21 December 2009

Sorry Folks...No December Swap

Apologies if you heard otherwise, but Waste Not! falls on Boxing day so the Swap has been cancelled for December. Instead, be sure to take your great Aunt Betty that box of vegetables. The green leafy ones have lots of calcium which is good for her bones.

The next Swap will take place on Saturday, January 23rd 2010.

In the meantime, check-out a bit of Waste Not! background published at: http://communitygarden.org.au/sharing-the-wealth

Happy Holidays and see you in January!

02 December 2009

December Working Bee

Hi everyone just reminder the last working bee for the year is on this sunday 6th december. Come along & join in and catch up with everyone before the holidays. See you there!

18 November 2009

PDC at The Crossing - Bermagui NSW

Sorry this has taken a while for me to addthis post but its been a hectic few weeks & im struggling to find the time anyway.....    Recently 4 of the crew from "The Garden" spent 13 days at the "the Crossing" in Bermagui  NSW. To a Permaculture Design Course run by John Champagne and a group of guest tutors.

It was a great experience enriched by the site and by our fellow students that came from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests.

So here are just a few photos Ill be adding more and sorting out some captions when I get a chance.

Some Of the crew recently did t

26 October 2009

From small things, big things grow

Well, it's a week or two since our second Waste Not! swap of the new season. It was a special one, where each swapper got to take home a few packets each of heirloom and popular varieties of Italian seed imported by The Italian Gardener (http://www.theitaliangardener.com.au). Huge thanks to Geoff for the seed. Swappers also brought dozens of interesting tomato and capsicum seedlings to share including: 'Black Russian', 'Green Zebra', 'Jaune Flammee' and 'Brandywine' to name just a few!

It's a real pleasure that the swap can play a role, however small, in both the production and consumption/redistribution of locally grown food.

Although we are well into the spring/summer planting period, it's never too late to get something new into the ground...especially if it's interesting!! So, don't miss the next swap on Saturday November 28th. There is sure to be more special seed and seedlings along with the usual assortment of homegrown organic fruit and veg. See you there!

19 October 2009

Swap your way to lower CO2

Thanks to Garden volunteers, this months Waste Not! Fruit and Veg Swap (Saturday October 24th from 9-12) has joined the International Day of Climate Action. We will be one of (currently) 3559 actions occurring in 161 countries that will draw attention to the global need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to minimise our contribution to climate change. Is the Swap relevant? Of course it is! If your veg is local and organic, then you've just reduced one of the major sources of CO2 emissions. Conventional petroleum-based farming, long-distance transport and long-term food storage are all serious (but avoidable) contributors to climate change.
Go to http://www.350.org/ and 'search for actions near me' to find more stuff happening locally. Make a day of it by visiting our friends at Futureworld Eco-Technology Centre Open Day where they are also celebrating the day of action: http://www.futureworld.org.au/. See you all down at the Garden on Saturday.

14 October 2009

Dig It, No-Dig Style

The Garden has teamed up with Sustainable Illawara and Access Community Group to deliver community workshops on building 'No-Dig' garden beds and starting your own 'backyard veggie patch'. Don't be fooled into thinking no-dig means no-work. To paraphrase Esther Dean (the no-dig originator and Sydneysider): a garden is not made by sitting in the shade and saying 'oh, what a lovely garden'. But it doesn't have to break your back either! Our team of dirty but knowledgeable garden folk will show you how it's done so that you too can build soil that Mother Nature will be proud of. In follow-up workshops we will show you how to design, plant-out and maintain a veggie patch in your newly built no-dig beds.

Workshops will take place at the Garden, as well as, Shellharbour and Kiama sites in the coming weeks. The next workshop is this Sunday October 18 from 9am-1pm at the Garden. Registration is required, so call 4227 7453 (leave a message) or email mail@ sustainable illawarra. com.au. Keep track of the other up-coming workshops by going to the Sustainable Ilawarra website: http://www.sustainableillawarra.com.au/Whats-On.html.

11 September 2009

Bees, Seeds and Swaps...Fill Your Diary!

Spring has arrived and the Garden is alive. So much going on. And the humans are active too! If you thought you missed our monthly Working Bee, have no fear. It was simply postponed due to Fathers Day. Please come and join us this Sunday the 13th from 10-3pm to do some compost shifting, seedling nurturing and food sharing.

