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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