Thursday, 30 June 2011

Christine's garden

This is my fourth year in vegie group. I started coming along shortly after we moved to this area, not knowing many people and having a 4 year old who went to kindergarten on Fridays.
It quickly became a firm routine for me and I found myself anticipating the end of each week with quiet excitement. My 4 year old was also known to 'skip' kinder on occasions and come along with me to vegie group for a good dose of socialising, baked goodies and of course vegetables and soil.  The kids really do love it as much as the parents!

My garden was non existant when I had the group over for the first time. We planted a small 1m x 2m patch with some seedlings and spent the rest of the time drinking coffee and chatting! Since then it has grown to include half a dozen circular beds which I like to rotate chooks over to weed/fertilise and also a fenced off area with long traditional style beds. I much prefer the chook beds and the soil quality is 200% compared to what it was when we started. Last year saw the addition of a modest fruit tree area which was all thanks to vegie group! 

At the moment my garden is looking very bare with all of the 'bones' showing. I have been spending time this week collecting autumn leaves and putting a lot of my beds to sleep for the winter as we miss out on a lot of sun during this time of year due to large trees.

I look forward to sharing more updates when my turn for vegie group rolls around again and perhaps a recipe or two!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Kirsty's patch - in the beginning

Beth, Kate (L) and I started the vegie group after having one of those never ending meaningful chats at school pick up, where all great ideas take place. We all had young boys and wanted to get them together and also fulfil our love of gardening and desire to grow more of our own food.  The roster was pretty easy to construct back then, we decided to meet once a week at each others houses after dropping bigger kids at school. It wasn't looking like a sure thing in the early days, we even dabbled with the idea of meeting every second week when we were slogging it out in the dead of a cold winter.  You felt terribly guilty if you couldn't make it as two people doesn't make for much of a working bee.  We kept at it though, gradually growing in size as we kept telling others what we were up to.

Today we really fill a room and easily bowl over a big garden's work in a couple of hours, leaving plenty of time to eat cake and chat.  After a Friday I feel nourished in so many ways.  From chatting with dear caring friends, from having my hands in the earth, from seeing the delighted smiles on our children's faces, from watching a garden flourishing - my own or others and of course from eating delicious cake.  I learn so much from those around me and love sharing the seeds, cuttings and harvest.  I love doing the garden tour, seeing the changes in each others gardens over time and getting new ideas for my own. Vegie group is really the highlight of my week, my little boy cried when he discovered that going to school meant no more vegie group but still delights in the social network we have created and celebrations we share such as a bonfire for winter solstice.   I hope we continue for years to come and that we inspire others to create their own groups.
Out the front I have one fallow patch, one green manure patch and one compost patch - waiting patiently for September and the summer crops to come.  The compost patch contains silverbeet, rocket, and celery that all came up in my compost.  I have also planted peas to grow up the old corn stalks where the beans once grew.  My one productive patch contains onions, spinach, a variety of peas and broccolli.  I am still getting the odd chilli and broad bean but the tomatoes have finally finished - I made 8 jars of green and red tomato relish.

Abi has found the broccolli out the back and enjoys munching on it.

 The green manure is a mix of peas, oats and vetch - Diggers Autumn Mix - even the crop planted in May is going well. I have found the digging in bit hard work as the dug in plants keep resprouting - hopefully it will all be worthwhile.
fruiting spurs on cherry (I think)

fruiting spurs on pear

Have lots of fruit pruning to do - those upward growing branches just keep on returning

While the suns shining and Abi's sleeping think I'll try and get these in, do like a big leek even though the perennial leeks are abundant - could keep talking vegies all day but not as fun as growing them.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Tony the Tawny Frogmouth

By popular request

Susan's Garden

Melanie: Hi Susan, I see you have had a whole lot of bales delivered to your garden. I know you don't have a horse, what's going on?
Susan: They are for our new vegie garden
Melanie: Oh, a vegie gardener! You must come with me...
And, as they say, the rest is history.

Hi. I have been with the vegie group for a couple of years now.  Chats with friends, learning and sharing ideas for our vegie patches, children playing happily together (mostly!) , coffee, freshly baked cakes, and of course, working on our vegie patches together. Fridays have become the highlight of my week.
I would like to share a couple of photos from our family's vegie patch.
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