Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We are featured in the Daily Telegraph

Our garden was featured in the Home supplement of this weekend's Daily Telegraph. The story "Growing Green" speaks about "food security becoming a pressing worldwide issue in the 21st century" and how "growing your own fruit and vegetables, creating your own compost and collecting water are obvious ways of providing your family with food while having a minimal impact on the environment".

Of our garden, it says "James Street Reserve Community Garden was conceived as a garden that would embrace change and provide a sustainable environment for growing food and community spirit at the same time" before provide more information about our garden.

Another piece of positive media shows we must be doing something right!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Raining Scotch Bonnet peppers

Our garden certainly had a great water due to the big rains last week that flooded some of Sydney. Whilst adding a little to the compost and checking on the garden as part of my daily dog walks I noticed plenty of peppers the like of I had never seen before. Zooming in for a closer look I notice that many of these baby peppers were lying on the ground nocked off by the heavy rains.

So I couldn't resists grabbing all the fallen peppers assuming that it's best to make use of them and not long after had a double hand full. After a quick taste I proposed that these 'capsicums' would go great in our beef ravioli with heaped sour cream spoonfuls as a sauce, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic.

So quick, cheap and easy the end result was gobbled down with a $4 red clean skin and gratings of pecorino cheese.

Our English flatmate mentioned that she used Scotch Bonnet chilly peppers for Jamaican cooking. More on this here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

We are incorporated!

We are now officially the James Street Reserve Community Garden Association, after our application for incorporation was approved by the Office of Fair Trading.

Thanks to all members who participated in our recent Special Meeting, at which the pre-requisites for incorporation, our constitution and objects, were unanimously approved.

A big thank you to our Treasurer and recently appointed Public Officer, Yvonne for all her determination and hard work in the achievement of this very important milestone.

We are now able to proceed with finalising our Licence Agreement with the City of Sydney, to secure continued use of James Street Reserve for our community garden following our 12 month trial period.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Costa Georgiadis gets involved with our garden

We recently had a visit from Costa Georgiadis who was also interviewed in our garden. Below is a letter of support from this avid gardener and sustainability promoter.

Letter of support from Costa Georgiadis - Costa's Garden Odyssey
Saturday  30th October 2010

To the James Street Community Gardeners on the Opening of Your Garden,

Gracious Greetings all ye Gardeners, Groomers of the Green, Growers of  the Great  and most importantly City Farmers. It was a great pleasure to be invited to attend your opening of James St Reserve Community Garden today. While I am in Armidale in person, I am here with you in compost, microbes mulch  and worm wishes.

It is critical that ocassions such as these are attended and given the true value and significance that they hold. To each and every person that has contributed to this garden that you all stand in…from the initial idea, to the hatching and nesting of the concept, to its translation into a plan with real dimensions and quantifiable details, to the specification, its quoting, tendering and ultimate construction, to its incorporation into the community treasure chest through involvement and inclusion…each and every part of the process is important and each and every one of you have formed a spoke in the wheel that now spins before us as a real community garden.

And what’s even more inspiring for me is that your park is contributing to a larger community wheel, building momentum beyond your local community, fuelling the matrix of projects that are contributing to a regional, state, national and ultimately international awareness and urgency about sustainability and our role in the big picture...our ability to impact on the health of our mother earth.

So step back for a second, detach from the effort, the trials and challenges that have taken place along the way and take a look around 360 degrees.. Turn slowly around and look at what has been achieved...take a breath and absorb the beauty that exists in each and every minor detail and  how they combine to create the whole community garden which  sets off with you all today on a journey… a journey that you all will be able to share with the next generation in years to come, as elders of the James Street Reserve Community Garden.

I know I am not there with you in person but I am genuinely excited for what today represents and I look forward to sharing some time in your wonderful new space very soon.  Recognise that what you have done is good for you and generations of your community to come.. Give someone next to you a hug from me…
Congratulations indeed. I believe in what you have done.

Hugs and wishes and lots of worms and compost.

Costa Georgiadis
Costa’s Garden Odyssey

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Compost Corner Update by Mr Worm

A quick update from the compost corner.

You may have noticed the bins looking like something from a horror movie and smelling quite acidic. The resident population of larvae had created quite an acidic environment which had stopped the beneficial bacteria from going about their business and generating heat inside the pile. On Saturday I gave the bins a good forking over and mixed in a handful of Lime and Dolomite. The addition of an alkaline substance "sweetens" up the mix and lowers the overall acidity.

I checked in on the bins today and the bad smell has already been replaced with the rich earthy compost smell we all love. The larvae population has almost gone. The bins are already generating a lot more heat. I moved a few scoops of compost from the best/hottest bin to the other bins and worked it through the mix. In doing this we are giving the other bins a booster shot of beneficial organisms and bacteria which will see these bins come up to speed quicker.

The worms of plugging away doing what worms do best which is eating and laying eggs. The bottom trays have been fully worked over and are ready for harvesting. I will be using the sunlight method to separate the worms from their bedding. This involves turning the bedding out onto a few layers of wet hessian with a plastic sheet underneath. The worms will do whatever they can to move away from the sunlight and will crawl down into the darkness and coolness of the hessian bags. The bags and the worms will then be put back into the empty tray and given a mix of well rotted compost and vege scraps to munch on. I'll then take a look at the leftover material and do an egg count. If there are lots of eggs I'll wash the material and separate the eggs out. The eggs then go back in with the hessian. If there isn't many eggs I'll put this material into buckets and ration this black gold out amongst the beds next working bee.

The worm farms still need a brick base. This was supposed to happen last week however the bricks weren't available. I'm now going to push this one to the next working bee. 

Regards Adam Snow (aka Mr Worm) 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Working Bee with Geoffrey

A few photos from the last Saturdays working bee with Geoffrey. We soon will add his bio and a little of what we covered on the day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Garden Meeting @ Twig Cafe

On 3rd March 20101 some garden members met up at Twig Cafe to discuss several topics in regards to our fantastic Community Garden.

Here are some of the outcomes and photographs to document the evening.

Key Outcomes
A quick recap of what we achieved:
  • Unanimous vote to adopt the Constitution
  • Unanimous vote to adopt the Objects
  • Unanimous vote to appoint Yvonne as Public Officer (contact for the Office of Fair Trading). Congratulations Yvonne!
  • Unanimous vote to appoint Sophie to the Committee. Congratulations Sophie! We are very confident that you will make a great contribution.
We are now in a position to apply to become an Association. We will keep you updated on our progress.

Phase 2 Design
Thanks Richard for talking us through the Phase 2 design concept. Please use the working bees as an opportunity to discuss this concept with Richard, Sacha and Kati. Your suggestions and comments are valuable to ensure we get the best outcome for the garden.

Thanks to everyone involved, this is a great concept and is being very well executed only due to the dedication of its members.

Photos by garden member Corrine Withers

Daily Telegraph Media shot

Today the Daily Telegraph took a few photos to be used for their weekend magazine, “Home”, on March 26 will focus on sustainability. They want the cover to feature our community garden with a photo of kids “gardening”.