the West Brunswick Community Garden.

Under a sun that was already reminding us of the coming summer, plots were prepared for the new round of planting in warmer soils.
The west beds got new (recycled) wood edging and green manures were dug and watered in.

Carolyn, although signing up for West Brunswick Community Garden in June, made it down for her first day at the garden, as did Val and Anna. Anna, who signed up to be part of the Communal and Composting Crews, got a crash-course in composting and saw to it that the next batch of fresh humus is on the way.To top-off a gorgeous spring day, the everyone took home some freshly harvested vegetables. 
Next Communal Crew Sunday will be on October 12th.

Calling all Friends of the Food Forest! Spring is here and your food forest needs you!

I think Kelly and Libby might be dancing in the food forest.
It's not unusual.
It's time for our next Food Forest working bee! Yippee!

Next Saturday, 20th September, 10am-12pm we'll be pruning the olive trees (with a bit of a pruning demonstration) finishing off the sheet mulching under the fruit trees near the garden and extending the pergola wiring to allow our grape vines to take over the space above our heads as well as a few other bits and pieces. 

So come down and join us! See what Spring has done for us!

Friends of the Food Forest

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

More times to garden in company

From this month we're introducing more informal "garden-in-company" sessions. They're spread them across the week at different times as we recognise not everyone's available at the same times.

The regular Friday meetups will still take place.

We'll add these to our newsletter calendar each month.

Someone from the organising committee will be on hand (although they won't be organising anything, except maybe some milk for tea/coffee).

Dates and times you can come and garden with others this month:
Thu 4th Sept      10am-12pm
Fri 5th Sept        from 10am-ish
Tues 9th Sept     9.30-11.30am
Fri 12th Sept       from 10am-ish
Sat 13th Sep       2-5pm
Sun 14th Sept    10am - Communal Crew Working Bee (see below)
Sun 14th Sept     3pm - Propagation people (see below)
Fri 19th Sept       from 10am-ish
Sat 20th Sept     10am - Food forest working bee (see below)
Sun 21st Sept     9am-12.30pm
Tues 23rd Sep    9.30-11.30am
Fri 26th Sept       from 10am-ish
Sun 28th Sept    11am-3pm - Garden & Gather - whole garden working bee

Mark you calendar now so you don't forget!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Communal Crew: Changes to governance and future plans

Recently the West Brunswick Community Garden Organising Committee (WBCGOC - the organising body for the garden) has been concerned about the Communal Crew. We received a few complaints, communication wasn't really happening, there were limited group gardening opportunities available and we felt the beds could be better utilised.

Despite the best efforts of both groups these concerns could not be resolved. As a result, at a meeting on the 14th August the WBCGOC voted to withdraw the delegation of duties and resume running the communal beds through the organising committee. This decision was then ratified by the Moreland Community Gardening Board on the 28th August.

We're all disappointed it hasn't worked out as we had hoped. I'm sure all of our members would like to thank those who have been leading the seed raising, planting and working bees over the last 6 months, their efforts have been appreciated.

What will this change mean? We expect to organise and schedule more events each month for our communal growers and to keep members more informed of the activities happening in the communal beds and what you can do to help. There will be more opportunities for consultation and a wider group of people 'doing things' around the garden.

Some of the activities include:
  • A regular 'harvest' as part of working bee's so those working take home some yummy food
  • A "what's happening in the CC beds" each month in the newsletter
  • More ways each month for people to connect with the CC
  • A program of hands-on learning activities in the communal beds
We'd love to hear from you on this. If you have any strong feelings about the future of the communal beds or you have something to offer in terms of experience to share, organisation skills or time please let us know at

If you would like more details of how this change was handled please get in touch by emailing the same address.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Our 2014 Annual General Meeting - 23rd August 2.30pm

You are warmly invited to attend the 2014 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Moreland Community Gardening which will be held:

On:   Saturday 23rd August
From:  2.30pm
(This is just across the other side of Dunstan Reserve from the West Brunswick Community Garden)

This is an important part of our group's governance program and we encourage you to come along.

Note that although everyone is welcome, only Moreland Community Gardening members who have paid membership fees for 2014-15 (or who have had this fee waived) will be eligible to vote on any resolutions or participate in elections.

