Friday, September 28, 2007

Thankyou cards from Westgarth Primary School

Westgarth Primary School has sent a thankyou letter from the Principal along with thankyou cards from the school children for NCG's donation of a wheel barrow and mulcher towards the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation program. NCG's support has also been acknowledged in the school newsletter. Below is a lovely sample of some of the cards.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Next meeting

Yesterday we realised that next Sunday is the High Vibes Festival in High St Northcote, so we have postponed the next Committee meeting until the following Sunday 30th September.

We also managed to get quite a few more indigenous plants into the ground, and notably put in two more eucalypts behind the basketball hoop, ...hopefully there'll be a lovely stand of trees there in the future. We also put in a few more shrubs around the seat near the front gate, with hopes of turning that area into a bit of a showcase for our local indigenous plants.

On the vege front, many of us are thinking hard about what will survive in the coming months, especially with Stage 4 water restrictions looming large. Things such as beans, zucchinis and pumpkins may be able to withstand less watering than things like tomatoes and corn, but it's hard to predict what the situation will be. A water tank is becoming more and more imperative for the survival of our vege plots and everyone's input into how to secure a tank will be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Indigenous plants at NCG

Indigenous plants flowering in our garden at the moment.Brachyscome multifida. Cut Leaf Daisy. Hardy and drought tolerant. Flowering from September to February. Tolerates severe pruning. A couple of specimens down by the bottom pond and at the entrance to the garden.
Eutaxia microphylla. Small Leafed Eutaxia(pea). Flowering from August to December. Drought tolerant. Can be pruned severely. This beauty can also be seen down by the bottom pond and at the entrance to the garden. A plant much beloved by one notable member of the garden, Roz. Acacia acinacea. Gold-dust wattle. Flowers from July to November. Likes a bit of shade. Drought tolerant. Provides food for insect and seed-eating birds eg. wattle birds can often be seen in the vicinity.
Grevillea rosmarinifolia. Rosemary Grevillea. Extremely hardy and drought tolerant. We did not loose any during last years summer drought. Red, spider-like flowers from August to November. May be pruned severely. Provides food for nectar-eating birds.
Just a nice view...

Published by marijka

Photos marijka

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sustainable gardening

Spring in Gower St, Preston!
I've added a link on the left to SGA online which is a very useful site about sustainable gardening in Australia, with information sheets on veges, water saving, weeds, composting...heaps of up to date good stuff. It also lists all the Sustainable Nurseries in far!

Monday, September 10, 2007

latest Rules discussion and gardens history

Last Tuesday evening Benedict, Jane and Ben met at the Northcote library to discuss the rule changes, and were happy with the progress they made. Benedict suggested we clarify aims and the purpose of the gardens, and Ben suggested position descriptions ideas based on those of Cultivating Community's.

Yesterday Ros, Marijka, Louise (and Ruby), Rebecca, Vince and Chris met at the gardens and began a discussion about the rule changes. Louise suggested clarifying the philosophy of the gardens first, as a way to guide the new rules and aims we may want to establish. This led to an interesting discussion about the history of the gardens and how they were established.

Chris, as the only remaining original member, was able to explain how the main point of the gardens was actually to establish and maintain the whole area as a public park with indigenous plantings and a basketball hoop. This was in exchange from Darebin Council, Telstra (who own the land), and Connex to appease the community members who protested against the Telstra tower.

The plots were actually a secondary and later addition devised to encourage more people to be actively engaged in the maintenance of the whole area, when it was realised how much work was involved. In fact ponds were filled in after the gardens were built to create extra new plots to entice more people to help out.
Louise was quite surprised to hear this, and said that it changed her perspective on the whole purpose of the gardens and responsibilities of garden members. She suggested that not everyone may be aware of this.

It was then agreed on by the people present that one of the key changes to the rules should be an alteration to re-focus on the entire area, not just the plots. One way of doing this would be to abolish "Associate Members" (who currently pay $5.00). We would then call all those who have paid this fee and actively participate in working bees "Members" with full voting rights, but add an additional fee for Plot-Holding Members.
In this way we hoped that people would appreciate that the entire area- inside and outside of the fence- is the Northcote Community Gardens, and that our primary responsibility is to maintain the whole area, not just our individual plots.

We also hope to arrange another time to discuss the rule changes, with a view to getting this all finished so that we can move on to other important stuff like gardening and trying to solve our water problem... and maybe having a bit of fun....maybe.

Monday, September 3, 2007


Another 27 indigenous plants were planted yesterday mostly from the area bordering the basketball hoop and train line down to the station. Hopefully we will have some rain to help settle them in, and in years to come we will be able to feel proud at the beautiful indigenous park area we have created, and that was entrusted to us as a condition of us getting the private plots in the first place. Local people often walk through the area and comment to us on how nice it is, and there are always people playing basketball at the hoop while we garden, which makes for a pleasant sense of community.

As yesterday was Father's Day and many people were busy, we arranged for next week (Sunday 9th August) to be the temporary committee meeting at 1.30pm to begin discussions about the rules. Hopefully we will have a decent attendance, and we will be able to resolve this issue quickly, and get some more people actually COMMUNITY gardening after that. Cross fingers!