Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July Working Bee

Despite the cold weather we had a good turnout for the July working bee. Activities included composting, learning how to prune an almond tree, and stringing up the garden arch, and the usual eating and drinking of yummy muffins, fruits etc (thanks to Twig yet again), not to mention home-baked yummo cookies!

We learned that before you start pruning you need to look at the tree. What properties are you pruning it for? Shape, for example a vase shape (our choice)? Do you want to maximise your crop this year or in future years? Do you want to restrict poaching of fruit – hence pruning the lower branches, so the fruit is more difficult to get to? Another reason for pruning is to maintain the health of the tree. We cut any branches that look diseased or attacked by bugs, and also maximise air flow and avoid future rubbing of branches on others. Tools needed include sharp secateurs, pruning saw and long loppers. OH&S issues to consider include making sure the ladder is on stable ground, making sure no one is in your 'kill-zone'! and wearing gloves to ensure you don't cut yourself.

After identifying the collar we start pruning with an undercut.

Then cut from above.

Stringing up the arch to support the plants.

Weeding the North bed

Turning the soil

Busy holding a fork and drinkin'

Bed looking lush

Main bed
A productive and fun day had by all – thanks to everyone who braved the cold morning!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

May working bee

We had a very productive working bee and successfully got the garden intip-top shape in preparation for our key sponsor's event.
Wade running a workshop on propagating rosemary



Callista and Chula in the root bed

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Burt's Bees Global Culture Day Event

Our wonderful sponsor Burt's Bees celebrated Global Culture Day in our garden. Jon did an amazing job organising the event, as well as running workshops with Leesa. Lydia and Tamara also did a great job helping out too!

 Here's some images from the day...  

Burt's Bees Brand Manager, Vanessa Farrugia, also announced their intention to sponsor the to sponsor the garden for another five years which is wonderful news!

The group was split into two teams, one planted herbs to create an apothecary bed, the other created an insect hotel to attract bees and wasps to the garden.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Peas are perfect!

There's a lot of action happening in the Main bed, where amongst his many plants, Jon's growing some sugar snap peas. 

At last week's Bee he talked about the some of the good reasons to grow peas.

Quality seedlings, fertile soil, a sunny position and a solid trellis are a good start, and with regular watering and good sunshine will help the easy going vegetable to flourish. But Jon's got some recommendations:

Once the seedlings are established as plants, Jon suggests picking the tips to help the plant bush out and become more productive. The tips are sweet and yummy - and if you actually get them home, they're a lovely addition to salads.

Once the pods emerge, for a short period they can be picked, and eaten in much they same way as you'd use snow pleas. Again, that small early harvesting supports vigourous growth. However, the period for eating the pods is quite short: when the peas begin to develop inside the pods, they became quite floury and not so tasty.

Then, there's of course pea-harvesting time. With all the tipping and early harvesting, there should be a bumper crop of snow peas this autumn.

And finally, when we've had our fill and there's no more peas to be got, Jon recommends till the remains of the plant into the soil as it's a rich source of nitrogen - and, he'll be able to resow the bed for a spring crop.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April Working Bee

Happy April!

Wow, what an awesomely active bee. Whilst there were some joint activities planned, following the March rains our individual beds were in need of lots of attention and it was a morning of clearing and replanting ... 

and with all that March growth, lots and lots of heavy duty compost making (including re-sanding the base of the main compost bin).

and an update on our project to build a container habitat for our garden's much loved insects.

and harvests ...

and yummy eating from our fabulous and generous friends at Twig Cafe.

and some thoughtful and happy catch ups ...

Sunday, March 29, 2015

March working bee

Congratulations everyone on an excellent working bee where the major project was tidying up the shed - it is sensational!
Go Tracey! 

Shed is coming together nicely Amanda!

Kati tapping into the wonderful worm tea!
Some lovely (HOT) chillies
Katherine getting ready to transplant some sensational seedlings...

What a wonderful Kumera harvest!
Morning tea YUM - thank you TWIG cafe!