Winter Tasks in the Garden

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Most years the amount of people interested in the garden tails off somewhat in Winter, but new volunteers are bucking the trend in 2013 coming forward in the cooler months and committing regular hours to help our grarden grow. Not everyone is gardening however this doesn’t mean they’re sitting idly by.  In recent weeks we’ve seen a renewed creative flurry, and while the mosaics aren’t getting any bigger, small films are hatched, songs are played, poems recalled and vessels woven.

A good deal of energy in Winter will be devoted to organising and getting ready for the growing season next year. Our visioning process earlier in the year produced some fantastic ideas but progress has been a bit slow on turning them into realities.

Winter crops are largely in but we plant more seeds in readiness, knowing we’ll find spots to squeeze them into in existing beds.

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Whether you have 20 square meters or 20 acres, Winter Tasks in mosts gardens includes organising for the year ahead, checking in on the tools, inventory, repairs, sharpening replacing anything lost to damage or just lost. It’s also a time to reflect on what worked, and what didn’t, and make small improvements every year based on those observations. How did our garden grow this year? What did we grow, what did we harvest? Was it successful, bountiful, equitable and delightful? Leave comments below if you’d like to help grow our successes in 2013/14.

Reflecting then on the Friday sessions, these have traditionally been open: Bring your self, your interests and something for the pot, or a small donation. Seeds, seedlings, flower bulbs, crafts and stories wander in one by one, and come together to work in the garden and make a tasty soup.

Sometimes more social, sometimes more hard graft depending on who comes. As regular visitors to the gardens come and go, each wave brings different talents, energy levels, abilities and interests. It’s a tricky balance to maintain, welcoming all that come, embracing the social experience which some value above all else, as well as giving order and tasks to those who are looking for a more structured experience. So as we talk today we capture not only what the Gardens needs are in Winter but also the explore the needs of the Gardeners. To encourage group ownership of the Friday Sessions for all contributions to be welcome we review the tasks which need to be done each month, and think about how we know when some things need to be done. Experienced local gardeners have a wealth of knowledge about likely times for the infamous last frost and so on and its this calendar we need to refer to rather than general planting guides. Do you have any wintery observations you’d like to share with gardeners in the upper mountains?

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