27 December 2011

Summer time

Hi All
Merry Christmas & happy new year!
Just a few words & pics while I get the chance
Quite a few of us are away over the Christmas & new year break but we are lucky enough that those few that will be around have volunteered to help out with our chook roster to make sure the girls are regularly fed & looked after.... so thank you.
The benefit of being around now is you get to harvest the produce that is happening right now........... like.
the zucchinis which have just started to "go off" (in a good way) over the last week & the cherry tomato's are about to go ballistic.
By the way our Avocado trees are bearing fruit for the first time.
I'm not sure how long they take to get full size, but we will be keeping an eye on them so stay tuned.
see pics below!

Hint. If you have to many Zucchinis. Slice them along with eggplants & fry them on the BBQ in olive oil (with a little garlic and chili if you like) till they are golden brown & smoky then splash on some good balsamic vinegar to taste & pack them in a jar with some more olive oil. They will keep in the fridge for a week or 2.

NEW LIFE ! Corn 27/12/11

Clearing beads & harvesting onions 4/12/11

fresh Onions

the Zucs are starting to get out of control 27/12/11

One of our first Baby Avocados! 27/12/11

14 December 2011


Seasons Greetings,

Although gardens are lush and full of vegetables this time of year, the Swap will be taking a short holiday until the New Year. We figure so many swappers have a mountain of  holiday commitments that it would be best not to heap on another.

So enjoy sharing all of that fantastic produce with family and friend and we'll meet again in the New Year for the Jan 15th Waste Not! Fruit and Veg Swap.

See you in 2012!!

17 November 2011

The next Waste Not! Fruit & Veg SWAP 20th NOVEMBER

Yes the 3rd Sunday of the month is nearly here again.....
So gather up your excess fruit, veggies, seedlings and seeds etc and bring them to "The Garden"
to swap or share with fellow gardeners.

9 till Noon Sunday 20th November

And don't forget to bring some change so you can buy a organic fairtrade coffee at our outdoor cafe and relax in the garden.

Fingers crossed the weather co-operates.

28 September 2011

Next Garden Gathering is Sunday the 6th of November.

Be There! Lots to do and see!

Below a photo of one of the "no dig" gardens we built at the work shop
less than a month ago.

Workshop photos

Aaron sharing the holy grail of soils, the "Bulli Black"
Shez explaining the merits of comfrey as an edge plant to kikuyu
Molasses the magic ingredient in growing soil hyphae
Bricks of lucerne help to build the black filth!
Comfrey the compost accelerator and mineral harvester
Pocket planting vegies directly into the knee high "no dig" garden beds

Some pics from the South East Bio Regional Permaculture convergence

Heres some photos Ill add some captions when I get the time.

01 September 2011

Monthly Gathering On HOLD due to Fathers Day

As most of us have Fathers Day commitments, we have decided to put our monthly Garden Gathering, that was due to happen on Sunday the 3rd - on hold until further notice.

So.... Don't forget your Dad... Buy him something nice, tell him he's right (for a change), and give him a hug.

We will let you know if we decide to hold our Garden Gathering later in the month - so check back for updates. Or let us know if you want to be included in our emailing list if your not already.

All the Best ... Maddog.

04 August 2011

Garden Kitchen construction update.

Some serious work was done last weekend - materials were gathered and volunteers hooked in to get the base of the pizza oven filled and our crazy recycled cement paving put in place around our oven base and poles and levels set ready to fill in to make the kitchen floor. Thanks to Andrew for taking charge and directing all the crew.

There is plenty more to do so we will be there this weekend if anyone wants to come along and help.

02 August 2011

The raised bed experiment.................

Inspired by our community garden and a book called "One Magic Square"  by Lolo Houbein. I decided to build a 1 meter square vegi garden in my back yard and see just how much it could produce.

 This solved a few problems 1 while I have been doing lots of vegi gardening at the community garden I wasn't actually doing it in my own back yard...this was because of a few reasons. My wife likes a nice neat garden and vegi patches often don't fit that description, I have dog that always seems to find the vegi patch more of a lounge room e.g. a place to lay in the sun on top of nice soft soil, and I have chickens that I regularly get let out to free rang the back yard.
So my solution was to make a small neat but productive vegi patch that would be in a handy spot, in full sun away from the neighbours tree roots that sucked the life out my previous vegi patches and up a bit higher to make it easy to get to for me... but harder for the dog & chickens to get to.

So after investigating various materials I decided to go for a raised bed build from recycled hard wood which I simply sanded with a grinder fitted with a flap disk to quickly smooth the surface off and removed any sharp splintery bits and it gave the wood a nice look.

I didn't bother treating the wood figuring that as its hard wood it will probably last longer than my need for this particular structure.

I simply cut to size and drilled and bolted it all together (that way I can take it apart if needed) basically a wooden box sitting on the grass.

I used heavy uprights posts in the corners letting them stand higher so I could use them as a frame to throw shade cloth or plastic to protect the seedling or make an instant mini green house.
I also added a flat edge at the top as place to sit on or put your tools etc on while tending the vegies.

Once constructed I used the usual no did method to fill up the 1 meter square box and pocket planted straight into some hand fulls of compost. so stay tuned .....

My chickens happily free ranging - they haven't noticed the vegi patch yet as its out of there view.

So far so good the vegies are going good & no weeds or pests !

27 July 2011

Reminder - our next Garden Gathering 7th Aug

See you at our next Working Bee or Garden Gathering as we have decided to call them from now on.

