September working bee

Our first Spring working bee dawned cold and very wet especially as some of our gardeners decided to make a very early start, then again it’s never too early to go to a working bee. However,  the rain abated and the cold was tempered by our trusty fire masters – Pete, Malachy and Murphy.

The jobs completed included:

  • emptying of one of the compost bays and rescuing the beautiful compost that the rats must have hauled out and munched through on the outside perimeter (they did a great job of it!!)
  • weeding and composting of the raspberries on the south side of the gardens (behind the Tree Project potting shed)
  • clearing of a plot on the north side ready for planting
  • a sortin’ and a  sweepin’ and a tidyin’ of the ‘tool shed’
  • weeding and clearing of the outside south perimeter
  • weeding of the north perimeter to halt the creep of the weeds
  • bracing of the wicking bed that seems to have split its sides
  • planting of peas and lettuce into the communal wicking beds

Whew, we did all this in about 2 hours, it was a fantastic effort.  Then it was time for the AGM and … morning tea. It was great to see so many people at the working bee, talking, working, playing, laughing, having fun and eating  a delicious morning tea – some of  the reasons why we community garden!



CH James Cafe Sustainability Embraces Fairfield Community Garden

Annette and Ken recently responded to a call out by Fairfield cafe CH James for an article on where their kitchen waste and coffee grounds are going.

Annette and Ken have been co-coordinating and collecting the kitchen/coffee waste from CH James for over two years, every Monday, to help with our composting processes. Ngaire and Jeff have also been bringing egg cartons from another another cafe to assist with the oxygenation and carbon ingredients needed in the process.

You can read the full article that Annette and Ken wrote here:

A feel good story for all gardeners to share!

August Working Bee

After a very rainy night and early morning hail some very optimistic gardeners gathered for the last winter working bee for this year.  A lot got done, despite several showers when we ran for cover and huddled in the shed.  Soil was transferred from beds being claimed by the NEPA works, soil level in some beds was built up and trays of seeds were planted.   I am pleased to see that our seeds have already germinated thanks to our dedicated waterers:)

Our watering roster is now in place and will be especially important as the weather warms up. We need 2 more volunteers to water on Fridays and Saturdays so please let me know if you’re able to help out here. Our waterers are as follows:
Mon – Ken
Tue – Kyllie
Wed – Louise
Thu – Alan
Fri – volunteer needed please
Sat – volunteer needed please
Sun -Kay

Remember the September working bee will also be the AGM.
Happy gardening,
Rose & Kyllie

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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:

The milk crate planter technique came from here:

Filled using the no dig method from here:

And planted out using the square foot gardening method, which is perfect for the crates’ dimensions:

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)