The various documents relating to the meeting can be found in this online folder, they are:
  • The Agenda for our meeting
  • The minutes from our last Annual General Meeting
  • An officer nomination form (at the meeting, the officers of Moreland Community Gardening Board will be elected)
  • A proxy voting form (in case you would like to vote but are unable to attend, you may appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf)
  • The current Rules of Incorporation for Moreland Community Gardening Inc.
Completed forms must be sent to:
Moreland Community Gardening Inc.
PO Box 59
Pascoe Vale South
VIC, 3044

Things to note:
  • Completed office holder nomination forms must be received at this address a minimum of 7 days before the meeting. 
  • Completed proxy voting form(s) must be received at this address a minimum of 24 hrs before the meeting.
We'll have some refreshments and nibbles to enjoy during the meeting and we look forward to catching up with you.

Yours sincerely,

Julia Raath

Secretary, Moreland Community Gardening Inc.

Personal Plots Update

Some of our personal plotters have decided a personal plot is not for them which means we have some new gardeners joining us, so welcome new gardeners!

Currently there is still a plot available. If you have not been contacted for a plot and you are interested please email us at, to make sure you are still on the list.

Remember, to be assigned a plot you must be a member of the garden (pay $10 per year or email/show us your concession card, this needs to be renewed each year). We have a system for assigning plots which takes into account your gardening space at home, how close you live to the garden and your volunteer history with the garden. The best way increase your chance of getting a plot assigned is to come along to Garden n Gathers or to help out in a group at the garden.

If you don't feel you can commit to a plot, not sure if you know enough to garden on your own, like gardening with others or are just dying to get your hands dirty come and join in with the Communal Crew. Regular meetings on the second Sunday of the month and other times coming soon.

Fundraising and Funds Saving

Over recent weeks our board, the garden organising committee, organisers of the Communal Crew and the Food Forest have developed plans for this year. As well as taking care of our everyday needs like compost, stakes, tools, insurance, security, seeds etc, we're planning a propagation club, the communal crew want to put in a section of berry bushes, we are thinking of a pergola near the shed to provide shade for gardeners and newly grown seedlings, we'd love to put some shade and seating somewhere in the north of the garden and there's more.

When we set about this planning process we expected that the money raised from our contributions would be less than what we need to achieve all our plans. This is absolutely fine, we just need to look to other sources of funds, materials or support to supplement our contributions.

All of us have a part to play helping to bridge this gap so we urge you to put your hand up, to help out, to learn new skills and to lend your energy to grow a better garden. Please have a look at the ideas below and get in touch to let us know what you can help with.

Fundraising - Our fundraising group will do things like:
  • a Bunnings sausage sizzle
  • making coffee, cake and covering the gate at a local Open Garden
  • working on advertising, articles or media contacts
  • applying for grants or approaching businesses for material or financial support

Funds Saving - Our funds saving group will help reduce the amount we need to spend by doing things like:
  • regular pick ups of horse manure and compost, leaves, vege scrap/coffee grounds from local cafes, seaweed from Williamstown beach, other donations/collections
  • brewing seaweed tea
  • ripping hardwood for stakes
  • being a good scrounger for materials for building, edging or nice logs for seating etc.
  • collecting materials to save on delivery costs

All of these roles/teams will have support from our West Brunswick Community Garden Organising Committee and our Moreland Community Gardening Board. No specific skills are required (although if you have experience it's welcome) just willingness!

Please email to tell us your ideas or what you can do. We'll have a Fundraising/Fund Saving group meetings after lunch at the next Garden & Gather on Sunday 24th August.

Monday, July 21, 2014

What to plant in mid-winter

It may not feel that much like gardening weather, more like sitting-inside-flicking-through-gardening-books weather. But if you look closely at gardens in Coburg and Brunswick right now, you'll see bulbs breaking ground, citrus trees going gangbusters, and magnolias in their full glory. It's not so gloomy in the winter garden, after all, is it?

So we have good news and bad news. The good news is that now is the best time to get your spring and summer veggies started. The bad news is that this involves leaving the couch and the heater. But we promise you'll warm up once you get going.

Here are a few things you can sow or plant right now:
  • Bok choy
  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Chicory 
  • Endive
  • Kale (try the curly Russian kale)
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Mizuna
  • Mustard greens
  • Onions
  • Pak choy 
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Rocket
  • Shallots
  • Silverbeet or ruby/rainbow chard
  • Tatsoi.
Happy little bok choy seedlings

You can also divide up and replant perennial herbs, plant tubers of Jerusalem artichokes (we dug up millions at the Permablitz the other weekend - such a good value crop), crowns of asparagus and rhubarb, and you'll find strawberry runners and seed potatoes in the nurseries now. 