Be there Sunday 7th of August from 10am

South East Bio-regional Permaculture Convergence August 2011

South East





South East solutions

The South East offers many of these examples and this Bioregional Convergence will pool together that collective knowledge and facilitate structures that help to continuously disseminate knowledge back to local communities.
Delegates attending will have the opportunity on the Sunday to visit six properties in the Bega Valley that demonstrate many of these solutions.

Why a South East Convergence

Within the South East region there are many bioregions that are operating independently of each other and this event is an opportunity for us to network, share information and develop strategies to better integrate our collective activities.

For more info     Go to the web site

18 June 2011


Oops sorry this post is a bit late.... But for all you late night web surfers that didnt realise, the Swap is on tomorrow Sunday 19th 10am till noon.
It is supposed to be a nice day so come and check out the garden there is lots growing. bring any excess fruit or veg or just come for a chat and a coffee at the garden cafe.

28 May 2011

Looking for an Organic Restaurant ?

If you’re looking at this blog you’re probably interested in good organic food.

Then check out the Agape Restaurant in Botany
Sydney’s First Certified Organic Restaurant and Bar
Agapé is Sydney's largest Certified Organic licensed Restaurant and Bar serving tapas, spelt pizza , mains and dessert. Certified by the Organic Food Chain (OFC). Proudly supporting Australian farmers using the best Certified Organic, Sustainable and Natural produce.
We thought it was great. Good quality food, interesting menu and while its not cheap, it was no more expensive than similar quality non organic restaurants.
For more information check out their web site.

16 May 2011

A swaping great day

Well after having to cancel our swap 2 months in a row due to bad weather we were finally blessed with a fantastic sunny autumn day. After a bit of a slow start the crowd started to arrive and the table fills up with all sorts of fruit and veg. Including a few unusual items which always sparks some conversations.

Well that's what make the swap so interesting... you never know who or what will turn up.

See you next month!

12 May 2011


That's right 3rd Sunday of the month is almost upon us! So hope for some nice sunny weather, gather your Goodies, throw on a Jumper, an stick a few Bob in ya pockets.. then head for "The Garden" this Sunday the 15th of May. 9 ta noon. Seeyathere!
For those that haven't been before... we bring any excess fruit and vegies we have grow to swap or give away, while we chat and drink fair trade organic coffee or tea and eat homemade cakes etc in the surrounds of the garden.
All welcome.

02 May 2011

Combined Workshop & Working Bee

Wow what a great day it turned out to be! After some very dodgy weather leading up to Sunday. We woke up to a crisp sunny day and over 25 participants turned up to the veggie garden workshop we held in collaboration with Wollongong City Council.

After some introductions and a short session of theory, it was time for a practical demonstration of building "No Dig" garden beds from our home grown facilitators Aaron & Shez.

Then after a short coffee break it was time for all the participants to get stuck in and have a go themselves. and they sure did!  Next everyone had a go at pocket planting a load of veggies into the newly made beds.

Lots of participants hung around to share lunch and help with the working bee.

Well done everyone ? Check back here to see how the veggies you planted are going.

We would love to hear about how your home veggie patch turn out. Just email us a few  pics and tell us how it goes. Feel free to email any questions and we will do our best to answer them.

25 April 2011

A change of season

Cooler weather means its time to plant some brassicas.
Now that the worst of the heat and drying north east winds have past, the crew have been busy rebuilding beds and planting new crops. We can already see the benefits of the new season while we are still getting warm sunny days it's not over powering and the plants love the milder conditions and regular rain we have been getting.
The end of daylight saving means we don't get much time to do anything after work so the Tuesday evening gatherings are more a chance to catch up and get some admin work done.
Here are a few pics of the new seedling starting to power ....

19 March 2011

The Garden Kitchen Cafe Construction Makes A Start!

The dreaming of our Kitchen Cafe has now passed with the pouring of the footings of the posts in the welcome Autumn rains.
This Saturday morning, on the 19th of March 2011, Shez, Andrew, Damien, Todd and Aaron whipped up batches of concrete by hand and wheelbarrowed them into 3 post footings. While the skies opened up, a ton of concrete was mixed with the assistance of rain water. The research is inconclusive about the benefit of organic concrete in structural engineering, but we will keep you updated when the studies are complete.
Using the momentum of our enthusiastic volunteers we will continue to roll out further Kitchen Cafe progress on Tuesday afternoons and the fantastic monthly working bees.

08 March 2011

The Garden is Pumping!

Yes we now have a water pump! And it’s already been put to good work helping us to keep the garden going during some really extreme heat without having to resort to town water.

We can now make use of our big water tank that collects rain water from the PCYC roof much more effectively. The pump give us heaps of water pressure and watering the garden with rain water takes much less time than before.

This is all thanks to a lot of hard organising and preparation by Michael who made sure we got the best solution and prepared safe working procedures and coordinated all those involved. - Well done mate!

And of course much thanks to Frog soloutions and Apathco

Frog soloutions installed a dedicated circuit to a weather proof external double power point.

And Apathco supplied the Monza - 800W, 80L/min capacity water pump, the protective casing, piping and installed it.

See photos from the day of installation -Tony Perram and John Heslin did the install work. Thanks Heaps guys.


20 February 2011

just a few photos

A few fun guys hanging out in the garden

A few kids as well

Tuesday arvo compost turning

The February Swap

A diverse group of swapper's enjoy a relaxing Sunday morning.