All Aboard …

Newstead Arts Opening Flier

After almost three years, we have a newly restored railway station and a focal space for the local creative community. Sunday 29th August is the date for the opening. Come along and see the transformation, and exhibition. RSVP to Sarah on 0419 322 681.

Also there are still places available for the Backyard Bounty Food Growing Course, run by Growing Abundance and the Maldon neighborhood House. I’ll be running a session on BD compost building, as well as one on the basics of planting according to the BD calendar, including crop rotation.

BB Poster

26th July Garden Gathering

Spring is just around the corner and it’s time to talk about plantings and activities once the weather warms and the days are long enough to find time to spend in the garden. We have changed the date of our winter get together to Sunday 26 July, 3-5pm. The previous date clashes with Newstead Rocket Science at Welshmans’ Reef Vineyard (Sunday 19th at 3.30pm) when Terry White will be talking about local climate reality, a topic of interest to many gardeners, and gardens.

So see you on Sunday 26th for a bit of gardening beforehand and then from 3pm for pizzas, conversation and planning for the warmer months. Imagine that. Warmth.

Also, thanks to the Newstead RTC we took delivery of a huge trailerload of green material, just starting to go a bit sloppy, but perfect for another, smaller, bd compost ….

… and also thanks to the Newstead Mens’ Shed for helping us with the first stage of the mosaic bench renovation/repair/refurbishment (another topic of conversation for July 26th). Frosts had undermined many of the ceramic tiles, making  the surfaces unsafe and dangerous. The shed blokes enjoyed a bit of wrecking, rather than building, and did it better than Whelan!

Local active happenings

Holy Goat Cheese and Sutton Grange Organic Farm

There’s much activity on the planting front – if you’re available this Saturday 11th, local landcare groups would welcome your help – their ambitious aim is to plant 40,000 trees – by 1000 planters. You do the maths, but if you can spare some time and plant a few, that’s fine and most welcome. See more details here:

Greetings fellow Landcarers,

Most of you will be aware of this project to plant 40,000 trees in the North Harcourt area next Saturday and that we have said we would like to have 1000 volunteers. This is a great opportunity for our Mt. Alexander community to gather together to make this event happen. Our numbers are growing up we still need more.

The weather looks good. Land preparation is nearly complete. The toilets are booked and the seedlings are being loaded onto delivery trailers ready for planting.

Make sure you let us know you are coming!

Many hands make light(er) work.

· encourage your friends to register –
· like and share the Facebook link –
· share the attached flyer with your network!
We’ll be back in touch with directions to your planting site along with a reminder of things to bring.

Thanks for your help,
Daryl Colless, On behalf of the 40,000 Trees team

Or here: flyer for 40,000 trees.

stuff_030On the food gardening front, see this food growing course being offered by Growing Abundance and the Maldon Neighborhood Centre. And there’s Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens as well.

Thanks Saide for representing us and our views as part of the Mount_Alexander_Environmental_Strategy_2015-2025. Still time to comment on it. But Saide has, and you can send further comment to her asap.

And you can put in practise all of the above, in our own garden, or yours.

A bit of mollycodling for the fruit trees

Have you noticed the days lengthening? It’s no warmer, but a bit lighter. The skies feel less enveloping, enclosing. Steiner would probably talk about deep, internal, earthly winter workings – the soil forces – giving way to the more atmospheric, cosmic influences. The fruit trees are feeling something, anyway. Lyn and I applied the first curly leaf spray this week to the budding stone fruit.

July is timely for attending to your fruit trees. See the July Notes for more details on what to else to do in the garden and when (including a Weather Event warning from forecaster extraodinaire Brian Keats).

Codling Moth is a bugbear for most apple and pear growers. Despite our good bug mixes and pheremone traps, we still had grubs and moths in some apple trees last year (Q – are some heritage apple varieties more prone than others?). In this part of the world, the moth will have three life cycles each season, starting at flowering time, with peak numbers around December. They’re now overwintering in cocoons under the the soil, in leaf litter or mulch, or under the bark on trunks and branches. You can still limit damage by applying sticky bands on the trees, to prevent the pupating female moths clambering/fluttering upwards to the flowers where they’ll lay eggs near the developing fruit. The resulting grubs bore through the fruit, gorge and grow, then burrow out again, ready to pupate, and mate, and lay more eggs …

In spring, they’ll pupate quickly and the moths hatch out. That’s when the pheremone traps and parasitic wasps, corrugated cardboard around the trunk, and other methods help. Chooks are great codling moth predators (if you can keep them from eating your veges and being eaten by foxes or dogs). Wormwood, southernwood, tansy and lemonbalm are also said to be good for repelling the insects. See some more info on controlling codling moth from Green Harvest’s excellent organic pest control website. So, clearing – and burning – any harbour (and hopefully cocoons) from underneath trees,  including brushing/scraping any loose bark that they might be under, and applying sticky barrier glue to trunks and branches can also be July jobs.

See you in the garden, or at the Produce Exchange (Sat 4th), or our Garden get together (Sun 26th – note date change).

Attending to the stone fruit

If you’ve been down to the garden – in between frosts – over the weekend, you’ll notice our stone fruits are starting to bud already. Remember what they tasted like?!
I’m proposing a first spray for curly leaf next Friday arvo (26th June) at 3.30pm if anyone can come along to assist and accompany. A follow up is then needed a few weeks after, when the flower buds should begin to swell and pinken.

Hold your mouse over the images to view caption or enlarge for a better view…

We could also give the ailing loganberries a spray, just for the sake of prevention (and the other fruit trees, though it won’t do anything for codling moth on the pome fruits). This treatment is also useful for black spot on roses, if you have them.
A garden members get together on Sunday 26 July, 3-5pm to meet and greet new and renewing members, talk about growing plans for spring and summer, and about fixing the (frost damaged) mosaic tables, as well as fundraising (as ever). The pizza oven will be lit. Come earlier to have a bit of a garden, with company.