The Garden is also very excited about the fact that Jude and Michel Fanton, founders of the Seed Savers Network are visiting Wollongong thanks to Sustainable Illawara. To celebrate their visit, a screening of the film "Our Seeds: Seeds Blong Yumi" will take place at 6:30 Friday, Sept 18 on Level 9 of the Wollongong City Council building. See the flier for more info. And on the following day, the Garden will host a very special seed savers workshop tutored by the Fantons. But it's totally booked out!!! We're sorry! Don't worry our local seed savers are here to fill the gap. Go to www.seedsavers.net to connect with the Illawara Seedsavers and get involved with preserving our human right to seeds!

Last but not least, the Garden is happy to anounce the return of the Waste Not! Fruit and Veg Swap on Saturday, Sept 26 from 9am-noon. Come and get involved with a like-minded community of growers who don't like to waste the fruits of their labor. Bring your garden surplus (or seeds and seedlings if that's what you would like to share) and swap others for the abundance from their gardens. Then sit back, enjoy a coffee and meet some new folks. Everybody is welcomed, even if you just want to come and hang-out. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us.

See you all real soon,
The Garden Crew

05 September 2009

This months Working Bee postponed

Hi everyone this months Working Bee will be postponed due to Fathers Day

19 August 2009

A few recipes for things we have growing right now

Hi I was just watching the SBS food safari show when they showed a recipe for Kale. It's a really hardy plant that I didn't known about until we started growing it at the garden.

And we don't seem to have much luck getting our Papaya to ripen up before getting attacked by insects and bird or blown off by our august winds. So using them green is the perfect solution

Click on the links below to go to the recipies


Zucchini and rocket carpaccio with kale pesto

Green Papaya

Do you have any recipes for Kale or Papaya?

Here's one sent to us from Aysha. (see her comment below).
Kale Soup

Here's some photos of our Kale, its the one with the crinkly leaves.
And our green Papayas.

02 August 2009

August in "The Garden"

Another glorious sunny winter weekend.
On Saturday we had a group of gardeners from Kiama keen to see the garden and how it works.

On Sunday we had another great roll up for our monthly Working bee. Gardens were watered and weeded, the chook house cleaned, fruit trees pruned, signs & notice boards were constructed and our pizza oven took another step in its construction.

And once again a great spread of food came together for our lunch. Topped off with a lovely apple crumble cooked in a camp over over a fire served with custard & chi tea!

29 July 2009

Next Working Bee - Sunday 2nd August

Well its that time again, for our regular gathering down at the garden to catch up with old friends and new comers, to get some jobs done & put some energy back into our garden, that has been crankin over winter. As usual we will gather at about 10am to discuss a list of things to do. Feel free to bring along something to share at our informal lunch at around 1. We look forward to seeing you all.

16 July 2009

Chook Profile #1

Name: Pollo
Figure: Slim 40cm tall
Likes: Cleaning Mojo
Dislikes: Blood sucking insects

Pollo is a lovely jungle fowl who feels especially at home near the banana and paw paw tree circle. She has ruled the roost, but these days she prefers to quietly clean and be cleaned by her friend Mojo. Pollo enjoys long scratching sessions in the food forest and pecking at inanimate objects.

Thanks to the kids who attended Thirroul 'Fete of the Earth' for helping us name our chooks and big thanks as always to our friends who came for the last working bee.

30 June 2009

Winter working bee Sunday 5thJuly 2009

Hey folks! Its that wonderful winter time of the year again and yes, the Garden is cranking with plenty of fruit tree and vegie goodness...
We have just come off the back of another fabulous and successful Veg Swap on Saturday and a midday sell out stall at Sunday's Coledale market!
The inner circle will assemble around 10am for a glorious day of mattock swinging, vegie planting, liquid tea splashing, compost building, local food preparation, warm cuppas, laughter and well mannered frivolity!
Our regular monthly organic gardening enthusiasts - we look forward to catching up with you and new comers are always welcome. Feel free to bring a plate of something wholesome for a 1am lunch. See you there!
If you can't catch up with us at the Garden Sunday, see us at our organically colourful stall at Thirroul Public School's Fete of the Earth from 10am.

22 June 2009

Last Swap of the Season!

It's great to know that the swap has been so well received. The consensus seems to be that the vibe is really good and the fruit and veg is truly worth swapping. Thanks so much to everyone for making it work.
We have decided that the next swap will be the last of the season (sorry, but we've got to let the earth rest once in a while, ya know?!)...don't worry, we will kick off again in spring! Listening to 2SER today, a food expert claimed 50% of the world's food goes to waste in some form or another...man, we've got work to do.

So DO NOT miss the coming swap on Saturday June 27 from 9-12. It will be business as usual with loads of both common and unusual edibles and of course coffee from the Port Kembla Men's Group. We're guessing this swap will be citrus heaven, so if you are feeling a bit swine-ish then come and get fixed-up.

By the way, if your garden has totally gone to bed for the winter, maybe rummage through your book/magazine collection for something to swap. The Garden is looking for old (and new) organic gardening magazines like Warm Earth and Grass Roots to build a local public collection of organic/permaculture/ sustainability/self-
sufficiency related resource materials. Books welcomed too.

We leave you with reminders of the last swap. Thanks to VJ for the photos. See you on Saturday!

19 June 2009

Breadmaking at TAFE

Did you know Wollongong TAFE runs bread making courses? They are 1 night a week for 18 weeks. I've just finished the basic bread making course, which gives you all the basic knowledge and hands on experience in baking a range of white, wholemeal & rye breads in various shapes & sizes. Following that you can also do "Artisan Breads" which includes things like sourdough & bagels etc. Here's a few pics of the class in action. Hopefully these skills will come in handy once we get our pizza oven up & running.

08 June 2009

All mushrooms are edible.

Some only once! Words to live by for sure, but sometimes you've got to take the plunge if you want to be a gastronaut. Who first pulled a random mushroom from the ground and shoved it in their mouth anyway?! Generations of brave (and/or really hungry) humanoids have paved the way for you to enjoy the fruits of the forest. So show some respect!

The images above are just a small selection of local fungi photos. Everybody probably recognises the red one, Amanita muscaria (fly agaric). It is the archetypal fairy tale mushroom. It's poisonous! Don't eat it! But of course that hasn't stopped others, including Siberian and Scandanavian shamens who have historically consumed it for mind-expanding purposes. You've been warned mortal.

But we save the best for last. Lactarius deliciosus. Totally edible and growing in a pine forest near you...after a bit of rain and a warm spell. It's common name is 'pine mushroom' or 'saffron milk cap'. The Spanish call them 'rovellones'. Are they good? I challenge you to find many other living, edible, organisms who have a binomial name meaning 'delicious'. They are one of the meatiest mushrooms around and never go slimy. They should be cooked, like most wild mushrooms. Slice them up and saute in butter with garlic and a pinch of salt. Garnish with parsley and eat a pile of it on toasted sourdough with a little extra virgin olive oil. But this is not the only way to enjoy them, as you can see in the photo, a local fungivore is contemplating his options.

02 June 2009

Next Working Bee Sunday 7 June

Yes its on again. The monthly working bee is on Sunday June 7th. If your new to The Garden it's a perfect opportunity to come along & check it out. One of the regulars can give you a tour. And once we have draw up a list of things to do, your welcome to pick something that suits you & join in. It could be anything from turning the compost to feeding the chooks to labeling seeds or helping organise the lunch. Talking of lunch, its normally around 1pm and made up of whatever salad etc the garden has to offer plus whatever people bring along. Hope to see you there. Maddog. NB If it absolutely buckets down we usually give it a miss.

25 May 2009

A Radish by any other name....

Daikon, Moo, Mooli, Lobak. Call it what you wish. It was the surprise success of The Garden stall at Coledale Market. Most Westerners don't know what to make of it. But the rest of the world gets pretty excited about it. It's a white, mildly spicy, root vegetable which is a member of the Brassica family. Although the root is what most are after, the shoots are also edible (but prickly). It is also a lovely looking plant. Fellow Garden member Colin reckons it's your best bet for busting up hard/compacted soil. They are like tasty little crowbars that work for free. And easily grown. They self-seed with no problem in our region.

