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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.