Sunday, 21 August 2011

The Northcote Library Food Garden's
Official Launch and Garden Party
Saturday September 3rd from 11am

Please come and celebrate the opening of Northcote's newest community garden with us.

  • Melbourne Ukulele Kollective play from 11am.
  • Food Swap 11am - 12pm.  Participate in the Urban Harvest swap.  Bring your excess garden produce and swap it for something you don't have!

  • Official Launch - 11.15am.  Join Cr Trent McCarthy he launches the garden, the 2011/2012 Backyard Harvest Festival and Darebin's Sustainable Food and Gardening guides.

  • Garden Tour and Talk - 11. 45am. Join local permaculturalist and Food Forest expert, Angelo Eliades, to reflect on the 2011 International Year of Forests and the role that Urban Food Forests can play in local food production.

  • Children's Gardening Workshop - 12.15pm.  Plant a sunflower, pot your own seedling to take home, visit our garden's busiest workers, the earthworms, and create some garden art.

  • Free Gardening Workshops
12.45pm - Seasonal Planting & Preparation   Find out what to plant and how to prepare your garden beds for the Spring season.
1.15pm - Fruit Trees for all Seasons How do I plant fruit trees for the best yield? Which trees are best? How do I keep away the yellow leaves and creepy-crawlies? Find out how to keep your fruit trees healthy and productive throughout Spring and Summer.

We would appreciate a RSVP to the Children's Gardening Activities and Workshops.  
Please email with your name and preferred activity.

Stepping Into Spring

August Working Bee
A small, yet energetic, group of gardeners manned shovels in the glorious sunshine to put into place the garden's pathways.  Gone are the temporary cardboard paths and in their place is a network of tree-trunk 'biscuits' and reclaimed brick paving stepping stones.  All the vegetables and herbs are now within easy arm-reach!  The pavers have been spaced to ensure children can easily wind their way around the beds and adventure through the food forest.

 Can you imagine little feet stepping their way through the fabulous food forest?

The back garden bed path is a mixture of log 'biscuits' and reclaimed bricks

Spring is in the air
Spring is so close we can feel it and there is evidence of the change of season everywhere in this new garden.  The plum and apple trees and the berries are 'waking up' in their new homes and are beginning to bud.  The broad beans and potatoes are shooting and the many perennials we planted in July are growing well.  Whilst some of our seedlings have prematurely gone to seed after being too long in trays, others, including the celery, onions, beetroot, kale and silverbeet, are celebrating the hint of Spring with healthy new growth.   

It is one of our last chances to plant fruit trees and a loquat, pomegranate, dwarf pomegranate, and a cherry guava have all been planted with a good handful of Dynamic Lifter and a Seasol chaser.  Improving the soil in the food forest and future 'berry bed' is an ongoing task, and we were pretty excited to see some earthworms over the weekend, indicating that we are on our way!

Among the more interesting plants in the garden is a spectacular looking and smelling Cuban oregano plant which has gone into the back perennial bed.  It has distinctive fleshy, slightly hairy, pale green leaves with an amazing minty-menthol aroma.  Apparently it has many culinary and medicinal uses.  See if you can find it when you visit the garden!

Some yacon tubers have also gone into the garden.  Yacon are also known as 'apples of the earth' or Peruvian ground apples and have crisp, sweet taste.  From the three tubers planted we should expect to harvest up to ten kilograms of yacon next Autumn.  More information about yacon can be found at Yacon - Green Harvest.