Thursday, September 29, 2011

Children's Workshop

A big thank you to those who supported and attended our first children's workshop on Monday...

It was a wonderful day to share with our 4-5 year old members and their friends. Some of the activities included bug identification, composting and the planting of their very own pizza themed garden. They are an extremely bright group and I was so excited to share in their enthusiasm and knowledge. Thanks boys!

I was also delighted to have the Mum's and younger members of the family join us, enjoying some social time in our beautiful garden. We all shared morning tea which also included muffins made from our own rhubarb too.

A big thank you to Nicole and Cherise who volunteered on the day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

AGM and Our Garden turns 1!!

Celebration of our 1st birthday combined with our 1st Annual General Meeting, took place on August 25, 2011 at Twig Cafe (who hosted the fantastic night as part of their garden sponsorship).

Our guest of honour, Monica Barone, CEO City of Sydney gave a thought provoking and inspiring speech on the link between Sustainable Sydney 2030 and our garden, including the importance of social capital. Joining Monica were other City of Sydney guests, who have been great supporters of our garden, including Ashley Heath, Project Manager Local Action Plans, Russ Grayson, Community Gardens and Landcare Volunteers Co-ordinator and Lynne Welch, ex-Project Manager Local Action Plans.

The AGM formalities included the President's Report, which highlight the number of achievements over the last 12 months, the adoption of our financial report (2010-2011) and the election of the 2011-2012 committee.

A great night ended with a stirring rendition of "happy birthday to us" and the cutting of the exquisitve cake.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sponsors Commit to Supporting our Garden

Hello there! It's your new Vice President reporting from London. The influence of our garden knows no bounds, and I am proud to the sole representative of the JSR community garden here in London!

Whilst I am far away, I am still working hard to ensure our garden is a vibrant, sustainable project.

Whilst you have all been digging and planting I have been working in the background to shore up some ongoing support from our sponsors. The good news is that our major sponsor, Burts Bees, have committed to a five year sponsorship deal.

This is just wonderful news for our garden. Burts Bees have been supporting us for some time and are as committed to our wonderful community project as we are. The local team in Australia and even the CEO from America have got their hands into the dirt and planted alongside us, their media team have helped us with our blog and logo, and their ongoing financial support will keep us in manure, seeds and plants for the next five years.

Yay for Burts Bees! Yay for our garden!

See you all in November.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Spring Working Bee

Today was great in the garden. Spring was in the air, spirits were up and the garden was in fine form - looking greener than ever.

There were a few notable events today:

1. We had Russ from the City of Sydney visit the garden with a crew of phographers. They used the Garden as a backdrop to Russ being interviewed as part of one of the City of Sydney's project 'Tales of the City', in which they interview City staff about their work and film them on location.

2. Leesa introduced the concept of the 'Bed Books' - which will be the living record of every garden bed in the garden. The Bed Book will be maintained by one of the bed members - and will contain all the information about that bed - for example - what was planted when, what has worked, what hasnt etc

3. John gave us a run down on the 'Fallow areas' of the garden. These are the bits around the edges - between the raised beds - and they have been planted with a range of annuals and perennials such as varieties of mints and basils, as well as rhubarb which will be able to be harvested - but also species like poppies and salvias will also bring some beautiful colour to the garden. The Fallow areas are an ongoing project which will be managed by John with anyone who is keen to assist.

4. Everyone took advantage of the crisp spring conditions to plant out their beds with new seedstock that had been brought in by Renee. Sadly however it was Renees last day with us in the garden as she is moving to South Coogee. She will be missed!

5. Finally Twig cafe's wonderful sustaining catering provided a welcome opportunity to pause, eat, drink tropical punch and chat with our garden crew and the many locals who pass by . Janet's home baked scones put the cream and jam on top of another successful working bee in at the James Street Reserve Community Garden.

Ed is back

We are pleased to welcome back Ed, our scarecrow, after his post vandelism visit to Accident & Emergency.

In preparation for a warm summer, he has found a new home in the shade on the garden terrace.

Unfortunately, his new hat has already gone AWOL so he has now adorned with his old faithful straw hat.

Thanks Jon for cementing Ed in place.

Great Feedback from Garden Tour

On August 27, we hosted a garden tour for Mosman Community College. It was part of a "Sustainable Day" that included visits to Eveleigh Markets and a city farm.

Tour organiser, Diana Giese thanked us for hosting the tour and commented that "our half-hour with you was one of the most popular features of the day".

Some comments from the participants included:

‘Wonderful to see what dedicated people can create in small spaces’
‘What a splendid idea for the community, especially sharing the produce and getting to know one another’
‘Very impressive and inspiring. I could have spent even more time listening to their success story’
‘Good to see the community is still around and not totally lost. It shows how good ideas and people can grow other relationships within the community.
‘Inspiring to see a well-run community garden with enthusiastic people’
‘Inspiration in bucketloads. So well organised and to the benefit of so many from such a small plot’
‘A social experiment that is working so well. Redfern’s tarnished reputation repaired’
‘So inspiring—again passionate people caring for other people, the community and the planet’
‘What a wonderful job they have done turning a wasteland into a vibrant garden, but even more important getting the community together in such a positive and fun way’

Check the report from garden tour participants, Daphne & Dom Gonzolvez (see slides 55-71).

Photograph provided by tour participant Colleen Chin