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Sunday, March 30, 2014

The upcoming Compostravaganza - 10th May

We are celebrating the International Compost Awareness Week this year with a mini Compostravaganza. Some wonderful people from VEG will be holding a compost workshop at the community garden on Saturday May 10th, and we hope to have the new compost portico complete by then as well as some new signage. 

The compost hub welcomes contributions from all the local community, particularly those with no outdoor space for their own composting system. The Compostravaganza will introduce more of our community to composting, and encourage them to take part.

We looking for volunteers to help with the event, to:
  • Design a flyer about the event 
  • Letterbox the flyer to the local community 
  • Help out on the day, with things such as guiding new folk, giving out information and cups of tea 
  • Construct the portico on a day in April (to be announced) 
  • Something else you’d like to suggest 
If you’d like to get involved with the Compostravaganza, please contact the compost crew by email at: wbcompostteam [at] (replacing the [at] with @).

We look forward to hearing from you.

King Compost I

Saturday, March 15, 2014

March Garden & Gather (Sunday 23rd March) plus some new ways to get your hands dirty

Happy Autumn to you. Hasn't it been nice to have this break in the weather? I love this time of year. It's been a busy few weeks with brainstorming, pony poo deliveries, sandpit building, progress with our composting hub, Communal Crew seed sowing and taking some steps to tackle the problem of people helping themselves a little too freely to our veg.

Garden & Gather

Our monthly Garden & Gather is on next Sunday 23rd. These days are really important to the garden for a few reasons.
  1. We get to meet, re-meet and know each other
  2. New people come along and learn how things work and do #1
  3. We do the stuff that needs to be done to keep things running smoothly and make the garden better
Last month's Sustainable Living Festival event was a great day. Chris Williams showered us with interesting edible perennial knowledge and we have plenty of cuttings growing away in the greenhouse and around the garden to show for it. Libby and Craig almost double handedly(?) built a sandpit to amuse younger visitors (so their less-young parents can get into their gardening). Karen did a Food Forest tour and we enjoyed a scrumptious lunch with some tasty, on-site cooking from Kate. We did a compost workshop, flipped the compost and lots of other stuff got done too

This month we have a few things lined up:
  • an intro for new people and a compost workshop
  • fix the gates and the greenhouse door so they open/close easily
  • pull out the hard rubbish we want to dispose of in the upcoming collection
  • extend the greenhouse watering system
  • prepare storage for Autumn leaf donations
  • weeding, watering, feeding, mulching
  • put up some new compost signage and making some personal plots signs
  • we're resurrecting our monthly food swap so bring anything food related you want to swap (e.g. tools, seeds, plants, produce, tall stories)
  • and of course....eating, drinking, chatting, giggling etc. 
Bring along a plate of food to share, sturdy footwear, a hat and gloves.

Ways you can help: Propagation, Composting, Fundraising and ...weedsteaming?

We had terrific brainstorming evening last week letting our minds run away with the future possibilities for our garden. Some exciting, interesting things came up and we're acting on a few straight away to provide some new ways for you to get involved:
  • Propagation Group - we want to get the most from our propagation area including the greenhouse with its watering system and the almost finished hardening-off area outside. We'd like to see if groaning with seedlings ASAP. We're setting set up a group to look after this area (this doesn't mean looking after plants).
  • Composters - notice the new Composting page on our website? It's a sign of some exciting things happening with our community compost hub in the run up to Compost Awareness Week in May (more soon). We're seeking a dedicated band of compost enthusiasts to help manage our green waste recycling activities, not necessarily doing all the work but recruiting, helping to organise and manage it and to help others learn.
  • Grass Haters Brigade - we've been trying to organise a trial of a clever weed steaming system that might help us manage the 'orrible invasive grass throughout the garden in a sustainable, organic way. We need some people to help try to make this happen.
  • Fundraising - To develop the garden into the place we want it to be and to keep it growing loads of lovely food, we will need to turn our attention to raising some money. We need some people to help with this.
Although we do ask for a financial contribution, it's just as important (if not more) to the success of our garden that we all help do the things that need doing. We have lots of different ways you can be involved, above are a few more. Give whatever time you can, every minute counts.

If any of these tickle you, drop us an email at or reply to this if you're reading it on an email.

I'd like to leave you with this: How about every time you visit the garden find some small way to make it better. Get to know someone's name and tell them yours, pick up a bit of rubbish, dig out some kikuyu grass or a weed, rewind a tangled hose, hang a tool left on a table, wash an extra cup, email us if something needs fixing or is running low. 

OK, enough words. Hopefully see you at the garden next Sunday!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

What to sow or plant in March

It definitely feels like autumn now, doesn't it?
It's my favourite time of year in the garden, even though there's so much to do. Some of the most important crops for my kitchen are either finishing up or getting ready to go in to the ground. The weather is a little gentler on both gardener and plants, and best of all we get to sample the autumn harvest (and spend hours in that weary Zen state of bottling or stirring).

The plants are showing the signs of autumn too. I can see the first ribbons of red on the grape vines, and the tomato plants are deciding whether to give up the ghost or make one last feeble attempt at fruiting. So it's time to start raking up, clearing out, and turning over.

Here are a few of the things you can get started this month:

  • Artichokes
  • Bok choy
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Celeriac
  • Daikon
  • Endive
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Lettuces
  • Onions
  • Peas (early)
  • Radishes
  • Rocket
  • Silverbeet or rainbow/ruby chard
  • Swedes
  • Tatsoi
  • Turnip.

See? And you thought the bumper season was over.

If you're getting impatient with your tomatoes, just hanging there fatly and greenly on dessicated stalks, know that they will ripen if you pull out the whole plant and hang it somewhere out of the way (especially cherry tomatoes). If they show just a little red, you can pick them and bring them inside. It's warmth that ripens tomatoes, not direct sun.

If you have more ripe tomatoes and basil than you can eat right now, here are some tips for preserving them for the winter months.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

See an amazing local edible home garden, raise some money for our garden AND do someone a favour at the same time - 15-16 March

Hi everyone,
Fancy sitting down for a few hours and earning a donation for our garden? Yes? 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 Sutherland).

We're looking for volunteers who can help out at the next Open Garden on Saturday 15th or Sunday 16th of March.
  • 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, you get to chat to people who appreciate a good food garden 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 Let us know your preferred time. If you are flexible enough to do a one of several different times that helps with scheduling. If you have 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!