Spring is in the air!

Mizuna and new seeds near the kitchen door.

Mizuna and new seeds near the kitchen door.

Though the blog has been quiet over Winter, volunteers have been steadily working in the gardens all through the cooler months, doing garden maintenance, cleaning up and organising the kitchen, continuing with the creek restoration and flood protection and practicing our gardening skills. Also going on in the gardens is a noxious weed removal program being run by Amanda, completely spray free and 100% carbon neutral – All the weeds are processed on site, with all their nutrients being buried in Hugel beds.

New Hazels are in!

New Hazels are in!

Over the past few weeks, we prepared two new garden beds and are using them as a seed-raising area as well. We also constructed some seed propagation boxes and sown them as well, transplanting the first Mizuna of the season last Friday. Also to go in the gardens last week were some small Hazels donated some time ago by Cathie and some Yellow Raspberry canes from Kat. As the Community Gardens have no regular source of income, we’ve even potted up a few plants for sale on Fridays by donation!

With so much going on and so much to do, learn, share and enjoy, new volunteers are always welcome! For more information, go to next week’s Meetup page.

PIA update: Biodynamic Tree Paste, Pruning and Kimchi

Last Friday brought many new faces to Permaculture In Action in the Gardens, so we began with introductions, Lemon Verbena tea and a walking tour, featuring an introduction to the ongoing creek restoration work from long-term Permaculture and BMOCG stalwart, Michael.

Then, after a quick forage. Cathie, Gloria and others cooked up a feast – thank you to the garden and to all the lovely people who brought treats with them! Meanwhile, Kat got the gardening started while Carlos and Jim helped me set up a biodynamics workshop.

A few weeks ago we noticed a fungal infection in one of the fruit trees near the Education Space, so on Friday we did a workshop on how to make and apply Biodynamic Tree Paste, and there was plenty of expert help! I brought the ingredients and facilitated. Dave brought scientific knowledge about clays. Carlos and Sayako gave the potion some love and human energy by mixing it with their hands. Sayako, Harumi and Jim were all guns on the stirring stick and Cathie taught us all the correct way to stir-wait-create chaos-wait-stir. There was plenty of discussion on the nature and flow of energy and it was all very exciting!

While we took shifts stirring the tree paste, Jim planted some garlic, people talked and got on with other jobs and though some people had to go, the rest of us enjoyed a beautiful feast and before long, time had slipped away and Carlos and Gloria gracefully stayed on to paint the paste onto the first three trees.

Next week: More soup; Kat is going to do a workshop on making Kimchi; we will continue painting the trees with the BTP (Biodynamic Tree Paste); and we’ll prune some more fruit trees. Please bring an old brush, your favourite secateurs and your PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) including eye protection and gloves and enough clothes to  you comfortable (I use my hiking boots in this weather).  I’ll be late to arrive, but Kat will be there from 10:30. Hope to see you there! Warmly, Rob

Lismore Community Gardens, PIA and International Permaculture Day Picnic

IMG_3148Recently I visited Lismore Community Gardens. Both the treasurer and the secretary were there and they gave me a rundown of their history and how they are connecting with community. I was inspired by their heart of operations. It collects and stores nutrients (composting toilet and composting bins), energy (solar), water, work (people) and provides weather protection. http://www.rrcf.org.au/lismore-community-garden/

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Last Friday saw some new faces in the garden, and new inspiration. We had an impromptu edible weeds session while we picked some vegetables, and all the soup came from that. New volley Haley picked some raspberries and then let the adults put in a sign for a Children’s Garden, where next week will go some strawberries.

IMG_3296Permaculture in Action: There is so much to do! There will be something happening, every Friday from 10:00am – 2:00pm all through the Winter. Keep watching this space and the blackboard when at the gardens.

This week: we will make soup from the garden, salt some Saffron Milk Caps (print the recipe from http://honest-food.net/2013/01/31/polish-mushrooms-recipe/), plant some strawberries, and if we have time, build a cloche for winter seedlings. The following week we will make and apply some biodynamic tree paste and begin pruning again with the descending moon.

Notice: Please come to the Annual International Permaculture Day Picnic, Sat 2nd May, 12:00pm – 3:00pm to connect in to all things Permaculture in the Blue Mountains. Please bring a plate to share, $5 donation and if you have some surplus produce or preserves bring some to share or swap. Details at http://permaculturebluemountains.net/

 

Women’s Self Defense Class: 25th May

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Women’s self defense defense class: from the nun and warrior priest lines more than 1100 years old

One off Class 25th May with Morag Kaigo-Sha, Caretaker for the Vajra Lineage will be sharing within this Community Circle. ALL WELCOME

Call Morag on 0401 829 335 or find out more