Saturday, December 17, 2011

An afternoon of community gardening

strawberry times...
Today we had our last session for 2011 at the Narre Warren North Community Garden. It was great. As well as admiring how much the plants had grown since last month, we were able to collect seeds, harvest, weed and plant. The lebanese cucumbers were ready for picking as was the rhubarb and some garlic, I scored some seeds of the Flanders Poppy which I have long wanted to include in my herbaceous border as well as some Moon and Stars Watermelon that someone kindly donated. I also bought a bale of straw at a great price which I shall use to cover my potatoes as they grow up our of the soil to increase the production of tubers. During the afternoon I sowed some bicolour sweet corn and I will look forward to seeing how it goes in the community garden.

As it was a hot day we also spent a fair bit of time chatting and sharing knowledge. I learned about the idea of compost tea for Peach leaf curl. We talked about where there were apple and plum trees on walking paths that we could harvest from to make some preserves. But I have the feeling that the week before Christmas is not the time for me to be doing any extra preserving.

I am looking forward to the next session at the Narre Warren North Community Garden in January. It is really satisfying to work on a common project together with others who live locally, especially when it's gardening.

Image: 'strawberry times...'

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Narre Warren North Organic Garden Club

It’s the last Narre Warren North Organic Gardening group session for 2012 this Saturday afternoon, 17th December, from 2-4pm. It is at the Narre Warren North Uniting Church, cnr. Tom Jones Court and Main Street, Narre Warren North. This is a gardening group and a community garden to assist people with small gardens to grow food. Participants can learn how to grow food organically, meet likeminded people and have fun. Please bring a plate to share, as well as your gardening implements, gloves and some spare seeds or seedlings to get into the ground. A gold coin donation for the session is appreciated. Refreshments provided.

For more information, please contact Jo on jbmcleay AT
See you all then!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Harvest Monday: potatoes, rhubarb and angelica

Like the author of Daphne's Dandelions, Suburban Tomato and the Urban Vegie Gardener Blog I will be recording my harvests on a Monday. It was only when I was writing this post that I realised I could harvest some of what was in my garden. Potatoes. I harvested some more potatoes and my first tiny little zucchini as well as some baby carrots this weekend. No photos though as I didn't think of it before we had eaten our harvest.
What I could still harvest in the next day or so is some iceberg lettuce, some other lettuce leaves, more carrots and zucchinis and more potatoes. I could also harvest the angelica and use it in this recipe along with my rhubarb.
I have been having lemon verbena tea which is delicious and some white alpine strawberries and a few raspberries.
Altogether quite delicious although none of it is enough yet (except the lemon verbena tea, the angelica and the rhubarb).

Friday, December 9, 2011

Half moon edger

Today I'm joining with Rhonda from Down to Earth for her Friday photo feature, "On my mind". I was excited to get an early Christmas present from Bob - a half moon edger.

I also treated my tree lucerne seeds to the hot water and sowed them in a mixture of worm castings and sand.

The heat and the rain certainly gave the garden a boost today.
halfmoon edger

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More bee plants

Going to sow another bee plant tomorrow, one that doubles as chook food and whose prunings can be used as mulch. Tagasaste or Tree Lucerne is a very useful plant that needs to be monitored for weed potential. Tagasaste

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Update on the bees

After 3 weeks in the hive
A bit more about my current obsession. Enjoy!

This is what the hive looks like normally:

hive Cross posted from 365 Countdown

Monday, December 5, 2011

What bees like

Today I didn't do much in the garden but bought beans to plant tomorrow. Of course there is always weeding and watering so I did a bit of that. Looked up into the beehive from underneath and saw five combs starting from the top bars looking exactly as they are supposed to as shown in this video. Yesterday I noticed that some of the bees were bringing pollen back to the hive which I learned may be an indication that there are larvae present as the worker bees feed pollen and honey to the baby larvae, a sign of hope that the colony is doing well.

My herbaceous border is extending and yesterday I also planted out some more herbs and flowers that bees like.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Harvest time

I planted out my late potatoes, and harvested some I planted in April (3 kgs) and some garlic.

potato harvest (some of)
3 kgs of potatoes

garlic 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Potato Plans

Tomorrow I am going to plant potatoes. I know I can do this so late because I checked on Peter Cundall's year round guide. I will be able to harvest them between 3-5 months later. The potatoes I planted in April and June have not done so well and I am a bit disappointed. So I will try again. I have bought 1 kg of seed potatoes and I will record their growth and how they go.

Image attribution: Photo by Lynne "Potatoes"

Transition Town Totnes

Rob Hokins with his Green Community Hero award
Town With Nicholas Crane This Friday on 2 December at 7.30-8.30pm, SBS TV1 is showing the documentary: Transition towns: Totnes - The description says: A Saxon river town in South Devon, Totnes is one of the UK's oldest towns. It has seen tough times through its long history, but adversity has taught it to innovate. Geographer and adventurer Nicholas Crane visits the home of one of the greatest social experiments of the 20th century, and uncovers the test bed for an ambitious new idea that aims to change our urban life forever.(From the UK)

Image attribution: Photo by Ed Mitchell