Monday, 23 February 2015

February 14 bee: moments from a day of work and play!

Arden wondering where to start on the days activities
Marlise and Batiste
Ayumi and Sam
Marlise, Batiste, Ayumi, Maarten

Alison, Cohen, Ruby
Sam and Mara and a load of rich mulch
Mara and Patrick
Maureen and Jeremy

Natural chilling... social warming

Produce from the garden

Monday, 9 February 2015

Summer's here and the time is ripe... for a cycle, a song and a pickle!

Two Fridays ago (January 30) saw the first Daylesford Critical Mass bike ride for some time... people met around 6.30 at the Albert Street garden before doing a couple of circuits of Vincent Street between the roundabouts...

The bike ride was followed by a gathering of gardeners, families and friends to picnic in the garden and enjoy the wonderful accordion, mandolin and guitar playing and singing of Salvatore Rossano and Haley Egan... a peaceful and convivial summer evening...

Meanwhile in the garden, vegetables continue to grow, and none more plentifully and vigorously than the splendid zucchini (and we all know the old joke about not leaving car doors open in summer)...

The zucchinis have not gone unnoticed by garden visitors, or the ever-observant Lena who has been in touch with the following:

Here is a great zucchini recipe from Sicily that can absorb some of the glut of these gems in harvest season, if you like pickles I can almost guarantee you’ll love these:

Pickled Zucchini
Wash and slice young zucchini fine (3-4mm thick)
Place in colander, salt at 1/2 cup per 2kg, or to taste. Toss the slices until all coated.
Leave to drain for 10-12 hours – a lot of the water will drain off.
Rinse briefly under cold water, squeeze out the water.
In a saucepan prepare a brine of 1/3 white wine vinegar and 2/3 cold water 
(enough to just cover the zucchini).
Boil up slowly, keep simmering for 3 min.
Very important not to exceed three minutes, this timing is really important 
(they will be mushy if over boiled).
Drain again, squeeze out the water. Place on or wrap in clean tea towels, for 10 hours, 
to absorb more moisture.
Add slices to a bowl, mix with chilli, garlic, chopped mint and olive oil (to taste).
Pack into clean jars, topping up with extra oil. Store in the fridge. 
The pickle will keep for several months. Enjoy!

And here's a pic of Lena and Patrick, sampling a drop of Patrick's full-bodied home-made red, crafted from the Library garden grapes, literally!

Also this week's issue of The Local carried a free ad for the garden... thanks Donna and Kyle... if you missed the ad here it is again.  


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Signs, cycles and Salvatore... this Friday January 30 Albert Street... 5.30 & 6pm

The signs flagged in the previous post are now up at Albert Street and Rea Lands… thanks to Peter O, Peter J and Patrick for organising, making, painting and (earnestly) installing.

And this Friday at 6pm there's a byo picnic at Albert Street with accordion music from Salvatore Rossano, preceded by a Critical Mass bike ride (meet 5.30 at Albert Street)... Family friendly event... All Welcome!
Critical Mass emblem by MadCatDeviantArt (Canada)

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Been: Saturday 10 January 2015

Our January working bee morning was preceded by a couple of days and nights of consistent and very welcome rain. The garden, already looking splendid with rostered watering in action since early December (thanks to Peter O… Lena… Lindy, Andrew & kids… Peter & Chris... Karen & Leo… Mara… Dave… Jacinta & family… & Jo!) is especially verdant and bursting with growth ... as these pics show.

While different plants throughout the garden are at various stages of their cycles (as at any time of the year) summer through autumn is a particularly bountiful season… A walk-through summary of current flora includes coriander, comfrey, varieties of lettuce, leeks, chives, basil, parsley, apples, strawberries, rosemary, spinach, lemon balm, beetroot, kale, broccoli, chives, tomatoes, pumpkin, mustard greens, cauliflower, corn, beans, snow peas, thyme, potatoes, vietnamese mint, zuchini, eggplant, capsicum .... & more.

A glance at 'the wash-up' pics in the December bee post below gives you an immediate measure of the dramatic growth over the last 4 weeks!

Saturday's modest session was more a talking bee than a working bee. First on-site was homecomer Patrick with young Woody – back from their 8000+km bike trek – joining him were Peter O, Peter & Chris J, Tony, & Ian. Meg & our favourite canine Zero, Jeremy & Tia with Jasper & Arden also came by.
Pete J, Pete O, Patrick, Chris
Pete, Pete   . . . . . . . .   Chris, Tony

As well as ongoing planting and maintenance details, talk concerned a felt need to encourage the community in recognising and using the garden as an open resource: a green space to enjoy, with free food available for responsible sharing. Therefore it's been decided to place a prominent sign, easily seen by Albert Street passersby, inviting people to not just harvest produce, but to see the garden as a small oasis for social warming. Watch this space!

It was also decided to revitalise our online presence and networking, particularly our Facebook page.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

December Bee: on the record... another busy day in the garden

While the monthly working bees have previously been a kind of regular housekeeping, the last few have built on an increasing amount of work done between sessions. Particularly busy in the last few weeks have been Dave, Sam, Peter and Chris, and on arrival this Saturday morning, everywhere to be seen was evidence of their ongoing tending.

This month Bullarto farmer Rob Botheras generously donated a large bale of lucerne mulch. During the morning this was distributed, along with plenty of mature compost from the compost bays, right through the garden. Donated and bought seedlings were planted; the compost bays turned; beds were weeded as needed; and around midday Pete and Sam made a new bed at the front of the garden.

Sam & Ayumi roll the lucerne in

Pete and Sam
Dante (in pink), Pete, Yael, Ayumi

Matt and Pete

Dante, Akira and Pete (O)
Pete, Pete, Sam, Dora 

Pete and Sam
Sam, Marion, Maureen

Today's gardeners were Dave, Sam, Ayumi, Peter & Chris(tine), Pete(r O), Ian (who took the photos) Matt & Yael with Dante & Akira, Dora, Maureen & Marion (visiting from France). Sam & Marion were still at work mid-afternoon.

The wash-up!

The new front bed

The garden one week later...

Appreciative visitors