Food Forest working bee

Thank you to everyone who came along to today’s working bee in the Food Forest! We got loads done, including:

  • Removing the dying Kangaroo Apple
  • Cutting down the dead Abyssinian Banana 
  • Taking cuttings from our Mulberry tree
  • Smothering the Kikuyu around our Carob tree with (biodegradable) weed mat and mulch
  • Weeding the paths
  • Weeding and mulching around the Lime
  • Bagging our bananas to protect them
  • Most importantly, eating plenty of cake for Richard’s birthday!

It was great to meet some locals who discovered the working bee through the new noticeboard (it works!).

If you’re looking for tasks to do in the Food Forest, please keep an eye on the newly mulched areas and remove any weeds that make their way in. There will also be some more carob pods to harvest very soon – wait until they’re brown and dry before picking. 

Jess, Judith and Lindy
Mulberry cuttings
Ian & Richard
Garden helper
Huge olives!
Abyssinian Banana mid-chop

Our first bananas!

Libby and Jess were very excited to discover the first fruits on our banana plants in the Food Forest! 

These plants are thriving in our subtropical garden. They do need to be thinned out as they are currently growing in very large clumps. We’ll be doing this at a working bee later this year, so keep an eye out for that if you’d like to get involved.

The next Food Forest working bee will be on Sunday 20th February from 10am – 2pm. All welcome and no experience necessary – just bring yourself and a pair of gloves. Hope to see you there!

Open Garden sessions are back at Pentridge Community Garden. Learn to garden in Coburg with your neighbours.

After a disrupted year, we’re very pleased to announce that Open Garden sessions are back at Pentridge Community Garden! Open Gardens will be happening Sundays from 10.30am until daylight savings ends (then we will move back to afternoon sessions).

If you’ve never attended an Open Garden before, here’s how it works:

  • This is our informal, weekly catch up for gardening members. We set the time loosely – people tend to start arriving from 10.30am, but it’s common to see other gardeners deep into the afternoon depending on people’s schedules.
  • We use these sessions as an opportunity to meet other members, discuss what needs to be done in the garden and assign jobs or activities. On a typical day you might see members planting seedlings, weeding, pulling out spent crops, preparing garden beds for new crops, staking vines, spraying fruit trees or pruning the bushes.
  • Open Gardens are also used to tackle some of the bigger jobs at the garden, like building new garden beds or working on the hydroponics system.
  • If you’re new to gardening, we recommend attending an Open Garden session. It’s the quickest way to meet people and learn from our more experienced members.
  • At the end of the session, we sit down for a cuppa and a chat.
  • Before you leave, make sure you take home some fruit and vegies. There’s always something to harvest and plenty to go around.

If this sounds really good to you, but you’re not yet a member, check out our membership options here.

If you’ve never visited Pentridge Community Garden before, you’re welcome to pop in and take a look any time the gate is open. Members of the public are also welcome to drop off their compost during Open Garden sessions.

We hope to see you at our next Open Garden – happening Sundays from 10.30am in the summer months.

WBCG – Sofia’s Farewell

On Sunday 28th November we had a great Garden and Gather, with participants: Richard, Libby and family, Judith, Julia C, Melanie, Therese, Carmen, Val, Sofia, Rob, Nat, Kim McC, Laurence (‘Loz’), Marie-Paul, Jess and Christine K. Christine and Fred, and Cigdem and kids popped in too.
We did a lot of work, including moving the compost, harvesting the spuds, clearing beds W16&17, clearing beds N1A & 1B and laying black plastic, clearing bed N4, planting cucumbers in Bed 3N watering the northern end of the Food Forest (south of the path) and planting some seedlings.
We had a delicious lunch with so much variety and heaps of desserts too (wow we have some amazing bakers!).
And, most important of all, we said farewell and thank you to our dear colleague, Sofia, who has left us to go back home to Chile. Sofia has been a passionate and dedicated gardener, member of the Organising Committee, and leader of the communal garden beds. We gave her a farewell present of a Crumpler bag and a Merri Creek bird calendar. Thanks to all those who contributed.
Many laughs, tears and hugs were shared. We miss you already Sofia – safe travels home, besos.

Farewell to our wonderful friend John Coutanche

Many of you would have worked in the garden at West Brunswick or in the Food Forest alongside John Coutanche over the last few years. John was a massive contributor to the garden, and very much a quiet achiever. John was a very active member of the Organising Committee, a tireless worker in the communal garden, a keen and knowledgable seed saver, a Food Forest champion, wonderful company and a great friend.
Last Thursday, John lost his battle with cancer and passed away. He had battled sarcoma for a number of years and had been having treatment until earlier this year. The Organising Committee has organised a memorial (via zoom) this Sunday at 3pm. Please come along to share your memories of John or even if you didn’t know him well come and hear what a wonderful person he was and the amazing things he did for the garden and Food Forest. There are plans to set up a permanent memorial in the garden for him too.

Click here to join the Zoom meeting, or use the details below.

Meeting ID: 874 2626 4251

Passcode: Sn83bf

Edible Pruning Series – free workshops!

In conjunction with Moreland City Council and as part of the My Smart Garden program, we are excited to be presenting a series of workshops on pruning. They will be run at the Dunstan Reserve Food Forest, by James Barclay, who is an enthusiastic presenter and advocate for engaging the public in sustainable horticultural practice.
Each session will cover pruning basics, and then focus on a particular area. The sessions are suitable for beginner – intermediate level gardeners, and will also include hands on pruning practice in our food forest.
Registrations are essential via the links below:

Edible Pruning Series – Workshop 2: Fruiting Vines and Shrubs (26th June)

Edible Pruning Series – Workshop 3: Espalier (10th July)

Also check out the many other free workshops on the My Smart Garden website.
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