July Working Bee

img_9550_Fairfield community garden

Fairfield Community Garden’s next working bee will be held on Sunday 30 July 2017.

Work starts at 9am with morning tea served late morning once tasks are completed, so bring a plate to share and some wood to keep us warm.

There is a definite chill in the air, so we will light a fire.

Tasks for this working bee – see the whiteboard on the day.

Hope to see you there,

Maggie, Alan, Ken and Annette

Andrew and Sarah’s milk crate garden

We received a lovely update from former Fairfield gardeners Andrew and Sarah. They have recently relocated to the West and are currently without community garden or backyard. But that hasn’t stopped them growing things, and they have set up an impressive milk crate system on their balcony. Andrew shared with us the following update and photos. Maybe this is something for other gardeners to try, especially given the changes currently happening to our own spaces:

The crates are lined with landscape fabric to keep the soil in but let the water out. I’ve then filled them using a no-dig lasagne method with cardboard on the bottom followed by alternating layers of lucerne hay, newspaper, organic fertilizer pellets, old potting mix and fermented kitchen scraps from our bokashi bin. I’ve then made and filled holes in the top layer with compost that seeds and seedlings have been planted in. We’re growing broccoli, coriander, parsley, spinach, lettuce, silverbeet and are looking forward to planting out the rest of the crates when it gets warmer! The plants in the pictures are left-over chilli and oregano from our previous soil-filled crates.

The system took a while to figure out but we’re really happy with it. It’s not too heavy or messy, and portable in case we move again in the future.

The idea and inspiration came from here: http://modernfarmer.com/2013/08/meet-tom-colicchios-urban-rooftop-farmer/

The milk crate planter technique came from here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Milk-Crate-Air-Pot-Square-Foot-Urban-Container-G/

Filled using the no dig method from here: https://deepgreenpermaculture.com/diy-instructions/no-dig-gardening/

And planted out using the square foot gardening method, which is perfect for the crates’ dimensions: http://thefoodproject.org/sites/default/files/GrowingGuide2010.pdf

I’m also considering a gravity-fed drip irrigation system for summer!

Thanks Andrew and Sarah for sharing!

Almost Solstice Working Bee – 25 June

‘Twas a small group that made it to the last working bee of our garden year. Our number may have been small but our hearts were big.

We planted, pruned, paid attention to the rampant mint and over morning tea we pontificated. In fact we pontificated for a very long time – thanks to the sterling effort of Karen who arranged our firewood which came all the way from Dookie.

We had warm toes, full bellies and smoke in our eyes. We enjoyed the chat around the fire so much that a decision was made to have it as a regular feature of our winter working bees (June, July and August) – so keep an eye out for some wood for our July working bee.

Julia has a chilli plant that she would like to get rid of. If anyone would like it please help yourself. Her plot is right in front of the green shed.

Stay warm and see you at the July working bee (Sunday 30th July)

Working bee – 28 May

A small but effective group gathered at the garden on 28 May after a night of rain. Happily, the rain held off and we worked in mostly blue skies for the morning. All jobs had a ‘getting ready for big changes’ focus:

  • Pruning the crepe myrtles in the middle of the east west pathway to enable machinery to traverse this path in the future.
  • A major renovation job on the hazelnut canes growing on the same path and some very sturdy framework erected for training the lateral canes into their new espaliered shape.
  • More pruning to make way for new paths that will be constructed at the entrance to make the garden more accessible to and from Interact.
  • Digging out of many of the fruit trees in preparation for their new homes.

All present appreciated the update on the timeline and scope of works for the ongoing level crossing removal program.

We managed to be packed up after a warming morning tea before the afternoon rains returned – well done everyone.

Kathy, Ken and Annette

 

May working bee

Hello gardeners,

img_9550_Fairfield community garden

Fairfield Community Garden’s next working bee will be held on:

Sunday 28 May, 9am-12noon

Kathy, Ken and Annette are organising the May working bee and look forward to another grand morning together. The plan (below) for the morning is as follows – a bit different in format but still entailing a bit of physical work and a splendid, shared morning tea.

* Around 10am will plan to have a walk around and chat about the revised timeline and plans for the garden in light of the Level Crossing Removal works

* Clean up and preparation of the two main east-west paths and other areas where landscape toppings are to be laid

* Trimming back shrubs/trees in preparation for works

* Helping one another organise items to be variously sent to the offset area for storage, thrown out,  or boxed up for relocation to other plots.

* Working out a clear and simple way (labeling included) for contractors to identify items to be taken to the offset area

* Assisting members who may wish to remove trees they are taking on the day, and working out strategies for non-members to provide assistance to collect their trees.

* Morning tea

Hope to see you all there!

Working bee – 30 April 2017

It was a little overcast but fine April day for our fourth working bee of the year.

We created a new garden bed near the shed, with some heavy lifting of rocks from the Western end of the garden, and by transporting some excellent soil.

General weeding and mulching made a big difference with cleaning up the main paths.

Most excitingly we had a bumper harvest, with potatoes and lots of Jerusalem artichokes from the communal beds. Lots of soups, bakes and roasts are on the agenda for most gardeners!

Thanks to the organisers Maggies, Alan, Mathilde and John, as well as to Anna for the photographs.