Tuesday, 20 November 2012

How does your garden grow?

Today a group of year 8 students from Daylesford Secondary College had an excursion to Rea Lands Park. As a DCFG rep, Patrick met the students on site and gave them a rundown of the park's history and a plant-by-plant tour of what's currently growing there and what a political act it is to take responsibility for one's own food.

It was a perfect spring day and the park was buzzing with colour,


flute playing canines,

and chubby cherubs.

From Rea Lands Park the tour continued on to the Albert Street garden

where the students tried and tasted everything in sight.

They were particularly enamoured by the chocolate mint growing in the bath at the front. It's perfect steeped in boiling water and then drunk chilled on a warm arvo.

Have you tried it yet?

Monday, 12 November 2012

Treating leaf curl organically

Leaf curl in nectarine and peach trees is caused by a fungus, Taphrina deformans, that reduces the number of leaves and fruit on trees and therefore the overall health of them. All of the peaches and nectarines in Rea Lands Park have the disease this year. A simple organic remedy at this time of year is to spray liquid seaweed (containing Ascophyllum nodosum) onto the leaves. This will either clear up the fungus completely or, at the very least, mitigate the spread of it.

Curly leaf looks much like this.

After just one season of not treating leaf curl these trees will look much worse and the effect will severely restrict the development of the plant.

Because liquid seaweed is an ideal organic plant food we sprayed the neighbouring trees too. Here are the first apricots to set in Rea Lands Park.





and quince are also all setting fruit now.

To mitigate disease and give the fruit the best possible circumstances we will continue to spray seaweed on the trees every fortnight throughout the growing season. The next challenge will be to protect the fruit from local bird populations.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

November Bee

Over fifty people turned up to this month's working bee and Harvest Swapmeet. A beautiful spring day and plenty of love...

This is what we got up to at Albert St garden:

And then a few of us took off to Rea Lands Park to spread lucerne and plant pumpkins under the fruit and nut trees: