Monday, August 30, 2010

More manure and other tall stories!

Well, the workshop might have been sparsely attended but our wonderful members still turn out in force for the end of month cocktails in the gardens! Beautiful Miss Didi brought her dad and her little friend brought her whole family! Welcome all you new members. Children raced around playing games as they do while the oldies ate the barbeque, drank the drink and talked and talked. Sat around the brazier some stalwarts saw midnight and the huge spring moon chart its way over the concrete hopper.

And the next day it was back to reality and more of that shovelling. How many trailers can we fill? We have spied a skip full of the gold but have been told we are third on the list to receive a skip. Just be careful of your children; if they stand in it for too long they will grow even taller.

We love the garden chairs, two more slatted wooden chairs, shabby and chic, have arrived. Watch out for that Paint Pot Pat! Purple, please. Pat - we know Mission Brown is a heritage colour, but...too much of a good thing...

Still welcoming more and more new people into the garden. Come one come all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spring is springing!

Mr Ideasman scratched his head and thought about what he would really, really like to do on a Sunday afternoon and lo and behold, a lightbulb moment, he couldn’t think of anything he would rather do than shovel horse****!

Yes, folks, intimations of spring are appearing everywhere, from the narcissus bulbs to the blossoms on magnolias. From the steaming piles of manure to the earlier light mornings. I am sure most of you are planning what you would like to plant in the upcoming spring. The shade house is there awaiting your seeds and seedlings!

Unfortunately spring has seen fit to send both a laptop and a desk top computer into such a spin that they are no longer working. Thoughts of being unused whilst Ms Tagalong works in the garden obviously caused a reverse SADS and they gave up the ghost. Mr Ideasman seems to think that Ms Tagalong is to blame by moving the laptop around. I ask you, what is the use of a laptop if I can’t lug it around into the garden anyway?

The upshot of this is that I am unable to upload photos this week, so very sorry. You will just have to imagine the steaming piles layered with newspaper, leaves and mulch or even better come along and see them and if there is a trailer full of manure.....start shovelling!

For those of you who follow this religiously from afar you will probably be unable to attend our famous Cocktails in the Garden this Friday night but we will be thinking of you as we relax and unwind after a long and strenuous week.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Work, work, work

I suppose you could say we had a quiet working bee. No raucous barbeque, no profanities during the high installation of the remaining roofing for water collection. Frog spawn was placed carefully in the bathtub. In fact, everyone planted, dug, swept, pruned and hauled mulch with great restraint. Well nearly everyone, two young interlopers thought the garden might be a good locale to sip on cider and watch the others working. You just can't get good help these days!

Curious and willing children pounded oyster shells into grit for the chickens. A lean-to was made to shelter chicken food. Ms Sweeper had the garden looking smart and tidy until a little fixer tried out the hole digger, its inaugural outing, just to see how far he could dig and dropped the soil out onto the pristine concrete! What's a garden without a little soil? Paint Pot Pat brought some wonderfully painted boards as plant markers. Pick these; seeds; seed plant do not pick and so on just to guide the multitudes visiting the garden.

So the first workshop was held. The guest speaker arrived. The chicken leaflets, printed surreptiously at work, were ready to be distributed. The sun was shining. But where were the attendants? It was a pity that our wonderful people on the chicken roster were not able to attend and ensure they are caring properly for our ladies.

So are we imposing our ideas on the gardeners? Are they telling us they don't want any workshops? Ms Mova and Ms Tagalong will have to reconsider their ideas. We will perhaps try one more with the next working bee and request RSVPs beforehand. That said, it was a beautiful weekend weatherwise and people may have had lots of other things to do.

Isn't nature wonderful? Primary schoolchildren at the Botanical Gardens in Sydney were chasing around spying flora and fauna at the start of Science Week. A duck paddling in a pond was observed by one to be 'a dusty moron'! Mr Ideasman and I laughed out loud and I don't think I will ever look at a dusky moorhen the same and neither will her friends and family as the comment appeared on national TV!

So how are we doing in the community? A lovely story reached my ears this week. Two young primary girls came down to feed the chickens but became intrigued with the amount of produce they might be able to put on their own plates. Back home they went for a container and proudly collected, washed and ate a collection of lettuce leaves, sugar snap peas, radishes and tiny tomatoes. Roll on the appreciation for low food miles!

Friday, August 6, 2010

We are growing!

Ideasman was amazed at all the new visitors who wandered into the garden last week. New residents to the area, lonesome schoolchildren, sons and daughters of community members, couples interested in fresh vegetables, organic produce and the community spirit. Well, we have plenty of that here!

We have plans too, plans for the next year of the garden. Naked calendars for fundraising are so passe, but I must admit, Ms Mova and I shook around the idea, canvassed the gardeners and thought of some lovely prospects but dismissed it for some other outstanding, original idea. Just what that is, I am not sure, necessity being the mother of invention or whatever.. We are in the process of arranging a series of workshops to coincide with the working bees. Tricky planning! You must come to the workshop and oh there just happens to be a working bee on the same day! I mustn't malign our wonderful membership; we have a very willing cohort of gardeners turning up on those days. I am sure you have read about our working bee exploits over the year and can attest to how much we have accomplished. So we are thinking of a chicken workshop (rest easy Ms NimbleFingers, we are not showing you how to ring chickens necks, pluck them or cook them) but how to ensure that they keep laying. I am glad to report that one or two of the new ladies seems to be beginning to perform. But that was said in a whisper, just in case they hear and decide not to!

Ideas so far are workshops on herbs, weed identification and maybe a series of workshops from the wonderful treefrog permaculture group working locally. Let us know what you think but I can feel my teaching hat is firmly on and it's time for education folks!

Paint Pot Pat has been busy too. The wooden table looking very much the worse for wear has been transformed, dipped into cinammon chocolate, very smart. Mr Ideasman has fixed the bottom piping to the three water tanks, beautifully flowing from one to tother and we have a tap at the end! Ms Tagalong has to get a move on and chase up the promised reticulation system from our lovely local sponsors who won't get named until it is installed!! I saw a small sink in our pile of stuff to work with and thought how good to install that off the top tanks as a hand washer when working. Careful, Mr Ideasman, Ms Tagalong might become Ms Ideaswoman. Oh, I forgot, that is happening soon isn't it?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

One O Three

Ms Tagalong and Ms Mova have recently discovered a very wonderful place in our suburb and wanted to share it with you.

The smell of a freshly made cappuccino leads your nose down Union Street past the old pub. A humble blackboard welcomes you to One O Three. On Sundays between 10 and 12 the garage roller door is up and welcomes all residents to the café.

This, however, is not a regular retail café, although coin donations are gratefully received, but rather one born out of a sense of community. A place to chat, laugh and share ideas.

“Some of the best things start small and then grow,” said co-founder Dave as he explained the history of the community café. “It started with two families who knew they wanted to live together and was joined by a coffee connoisseur neighbour.”

“We acquired a second hand coffee machine and repaired it,” his friend Simon continued.

The pole pergola structure is a generous size affording cover to neighbours sitting on three plump lounges around a coffee table. A large dining table to the side is spread with Sunday papers and children run around the garden laid out with winding paths and artwork. A mural of buttons on a wall catches my attention.

“I made that,” Kya says proudly, “would you like to come and see the other art in our house?”

I clutch my frothy cup and meet some of the neighbours.