Wednesday, 16 April 2014

April's autumnal working bee

Ayumi, Anita, Tony, Alison, Sam, Ruby, Ian

After a week which saw welcome rain followed by days of drizzle and cloudy skies, a slightly smaller than usual group of dedicated willing workers gathered in crisp autumnal sunshine for the April bee. We had planned to mulch all the beds, but, acting on a needs-to-be-done basis, the paths were mowed, edges trimmed, lots of green tomatoes that would not now ripen were harvested, and various spent plants pulled up and added to the compost. Potatoes were dug, beans collected, cucumbers gathered, broccoli picked, worms admired. The more advanced compost was turned, while the newer pile of trimmings and spent plants grew. Amidst these activities a central bed was cleared, sifted, and planted out with various seeds including coriander, varieties of silverbeet, lettuce, beetroot and parsley. An energetic morning passed quickly with brisk labours alongside much catching up, planning, talk & laughter. At the end of the morning there was produce to share round, and plans were made for mulch-spreading here, and at Rae Lands, over the next couple of weeks.

Sam, Ian, Anthony, Luna, Fiona
Tony & Anita

Sam, Alison & Ruby
Ruby, Ayumi
Tony, Anita, Maureen, Ayumi

Ruby & Alison
Ruby, Alison, Anita / Sam's legs & produce
Tom in the foreground

Sam & Anita
Anita, Alison, Anthony, Ruby, Sam

Ayumi, Sam, Tom, Anita, Alison

Hannah & Ayumi

Agnes over on the right there! (Pics: Maureen & Ian)

Gardeners and visitors included Alison, Ruby, Tony, Sam, Fiona Anthony & Luna, Ayumi, Anita, Ian, Vivienne, Miriam, Sumar, Maureen, Tom, Hannah, Laurel... and Agnes, this month's canine observer (reminding us that there are beings other than human...)

Next Albert Street working bee: Saturday 10 May

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Update: Rae Lands Park in autumn

Earlier in the year Paul, and more recently Luke, Anita and Rob in particular, have been busy at Rae Lands Park – mulching, pruning, planting and generally tending this wonderful community resource. Anita especially has been making new beds and watering virtually every day through this extended dry period. (2014 has seen less that 1/3 of the average rainfall to this stage of the year – and less than half the amount we received in the same period last year.) The park is looking established, the fruit trees are growing... there is a developing sense of a place with a presence that reflects the care and attention being put into its tending. Betty Rae would be delighted to see this appreciation of, and responsibility to her gift to this community, now becoming ever more evident...

Friday, 4 April 2014

New sign at the Hepburn Health Service garden

We have just installed a beautiful new sign for the Health Service garden (cnr Jamieson & and Hospital Streets, Daylesford).
The Daylesford Men’s Shed made the sign and the wonderful Jeff Stewart designed and painted it. Everyone's contributions were donated... what a wonderful community we live in! The planned activity group had a working bee on the same day, to plant some veggies for winter… but we still have lots of tomatoes available for people to harvest. (Thanks Fiona for the update & pictures!)

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Skate Park Family Picnic Sunday 30 March Stanbridge Street

Grab the picnic rug, bring some lunch and come on down to the Daylesford Community Park – AKA the Skate Park and Playground – from 12–3pm next Sunday 30 March for a picnic and family gathering.

Starting next week, the Daylesford Community Park Working Group are inviting families and gardeners to meet at the Stanbridge Street park on the last Sunday of the month. It's a chance to catch up, play and energise the playground.

It's been decades in the making and it has some way to go to being a truly nurturing play space for our children. A huge thank you to those who worked so hard to get it to this stage. A fantastic vegie garden and orchard has already been planted, and a few shade trees need some tender loving care. If you're feeling energetic, bring a shovel or a garden hose and we can see what needs doing to help along the plantings.

First family gathering: this Sunday 30 March 12–3pm
Next 2 gatherings: Sunday 27 April 12–3pm / Sunday 25 May 12–3pm

We hope see you there!

Jen, Donna, Fiona, George and Jodie

Monday, 10 March 2014

Chilling out in autumn: March working bee

We had a warm & clear late summer/early autumn day for our March working bee… Pete, Luke & Kate with Edie and Isla came early to water and turn the compost. Over the course of the morning they were followed by Dora, Tia & Jeremy with Jasper & Arden, Sam & Saaci, Ian, Lindy with Ginger & Alice, Sarah, Simone with Smooch, Louise, Tony, Matt & Yael with Essie, Akira & Dante, Tom, Jo, Joy, Laurell, and Pete (the second!)… 25+ gardeners in all had a busy morning! and Tom provided a live soundtrack.

With the warm weather and regular watering the garden is looking bountiful… corn, broccoli, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, strawberries, pumpkin, lettuce, cabbages, potatoes, leeks and numerous greens and herbs are at various stages of fruiting, flowering, flourishing and being progressively harvested. Many of the beds are so dense & luxuriant there are few 'weeds' to speak of and those that are there are hard to see.

The morning's main activities were to untangle, thin out, lift and stake some large & over-crowded tomato plants; to remove a few other plants, mainly brassicas, that had completed their natural cycles… these were added to the compost; to generally tend the beds and edges and thoroughly water. Coriander, rocket and parsley seeds, and some sunflower seedlings were sown/planted where spots could be found… The swap meet fluctuated in size over the morning with people trading various fruit, veggies and preserves from home, and with beans and tomatoes from Albert St being added.

There were lots of passer-bys looking in during the morning with Daylesford bursting at the seams on this ChillOut weekend.

Below: the morning in pictures, thanks to Tia & Jeremy!
Smooch oversees proceedings
Dora with produce, Tia with Arden

Jasper & Arden do some heavy lifting
Ian & Jeremy (a couple of stake-holders), Sam & Tony judging brassicas
Louise, Simone, Ian & Sam at work on the tomatoes
Akira, Essie & Matt shredding & mashing brassicas for the compost
Sarah & Lindy take a break, Tony & Pete get serious about hose fittings
Lindy & Alison  
Some swap meet produce
Tom & Tony compare notes
The music's nice but... will we ever go home (sigh) ?
Finally some post-bee views of the garden...

Next working bee — SATURDAY 12 APRIL — 10am

Monday, 10 February 2014

February working bee: a hot summer's day

The prospect of yet another 38°+ day kept the numbers down for our February working bee. The plan was primarily to get the garden mulched and thoroughly watered. Dora came early to avoid the heat, and was joined by Tony, Anita, Luke and Kate, with Edie and Isla, Jeff with Beatrice, and Ian.

Despite what is now an extended heatwave – with the average temperature since mid-January around 34-35° and very low rainfall – the garden is looking in remarkably good shape and in fact quite beautiful… huge thank-you's to all the volunteer waterers. Toward the end of the morning Jo showed up as did Yael with Akira and Essie, bringing some produce to share. Also Rebecca, a grateful user of the garden, who harvested some snow peas, chives, a few cherry tomatoes, broccoli and kale…
Below: the morning and the garden in pictures. (Next working bee: Saturday 8 March)