Category Archives: Gardening

Native Propagation Workshop

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Last Saturday Tony Scalzo from Kings Park guided us through the process of growing natives from seeds and cuttings. He demonstrated with a variety of plants, so that we now have a myriad of containers that we are eagerly tending in the hope of developing healthy offspring.

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He explained the differing requirements of various seeds; some require smoking, others hot water and abrasive techniques. Cuttings  seemed a little more demanding with a choice of hormone treatments. He also demonstrated the process of division.

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Much discussion took place over a cuppa followed by a walk around the garden to take a variety of cuttings which we then prepared ourselves. We now await the results of our labours!

If you would like to be involved in our verge gardening group, contact Pam on pamela.riordan@gmail.com

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Transition Town Guildford’s First Garden & Produce Share: The Power of Sharing and Connecting with Like-minded People

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Transition Town Guildford’s Garden and Produce Share Stall

On the weekend Transition Town Guildford launched their first Garden & Produce Share at the Stirling Square Markets in Guildford.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of a Garden & Produce share, here’s how it works:

People bring their excess garden produce to share. This could be seeds, seedlings, veggies, cuttings and/or fruit. People take what they need. No money is exchanged.

That’s right, you read that correctly: no money is exchanged. Not a single cent.

This baffled quite a few people who came along to our stall. “Can I give a donation for the persimmons?” and “Are you sure I can just take this apple?!”.

Our response?

No. We don’t want your money. And please, take the apple. We want you to have the apple! 

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It’s all free. Please take a tromboncini!

I can understand that it may seem a little strange to go to a market stall and be told “You can talk anything you want. All of this stuff is free”. This isn’t exactly the norm in Western consumer culture! But judging from the delighted looks on people’s faces as they munched on the crisp homegrown apples and other fresh produce, I could tell it was a welcome change.

So you may be wondering, “What sort of produce did people share?”

Being the daughter of stone fruit orchardists, I shared some second-grade fruit from my parents’ orchard in the Perth hills. I brought some macadamia nuts along too which a little local boy had fun cracking and eating. My husband picked some green capsicums and garlic from last year to share with others too.

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Cracking macadamia nuts. It’s addictive.

Being our first produce share, I have to admit my expectations were fairly low. I thought maybe some people would bring a few herbs to share. Perhaps some seedlings too.

I couldn’t have imagined the variety of fruits and vegetables people would bring along: Jerusalem artichokes, tromboncinis, Indian guavas, persimmons, garlic, bay leaves, galaxy apples, limes, lemons… we had a better selection of organic produce than Coles and Woolworths put together!

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Some of the stars: Pineapple and Jerusalem Artichoke.

One generous lady even donated a pineapple. It had taken her 2.5 years to grow this beast! And boy, did it smell delicious.

I also noticed that the produce was super fresh (most of it was picked on the day!). I could clearly see the difference between the homegrown produce and the sad looking wilted stuff sold at the local shop.

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An example of the produce a mother and her young daughter contributed

Everyone who came along left with a bag or basket full of different coloured goodies and a big smile on their face to boot.

It was really nice to see local residents come across our stall, take a few items and then say “I’ll just pop home to get some cuttings and lemons to contribute!” I think it must be in our nature to be generous and share.

What struck me about the whole event is how a garden and produce share can be a powerful way to connect with others and share local gardening knowledge.

Here’s an example of conversation I had:

Guildford resident: “What is this? Is it ginger?”

Me: “No, apparently that’s a Jerusalem artichoke”

Guildford resident: “Oh! What’s it taste like?”

Me: “They say a bit like a potato. You’ll have to try it and see!”

What the Garden and Produce share showed me is how good it feels when you remove money from the equation.

The event has re-inspired my love of food and community. It is deeply satisfying to give away your produce to others who understand the hard work involved in growing your own food. To connect with other fellow gardeners is food for my soul (like charlie carp and kelp is to my veggies!).

We’re going to trial the Garden and Produce Share for the next 3 months and see how it goes. The next one will be on the 15th of May from 10am – 11am. Put it in your diary. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

 

TTG Kitchen Gardeners’ Composting workshop

image via vintagegardengal.com

Waste is everything…

To your garden that is. Kitchen waste is also one of the biggest problems facing our city councils in tackling waste management. But if you compost, keep worms or backyard chickens, you shouldn’t need to throw anything organic in your green bins. 

Come along to our first workshop of 2016 and learn tips for the perfect compost, and encouraging worms.

Peter and Jane will share their knowledge on composting options and we’ll build a ‘hot’ compost pile together. So be prepared to get your hands dirty! We have some great compost to show off, with bin composters, worms, bokashi, and more.

Kids’ Club

Kids are welcome to take part under parental supervision or there will be an opportunity to play. So please make sure they are wearing gardening clothes, you may like to bring little gloves too.

We like to share. Please bring:

  • Something from your garden/kitchen for the sharing table (eg. seedlings, fruit, herbs, eggs etc)
  • Something to share for afternoon tea.

Event details:

RSVP: We’ll be in a Guildford back yard. Please RSVP via Eventbrite and let us know if you can’t make it.

Date: Sunday 21st February

Venue: Peter and Jane’s place in Guildford, address will be sent when you RSVP.

Time: Join us from 3pm until 5pm.

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