Sunday, 11 June 2017

Pruning workshop with Ian Clarke (June working bee)

25 of us gathered at the library apples to attend a pruning workshop lead by Ian Clarke.

Ian has 55 years experience as an orchardist, and the last 20 years as a biodynamic fruit tree expert.

He showed us his method of bevelling larger pruning cuts, which reduces the surface area and speeds up the healing over process.

With each tree we were asked to examine the branches to remove. It was technical work and many of us felt overwhelmed by the matrix of possibilities.

On apples and pears the best fruit comes from the second and third year fruiting buds, which are the pregnant looking ones.

Ian mentioned it is common that people prune for aesthetics and not for fruit, so observe the second and third year buds and only remove those branches that are overcrowding.

Ian advised against using loppers because they bruise the branches, which encourages disease.

Disease such as woolly aphids can be treated in a number of ways, which we discovered in last year's workshop. Ian's notes for the treatment of disease can be found here (once there scroll down).

Thank you so much Ian Clarke for gifting your knowledge again this year. We look forward to the apples at the library producing another abundant crop. Artist as Family made a Library Fuji cider with them this year. What will you do with this free resource that is 100% community nourishment?

For insurance purposes, those who came included: Patrick Jones (facilitator), Ian Clarke (presenter), Jeremy Yau, Marcus and Kaiden Harmsen, Jonathan Swan, Olivia Gourley, Pam Armstrong, Alix Downing, Emily Wilden, Sharon Reading, Tina Whitaker, Geordie Collins, Robbie Woohey, Jade Dela Haye, Chris Dilworth, Odette Dilworth, Lauren Richardson, Fe Porter, Fab, Luna and Ant Petrucci,  Dora Berenyi, Nick Ritar, Brenna Quinlan, Tracey MacDonald, Tracey Collinson.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

April warm working bee (before the rain)

Another warm April working bee took place on the 8th, the second Saturday of the month.

Patrick arrived early with Artist as Family's ute, tools and gifted straw.

Flo, who is living and working at Melliodora utilised his verbi-voco-visual skills to make up new signs

Luna reminded us of childhood a generation and more back.

Everyone had a role to play 
Jeremy screened the compost to add to the leek and broadbean bed preparations.

Meg fine weeded with Woody and young new friend.

A mellow weekend cohort rocked up and gave gifts through the labour of their hands

Fe had the right idea, with smiles, hats and plenty of community garden experience.

Patrick jigged around the beds evenly distributing the finely screened compost.

Little garden nymphs also danced and explored the possibilities of the garden.

Lowique rests her back after a vigorous weeding session.

Just some of the bikes that transported workers to the bee.

Zero got among the soilers – Jono, Liv, Caroline and crew. His dog grasp of English is better than most think.

Woody cut points on stakes so they could be driven into the ground.

Alison harvested potatoes

Jeremy planted out the leeks

Patrick planted the broadbeans and staked them.

Flo set his signs above the compost piles

Nice job Flo!

Ah, the possibility of autonomous engagement. That's what we love about our community gardens. No membership, no gates, no rules, just the unpoliced ethic of take and return and let the gifts flow through the community.

It's so satisfying to grow communally and to learn, side by side.

Signage is always useful to let other gardeners know what's gone on before things become self evident.

Well, there we have it, another bloody beautiful bee.

After we divvied up and took home the bounty there were grapes, spuds and sun chokes left to offer up to the needs of others. All in a morning's work.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Chillout working bee

Fe, Luna and Fab stop by to say g'day.
Jono, Tim, Peri and Tom chop up the green waste for the compost lasagne.
Mara and Peri work with Ian Clarke on the street apples.
Tracy and Tim screen the aged compost to put on the beds.
Meg ('apparently a male stereotype is looking mean') and Woody.
Ian explains something to Greg, ahem Meg.
Patrick explains the art of compost laying to Tom (left) and Jono (right). Zero watches on, heard it all before.
Dallas tells us her family's history with apples.
Woody harvests onions and potatoes.
Said onions and potatoes.
Jono and Tom overhaul the compost bays.
Meg screens the compost.
Ian Clarke paints the woolly aphids with metho and carries out a light summer prune.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

All ages, activities and abilities (February working bee)

Each working bee Saturday (the second of every month), our two councillors Fiona Robson and Kate Redwood meet at the library for anyone to chat with them about particular issues concerning the shire. Hello Fiona!

 Pic: Mara Ripani

Community gardener Ian Clarke gave Kate an update on the library apples and why he and others are carrying out extensive work to get them back into health.

Pic: Mara Ripani

Patrick, who planted the apples back in 1999, takes Ian's summer prunnings down to the compost area to be shredded and turned into productive soil.

Pic: Mara Ripani

Meg pulls out old brassicas and also takes them down to the composting area.

Pic: Mara Ripani

While we are technical creatures, we are also mammals of place and have the legs to prove it.

Pic: Mara Ripani

Bridie, Dale and Jeremy chop and drop the green waste into fine pieces to get ready to set another compost.

Pic: Mara Ripani

Little people are always welcome to participate in the working bees. Watering is a favourite job in summer.

Pic: Mara Ripani

Bridie lends a hands and smile at the compost arena.

Pic: Mara Ripani

Patrick pulls spent brassicas,

Pic: Mara Ripani

 while Mara, with camera, captures the day's feel,

Pic: Mara Ripani

in many,

Pic: Mara Ripani


Pic: Mara Ripani


Pic: Mara Ripani

ways. 4 year-old Woody helped with the mowing,

Pic: Mara Ripani

and teenagers were even spotted being involved. Thanks Zeph!

Pic: Mara Ripani

Les and Fe helped save parsnip, coriander and rocket seeds,

Pic: Kirsten Bradley

while Fe was often doing multiple jobs at once.

Pic: Kirsten Bradley
Thanks to Kirsten and Mara for the great pictures and to everyone who showed up and once again transformed the Albert Street community garden. Thanks to Melissa, Sue and Karen for donations of straw and cane mulch. Next working bee coming up at DNC. Follow us on Facebook for more info or email Patrick (see right) to get the e-newsletters.