15 December 2010

Fruit & Veg Swap this Sunday 19th DECEMBER

It's on again! - Last one for the year! So hope to see you all there to swap and compare fruit and veg.
9 till 12 as usual.  WASTE NOT!

Maddog harvesting coffee from the garden

07 November 2010

Another Fantastic Working Bee

The weather was perfect and the people came............
The main mission today was to clean up our junk pile - a collecion of wood, wire, rocks and other material we hope will be useful.

But up until now its been a constant battle to keep it weed free and tidy.

So today we attacked it and managed to clear the whole area, tossing out the wood that had rotten, using the logs & tree limbs around the fruit trees to protect them from our scratching chooks & to encourage beneficial bacteria & fungui into the soil around the fruit trees.

The larger solid wood we will use to burn in our pizza oven, was tucked away out of sight in a protected area. The comfry boarders were cut back and the leaves used in comfry tea mix for later use.
And some new paths were made into the Mandela bed.

The Junk Pile half way cleared

Afer a few hours work is almost clear

Lunch is prepeared from garden produce & various contibutions

Lunch is served!

05 November 2010

Working Bee this Sunday 7th November

Fingers crossed for some decent weather. The Garden is Going Off !  There is lots to do & lots to check out and people to catch up with.  10am Start & bring something to share for lunch.
See you there. 

The Mullberries are crankin

Beetroots popin out of the soil

the girls explore their new run

22 October 2010

Welcome to "The Twilight Zone..." (cue creepy music)

No, I'm not talking about the 80s TV series, but a bunch of "permies" taking advantage of daylight saving to get some work done at "the Garden" on Tuesday afternoons.

This week we had a good roll up & got a lot done before going  for a quite drink at the local.

Jobs included:
Digging out an old black fig tree & replacing it with a green fig.
Digging up & dividing a rare Pepper leaf plant
Planting 90 seedling
Weeding & pulling up and old escaped raspberry vine that was just starting to shoot & spread
Feeding our liquid manure bins with weeds 

New Growth!

The crew plants seedlings

Seedlings pocket planted into recently rebuilt beds

Weed on the left - Good one on the right in need to check on the names of these

Feeding one of the liquid compost bins

17 October 2010

Send us your recipes!

I planning a new page for our Blog - The Garden fresh & healthy online cook book!
We have all this wonderful produce but sometimes its easy to get stuck in a rut, using them the same way.
So send in your ideas & recipes & ill collate them into a special page for easy reference.

We Avoid the Wind & Waste Not!

Well after a wild & windy start to the weekend the weather was good to us with a perfect day for our 1st Waste Not! Swap meeting, since our winter break.

After a quiet start we ended up with a good roll up and a table full of fruit and vegies including a bucket full of custard apples, lemonade fruit, cabbages, paw paws, radishes, lettuce, oranges, mandrins, seedlings & sourdough starter!

I cranked up the coffee machine started making everything from lattés & long blacks to baby chinos – (not always in the right order) but it was a great way to get some practice & no one complained. I certainly have a bit more respect for those baristas pumping out coffees in crowded city cafes all day.

So coffee and homemade slices were available for a small donation. And as usual many conversations flowed along with it on various topics from gardening, chooks, music, and politics to recipes.

So I hope you will join us next month on the 21st November.

Thanks to John & Karyn for helping setup & pack up, our kind neighbours who let us use their power, Jason for bringing the coffee & his beautifull daugter & all those who took the time to share there produce & themselves. Just shows we that need no more than a common interest and a nice setting to create community!

13 October 2010


10 October 2010

Pics From todays Working Bee

WE had about a dozen people turn up today. Thanks we got lots done, including cut the big roll of cyclone fencing ready to extend the chook run, turned the compost heap, cleaned up all the potted plants, cleaned up the edges of the grass & lots more. We also enjoyed a great lunch including lots of fresh stuff from the garden like salad greens, carrots, beetroot, spinach & eggs.

The crew turn the compost !

Nice clean edges !
We moved the girls to help us clean up
But they didnt perfom very well.
Fresh leek
The front beds are have exploded into flower in the last week few weeks.

08 October 2010

Working Bee THIS WEEKEND!!

Hi folks! Just letting you know that the working bee that was cancelled due to rain last week has been shifted forward to this Sunday (10/10/10) . This is timely as it lands on the same day as the http://www.350.org/ campaign to act globally against Climate change.

Start time: 10am
End time: Around 4ish

Bring a plate of food if you can and lots of spring energy!!


07 October 2010

Waste Not! - Fruit & Veg Swap - Sunday 17 Oct.

The SWAP is back!
Note: We have changed
the dates to the
3rd Sunday
of each month.

same time
9am till Noon.

03 October 2010

Working Bee cancelled due to rain

Hi all you fellow garden followers.
I was hoping we could still get some things done today despite the rain but its just on 9.50am and rain is really heavy & looks like its well and truly set in for the day.
So Ill be going down to feed the chooks & happy to meet up with anyone else that's makes the effort to get there. Maybe we can go for a nice hot coffee instead!

PS don't forget to put your clocks forward

Well a few of us braved the rain and we got a few things done before it started to pour again.
Cleaned out the chook house, tidied up a lot of the old pots -( I don't think we need any more for some time), put away a bunch of old buckets & broccoli boxes. So things look a bit neater.

28 September 2010

Working bee this Sunday 3rd October from 10am

Hi all. Yes it warming up and the next working bee will be held this Sunday October 3rd.
Hope to see you there.

