Our Pergola Takes Shape

Our Pergola Takes Shape

July was a busy month for winter and we were looking forward to the completion of a new pergola.  So far, the footings were complete (thanks to Phil Marshall) and the forest stewardship timber had been delivered.

Axel Richter, an architect and owner builder, kindly offered his design and building services with Garden members and volunteers providing the labour.  We were hoping to have the pergola completed ready for our August 4th Open Day.  We were lucky with the weather!

Axel Richter places the first pergola post.
Axel Richter places the first pergola post whilst Joy, Jack and John look on.
Already showing signs of a distinctive design
Already showing signs of a distinctive design

By the end of the first day the structure was up and waiting for the roof battens to go on.

Day two:  Roof battens, front shade and attached seat completed.
Day two: Roof battens, front shade and attached seat completed.  Note the winter sunlight streaming through the clerestory gap above the wooden awning and striking the inbuilt seat at the back of the pergola!

The planning and dreaming of a covered pergola to provide extra shelter for members and guests in both hot and cold weather seems to have taken an age.  And now, in a matter of days we have an impressive structure almost completed.

Axel and John Scott complete attaching the colorbond roofing and pause to check out the scenery
Axel and John Scott complete attaching the colorbond roofing and pause to check out the scenery

 

 

 

 

 

 

We give thanks to Axel for his generous gift of time and skills in building this pergola, which we are tempted to call Axel’s Pavilion.

A small token of or appreciation in the form of some wine and a hug.
A small token of or appreciation in the form of some wine and a hug.

 

 

 

 

 

The next stage is preparing the ground for the paving.

James Baldwin on an earthmoving machine scalping the soil to make way for some pre-paving roadbase.
... and the delivery truck squeezes in between our strawbale shelter and the pizza oven to dump the roadbase.
… and the delivery truck squeezes in between our strawbale shelter and the pizza oven to dump the roadbase.

 

 

 

 

 

We plan to complete the paving (kindly donated by Phil Marshall) in the coming months.  Then we will have a Pergola Warming party for members, friends and especially those great community-minded folk that gave their time to create this terrific infrastructure for our community – Phil Marshall & Nick Blatch, Axel Richter, Shayne Turner, James Baldwin, Kevin Roberts, John Marks & John Scott.

And we mustn’t forget our regular members who were also part of the builder’s labouring team – Joy, Kathi, Jack, Adam, Jo and Jill.

THANKS – ONE AND ALL!!

 

 

 

We’re Building a Pergola!

FIRST INSTALLMENT – THE FOOTINGS!

Now that our strawbale shed is used mainly as a kitchen, we are in need of extra shelter from the elements – especially in winter!

So we are building a pergola designed by Axel Richter, a permaculture designer and architect, right next to the strawbale shelter so that we can carry out various regular activities (like propagation, seed cleaning, even eating) in relative comfort.

Footings marked out waiting for the concrete truck.
Footings marked out waiting for the concrete truck.

So far, we just have the footings completed, thanks to time and labour generously given by local builder, Phil Marshall who organised the formwork and Shayne Turner, who drove the Kanga to create the massive holes in the ground.  Nick Blatch also contributed time and effort.  A BIG THANKS FROM ALL OF US AT THE COMMUNITY GARDEN.

These pictures tell the story:

Oops! We accidentally cut through some irrigation pipes.
Oops! We accidentally cut through some irrigation pipes.
The holes filled with water so we had to hire a pump before the concrete truck arrived.
The holes filled with water so we had to hire a pump before the concrete truck arrived.

 

 

The concrete truck has arrived.  All hands on deck!
The concrete truck has arrived. All hands on deck!
Phil Marshall helps Jack empty his barrow load of concrete.
Phil Marshall helps Jack empty his barrow load of concrete.

 

 

A conga line of wheel barrow boys and girls.
A conga line of wheel barrow boys and girls.

 

 

Joy helping with the finishing touches on Phil's Phootings.
Joy helping with the finishing touches on Phil’s Phootings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch this space for the next instalment!

 

 

 

Winter Celebration and Hugel Kultur Demonstration

Well, some of you were planning to come to our Winter Solstice Party and Pruning Demonstration in June until the skies opened and 300mm of rain later we felt we had to either celebrate in wetsuits or postpone to another date.

So…. let’s try again, this time on Sunday, 4th August from 10.30am!

Instant Garden Bed from Prunings 

and …     

          WINTER FEAST/CELEBRATION

Entry is by gold coin donation – the cheapest cup of warming tea/coffee in town.

