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.