Gifts for the Garden … and a visit to Ballan

Thanks to Nigel and Senga Peckham our garden has had an early christmas. Now ex- organic herb growers, Senga and Nigel have gifted the community garden their herb drying and processing equipment (yes, another dream on our wish list). How wonderful for us and generous of them … We’ve also had a lovely old (but good) shed in Newstead offered to us for the equipment and our activity. All our christmases have come at once! The gear and the shed will help us become more financially self sufficient. We will also be able to better preserve (and value add) our harvest.

I made a brief reciprocal visit to the Ballan Friendship Garden this week to see what David and fellow gardeners have been up to since they came to us last year. It’s great to see how they are developing on a similar site – church owned land – and growing links and gardeners. I reckon they could teach us a thing about growing kohlrabi! Ballan is about 3 weeks behind us, so the summer veges were just in or being planted and spring veges still producing well. A large walnut tree provides shade and focus, three large compost bays are partly constructed from building materials sourced from a McDonalds outlet – probably the most healthy thing McDonalds will ever be linked to! In only 6 months, David and co have been busy. The garden is at the rear of the Ballan Uniting Church, between the primary school and preschool. Pay them a visit if you’re passing. Here’s a few photos:

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Back to our garden and you’ll notice some signs around the garden – not too aesthetic, but hopefully functional – listing jobs that need doing for those particular beds or crops. This should help Digger members or plotholders who are a bit unsure about what, or how, when they come to the garden. Refer to the crop notes in conjunction with the list if you’re stuck. We discussed this at our meeting, as well as markers for the crops that are ready for eating …you’ll also see these.

Over the next couple of weeks, and into January, the key is going to be to make sure the garden is well mulched and well watered. Keep picking the produce, and plant the rest of the tomatoes (and pumpkins). Have a lovely break and enjoy the delights of the garden over the festive period.

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