We will still be celebrating around 1.00pm with a roast lunch using local produce cooked in our wood-fired pizza oven (members – no charge, non-members $7.00)

But while that’s cooking, around 11.00am we plan to build a hugel kultur garden bed.  Read on …

Joanne Dodd of Lightfoot Education will demonstrate how to use all your winter prunings in the creation of a new raised vegetable bed.  Joanne has been running workshops on a variety of sustainable living topics like beekeeping, backyard food growing, chooks in the backyard, etc.  In fact, it is worth a visit to her terrific website: www.lightfooteducation.com.au  

Here is a photo of the hugel kultur bed in Joanne’s backyard:

Jo's Hugel Kultur Bed
Jo Dodd’s hugel kultur bed made with recycled cardboard, and woven fruit tree prunings in winter.

What a terrific way to re-use your backyard prunings.  A waste product becomes a resource!  And hopefully more organically produced food.

Bookings essential (for catering purposes).  Please RSVP by return email before 31st July:  email hidden; JavaScript is required

For further info you can contact Jill on (0414)545735

We’ll see you there!

WINTER IN JUNE SOLSTICE CELEBRATION -Invitation

We would like to invite you to our annual Winter Solstice Open Day and Celebration on Sunday 23rd June, 2013.

Celebrating with our wood-fired oven.
Celebrating with our wood-fired oven.

We will commence at 10.30am with a welcome cup of something hot, followed at 11.00am by a demonstration of winter pruning of fruit trees.  This will include plums, peaches, apples and cherries.

At 12.00 noon we will see how to train fruit trees as espaliers.  We will demonstrate on our wall of heritage apples along the tennis court fence.  Given enough time, we will also turn in a green manure crop to increase soil organic matter.

By 1.00pm we will be eating locally-grown roast beef and vegetables out of our pizza oven.  Grow Local!!!

Entry will be by gold coin donation which will get you two hours  demonstration of pruning and training of fruit trees.

And if you would like to stay on for lunch ……

 

              Roast from the wood-fired oven

                 Community Garden Members – No charge

                 Non members – $7ea   Children: $4

Zero Waste With Worms at Work!

Rosina demonstrating worm farming to guests at the World Environment Day launch

Rosina demonstrating worm farming to guests at the World Environment Day launch

Continuing the theme of Think Eat Save, one of our members, Rosina, gave a demonstration of how to set up a worm farm in your own backyard.

Mrs Chop Chop feeding the worms.
Mrs Chop Chop feeding the worms.

Using her “Mrs Chop Chop” technique she cut vege scraps into smaller portions to make them easier for the worms to digest.  Using cocopeat (or coir) as the bedding material, Rosina added lots of moist shredded paper, crushed egg shells and various other materials like kitchen scraps and old cow manure to the middle worm tray.  The new batch of worms can then be introduced to settle in for a couple of weeks before being fed again.  Worms can eat their body weight in scraps each day.  Therefore, if a thousand worms weigh around 250gms you can add around 250gms of kitchen scraps per day for them to consume.  Don’t over feed them and don’t forget to replace the lid and put your worm farm in a shady spot.

Worm bedding made up of cocopeat/coir and wet shredded paper

Worm bedding made up of cocopeat/coir and wet shredded paper

Worms were harvested out of one of the existing worm farms by up-ending the full worm box onto an old table.  As sunlight is harmful to worms, they will scuttle to the bottom of the pile and you can scrape of the top layer of worm castings for use in your garden beds.  After several scrapings, you are left with a mass of writhing worms that can be relocated into the new worm box or even into a worm tower.

Perhaps you would like a Worm Tower in your garden!

If you want to set up mini worm farms in-situ, you can remove the base of an old lidded bucket and drill holes around the bottom third.

Burying the bottomless bucket to one third of it's depth so that the worm holes are in the topsoil.
Burying the bottomless bucket to one third of it’s depth so that the worm holes are in the topsoil.

You then ‘plant’ the bottom third of the bucket in the middle of a garden bed by digging a round hole in the soil around 20cms deep and putting the bucket in place.  Place some old manure, garden lime and wet shredded paper in the base before putting the worms in.  Follow that up with some kitchen scraps, water well then replace the fitted lid to keep out vermin (rats love eating worms).  We decorated ours as a pine mushroom, which grows in our local area.

Note the finished spotted pine mushroom worm tower - and an interested audience of gardeners.
Note the finished spotted pine mushroom worm tower – and an interested audience of gardeners.

You can have great fun with kids setting up these worm towers around your garden.  The kids can have the responsibility of “feeding the worms” each day.