Category Archives: Public Open Days

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:

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


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 …     


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:  

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!

Mittagong Garden Club Tours MV Community Garden


In early April, I was invited to Mittagong Garden Club to talk about community gardening.  It was great to see a room crowded with keen gardeners, some of whose faces were familiar to me.  The following Friday, the members of Mittagong Garden Club were invited to have a tour of Moss Vale Community Garden to see what sorts of activities we get up to.

Luckily the weather held out and we were able to have a cup of tea and a biscuit followed by a tour of some of the features of our garden.  The strawbale shelter was of particular interest, as was the pizza oven and our new raised wicking beds.

Explaining the workings of our new raised wicking bed.
Explaining the workings of our new raised wicking bed.

Autumn is a great time to show gardens off.  We still had masses of tomatoes and several varieties of dwarf apples fruiting in amongst all the salad greens and berries.  We are going to share some of our bell lantern chilli seeds with the Mittagong gardeners so they can spread the intriguing looking chilli around the Highlands.  That will ensure it’s survival in our area.

Mittagong Garden Club members check out our compost bays.
Mittagong Garden Club members check out our compost bays.


Horticultural Therapy for Senior’s Week 2013


First covering on the scarecrow frame
Making Our Scarecrow

Welcome to all Seniors on Wednesday 20th and Friday 22nd March.

We are running two days of demonstrations and activities to celebrate Senior’s Week. Meet the Garden volunteers and trial different gardening techniques that make it easier for seniors to get back into the garden.

10.00am    Ergonomic Tools 4 Seniors – talk & demo Wolfe Tools

11.00am    Wall Garden construction and planting

11.45am    LUNCH

12.30pm    Pallet bed build and planting

1.15pm    Raised bed gardening

2.00pm    Gardening with Grandkids – some ideas and tips

To book a place or for further info please contact Jill:

email hidden; JavaScript is required

OR    Mob: (0414) 545735

Our New Nut Grove is Planted

We are now opening for half a day on the first Sunday of the month (bar January).  Recently we had our February open Sunday and despite a small group attending (an all-girl event this time), we got a big output for the day.

Firstly, we must thank friends of our community garden, Jim and Lauren Gleeson from Filbert Farm, who kindly donated six advanced hazelnut trees recently to start our proposed nut grove.  We hope to add other nut varieties in time.

Hazelnuts are not self-pollinating – in fact you need specific pollinators for each variety.  As they are wind pollinated, we planted them in a special pattern to aid pollination and ensure a future nut harvest.

As the soil is soft from recent February rains, we took advantage and worked hard to dig the large holes required.  Into these holes we added our compost to heel the root ball in before watering with a weak Seasol solution to minimise transplant shock.

Below you will see a gallery of photos showing Judy, Joy, Jo, Kathi and Natalie helping to create future food for our local community.  We look forward to a nutty feast early next year…..