Monday, 30 October 2017

Community Uprising (October working bee)

Thank you to the sun, the birds and the bees for joining us at the October bee. And a special thank you to baby Rafael for joining us. We look forward to watching you grow, little fella. Congratulations to Jade + Robbie.

Kirsten overhauls a garden bed ready for spring planting.

Thank you spring!

Patrick selects seedlings to plant. Thanks to Sue + Melissa + Mara Ripani for kindly donating them.

Zero enjoys the soft grass and the warm air.

Tools of the trade.

Ian Clarke lovingly attends to an apple tree.

Ashar makes himself at home.

The Porter Petruccis get busy digging.

Meg sifts aged compost to add to garden beds for planting.

Woody and Ashar discuss which woods are the best for whittling spoons.

Thank you to everyone who came along to help. See you at the next bee on November 11th.

Great photos, Mara Ripani! Thank you gorgeous lady. <3

Monday, 11 September 2017

Many hands (September working bee)

We finally had a great day for gardening after a week of poor weather and the previous (August) working bee being washed out.

Our numbers were doubled by a group of students from Clonard College, most of whom were first time gardeners. Patrick introduced the ethics of the garden and handed out jobs.

Tracey arrived early and got to weeding one of the leek beds.

Loique worked on the other one, hidden by the broadband.

Mara, as colourful as ever, helps in this front bed too with help from ...

Chris gets those happy-pill soil microbes into his blood stream.

Tom lends an ear to the garden nymphs.

Artemisia collects up the purple Congo potatoes.

Tom loads up the beds with mature compost.

Zero hunts mice.

Meg plants some European parsley.

Ian sprays white oil on the fruit trees.

These two from Clonard College learn to set a compost.

Kim wheels the nitrogen down to the composters.

Patrick pulls out the chickweed that has been feeding us all winter. Chick weed is full of Vitamin C.

Ange returns to the district to lend a hand.

Laura from Join Adventures and Michael, the outdoor ed teacher from Clonard College, lead a weeding team.

Linda and Mara take a moment for a moment.

And Diana, one of the librarians from next door, prepares a frame to hang pollinator hotels. Diana is running a workshop for children to make them, as part of the holiday program.

Next working bee is on the second Saturday of October, 9am -12 noon. See you there!

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.