Bug Motels at Schools Environment Day

In October, the Community Garden was invited by Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Environment & Sustainability Department to present a couple of activities relating to gardening and the environment.  And what a great day it was, with a wide diversity of activities being presented to a large number of local years 5&6 school children from around the Shire.

Fantastic interactive display of Australian native birds to entertain kids and adults alike!
Fantastic interactive display of Australian native birds to entertain kids and adults alike!

We decided to:

a)  Build a Beneficial Bug Motel that the kids could take back to school and put into the school garden to create habitat for predatory and pollinating insects.  The main benefit is that kids can understand that there is no need to spray pesticides when there are natural means of pest control like this.

A proud group of years 5&6 display their newly made beneficial bug motel.
A proud group of years 5&6 display their newly made beneficial bug motel.

b)  Build a worm tower and discuss the benefits of keeping worms in your backyard to help with soil fertility in your garden whilst recycling amazing amounts of diverse organic materials that are often seen as waste and sent off site.

All set for the Build a Worm Tower activity
All set for the Build a Worm Tower activity

What a great surprise when Costa Georgiadis turned up on the Day and inspired the kids (and the adults) with his enthusiastic pep talk on the role of the kids in the protection and enhancement of our local environment!

Costa Georgiadis captured the attention of the school kids with his enthusiastic approach to the environment.

Costa Georgiadis captured the attention of the school kids with his enthusiastic approach to the environment.

It was an enjoyable, educational and well-executed event which will hopefully be repeated in the years to come.  Here is one of the groups of students proudly displaying their newly-completed Beneficial Bug Motel.

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Spring Open Day 2013 – All Welcome!

Moss Vale Community Garden invites you …..

 to our spring open day 

no-dig garden demo and

pizza lunch from the wood-fired oven

Where:  9-13 Railway Street,  Moss Vale

When:   Sunday  20th October, 2013 from 11.00am

Cost for pizza lunch:  $5 members,  $8 guests, $10 family  (please RSVP if you would like to come along so we can organise catering)

No Dig Garden demo commences around 11.30am followed by lunch.

All welcome!!!

Our new Solar Pergola, solar panel and productive garden beds.

Our new Solar Pergola, solar panel and productive garden beds.

 

 

 

WE HAVE A NEW DRIVEWAY!

No more vehicles getting bogged going in or out of the Community Garden.
No more vehicles getting bogged going in or out of the Community Garden.

Moss Vale Community Garden has a new driveway from Railway Street to its entrance gates thanks to the generosity of Wingecarribee Shire Council.  Until recently, access for vehicles delivering potting mixes and garden materials, or cars loading trailers with plants for sale at the local fund-raising market stall, had to negotiate a boggy, potholed and often slippery unmade pathway.  Now, the new driveway has taken the anxiety out of the short trip from road to garden gate.

The Community Garden is a local not-for-profit association run solely by volunteers fundraising to continue the development of the Garden, and because a dedicated driveway was not high on the list of priorities due to the potential cost and competition for the meager funds we raise from plant sales from other needed onsite projects, it has been a great boon to us that Council has built the driveway for us.

An unintended benefit is that the driveway draws the attention of passing pedestrians and traffic towards the garden which is currently set back and, for some, difficult to locate.  This, too, is about to change thanks to Wingecarribee Shire Councillors’ recent approval of an extension to the Community Garden boundaries.  This means that the proposed new fenceline will extend down to Railway Street itself and allow the community garden not only the space to grow more organic fruit and vegetables, but also to have a physical presence more obvious to passersby.  As the Garden hosts people volunteering via Centrelink and Volwing, as well as providing horticultural therapy for disability groups, it is important that it is easy to find.

Our "yellow brick road".
Our “yellow brick road”.

The Community Garden committee wishes to thank the General Manager of Council, Council’s Environment and Sustainability department and the Enviro Levy for making this important contribution to the future development and ease of access to this community asset.

If you would like to find out what happens at Moss Vale Community Garden on Wednesdays from 9.30am and Fridays from 10.30am, why not drop in to see us.  We are in Railway St, Moss Vale next to the public tennis courts.  We welcome people of all ages, abilities and cultures and you don’t need any experience at gardening.

From Prunings to Basket Bed in One Day

On August 4th we opened our gates to welcome in our members and local residents to celebrate the passing of the Winter Solstice.

2013-08-03 MVCG-OpenDay (HugelkultureDemoByJoDodd) 026
Joy stokes the fire ready for the beef & lamb roast to follow.

We fired up the pizza oven, which was going to cook a winter roast beef and roast lamb, as a change from pizzas.  Then as people arrived, we commenced the highlight of the day – a demonstration of how to use your winter whippy prunings to make a Hugel Kultur bed.  Its a great way to turn a waste garden product (prunings) into a resource you can use on-site whilst saving a trip to the Resource Recovery Centre.  It will become clearer as the photos will show below:

Jo Dodd, a local environmental educator, kindly agreed to give a demonstration of how to incorporate your prunings in your garden as a resource.  Here she is with the first stage of building the basket bed.

From prunings to basket bed 2
The first layer is thick cardboard to exclude the light and kill the grass. Thick sticks are poked into the ground to provide the base onto which the long whippy prunings will be woven.
The weaving begins, watched by the members and friends.
The weaving begins, watched by the members and friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the sides increase in height, the twiggy smaller prunings are thrown into the centre.  These will be covered with garden mix before planting out to perennial species.

As the sides increase in height, the twiggy smaller prunings are thrown into the centre. These will be covered with garden mix before planting out to perennial species.

The final part of the wall weaving involves twining whippy prunings around the last few layers to tie them in and complete the basket bed.  See below:

Here's a completed one that Jo made earlier in her own backyard.
Here’s a completed one that Jo made earlier in her own backyard.  Kathi suggests we turn ours into a basket with handle filled with living herbs.  It is only a matter of time before it happens!

Jo’s website:  www.lightfooteducation.com.au

is a great local resource if you are looking for environmental ideas and local activities relating to sustainable agriculture and sustainable living.

Sorry!  No photos of our feast available – we were all too busy tucking into our roasts!  But here’s a photo of our morning tea cake.

Kathi's home made pannefort
Kathi’s home made pannefort

 

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!!