What a success our Garden Party was on Sunday. 120 adult supporters and about 30 children came to celebrate our first six months of growing and to raise additional funds for the operation of the garden.
It could not have happened without the wholehearted support of so many members of the garden group who made lovely plunger coffee from coffee supplied by Dom of L’Epi D’or. We served wonderful, scrumptious home made savouries, sandwiches, cakes, tartlettes, chocolate crackles, slices, scones and breads all made and donated by members and local supporters, Lombado’s strawberries, Ray the Butcher’s ham, Coco Chocolates’ Rebecca Kerswell’s prize for the guessing competition and the milk, sugar, fruit juices and home made scones supplied by the Local corner shop. A huge thank you and vote of appreciation from all of us to them, well done, everyone.
The Operations committee comprised of Sally O’Connor, Alex St Clair, Yumi Sakauchi, John Julian, Joan Switzer, Manny Guerrero, Joan Modder and Jan Wagschall (our new Chairperson) all worked so hard to make the party a success. A special mention also, of Jill Harrison who organised the guessing competition. There were over 1500 Sugar Snap Seeds in that small jar!
Our next big event will be held in spring when it is Milson Park’s turn for Jazz in the Park. During late autumn and winter, we hope to have guest visitors to the park to impart their knowledge about cooking vegetables from the garden… More of that later.
The weekend before last, Denny and I visited Diggers Seeds in Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. They provide the heirloom seeds for the garden. We attended an exhibition of their plants in City Square, Melbourne and a harvest lunch at “Heronswood”, the Gothic Revival cottage in Dromana that serves as their headquarters. It was fascinating to see their kitchen garden with many heirloom varieties that we had not encountered. I must say, we were surprised that our garden is a good as theirs. We expected that Diggers Kitchen Garden would be superior, however, we were thrilled to see that we can hold our own in gardening terms. Our tomatoes taste just as good as theirs, a good point of comparison and our plants were as vigorous and healthy.
Diggers has had similar problems to ours in the form or birds and rats. They have found the giant plastic owl is a deterrent to birds if moved often and they control rats with a battery operated ultra-sonic device. At Diggers, they mulch with the leftovers from the brown coal mining in Victoria.
Whilst there, we bought seeds for new planting. These include purple-podded Dutch peas, Brussels sprouts ruby with blue leaves and burgundy-red sprouts, Brussels sprouts Long Island Imp. which was first introduced in the 1890’s before hybrids took over, red Florence onion, the open pollinated cauliflower purple cape, cauliflower mini which produces snowy 10cm heads when picked early. We bought netting for our climbing vegetables which, over time, composts into the soil.
Last week we planted Early Broad beans raised from seed. We have also raised seedlings of Black Tuscan Kale and red Drumhead cabbages which we will plant next Sunday
The new planting plan is on the Notice Board on the shed if you care to have a look.
We have negotiated a Bokashi bargain, comprising a bin, delivery and 3 months supply of Bokashi mix. We need a few more orders to make the 20 to gain the bargain price of $70. This is a truly wonderful system, the juice and mash providing nutriments for the MCG. Please bring your order and money to the park this Sunday between 9 and 12.30 so that we can order them.
I invite you all to come to the garden during the week after 5 p.m. so that we can give you a bunch of basil, as we have grown enough to be able to share with local people .
Milson Community Garden