There’s a Spring in our Step….

Usually one of the joys of living in Central Victoria is the ever changing seasons.  Just when you can’t stand another grey, freezing winters day – along comes…another grey, freezing winters day!    Surely it’s been one of the longest, hardest winters we’ve experienced for a long time?

Now that Spring has finally sprung, I know that I’m out in the garden at every opportunity.  It could be my overactive imagination, but I think the days are becoming milder? 

Seeds are cooking away in the hothouse, the compost has been turned, the garden thrown some fertilizer before it rained and I’m feeling pretty virtuous about my good gardening habits!  I’ve even pulled 3 barrow loads of weeds.  How they’ve been able to grow is a mystery as we’ve had virtually no sunshine for weeks!

People are starting to emerge after their winter hibernation and talk gardening again. 

Newstead’s gardeners and foodies met under The Red Store veranda the first Saturday of the month to exchange excess fruit, vegetables, preserves, seeds and Mary’s fabulous fresh muffins!  Thank you to those who attended this month’s exchange braving the torrential downpour that saw the town flooded in parts.  I did very well for myself, taking home a golden basket of lemons – perfect for some early cordial making. 

The idea of a Produce Exchange in town was to give gardeners an opportunity to meet and exchange not only excess and gluts of produce, but to talk with other like minded ‘earthy types’ and exchange ideas as well.  I certainly don’t fit the mould of ‘earthy type’ but have formed some friendships with many who do garden with great enthusiasm and – judging by the amazing produce that makes an appearance at the communal trestle table – some very skilled gardeners at that! 

As with any group of people, the Produce Exchangers and Community Gardeners are a pretty diverse bunch.  If you’d like to get involved, but fear you may not have the right ‘green’ credentials or don’t want to come off looking like a Martha Stewart clone – don’t worry!  We all garden in our own way but share the ideal of gardening for the right reasons no matter the method – that of sustainable, fresh, locally grown produce.

Come and join us next month, Saturday 2nd October, under The Red Store veranda and swap your way to a better dinner!

Liz Bell, The Red Store, 54 76 2380

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