Sunday, 20 July 2014

Saturday July 12 mid-winter bee

Even though the skies had cleared after a week of closed-in weather, at 3 degrees it was definitely a mid-winter morning in the garden.
For awhile Jo and Ian were wondering if there would be any others...

... until Yael and Akira appeared...

followed by Pete...

... then Danny with visiting UK woofer Megan.

Hello Megan and Danny!
The garden itself was sodden and quite dormant… not much growth, except around the 'food scraps here' slot of the compost pile.
So, apart from yarning, we tidied up the compost, spread around some leaf mulch, fed the bigger worm farm and did some maintenance on, refreshed and moved the smaller one from the western to the eastern fence… and at the end of the morning Danny and Megan left with a heap of worm castings to take home to Blampied where Danny is establishing a small organic farm.

Our morning's exertions were observed by an incessantly active family of silver eyes (who were hard to catch on camera!)

Of special interest this month was Akira's remarkable kangaroo-mum-&-joey back pack…
plus, it was hard not to notice, and speculate on this colourful wind vane that has arrived atop a plant support frame… it shows all the signs of a strong weather-beating, with East spun 180°, South knocked flat, West headed South, but North persisting… a sign of times to come perhaps?

Next working bee: Saturday 9 August

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Next working bee and meeting: Saturday 12 July – 2nd Saturday of the month!

At the last bee we discussed options for the next DCFG meeting, and it was decided to combine the meeting with the working bee... do the work, then talk over any issues or actions that we need to be thinking about and considering. (eg. there are lease renewals for Albert Street & Rea Lands coming up in September). If the weather is dry we will have the meeting onsite at Albert Street right after the bee...  if wet / freezing, we can adjourn to either the library or a nearly café. See you then and see you there: Saturday 12 July – 2nd Saturday of the month!

Monday, 16 June 2014

June bee: a whirl of gardeners

Making-up for last month's wash-out, people got busy for the year's first real winter working bee, and fortunately the weather was good.
It was high energy input from gardeners of all ages including Yael with Essie & Akira, Jo, Tony, Lena, Renee, Dora, Ian, Brett (visiting on a break from Medecins sans Frontieres and considering his next move), Jeremy & Tia with Jasper & Arden, Antony & Fiona with Luna, Luke & Kate with Edie & Isla. Vegies were dug, died back plants came out, beds were cleaned up, weeded and mulched, edges cleared, the seed bed was thinned with selected seedlings migrating to other beds. A background narrative of the morning was addressing the piles of compost that had built up over the last two months... Tony and Jeremy were on it consistently with help from Lena, Fiona, Antony, Jo, Brett, Luke and others. A whirl of activity swept through the garden... pictures give a glimpse of our industrious morning.

Artichokes galore were dug: Akira, Essie (with dirt on her hands) & Lena 
Lots of chatting:  Kate, Tia, Fiona, Luna & Arden / Brett & Maureen
Tia &Yael / Lena & Luke
Dora brought organic Pink Lady apples from home 
Pink Lady appreciation society considers these apples seriously good... almost lost for words!
Ant, Brett, Jo, Alison 

Renee, Yael, Ant

Jo (at a serious moment) Alison & Brett (artichoking)

Luna, Arden, Tia & Fiona thinning seedlings

Transplanted lettuces

Dora, Alison

Compost awaiting attention

Tony, our man on the ground

Joined by Jeremy

Lena adds to raw materials
Luke & Jo bringing straw

The straw was powdery so masks were needed

Brett & Jo get down & tidy up!

This month's new life form, & worm of the day... (hand models Brett & Jasper)
and as the world turns around her...  Isla sleeps 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Next Working Bee: Saturday 14 June

Hello Gardeners... Lena has drawn attention to the wrong date being broadcast, in last months blog post, for the June working bee.
The arrangement of having working bees on the second Saturday of each month, weather permitting, continues... Hope to see lots of people on Saturday 14 June for the first of this years winter workouts... rug up and hoe down!

Monday, 12 May 2014

May working bee not so merry

There's nothing like a sunny morning to draw people into the garden… and the converse is true… so it was a wet and misty Saturday morning that kept people away from our scheduled working bee. The garden is going into a winter mode… there are some exhausted plants to come out (corn, tomatoes), seeds to be saved (beans), mulch to be spread, and the beginnings of leaf offerings either to be distributed on beds or added to the compost (which needs turning). That said, the garden is looking great, not least because the grass had been mowed and the edges and beds maintained (thanks Tony, and Anita, among others...) Also, the seed bed set up in April is sprouting away, and other plants too are loving the wetter conditions (red mustard greens).

A few of us gathered under cover over a coffee and wondered whether the winter bees should be less formal, determined by the weather on the nominated day… so perhaps the arrangement could be: 2nd Saturday of the month, subject to weather… and when the weather is very wet we move to the next weekend? With warmer and drier conditions this week people are encouraged to drop in and incrementally attend to whatever seems appropriate, as happens with the watering, and which, as mentioned above, has also been happening with general maintenance. Perhaps this is a good explicit ongoing winter strategy, not in place of, but as well as the scheduled bees? Responses and comments welcome!

Please note correction!
Next scheduled Albert Street bee: Saturday 7 June

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