20 August 2010

What's in Season for August

Eating food that's in season means that its much more likely to be fresher cheaper & locally grown.
So here's a list of whats in season now.
Fruit in Season
apples - fuji - lady williams - sundowner, cumquat, custard apple, grapefruit - yellow - pink, lemons, limes, mandarins - ellendale - imperial - murcot, nashi, oranges - blood - navel, pawpaw, pineapple - smooth leaf, pomelo, rhubarb, tangelo.
Vegetables In Season
asian greens - bok choy - choy sum - gai laan - wonga bok, avocados  - hass - sharwill, beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprout, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, fennel, garlic, ginger, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke, kohlrabi, leeks, okra, olives, onions, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, shallot, silverbeet, spinach, swede, sweet potato, Truffles – black, turnip, witlof.

17 August 2010

Pete Nolan's Final Snake Workshop

Our September working bee is host to the exciting Lake Illawarra raptor specialist and friend to our native fauna. Pete Nolan of Habitat Ponds fame, is bursting into the Garden with a dynamic, "not to be missed", workshop dispelling the many suburban myths around snakes.
His performance at Greenhouse Park for a Sustainable Illawarra Snake Workshop, earlier in the year, brought the house down and jettisoned him into comic legend status.
Pete is relocating to Colorado at the end of September, so come on down to the Garden on Sunday September 5th at 12.00 for his final Illawarra workshop for many years.
We will be 'cranking the goodness' from 10am to 3pm and will share a wholesome lunch after Pete's Snake Workshop. All welcome.

13 August 2010

Flametree presents Soup & Film Night - FOOD INC.

FOOD Inc. the movie
Time: Soup & music from 6pm, Film 7-9pm incl.interval
Where: Thirroul Community Centre, Excelsior Hall
COST: $15 soup & film/ $20 soup, film & dessert
Organic handmade soups, chai, cakes, muffins & popcorn

Film Reviews:
    "Don't take another bite till you see Food, Inc., an essential, indelible documentary."
    - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
    "Essential Viewing"
    - Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
    "3 1/2 Stars"
    - Roger Ebert, Sun Times
    "Required Viewing. One of the year's most important films."
    - Rossiter Drake, 7x7
    "You Have To See Food, Inc."
    - Corby Kummer, The Atlantic
    "See it. Bring your kids if you have them. Bring someone else's kids if you don't."
    - David Edelstein, New York Magazine
    "A cleverly written and well produced documentary. Kenner crafts an intelligent, visually compelling argument grounded in old-fashioned investigative research and journalism."
    - Maria Garcia, Film Journal International

12 August 2010

Permaculture Books


This is a great, easy to read book, with lots of good illustrations. Can you recommend any good books on permaculture or gardening ?

18 July 2010

Next Working Bee moved to SATURDAY 7th August

We have rescheduled the working bee so garden folk can participate in a workshop at Port Kembla on Sunday

30 June 2010

Working Bee this Sunday 4th July

It's a new financial year Yahoo?!, But why not drag yourself away from the your accounts, put the lid back on the shoe box of receipts and come down to "The Garden" for our monthly working bee this Sunday 4th July. We kick off around 10 am. See you there.

02 June 2010

Working Bee this Sunday 6th June from 10am

Hi Its been a busy few months. Most of our core members have volunteered much of their spare weekend  time to run several "hands on" workshops about Vegi gardening & No Dig gardening in Wollongong, Shellharbour & Kiama for the Sustainable Illawarra program.
This has been lots of hard work. But the positive feedback has been very satisfying and its great to know we are helping people to make a real change by growing food in their own back yards.

So some of us will be taking a bit of a break this weekend but the monthly working bee will be growing ahead as usual. So bring your gardening gear, some positive energy and come along to the garden this Sunday 6 June from 10am to help out with a whole range of things that need be done or just drop in for a look.

Below: one our work shops in progress.

23 April 2010

Waste Not! Swap this Saturday 9-12

That's right. Cauliflowers as big as your head! In April! Bring some of your home grown fruit and veg to swap and you might be lucky enough to take a giant cauli home...

But seriously, what we can promise is great coffee and company. So come along from 9-12 on Saturday morning with something to share (size is not not an issue) and take home something special. don't believe me? take a look at Happy Earths description and photos of the bounty at last months swap: http://www.happyearth.com.au/

hope to see you there.

08 April 2010

National permaculture Day 1/5/2010

National Permaculture Day is a day to promote and celebrate Permaculture. It’s a day whereby our collective effort is consolidated, providing maximum focus on Permaculture across Australia. check it out at:



2 Part working bee

Hi all
With the Easter holidays and people away over long weekend we weren’t sure what to do about the Working Bee.  But a few of the crew went last week and got stuck in, rebuilding some of the front beds & planting a heap of seedlings. Way to go! Those seedlings will love this rain we have had over the last few days.

Anyway for those that want to do something this Sunday (11/4/10), ill be down there for a few hours from 10am.   Maddog.

P.S. The Harvest festival will also be on this Sunday at Osborne Park, Cliff Road Wollongong (opposite Belmore Basin) from 1 till 4pm. For more info check out  http://www.sustainableillawarra.com.au/Whats-On.html

25 March 2010

Next SWAP & Working Bee Dates

Hi everyone, sorry for the lack of posts lately, seems like everyone's lives are getting more complicated and less time to get around to doing this. I just wanted to let you know our next Fruit & Vegi "SWAP" Day will be this Saturday. As usual bring along your surplus fruit & veg to swap and have a chat with some fellow growers over a coffee from our own coffee machine!
Note: that due to the Easter holidays in April our next "Working Bee" will be postponed. Please check back for a confirmed date.
Keep Crankin the Goodness. And remember:
"you can choose what you do, but you cant choose what you like to do."