We would like to invite you to our annual Winter Solstice Open Day and Celebration on Sunday 23rd June, 2013.
We will commence at 10.30amwith 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 1.00pmwe 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.
Rosina demonstrating worm farming to guests at the World Environment Day launch
Continuing the theme of Think EatSave, one of our members, Rosina, gave a demonstration of how to set up a worm farm in your own backyard.
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
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.
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.
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.
The theme this year for World Environment Day was Think EatSave, 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)
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 theThinkEatSave 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
And no throw away paper plates and cups to end up in the ever-expanding waste stream! Just keeping it simple.
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.
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 weather this May has been most forgiving. Barely a frost (yet!) and beautiful sunny days to be out preparing our beds for winter and spring crops. Here is one of our garden pixies, Joy, collecting a basket of autumn abundance.
Around six weeks ago we created our wicking bed and our wall gardens and many of the veges we planted are ready for harvest. See for yourself!
Our bell lantern chillies have ripened splendidly so once again we have dug up the plants, re-potted them and placed them back into the hothouse for winter. We are experimenting to see how “perennial” we can make our chillies here in the cold temperate climes.
Our young heritage apple trees which have been espaliered along the fencelines have been producing their first crop of organic apples. We have deliberately planted early, mid and late season varieties to extend our cropping period. Check out the Lady Williams (parent of Pink Lady apples).
Kilos of fruit on our dwarf Lady Williams apple tree.
Autumn is generally the most abundant season, with everything from pumpkins, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and cabbages filling our baskets.
Peanuts!! In Moss Vale??
It follows that it is a good time for preserving the harvest, and this year our members have bottled tomatoes, pickled an assortment of veges, dried fruits like apples, quince and figs and made jams and jellies from berries, figs and quinces. They seem to be very popular on our stall at Moss Vale Markets.
Klever Kathi created a Five Senses Bouquet consisting mainly of edible leaves and fruit from the Community Garden. What an imaginative and personalised gift it was!
The Garden is now morphing into its winter entity. Although it seems that there wouldn’t be much to do this time of year, it is actually quite busy – preparing the soil for Spring with green manure crops, pruning the fruit trees, planting winter veges like onions and garlic, broad beans and peas, mulching the kikuyu and grasses into oblivion.
Think it must be time for a celebration of the bounty of last season and the promise of hearty foods from the winter garden!!
Watch this space for our Winter solstice open day celebration…….