Friday, 25 November 2011

Pathwork, National Green Jobs, Mayor visits and Christmas is coming.

Just over two weeks ago we had an overgrown path, countless hours had been spent keeping the path under control, it had restricted access to certain sectors of the community and put a strain on volunteers working in the gardens , well fast forward to today and there is a marked difference, the new pathwork will now allow access for all to the gardens as well as giving much needed disability access to the amenities block on the Town Farm site as well. Maintanence has been reduced and that valuable volunteer time can now be spent on other projects in the pipeline, due to the choice of materials maintanence and upkeep costs should be minimalistic and help enable the community gardens to be self funding beyond the life of the Community Builders funding keeping it as a valuable resource for the community.

Other projects in the pipeline include a nursery and rotunda/covered meeting point, and an orchard which is in the early stage of planting. The resident animals on site are doing a great job keeping our weeds under control and should soon be joined by chickens, thanks to the National Green Jobs Project and its participants who built the chicken coup. While on site these young people also completed tree planting and alot of privet removal around the Town Farm precinct as well as Bicentential Equestrian Park and for that we are all very greatful.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Narellan Rhythms, The Gardens, and everything else.

Alot has happened over the last month, this update includes Working Bee, Narellan Rhythms, Happenings in the Garden, The Veggie Lady and snakes.

    Steve at the Community Gardens stand.
  • Narellan Rhythms - This was a chance to get some more information out about the Community Gardens, over the 6 weeks leading up to the street festival i had grown in excess of 400 pockets of herbs, covering coriander, basil (many types) italian parsley, daikon radish and Pak Choy, on the day with the help of a young helper i set up 2 garden beds adjacent to the Library, with asian and italian themed plants, (Thanks have to go to the folk at Patio Plants, you will find their huge range of plants on sale at the produce markets every 4th saturday at Camden Town Farm), we displayed information about the gardens and gave away all our plants over the course of the day, while surrounded by the Scarecrows that were built at the Scarecrows and Sculptures Workshop. Lots of info was on hand and this was complemented by the councils own enviromental team who were giving away native plants also.
  • The last working bee was a great success with a few hundred new rosemary bushes going in, a big thankyou to Colin Mills who organised the cultivation of these and these will be going in over a period of time, also thanks to all those that attended.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The Art of Wildcrafting - by The Veggie Lady - Toni Salter

The Art of Wildcrafting

It seems that we have our very own food scavenger in our midst. Perhaps he might even be an imitator of the famous food forager Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from the UK TV series River Cottage. He’s in the community and he’s in our garden and he’s on a hunt for whatever wild food he can eat. It’s called ‘wild-crafting’ and it entails reaping a harvest from local, wild grown plants or weeds! It appears that we have no shortage of plant material to choose from, with a selection of noxious weeds growing in the community garden to forage.

I met recently with two prominent members (leaders even) of the community garden to discuss the possibility of running some workshops over summer, when I was distracted from the conversation by a question from one of them. 

“Hey, do you know what this is?”  He asked me this thinking that, as a horticulturist, I could identify every plant in the universe.  Of course, I had no clue what it was but it looked pretty weedy to me and I’m certainly no expert in bush regeneration and feral weeds.  But not letting the powers of deduction allude me, I was determined to work it out.

“Taste it.” He instructed me.  What was he thinking? I wasn’t going to eat some wild plant that I had no idea about.  But being a convincing type of guy, he led the way and gulped down a fistful himself.


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