Called in at the garlic today – the plots are probably a fire risk. Anyway, the garlic is ready to harvest (and also the oats, barley and broadies). This pic is the best of the garlic I could find without implements. We’ll have to fossick, mostly, I suspect.

Sunday arvo for a start on it? It’s projected to be hot, so let’s say 5pm or a bit before. Fundraising hasn’t been the best this year. Please come and have a scratch if you are around.

Are you ready for the heat?

Festival of Gardens 2016 and our vibrant community garden is brimming with flowers and plants

And I’m not just talking about the fire season. We’ve had a dream run into December with the mild spring and its continued moisture. It’s now time to get into the summer routine: this involves getting into the garden early or late in the day, mulching and protecting your plants, and watering well. You’ll find some pointers in the December Notes, now posted.

And on the fire season, the local CFA held their Open Day last Sunday, with some interesting presentations, including on social media apps to assist keeping you informed and safe. Chris and Gordon also went along to talk about “Talking Fire” and some of the discussions over the weekend. If you are interested, the website – – will have detailed coverage of the weekend, inc audio, visual, and audio-visual, just as soon as we can get it all up there on the Program page. May take a little time… but certainly mostly before December!

But back to the garden. If you are going away during the summer, please let your neighboring plotholder know, or other members so we can ensure things get a drink. And please check out the water roster if you are calling by the garden – even 5 minutes will make a difference to thirsty plants.

And it’s a bountiful harvest. We are still going on the broadies – here’s another recipe from Saide; an Ottolenghi one, so must be good! And there’s broccoli, strawbs, lettuce all over the place, rhubarb, herbs, globe artichokes, and whatever else might be hiding in the communal plots.

Saturday 3rd will be our last Produce Exchange for the year. Thanks to Mary and Lyn for keeping it going this year. We may look at reviewing it for next year (different time, day, place, location, event??)

Enjoy December in the garden – always a good place to escape to from the festive season madness.

Produce Aplenty

hard core composters turned out to build the early spring heap

Getting a little anxious about all that produce in the garden which will be soon getting past it’s peak. Picked a bit this evening (lettuce, broadies, artichokes, leeks, kale, silverbeet) and will set up a table at Newstead Rotunda Market (now run by Newstead CFA) tomorrow, by donation (have no float!) There’s also the unsold FOG pots and a few herbs (didn’t get round to picking) that can be offered up.
If anyone is around and can call by the market, that’d be great.
I don’t plan to get there with the CFA (at 7am!); it’ll more like 8.30″ish” for a couple of hours at most.

See you on the 25th when we can pick some more, and eat it together. There’s a lurgy in the system, so ignore the November 20th date – just come on the 25th!

Watch out for the Supermoon tonight

lunar perigee (on the left) and apogee (right) viewed from the earth

A lot happening (as Brian Keats predicted this month) in a weather and planetary sense at the moment. He’d alerted us to correlations to earthquakes and cyclones (though he flagged the 25th, not the 14th!).

Tonight will see a Full Supermoon as the moon is both full and at perigee – closest to the earth, only 356,536km away. It will look very large (if you can see it between the clouds). Expect bigger weather events, tides, (hopefully not more tsunamis) etc. And probably some more sleeplessness.

Community. Newstead & Maldon. Conversation


Not quite anything directly to related to the garden, but you might be interested in this upcoming event … about our landscape, community, and what we value in it. So, yes, there are parallels to the garden.

“Talking Fire” is on the weekend of November 12 and 13 at Newstead Community Centre. Some of the talk will be about how we can protect the special things and places in the environment, as well as ourselves and our communities, from the risks of fire. Saturday will be mainly field-based, after an introduction in the hall, as we work our way from Mount Tarrengower back down to Newstead, looking at some sites and discussing what we see (is it biodiversity? fuel? some of both?) and what it means in and for our landscape. Sunday will focus on risk and forward planning, with fire experts from DELWP, local CFA and fire ecologists. We hope it will be the start of more conversations about what it means to live with fire.

There will also be some looking back to learn for today and the future – recording histories and oral histories around fires in our area, and the role of local community groups in that. Do you have a fire story or history around any aspect of “fire”? Come along on the Saturday and have a chat to Gordon Dowell any time during the day.

Come to all or any of the sessions.

To book (event is free but bookings are needed for catering and transport) and for more information, or to ask about it, go to the event website,

Thanks to our supporters, Mount Alexander Shire Community Grants, Maldon & District Community Bank (Bendigo Bank) and Norman Wettenhall Foundation.