Heaps of good greens

the final  heap with it's straw blanket

We had ten gardeners help out with the compost make on Sunday, with three hard core composters, Julia, Angella and Gordon, lasting the whole shebang. Thanks Julia for the pics.

We had a little issue with water supply (!) but once sorted hopefully will have drenched the heap enough. The ingredients were all fresh, green andmoisture-rich though, which hasn’t been the case with many of our previous builds and bodes well. If you are walking past the garden in the next week, especially in the cold of the early morning or evening, check for rising steam!

The big heap should slump down by a third, or even half, once the microbes and BD preps get into action. It’s a little disappointing, seeing all that hard slog minimised, but that is the point. And it shows that we have created the right conditions to make very good compost. The garden will love it in the months and years to come.

I think the hard core composters will still be getting over pains and aches all of this week, maybe into the next, but there’s still enough greenstuff and manures for at least another go, carbon sources – and composters – willing, sometime soon.

Don’t forget the next working bee on Sunday 28th. One of the jobs will be weeding, but there’ll also be some other pleasant tasks, like sowing seeds for the Festival of Gardens plant sales, and giving things a foliar feed of fish emulsion and worm juice.

August times

winter in the garden

It feels like spring is in the air, however unscientific that is. Lengthening days and signs are about, in the bush (flowering wattles and hardenbergia, sundews seeking protein, orchid flag leaves and rosettes unfurling, bird activity) and in the garden (stonefruits budding, the odd asparagus spear, weed growth and oxalis flowering, globe artichokes getting active, broadies flowering) and the sense of things to come. Warm days ahead, even.

Perhaps this is Sprinter, as Tim Entwisle (Director at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne) has coined it?

On that note, the August ones are now posted and it’s time to make a move. Hope you can emerge from winter hibernation and get out into the, or your, garden and enjoy watching it all unfurl next month. There’s plenty to do this time of year and you’ll be rewarded when the warmth does arrive.

Don’t forget the Produce Exchange on Saturday 6th and our Working Bee on Sunday the 28th. Dare I mention compost? Probably not. See you in the garden.

Trying again on the compost front … and garlic update

weeding and mulching at the garlic fundraising crop

We didn’t get a quorum for compost building on Saturday (perhaps Sundays are a better bet for the garden, and the more usual thing?) And what would a compost quorum be, you might ask? More than Saturday’s, though Julia and I enjoyed coffee and cake and have made things more ready. Let’s try, for the fourth time, next Sunday 11am.

Compost is at the heart of every good garden and we’ve been making a large heap every year since the garden started in 2010 (usually as a workshop for non garden members; and usually well attended!). The big BD heap is a critical way to get enough humus back into the soil on an annual basis, especially for our large growing area.

The beautiful rain has been good for edible greens, as well as weeds (all compostable!). The garlic is a case in point. Mulch time, to avoid more continuous weeding. If you are passing the paddock, and have a little time to spare, please add some mulch to our growing fundraising crop. Garlic sets clove numbers during winter and fills them during spring (clove size), so care and nurturing during these colder months will set yield potential.

Compost Raincheck for Tomorrow

cold, damp, dull; a real central victorian winter

As much as I love compost building, Sunday’s forecast of 9 degrees, strong winds and up to an inch of rain have dampened even my enthusiasm for the activity.

So stay home in front of the fire with a good book and a cuppa, or somewhere equally warm tomorrow. The garden will wait.

We’ll try again next Saturday and see if that plan brings more weather … cold


Welcome weather, especially for weeds

winter in the garden

Growth normally slows in winter, but the wonderfully wet conditions have meant that winter crops – and weeds – are doing particularly well at the moment. Our garlic is a case in point (and spot the lentils amongst the images below). But luckily the weeds are still small and easily tackled with a sharp implement. I plan to get out and do some on Saturday afternoon, after the Produce Exchange (10.30-12noon outside Dig cafe). You’d be welcome to join me in Helen’s field for a bit of good post-voting therapy.

But weeds aren’t all bad. They are a valuable source of green material for compost and bring individual qualities to the heap. We have a lot of green material at the garden! So compost is on the agenda this month – Sunday 10th (a “root” day though the moon isn’t in the most optimal rhythm) is the plan for another big BD heap. Find out what else to do and plant in the garden this month in the July planting notes, now posted.

Brian Keats warns that the first week of July will be a cold one, so rug up if you are venturing out, and perhaps do something warming, like weeding!

a welcome bright spot in the garden

a welcome bright spot in the garden