Friday 7th March The Storm Approaches

There’s a storm brewing, an attack on community gardens! Here’s Hannah Moloney from the Australian City Farms and Community Gardens standing up for home and community growers and regionalised food systems.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-06/biosecurity-food-security-ausveg-community-gardens/5302748#.UxkAKogODKU.facebook

A beautiful morning, none-thel-ess with the threat of storm approaching. The threat loomed as long as we kept up our gardening activities, and then, as I turned the key at my front door, the rain finally began its downpour.

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We’ve had about a week of rain up until this day, and a few chillier nights, signalling that Autumn is indeed here. To complete the effect these conditions bring out little mushrooms in and around woody material like beams and mulch, such as these tiny ones sneaking out of tiny creases in railway sleepers which form the entrance to the heritage soup garden.

Sarah Belinda and I arrive a little early and begin the first preparations for permaculture day coming up in May. From the shed I retrieve an old soil sifter and we sift potting compost to separate big bits. What’s left after sieving is fine material, and perfect for our task today, planting seeds in pots. It’s slow work with just one sieve but an enjoyable task between two people. We add about 1/3 as much sand to the soil, and this makes a nice free draining light seed-raising mix. Bente arrives in time to wash recycled pots straight from the pot swap. By now it’s time to break for tea.

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Peaches, and a few raspberries from the garden feature in morning tea meeting today. As does the continuing discussion on the pressing need to create an entity which can in turn take a lease on our land, and of auspicing and insurance. We are speaking with potential partners and auspicing bodies, and a direction is firming up. Yet we still have basic questions about the nature of any new lease and whether it will encompass the whole of Harold Hodgson’s parkland, as it does now.

Eventually Claudia and I make it back to planting seedlings, the job we began with today. We sow bok choy and dwarf blue curly kale, both of which grow very well in our upper mountain climate. These will be available for swaps or gold coin donations on the first weekend in May.

Observations: Mushrooms are coming up and not just the tiny ones, but also first sighting of  Pine mushrooms, or Lactarius deliciosa. In the garden, Zucchinis are still coming, not so thick and fast, but one or two regularly appear this week at each plant, netting continues to protect new plants in the heritage garden.

This week in the Gardens: Blue Mountains Organic Community Gardens hosted a morning class for permaculturists-in-training with Rowe Morrow, with her first PDC since returning to the mountains this year.  A submission was proposed by the community gardeners together with our friends at Permaculture Blue Mountains and Transition Blue Mountains in support of the council’s Draft LEP and incorporated a number of recommendations from Conservation Society. You can read that submission in full here.

Next Friday we prepare for the incoming compostible waste from the Blue Mountains Music Festival which several of us will be processing on Monday, weather permitting.

And today I’ll leave you with a puzzle, what might the following images have in common?
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All will be revealed in the weeks to come, down at Blue Mountains Organic Community Gardens. See you there.

I gardened today with the delightful Sarah, Belinda, Bente, Claudia, Ishta, Fred, Leon & Michael.

Just as we were locking up, Meredith appeared, to announce details of a North Katoomba Community Day, which sounds like a lot of fun, and which the Blue Mountains Organic Community Gardens are invited to. Katoomba Neighbourhood Centre (KNC) is organising this and a meeting is planned for next Thursday afternoon around 3pm I think – call Laurie at KNC for details 02 4782 1117.

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