The Governor and the Gardeners

The Governor of Victoria, The Honorable Alex Chernov AC QC and Mrs Elizabeth Chernov were in the region last week and visited our garden on Friday 6th July. After calling in on the Newstead Historical Society at the Courthouse and volunteers at the Rural Transaction Centre (which houses our local Maldon & District Community Bank outlet, library, pocket gallery, op-shop, computers and other services) their cavalcade came to the garden.

See the Photo Gallery page for some images of the visit – thanks to Gen for the pics. Plenty of interest from the vice-regal couple in our biodynamic compost heap and it’s construction, the Tait pizza oven and also the garden generally, our members, how it all operates. It was good to see the Governor getting out into rural Victoria and connecting with the local volunteers keeping small communities functioning.

We’ve been busy undertaking winter jobs in the garden as well as initiating some long needed projects, such as construction of table and seating, raised beds, the pizza oven area, and continuing to develop the garden in line with our original concept design.

It’s been good to have a couple of seasons to see what works and doesn’t in the garden; which plants grow well, or too well (some now need to be moved to minimise disruption to garden plots) and how the garden runs.

We’ve decided to manage the communal beds to grow a single crop (spuds, garlic, broad beans, etc) which can be harvested and shared amongst all gardeners. Crops that need more space, or water, or are best grown in large amounts, or that require longer to mature, or are perennial or biannual. We can avoid problems of crop rotation and disease and keep management simple.

We have also allocated one of our individual plots to digger members – to grow anything they like in through the season – which will widen the options for growing, especially for those diggers who don’t have a vege garden at home. So diggers will have the share in the garden spoils, as well as a plot to grow in.

A few notes about upcoming events/opportunities: Biodynamic Fruit Tree Care Workshop, run by Biodynamics Victoria – places still available; Community Volunteers Training through the Mount Alexander Shire is being offered at little or no cost; the federal government’s Volunteer Grants 2012  til July 25th. The Castlemaine Children’s Literature Festival Program 2012  is now out.

And there’s gardening to be done!

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