We diversified a little this time on the market stall. Arunda permasourced some really beautiful banksia/wattle blooms and we had some baby coffee plants for sale. Check out our posts earlier in the year about coffee bean processing (Jan/Feb). If you got a plant from us... then you saved a little fella from the roaster. Don't worry, mama will produce more next year.

Thanks to everybody who visited the stall. Selling out by 11am at a market that runs until 3pm was pretty encouraging! We had to call for back-up just to make it through the day (thanks Greg!).

So we leave you with a Daikon recipe we have tried and liked:

Daikon and Carrot Salad (from Japanese food and cooking by Emi Kazuko)

Grate 1 daikon and 1 carrot. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and mix. Drain after 30 minutes and squeeze out excess liquid.

Prepare dressing of 4 tbsp rice vinegar + 2 tbsp caster sugar. Stir until dissolved then pour over daikon and carrot. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds before serving.

This color combo, orange and white, is considered lucky by the Japanese. So daikon can change your luck too!

17 May 2009

The Swap Goes On!

Winter is creeping in but we are pushing back! Still producing the veg and ready to swap.

The 2nd Waste Not! Fruit and Veg Swap will happen at the Garden @ North Wollongong PCYC on Saturday May 30th from 9-12. (the 5th rather than 4th Sat this month!!)

Port Kembla Mens Group will provide the fantastic coffee as before and we will have sweets again. So come and bring your surplus herbs, veg, fruit, seeds, plants to trade with like-minded growers, have a coffee, catch-up with old friends and make new connections.

Also come check out the Garden Stall, the weekend before the swap, at Coledale Market on Sunday the 24th

See you at the swap

28 April 2009

Coledale Market sprouts a Garden

The funkiest local market just got funkier with the arrival of the Garden stall. Organic veg so fresh out of the ground that you could still smell the compost and seaweed fertiliser on the roots! And you want local?! How about Coledale honey, North Gong kale, Unanderra garlic, Port Kembla lemongrass. We don't measure food miles in miles or kms, we measure in neighborhoods.

Thanks to the generosity of participants in the Waste Not! fruit and veg swap the previous morning (check out the last post), we had an abundance of totally local produce grown with love that simply needed to find a new home. Virtually every last leaf flew off the market stall and the handful that didn't has been returned to the compost pile so we can grow a new crop. Complete the cycle! Compost to compost! Waste Not!

Everybody who visited the stall was really complementary and people genuinely seemed pleased to have us. The fact that everything sold speaks for itself. If the market will have us, we will try to make it a regular event in conjunction with the Waste Not! swap.

So come check us out at Coledale Markets (http://wollongongmarkets.squarespace.com) every 4th Sunday of the month.

27 April 2009

Swappers' delight

We couldn't have asked for more! The weather was glorious and the people were generous. Our friends from Port Kembla Men's Group provided seriously good cups of fair trade coffee for 30 or so swappers from in and around Wollongong. The produce was beautiful and varied: Vietnamese mint, lemongrass, mind-blowing chilis, three types of basil, pumpkins, curry leaf, lettuce, spinach, passion fruit, macadamia saplings and nuts, strawberry plants, mustard greens, chokos, beans, wax jambu, cucumbers, tamarillos, Jerusalem artichokes, rosemary, fennel, flat and curly leaf parsley, bulls horn capsicum, garlic chives, curly kale, eggplants, garlic, figs, limes...are you getting the picture!!!

A lot of healthy organic food got redistributed and people made new friends in the process. And in keeping with our motto 'Waste Not!' virtually every leaf and sprig that was donated to us was sold the following day at Coledale Market (pics and more info to come) which will allow us to keep the swap going.

Humongous thanks to everybody who participated and made it such a relaxed and positive morning.

Fellow swappers at Happy Earth(http://www.happyearth.com.au/) wrote a very kind report about the day as well. A podcast may also appear on Tim Denshire-Key's blog (http://upyourjumper.wordpress.com/). Tim visited us as a part of his Australian tour in which he is documenting the various ways communities are addressing sustainability and the challenges we face as a result of climate change and peak oil.

So spread the word. The Waste Not! swap will happen on the 4th Saturday of each month from 9-12 here at the Garden.