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.

World Environment Day 2013 Launch At MVCG

Awaiting the guests arrival at the World Environment Day launch
Awaiting the guests arrival at the World Environment Day launch

The theme this year for World Environment Day was Think Eat Save, encouraging us to think about how we, as individuals, can curb the high levels of food waste and environmentally damaging Foodprint we experience in the developed world.

To highlight local programs supporting this theme, Joe Stammers of Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Environment and Sustainability department organised almost a week of activities starting with this launch on Wednesday 5th June (World Environment Day)

Meeting and greeting our local Mayor and Councillors and distinguished guests
Meeting and greeting our local Mayor and Councillors and distinguished guests

 

and culminating on Sunday 9th with the Australian Premiere screening of the film, “Symphony of the Soil”.  In between there were tours of local food producing properties, including Jo Dodd’s 1/4 Acre Farm in Mittagong and Jill Dyson’s famous Foodpath Market Tour.

To demonstrate the Think Eat Save theme, Moss Vale Community Garden provided directly from the beds the bulk of the seasonal fresh food (prepared by chef John Shelley) for lunch served to the Mayor, Wingecarribee Councillors, Shellharbour Councillors and other guests.  No food miles here.  Just food metres!

Gourmet food from MV Community Garden beds

Gourmet food from MV Community Garden beds

And no throw away paper plates and cups to end up in the ever-expanding waste stream!  Just keeping it simple.

Mayor Arkwright with Clr Whipper, Shellharbour Councillor and Sandra Menteith cutting cake
Mayor Arkwright with Clr Whipper, Shellharbour Councillor and Sandra Menteith cutting cake

After the cutting and consuming of an amazing cake, our guests had to move on to their next engagement and the team of dedicated volunteers (that make up the regular Garden membership) washed up and sent the food scraps over to the worm farm demonstration that Rosina was about to start.

Now you can find us at Moss Vale Markets!

Oli and Joy chatting to local market goers.
Oli and Joy chatting to local market goers.

Since April, Moss Vale Community Gardeners have been having a stall at Moss Vale Markets on the fourth Saturday of the month.  It is proving to be a great way for locals to find out more about our community garden and what we do there.  We would like more people to get involved with our growing activities, our organic gardening and support for all cultural activities relating to good, fresh local food.  We also enjoy the preparation and eating of fruit and veges from garden to plate – can’t get fresher than that!

Why not come down and visit us at the markets.  We sell seedlings of food crops and potted edible species plus excess produce from both the community garden as well as from the gardens of locals and members.  Last market we had apples, potatoes, cape gooseberries, spinach, spring onions and pumpkin.  We even had jars of both raspberry and fig jams.

You never know what treasure you might find.  At the very least, you will be met with a smile from one of our members.

The sun brought out the market goers - including Dennis.
The sun brought out the market goers – including Dennis.