Seniors Week came along in March, and we had been preparing the various demonstrations for several weeks so that we had all the materials and equipment ready to go. These demonstrations were going to be a team effort with four of us demonstrating a particular type of raised gardening techniques that would be useful for older gardeners.
Jo demonstrated how to set up a wall garden consisting of several deep trays like window boxes that can be attached to a wall or fence, one under the other at a convenient height to plant, maintain and harvest. It was filled with both edible and flowering plants for insect habitat.
Kathi showed how pallet gardens can be set up to enable raised gardening whilst recycling wooden pallets. We had created a large pallet garden beforehand (see photos) but it suffered a little when it was erected vertically after a few weeks of growing in a horizontal position. The smaller pallet lined with weedmat was much more successful and easier to plant up on the day . Just a few weeks later we are harvesting lettuces and parsley!
Rosina prepared a talk and demonstration for grandparents to give them some ideas on activities they can carry out with the grandkids, encouraging an early interest in gardening and the environment. She showed us a very useful book on school gardens and gardening for kids which would be a most useful resource for our library. Jiffy pots were the order of the day and such a simple and successful way for children to learn to propagate from seeds – in this case, sweet pea seeds which would be up in 10 days!
A wicking bed was the last demonstration, designed to show, step-by-step how to set up a waist-level raised bed which has a plastic-lined sump in the bottom for storing water which will wick up through the geotextile into the top layer of garden loam/potting mix. This means you can go away on holidays after topping up the sump with water, and your garden will self-water for a couple of weeks. Great for summer holidays. Our friends from Disability Services helped us set up and plant the bed, which we covered with shade cloth to ward of those damned white cabbage butterflies. You should see the produce springing out of this month-old wicking bed! We are eating lettuces from it already.
At this point I would like to thank a couple of local organisations:
- Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Environment and Sustainability group who helped us advertise the event and loaned us Kimberly Elliott to help with the setting up and manning of our stall in the Queen Street Community Centre.
- Moss Vale CWA who provided scrumptious sandwiches and slices for lunch on both days of the event.