Right then. Gloves on, beanie clamped firmly to head, and off you go.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mark your calendar: Food Forest Permablitz - Sat 12th July!

Right! This is a call out to all of you who ticked the 'Are you interested in helping to manage and develop the food forest?' or said last year you wanted touring the Friends of the Food Forest, all the rest who didn't plus anyone I've missed. 

Pruning, camaraderie, spades, pumpkin soup, wheelbarrows, workshops and a tremendous feeling of satisfaction await you on Saturday 12th July as we hold another remarkable Food Forest Permablitz with help from the amazing Permablitz Collective. Help get months of work done in a day, learn stuff and have a laugh while you're at it (PLUS we'll provide lunch for everyone who comes to help).

When: 9.30 - 4.30 Saturday 12th July

Where: Dunstan Reserve, West Brunswick - enter from Everett St through the car park beside Moreland Child Care Centre, 51 Everett St.

RSVP to (so we can cater lunch for everyone)

Prerequisites for attendance: your willingness to learn and get stuck in and a bit of common sense

Bring: gardening gloves, secateurs (if you want to prune), hand tools for planting, sensible footwear and clothing

Foodwe'll provide lunch for everyone who comes to help but feel free to contribute

This amazing food forest with 30+ mature productive food trees and a slowly developing under-storey of edible and companion plants is a terrific companion to the community garden next door provides a long-term, perennial counterpart to the garden's mostly seasonal, transient, plant-harvest-replant cycle. This unique place will only get better as it becomes more established and we invest some love and attention.

We've got lots to do and learn and plenty of fun to be had. Amongst other things we'll:
  • prune whatever needs it but mostly the fruit trees 
  • Assess a few trees that are struggling 
  • work on the pergola for the climbing vines 
  • Sheet mulch an area to suppress the grass 
  • hold some short workshops on things like pruning and composting. 
  • mulch and weed 
Never been before? Come and check it out. If you came along last year, come and see how much the food forest has grown and developed over the year and to bump into the people you met last June.

Just be there!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wow is it June already?

This Sunday 22nd between 11am - 3pm we have our June Garden & Gather. Nothing quite like a bit of gardening to gently warm you up on a Winter's day.

From Sunday our days start lengthening and we start heading towards the Summer. Come and share in a special celebratory lunch. There will be pumpkin soup!

We'll be on hand to accept your annual membership, communal crew and personal plot contributions. This is your opportunity to pay in person.

There's plenty to do at the garden this month so we need lots of hands, here's what we have lined up:
  • More work on our big garden sign
  • More harvesting of Jerusalem artichokes
  • Put up name signs on the personal plots
  • We WILL start beautification of the shed area!
  • Feed our citrus trees and work on west fence soil ready for citrus trees to be replanted
  • Compost and mulch with hay the perimeter
We'll also run:
  • An introduction for new people at 11.30
  • A compost workshop - turning and learning at midday
  • An espalier tutorial - we'll wander around the perimeter and do any pruning and training sometime before 1pm
What to bring: gloves, sturdy shoes, something edible to share for lunch, a coat in case it rains

Remember, if you can’t make it this time, mark the 4th Sunday of each month on your calendar and plan to make it to 2 or 3 working bees each year.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Your chance to be a fearless compostador

The compost hub is working well, and not just because of the tiny compost crew: it’s because of many others who contribute in many ways, such as: chopping up their waste before putting it in the compost bay; bring and ripping up newspaper; arranging for horse manure collections; reaching out to cafes; bringing in kitchen waste; and putting in the hard work to turn the compost.

Unfortunately, we aren’t producing enough compost to meet the needs of the garden, and so it’s time to step up production.  There are many ways to help, and the following are roles that are needed, or would be nice to have, at the garden:
  • Some more volunteers to turn the compost at Garden & Gather and Communal Crew Sundays.
  • One or more volunteers to look after the “weed tea” section (again, training is available).
  • Some more people to get involved in community outreach, to encourage local businesses and homes to donate scraps to the compost hub.
  • A budding film director, who is interested in shooting a series of very short clips on different elements of our compost system, for uploading to YouTube as a training resource.
  • Someone who is interested in helping to coordinate the composting activities.

If any of the bullet points above tickle your fancy, or if you have any other ideas (we’re always open to suggestions), then please contact us by email at: wbcompostteam [at] (replacing the [at] with @).

We look forward to hearing from you.

King Compost I

Sunday, May 18, 2014

May's Garden & Gather - This Sunday!

