Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Start thinking about Spring

August Update

  • Keep Australia Beautiful NSW - Sustainable Cities Awards. 

  • Working Bee around the corner.

  • What to plant now, is it tomato and potato time yet?

    #KABNSW,  for the Twitter users out there, and #camdencommunitygarden for Instagram followers, check them out.

    Speaking of Twitter its more like sqwauking at present as the corellas flock past the office at 5.30pm for their nightly roost, i can almost set my clock by them, they are getting noticeably later as the days lengthen, spring is definitely on its way.

  • Keep Australia Beautiful - Sustainable Cities Awards.


    A brilliant night was had by all, Simon Marnie and Costa Georgiadis did a stellar job as MCs for the night, as the photo shows Camden Town Farm Community Garden didn't come away empty handed, highly commended was the award, which was duly accepted by current president Steve Cooper on behalf of the Community Garden. The winners were long established Wentworthville Community Garden, congrats to all concerned and KABNSW for putting on a great night with the aid of many supporters, next years event moves to Canada Bay as a result of Canada bay taking the overall Sustainable Council. Camden's award certainly reflects the work put in by all the volunteers so it was accepted with smiles all round. Mamre Homestead and Penrith Council were great hosts and a spot which should definitely be visited. Thanks again to all concerned.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Winter chill biting Community Garden

July News

  • The results of the working bee..

    Keep Australia Beautiful NSW - Sustainable Cities Awards Program, 

  • Community Garden Working Bee, 

  • Rainwater Harvesting, 

  • Community Small Grants up to $5000. 

    First yes that was an icy blast this week, the community gardens being on one of the lower points around town certainly felt the icy grip with a snap freeze hitting the last couple of days, any potatoes that thought they may poke up their new shoots quickly got reminded about how the cold affects any exposed vulnerable shoots, and that's pretty much the same thing experienced by mountain climbers on Everest, yep frozen and now blackened. Needless to say the decision to not prune the roses may also have been a wise one for fear of another snap freeze and the last thing we want is to lose any precious new buds. That task has been put off for a couple of weeks atleast.  Anyway on with the news .......

    Keep Australia Beautiful NSW - Sustainable Cities Awards program 

    At weeks end groups and councils from across Sydney/NSW will come together to share stories/passions and their successes at the presentation dinner for the Sustainable Cities Awards Program at Mamre Homestead, Camden Community Garden will be in attendance with green thumbs crossed, this years president Steve Cooper was in attendance last year and has embraced the experience of being involved in this great program, this program is a great chance for all involved in any of the categories to be recognised amongst their peers and across NSW for their contributions, regardless of the winners on the night there are winners already, wether its the community groups or the individuals involved, many connections have have been made, friendships built, skills gained and community built. Follow the link for more info Sustainable Cities Awards.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Growing Season

  June Update

  • Pumpkin time.

    Update - Reduce Landfill.

  • Community Builders and works in the garden.

  • Thankyou.

  • Working Bees and becoming involved.

  • Autumn has gradually descended into Winter in the gardens, trees along Exeter St have going through a bit of a change, the Eucalypts seemed to have recovered from what ever ailments they had. The gardens are green and veggie beds are producing. In summary April was pretty big in the end, with 4 workshops running that engaged over 60 school aged and preschoolers, not including the accompanying mums dads and grandparents, thanks to our volunteers engaged in running these. On the horizon the gardens will be running more of these and in partnership with Camden Council and through Reduce Landfill will deliver these to the community over the coming months.The Reduce Landfill site is a great opportunity for residents who cannot get to the gardens for a workshop to improve their own knowledge of things brown and green and beyond. The weather has made its mark with the sudden deluge of winter rains being of great benefit to the Community Garden, a newly reinstated water tank is now full and will supplement our current water supply and be used to water our natives and greenhouse herbs.
  • July sees the Community Builders funding come to an end which the Community Gardens gained back
    Raised garden beds.
    in 2010, this funding was a huge boost to the gardens, allowing many aspects of the garden to gain some attention. Infrastructure has had a great boost, with accessible pathways added connecting through to the toilets on the Town Farm site, raised garden beds for seniors and disability groups have been installed, these are now being accessed by the likes of Macarthur Disability Services and Narellan Congregational Community Services, also involved in the garden are Wesley Disability Services and Roam Mental Health. Its been great to see all these guys and girls in the garden. The funding also allowed the gardens to reach out into the community with raised garden beds installed into 2 Macarthur Disability Services houses as well as Macarthur District Temporary Family Care. This was also facilitated through the assistance of the University of Sydney at Cobbitty. As well as the connecting accessible pathways, the entrance to the gardens has been updated. Back in August 2010 with the aid of the founding garden committee members a memorial garden was established with  roses donated by members of  the public. This was done in honour of Miss Llewella Davies whos bequest was the foundation of the garden. This rose garden is now formalised and accessible to wheelchairs, seating has been retained and the old post and rail fencing further enhanced. If you are an avid gardener and wish to share your passion for roses please contact us through the webiste homepage. The old barn adjacent to the gardens is almost complete, this is a great asset to the Town Farm site and will prove to be a valuable community resource, some final earthworks are being finished off over coming weeks, this will then provide accessible shelter to members and guests of the Community Garden as well as a venue for the Town Farm to use.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Camden Show

