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

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Rea Lands Berries and Currants: fruit ripening... and nearly ready for plucking... And coming up... Albert Street December Bee Sat 13

The berries and currants along the Rea Lands wall are laden with fruit that is progressively ripening... 

Sampling freely available for all passing people... and birds!

Albert Street Working Bee coming up Saturday 13 December

Below: snapshot from 2013's December Bee

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Skate Park mulching bee: 5pm Wednesday 12 November... THAT'S TOMORROW!

There will be a special community garden working bee at the DCFG Skate Park on Wednesday 12th Nov at 5pm. It will be great to be down there together and it's also a chance to get the lowdown on the Daylesford Community Fair coming up on Sunday 30th November 12-3pm.

Luke Pither from the Daylesford Community Food Gardeners will be giving a workshop and we're expecting it be a one hour event, the more folk the merrier. Luke is an amazing font of knowledge and garden wisdom!  BYO barrows, spades, rake hoes or rakes. We will weed, and spread the mulch, and hopefully there will also be some sawdust so we can refresh the paths. Everyone is welcome. Bring some picnic food to share so the kids can munch and we can sit down together afterwards.

You will notice a brand new seat at the park, that was installed on November 6, to go with the arch. Special thanks again to Karen and Dave at Overwrought, and Hepburn Shire Council, Rural Access and the awesomely generous support of the Daylesford Community Op Shop.

November 8 bee: A full morning's work in the hot sun

This month's small gathering continued the great ongoing work that has been done since the last bee by Christine and Pete, Sam & Ayumi, Dave, Sebastian and others… we salute you!

Saturday's dedicated workers were Tony, Jo, Sam & Saaci (& bantams!), with visits from Bridie, & Ian.

Sam, Bridie, Tony, Jo
Saaci & Twistie
Today: the lawns were mowed, the garden edgings tidied, compost and mulch from the bins was spread throughout the garden (and the residue in the bins was sorted, turned and reorganised), seedlings from various beds, including potatoes and broccoli, were transplanted into better positions, there was weeding and tidying, and the worm farm was watered and juice collector repositioned to enable easier usage.

Nearly breaktime!
The very earnest work of bug collecting was undertaken by our feathered friends – thanks to Saaci and Sams's silky bantams!

Bugcatcher No.1

Postscript: The indefatigable Sam was noticed around 5pm, still at work in the garden... good on you Sam!


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

October working bee at Rea Lands

A brilliantly sunny morning for the October bee. Rea Lands was looking spring-lush with deep rich greens and yellows & strong dark shadows against a cloudless sky as we gathered.

Sam, Ian, Evelyn
Overall the garden was looking good, but right away there was talk about the mulch heap along the back (neighbour Evelyn's) fence, particularly about some larger branches and the pieces of trunk embedded in the pile. There was concern that it looked almost looked like neglect… not the true story but not the message we want to send. Also in that state it wasn't breaking down (the intention) quickly enough, and could be a fire and snake hazard. By the end of the bee the trunks were rolled out and carried down the hill to be positioned as borders, and the larger branches were separated for later mulching. As well as addressing this, the morning was spent on general tidying, a bit of trimming and cutting back, and planting of donated seedlings and herbs throughout the garden.

... the heap!
... Peter, Sam, Lena
... another view of the heap
... Lena & Ayumi
... Jeremy & Sam
... Lena & Ayumi
... Peter
... some seedlings and herbs
... Chris

... Ayumi
... Maureen
... Tracey & Dora
... Saaci & chick
Over a picnic lunch various aspects of ongoing maintenance were talked about including the following: — regarding the use of macro-mulch throughout the garden it was decided that no branches be put along the very edge of beds as this is a problem for mowing, though long straight branches can be set in from the edges about half a metre and strawberries (for example) grown on the grass side of the branch. — as a general practice, only small sticks and branches should be used as mulch and then only if completely covered with grass, weeds, etc…so, no uncovered macro mulch. — any larger branches and cuttings to be put in a newly allocated spot at the end of the access lane from Hill Street (with thick ends aligned for easy handling to facilitate mulching by the Council.)

Tia, Jeremy, Saaci, Alison, Jasper, Arden, Lena, Sam, Peter, Chris, Maureen, Dora, Tracey
There was agreement that the following requests need to be made to council 1. mulching of branches and larger cuttings, with the wood chips left in a pile for use on the beds; 2. light pruning of the neighbouring oak tree (neighbour Noel spoke to us, and knows and approves) and chipping of the cuttings. 3. Grass from mowing to be either put directly onto beds or left in a heap for us to put on the beds (around trees). 4. Access road to be an all weather one by putting down some aggregate. 

A general decision was also made that Rea Lands reverts back over time to the original perennial garden and food forest concept… that future plantings should be long-living and self-propagating plants such as herbs, yarrow, strawberries, artichoke, nasturtiums, rhubarb, etc. also green manure crops like lupins, beans, peas, sweet peas, and summer ground covering plants such as pumpkins. The present veggies will be left to survive as long as they do. 

From this discussion a larger draft document has been prepared by Pete O'Mara seeking inputs from other DCFG-ers and the local community. Updates will be forthcoming... people who would like a copy of the overview document can email Pete directly

... top corner post-Peter!
... relocated trunks
... streamlined mulch along the back fence
... heavier macro mulch sorted for chipping
the orchard

During the day we noticed that our work was being watched over by magpies nesting in the Norfolk Island pine… 
the nest and one parent can just be seen in the middle of this pic!

this month's pics: Tia & Ian
October workers and visitors included Lena, Sam & Ayumi with Saaci (& baby chicks), Alison, Tia & Jeremy with Jasper & Arden, Tracey, Maureen, Dora, Evelyn & Manfred, Ian, Chris & Peter, Peter O, Rebecca & Siena, Lindy with Alice, Violet & Ginger...