Festival of Joy 2017

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Yes, it’s that time of year again when we invite the community to come and celebrate with us! Festival of Joy is going to be wonderful this year. We have a beautiful line up of local music with a bluesy folk twist, to get you dancing, a great selection of workshops to inspire creativity and sustainability and for the kids, there will be face painting and pop up craft activities, along with playing in the sand pit! We are also hosting an action for the national day of action to Stop Adani! From 2pm come and help us make a human sign to send a message to Adani that we value the reef and the health of the planet over coal.

There will be yummy food and chai available featuring some of our community grown ingredients.  This is a free event and everyone is welcome. See you in the garden!

 

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Working Bee: September 29th

Wow that month went quickly! Anyone else think that time is speeding up?!

Spring is in full swing, and with it always comes lots of visitors to the gardens, coming along to enjoy the blossoms, the birds and the gentle sunlight. Today we had a lovely group from Morven Gardens Nursing Home in Leura. The group enjoyed a picnic in the sunny orchard and a wander on the labyrinth.

We have been pruning, mulching and tidying up- getting the gardens looking beautiful for Festival of Joy, our annual celebration of community, creativity and sustainability, happening on the 7th of October 11am- 5pm.

Today Maaike and Ishtar began weeding the medicinal herb garden, along with Olivana, a visiting student from UTS. Olivana will be visiting us a bit over the next month for a research project.

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We tested our new hose, it reaches all the way to the end of the garden. And, yes, we have water in the north end! This is just a temporary solution while we finish off the shelter that Jed is building to collect water- when it rains (please rain!) We can also use it to fill the tanks when there is no rain, so we can irrigate the gardens from the tank using a gravity fed system eventually.

Verity planted out a bunch of seedlings- lettuces, rocket, radicchio, fennel, coriander and celery- into the veggie garden. We are looking forward to making some great salads for Festival of Joy featuring some of our yummy edible flowers, herbs and veggies. At the moment we are enjoying hearts-ease, borage, bean, rocket and mizuna flowers in our salads.

Every week we make a big pot of soup to share. This week Sarah harvested a bunch of IMG_1820stinging nettle to put in it. Nettle is a super nutritious plant (weed!) that can be used like spinach. It just needs to be blanched or cooked to get rid of the sting.  It is currently growing in our food forest under the heritage apple trees along with broad beans, strawberries, artichokes and bramble berries.

 

This week the apple trees are really showing off, their pink and white blooms are just divine. It makes a stroll though the garden heavenly! Come down and enjoy it while you can.

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Suddenly Summer!

Today it was 24 degrees in Katoomba, suddenly it feels like summer!

We still haven’t had any significant rain and everything is very dry. At our working bee today we continued hand watering the veggie patch, the berries (there are buds coming!), and much of the orchard. There are flowers on our broad beans and the garlic is coming along nicely despite the dry weather.

We had lots of extra volunteers today, including a big mob of children. We worked on the veggie garden: weeding, composting and mulching, preparing for spring planting. We have six varieties of potatoes to plant and Verity has taken home some seeds to get some seed propagation happening.

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We also prepared one of the beds for the Children’s Cottage who will be coming down regularly for a play and a bit of gardening as the weather warms up. They will also be installing a big box of garden and sand toys for community use near the sand pit.

Amanda kindly donated a bunch of flowers that she and Christian have planted around the shed for a bit of colour. We are all working at getting the gardens looking gorgeous for Festival of Joy (7th of October), our annual celebration of community, creativity and sustainability. (More details to come soon!)

Sarah also went to the Edible Garden Festival meeting, we will be part of this festival next year. Stay posted for more details about that too:)

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Spring Update 2017

We’re in a wild and windy start to spring. 25 degrees one day and snow flurries the next. Spring bursts through with every new bud, leaf and flower. Where’s mayhem at the Sydney airport, with planes unable to land. Up here in the gardens, the gardens have weathered conditions without any giant tree falls so far.

Hot sun followed by strong winds strip moisture from plants and soil alike.We do observe some petals turning brown at the edges and falling off quickly.  Is it sun damage, or wind?

Did the bees and other pollinators get into them or were they, like planes in Sydney been grounded?  We’ll look for signs of pollination in the coming weeks.

Blue mountains community gardens katoombaToday the breezes are mild, blossom flowers dance in our sharp bright sunlight. A perfect backdrop! Sarah fills up watering cans to haul up to the northern gardens, to replenish them after hot and dry conditions.
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Let’s give the garlic a drink!

Getting water to plants at the north end of the garden has always been a hard slog here. Jed’s working on putting in a small structure to collect water, so eventually, gardeners won’t have to do the hard yards anymore.
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Spring blows in new flows of people to the gardens. Today, Tanya, works with Blue Mountains City Council, stopped by to say hello to garden volunteers. She’s pictured here with Fred and Sarah at the tea shed. Tanya’s joined Landcare for the Blue Mountains working with Eric Mahoney. Tanya worked with community gardens in Hornsby before moving to the mountains. We hear there’s a lovely community garden there. Perhaps worth a visit one day.

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If you’d like to join in gardening activities or join us for a cuppa, come along on Friday morning. We’d be glad to see you there.

Awesome Autumn Massive Swap Meet

Its time to share the harvest!!!

Saturday 13th of May from 10am til 2pm

Bring along garden produce, baked goods, clothes, tools, technology, seedlings, seeds, cuttings, books, artworks, kitchenware, and craft, ANYTHING you are ready to pass on, swap and/or share. Its kind of like a market where barter is the only currency (no cash to pass hands;)

How does it work?
Bring a blanket, place your goods on it. Check out what other people have to swap. When you see something you would like, invite that person to come and find something they need/want from you. Swap and enjoy!

Please take anything you don’t swap with you!!!
Everyone welcome.