MCSL Girls

April Update

This Update

  • Camden Show 

Camden Show

Forget the other show, the only show you needed to go to was Camden Show, this year was bigger than ever and the first year we had been really involved, this year Camden Community Garden partnered with Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living, Sydney Uni - Cobbitty and the local Spinners and Weavers to put togther a kids interactive display following our produce from seed to plate, or seed to clothes. Sydney Uni together with a great bunch of staff and volunteers highlighted cotton and wools
journey from the plant to clothes, they also showed wheat, oats, rice and corn in their various stages
of growth and followed the cycle from the plant to the
James from the Uni with 2 St Pauls School Kids

end product. The Spinners and Weavers provided the link from wool and cotton to clothes, the Community Gardens encouraged people to take free seedlings grown by themselves and MCSL, there were an assortment of seasonal seedlings on offer and leftovers are being given away to various community organisations.
MCSL kept the kids busy with informative and intercative stuff from kite making to lots of craft, fruit and veggie carving as well as composting and worm farm info sessions, this was on top of all the useful info for the mums and dads on saving money at home. At the end of the weekend the whole display picked up best community stand and the presidents award. Thanks to all involved.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Changing Seasons

This Update

  • Camden News
  • Seasonal Vegetables
  • Surplus.

Camden Town Farm Community Garden

Image thanks to Troy Newman
The present weather conditons have been an absolute godsend to the community gardens, forget drugs in sport, if only these sports folk could harness the stuff going into our vegetables they wouldn't be in the strife they are. Zucchinis only look like they are on steroids, squash as pictued previous are the size of dinner plates and beans seem to be multiplying overnite. With this growth comes change though, we now find ourselves on the down hill run into winter, but with a huge growing season ahead of us, autumn will certainly be a time for growth, pumpkins starved of rain early are now growing overnight and putting some serious metres onto their vines, sweet potatoes are going just as well. The weather has also helped our herb garden immensely and the local produce markets have been a great source of funds for the garden with fresh herbs being sold at the last few markets, the rosemary has been hugely popular given that it produces great skewers for lamb about 20-30cm long, thanks to volunteers Hazel, Georgia, Steve and Charlotte that have been involved so far. The stall certainly couldnt be done without their help.

Camden Show hits town this week and the ovals are being filled with marquees all week, Camden Community Garden is working in with Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living and a Kids interactive display so if you are visiting why not stop in and say hello. Thanks to the volunteers who have put up their hands so far. I also hear that Sunrise is broadcasting from there on wednesday morning, i suspect its the weather as in previous years.

Some more workshops are scheduled over the next month with 3 booked in so far, 5th of April, 17th and 19th April, all are for children 6-12, call 46455006 to book in, the next workshop for the big kids, (the rest of us) will be a permaculture workshop, with the date being currently organised. Stay Tuned.

On the build front, if you have visited lately some works are being finished off, the old barn is getting something off a refit, a new roof should be going on over coming weeks as well as an extension by way of a skillion off the airport side, this will also give us a great shelter and new venue to work under. The area around the raised beds is getting a similar treatment to the paths and will be accessible to wheechairs over coming weeks, the path down the hill is also being finished off as it stopped short, this will clean the area up considerably. We are also currently waiting on quotes to come in for the floor area around the 2 sheds and its also hoped some large compost bays should also be installed soon.

Seasonal Veggie time

Tomatoes are on their way out if not already gone and beans may only have another couple of months in them, if you dont have them in it may be almost too late, especially if we get an early frost at the farm. Speaking to Norman from The Big Spud at Robertson its time to get another crop of potatoes in, ideally we want about 100 - 120 days before the first frost to get them in the ground, if we miss this window then we will be waiting till mid/late september in order to get our chistmas spuds in. As beans and tomatoes come in its time to get broad beans in with peas, cabbages, broccoli and caulis, check out Gardenate.com for more great info, remembering we are borderline, cool mountain/temperate zone.


If your like the majority of gardeners you have put a whole packet of beans in and now getting a bit tired of them, succession planting is the best way to go in that you have 3 or 4 plants going in every few weeks, but if not there are a myriad of ways to carry over that surplus season stuff, from pickling beetroot, to blanching beans, as far as peas go i have just podded them and frozen them fresh, chillis as long as they are little fellas freeze well also, doing this sort of thing helps take advantage of those excesses and helps you avoid paying the higher prices at the supermarket when the produce is out of season here and has to to shipped in from Kenya, South America or China, (beans, bananas, berries). If you are buying frozen veg, check its origin, and google food laundering, a very hot topic at the moment where by produce hits our shores via other markets. Check our links pages for some great resources and spread the word about our garden.


