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Spring notes October 2016

As you know our garden is sustainable due to great interest and support from the local community and volunteers. I can tell you a few examples about this: local parents and children visiting the garden often help with watering and that is why we always keep a watering can as well as children’s watering can near the taps; some visitors to the garden during our Sunday morning work bee were so delighted to be given freshly picked herbs and plants that they made a donation on the spot; The Lockhart family has been donating the worm juice from their worm farm on a weekly basis year after year!

And there are more stories.

In September we had a great pleasure in hosting a group of 12 children of 3-5 years old and 4 teachers from Kelly’s Children’s Centre in Crows Nest. Since the children had been learning about plants and fresh produce, they got so excited to see, touch and smell plants in the garden. Then each child helped watering the plants and sowed radish seeds into pots to take home. I hope they would come back for more educational tours and fun in the garden!

Last week Coralie and Greg who live in the neighbourhood donated their garden table as they are renovating their home. They also offered to donate some plants to the garden though we could not take any because of our limited bed space at the moment. Instead they donated $50 from the sale of plants at their garage sale a week later. Thank you so much for your thought!

We are grateful that North Sydney Council continues to support the garden with their significant commitment for rebuilding our garden beds. New beds construction has started on Sunday 16 October and the first bed was rebuilt on the day. As shown in the last few photos Colin, Marton, Peter and other volunteers have been working hard on rebuilding the beds with support from the Council carpenter and staff. The following Sunday we filled the new bed with the soil from other beds mixed with planting compost and Bokashi mash. We then demolished another bed which is due for rebuilding next. We are hoping to replace all existing old beds in the near future.

Pest apart!! Recently we had to pull out the remaining broad bean plants even though the harvest had been good because many parts of the plants were totally covered by aphids. It is often difficult to prevent these nasty pests when spring comes, however we will need to start spraying early on to avoid dissapointment. As the warm weather kicked in, we have also noticed some citrus trees are infested with hundreds of bronze orange bugs. Too many the number of stink bugs were, Martin and I had to remove them by hand into a bucket of water (with double layers of gloves and sunglasses to protect us). As these bugs suck the juice out of new buds, early prevention and protection with Eco Oil and Pyrethrum spray is an absolute must!

Our spring weekly harvest includes lots of leafy green vegetables such as lettuce, silverbeet, rainbow chard, kale, spinach, rocket, cress, as well as sugar snap peas, beetroot, a wide variety of herbs and more.

Purple king climbing beans, Butter beans, Snake beans and three variety of potatoes (Kipfler, Desiree and Dutch Cream) have been growing well for harvesting in summer while zucchini and sunflower seedlings have been raised and planted by Bruce in the outside bed. So why not join us for a Sunday work bee (10:00am until lunch time) to share the community gardening experience and freshly picked organic harvests!

Many thanks for your help and hope to see you in the garden soon.

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