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...


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