Our monthly Garden & Gather - your opportunity to meet your fellow gardeners, get a tour and learn how the garden works, sort out your membership and help us make our garden better - is on again this Sunday from 11am - 3pm.

  • Making a change to the area outside the shed
  • Mulch inside our perimeter fence with straw
  • Potting up the unhappy ruby grapefruit
  • Making up some plot holder signs
  • Hopefully start work on our new garden sign
  • Cut up some more reo mesh
  • Remove some sand from the sandpit

What to bring: gloves, sturdy shoes, something edible to share for lunch, a coat in case it rains

Remember, if you can’t make it this time, mark the 4th Sunday of each month on your calendar and plan to make it to 2 or 3 working bees each year.

Share your thoughts and vote for our garden's name

Got 5 minutes to share your thoughts on the garden?

A while back we asked you to contribute your ideas about what we could do with our garden in the year ahead. Our garden organising committee pulled those ideas together, reviewed them, distilled them into some key areas which we'll all be working on.

We've put together a simple online questionnaire to get your thoughts on a few things:

  • Vote for your favourite name for our garden
  • Which areas of the garden you are involved with
  • If you would like to be more active at the garden
  • How we can help you become more active with the garden
  • If our plans are in line with how you would like to see the garden grow
  • If you would be particularly interested in assisting the organising committee with any of the goals we've identified

It's easy, just click this link and away you go!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Celebrate International Compost Awareness Week at our COMPOSTRAVANAGZA. Workshop! Prizes! Worms! Compost!! (May 10th)

Any resemblance to our Compost King is purely coincidental

Moreland Community Gardening and VEG invite you to a FREE Composting Workshop to celebrate International Compost Awareness Week (yes this is really real).

When: Saturday May 10th 10.30am – 1pm

Where: West Brunswick Community Garden, Behind 49 Everett Street, Brunswick West VIC 3055 (Enter via Everett St through the car park beside the Child Care Centre.)

What: Learn the art and science of how to team with worms and microbes to turn waste into rich organic topsoil – the cornerstone of organic gardening and ultimately human health. A hands-on session will have you confidently making compost. You will also learn how to set up a worm farm and how to use the wonderful by-products of these amazing critters in your garden. 

No space for your own compost system?  Then use the community garden compost hub.

We've got prizes to give away including:
  • A compost tumbler
  • A compost screw
  • Compost caddies
  • Ethical Shopping Guides
Entries for the competition will be collected between 10.30am – 11am, so get in early to be in the draw!

For more info please email us at:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

This Sunday's Garden & Gather

Autumn sunshine making everything look lush
Our next Garden & Gather is coming up this Sunday between 11am and 3pm.

As well as running an introduction for new gardeners, we'll be accepting membership and communal crew contributions if you haven't got around to paying yet.

We have plenty of stuff to do including:
  • Finishing off some of the mulching left from last weekend
  • Mounting the mural that was painted for us
  • Making personal plot name signs and taking plot holder photos
  • Building a structure for our new compost signs
  • Lifting the unhappy ruby grapefruit and give it a temporary home over winter
  • Removing the pesky passionfruit by the shed
  • Edging the remaining personal plots
  • Mulching inside the perimeter fence with straw
What to bring: gloves, sturdy shoes, something edible to share for lunch, a coat in case it rains

Remember, if you can’t make it this time, mark the 4th Sunday of each month on your calendar and plan to make it to 2 or 3 working bees each year.

See you there!

Friday, April 18, 2014

What to sow or plant in autumn

It's really autumn now. How lovely. We've even (finally!) had some rain. But it's such a busy time, with one season's produce to be dealt with in the kitchen, and another's to get into the ground.

We're making pesto for the freezer, stirring jam and chutney, bottling quinces and plums, and getting our winter and spring crops in the ground. And who would want it any other way?

A few more decades and our garden will look like this.

So here are a few things you can get started in April & May:

  • Beetroot
  • Bok choy
  • Broad beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Kale
  • Kohl rabi
  • Lettuce (try Cos, Imperial, or green or brown Mignonette)
  • Leeks
  • Mitzuna
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Rocket
  • Shallots
  • Silver beet or rainbow chard
  • Spinach
  • Swedes
  • Turnips.

You can also plant perennial vegetables and fruit such as strawberries, asparagus and globe artichokes, as well as herbs like chives, oregano, sage, thyme and parsley.

Yes. That's a lot. But get a few things in the ground now, and they can be quietly growing over winter while you're inside in the warm, eating home-made jam on toast.

Happy digging!