Monday, 25 February 2013

"I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains."

How true it is

You will find the BOM link on previous posts and can certainly confirm the sentiments behind this classic Dorothea Mackellars poem, less than 48hrs ago sections of the south coast saw water spouts come ashore and reek havoc on coastal suburbs and with that change came plenty of the wet stuff. 

You couldn't pick it 24hrs later and the temps are back into the 30s and the sydney basin feels more like a Borneo rainforest.

can you find steve

Monster squash
So how does this affect the garden, well its all good, for those larger gardens i guess if you couldn't see the weeds last week you can now, for the greenkeepers, its not a matter of keeping them green anymore its keeping them cut before it rains again.
Sweet Potatoes at A/B Mens Shed
Camden Community Garden has been no different, while the rain tended to drive people in doors the serious and/or committed (maybe should be committed) are still out there, weeds not more than a few inches high had now reached dizzying heights, so with a coming together of half a dozen or so souls on the weekend an assault was made on some of the bigger ones. (see image right, Steve is 6ft plus and not standing in a hole). I might add the rain allowed easy removal of many of the larger weeds. The past month has seen considerable rainfall in the southwestern part of the Sydney basin and this has delivered some great results in the gardens, it had been hoped we would have pumpkins in time for the local show, unfortunately we didn't get enough early rain however those pumpkins have now gone crazy and thrown on several metres of growth in a matter of weeks, sweet potatoes are running like crazy and will no doubt produce a prolific crop come the cooler months. If you love zucchinis and squash, look no further than Camden Community Garden, i overheard someone the other night talking about how they grow even more on a full moon and how they would harvest night and morning, it looks like we had a full moon every night from the pic attached, numerous local gardeners have benefited from the harvest as well as some community members. This will continue as well.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Tropical Camden

Camden gone tropical

This update contains:

  • Heat waves and floods                
  • Goings on in the garden
  • Past and upcoming events
  • Veggies to plant now

Heatwaves and flooding rain

Little Sandy underwater again.
Only a week ago we were staring down the barrel of drought, feed cut on the town farm and baled months ago was now in high demand and the lagoon which looks a bit like a dinosaur or a Sea World sea lion was receeding rapidly. The lagoon is now full, the feral goats are munching on the new lucerne sprigs down buy the river, Zucchinis are growing before our eyes and the front lawn of the community garden could be almost baled as well. If you want to see the crazy weather figures including 125mm of rain in one hit and 46.4 degrees C click on the following link. www.bom.gov.au

Goings on

New garden beds.
We can't say it wasn't a relief to see some rain, watering constantly and wisely had been quite tough in the community gardens in the oppressive heat, so some deep soaking rain was very welcome, this came luckily only a week after the working bee which in turn was a couple of days after the 46.4 temp reached in camden, so we escaped both extremes, the gardening bee had a good turnout with approx 15 folk attending on the day, it turned into soemthing of a construction day with several new garden beds being built from the sleepers delivered in the days prior, these beds are now starting to fill the head of the platypus out, a tool shed (currently held at the council depot) will mahe up the other eye of the platypus once a base goes down, (over the next 2 weeks), also on the day some curved beds were finished off, as well as native seedlings potted up, some vacant beds also were cleared ready for the new folk and the lawns mowed. Potatoes are still being harvested and another delivery will go to Narellan Congregational Community Service next week with i dare say some squash or zucchinis. A big thankyou to all in attendance as well as the guys that turned up to volunteer at our stall at the produce markets, the funds raised went back into the Community Gardens and fed the troops at the working bee.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Violent Veg

New Years Update.

In this catch up:

  • Violent Veg
  • Narellan Congregational Community Services
  • Heat Wave 
  • Worms
  • Great Links 
  • Check out previous post re courses


Check the AGM date on the home page, this is for financial members, so ensure fees have been paid.
Lets start the year with a bit of a laugh, check the follwing link for some great Vegetable related humour, Violent Veg.
Mary and Heather digging up Christmas Lunch
As mentioned earlier, the Community Gardeners as well as Narellan Congregational Community Services planted some potatoes late last year, these being for the benefit of those involved, the potatoes will be subsequently harvested at the regular working bees. 3 varieties were planted. Norland Reds, Spunta and Pink Fir Apple.

Alot of Norland Reds have already been pulled from the site, these were great roasting spuds and perfect for Christmas, we are now moving into the other 2 varieties, importantly when digging up the potatoes, dont freak out when you see the Pink Fir Apple spuds, they havent got some mystery disease, that is how they look, the Pink Fir Apples are a great salad potato, just wash, cook them whole and then slice them up to create your favourite potato salad recipe, dont peel them.


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