Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas from Cultivating Community.

Merry Christmas from all the staff at Cultivating Community.

This year’s gift is from the Lennox St Community Garden in Richmond and features a selection of the gardener’s favourite recipes in English, Chinese and Vietnamese. It was produced as part of the ABC Open Garden Scheme and was accompanied by a DVD, Chapters of which can be viewed on by visiting our channel on You Tube

If you are in Melbourne over the Festive period and have a tree that’s heaving with fruit please come along to Yarra Neighbourhood Orchard swap meet on Saturday the 3rd January from 10am to 1pm on the bike path opposite the Fitzroy pool. We are expecting a massive variety of produce and what could be better than swapping locally produced goodies!

Next year will see our weekly community fruit and vegetable market refocus on to local and seasonal produce. The markets take place every Thursday from the second week of January and have the cheapest produce this side of the Vic Market.

10:30-11:30 Harmsworth St Hall Collingwood

1:30-2:30 Base of 125 Napier St Fitzroy

Lastly our community garden in Napier St Fitzroy is taking part in the ABC Open Garden Scheme the weekend of 21/22 February. There will be tours, cooking demos, the launch of a DVD showing the history of the estate and interviews with gardeners and much much more. Opening times are 10am to 4pm – hope to see you there.

I wish you all a fantastic Christmas and I hope that all your harvests are bountiful in 2009!

Ben Neil
Chief Executive Officer
Cultivating Community
P.O. Box 8 Abbotsford
Victoria 3067
Office: 03 9415 6580

Fax: 03 9415 6507
Mobile: 0404 255 317

Monday, December 15, 2008

Organic Gardener 2009

We have a new subscription for 2009. In the Library Container in the shed. Keep reading. Just write your name in the library book when you borrow one of the many goodies in there and then when you return it. It is a fabulous resource..Loads of ideas..


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Visit from Barham Food Garden

Delicious oranges.

On Saturday we had a group from the Barham Community Food Garden visit our garden as part of a community garden tour that they did by bus. They were a great group of people who brought along a lovely selection of goodies for afternoon tea and a large box of locally grown oranges for us to share. The box is in the shed at the garden so help yourselves.

Barham is a town near the Vic/NSW border on the way to Swan Hill, they are only in the planning stages of their garden and were interested in how our garden worked. They also visited Veg Out, Atherton High Rise, and the Happy New Life garden in Richmond. They had seen the photos on our blog of that garden which inspired them to visit there. Hopefully we will keep in contact with them.

Mardie who organised the trip had also bought one of our t-shirts from Red Bubble. She is keen to have a chat with Rebecca and get her tips on setting up a blog.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Red Bubble orders for Christmas

Red Bubble has just listed order deadlines for anyone wanting to order stuff for Christmas, here they are:
Calendars, Cards, Stretched Canvas, Posters and all Prints (Framed, Laminated, Mounted, Matted and Laminated) Dec. 14
T-shirts: Dec. 7
So get ordering!

We had a lovely Christmas party on Sunday, with a fabulous array of food- (Who made that berry pastry thing? It was amazing!!) and a great turn out, so thank-you all for turning up with plates in hand.
I forgot to take my camera but Marijka may have a few snaps to share.

And here they are... Some beauties on the day of the feasting..

Onion flower thriving in Edain's and Justin's patch..

Hollyhock down by the pond. An infiltrator..

Water iris down by the pond. Best season yet.

Dianella down by the pond. A fabulous show this year..

(And the berry pastry thingy was another of Jane's gourmet baking).

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Self sufficiency blog

This is Daniel Moss's food growing blog It's full of great info and links, and our own little gardens star with a photo too.

Thanks to Ros for talking to Daniel and connecting us with him and his project. We are part of a movement here in Melbourne (even though we tend to mostly just focus on our own little gardens), but it's still nice to be connected!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas party

Our Christmas/Summer Solstice/ Hannukah/ End Of Year/ Just Because Party will be on Sunday 30th November at 12.00pm at the gardens. Please come along and bring a plate...with some food on it.
See you then!

Sprout markets

New markets starting up at Sprout.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nov. Working Bee and Grants

By now you probably all know we had no luck on the Landcare grant, but the Community Volunteers grant is still a possibility, they will hopefully let us know before Christmas.
Next WORKING BEE IS NOW THE 9TH NOVEMBER hope you can all make it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy New Life Garden visit

Here are some images of the fabulous Happy New Life Garden in Lennox St Richmond we visited on Sunday. In a very compact space these gardeners with a mostly Vietnamese heritage are growing an absolute abundancce of produce. We were most struck by their use of vertical space with polystyrene boxes loaded with seedlings packed into every spare corner. It was very inspiring and we all took home plenty of ideas for maximising the use of our space.
...Say,who is that stylish woman in that fabulous tshirt???!!! Where can I get one?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Swapmeet and FGA

The above leaflet is for a new Swapmeet for gardeners to swap excess produce, seeds, cuttings etc and is happening this Saturday (4th Oct) at Smith's Reserve Fitzroy.

Ros and Rebecca attended a public meeting last night of the Food Gardeners Alliance, a new organisation of home and community gardeners concerned about the water restrictions and their impact on food gardening. David Holmgren (of permaculture fame), Clive Blazey from the Diggers Club, Jane Edmanson from the ABC and Helen Tuton from Sustainable Gardening Australia all gave very informative speeches, and the public were able to ask questions at the end. There were also some local and state government representatives there.
David Holmgren believed that growing your own vegetables is one of the most powerful things you can do to save water. This is because when you compare the amount of water needed to grow food on a farm, then packaged and transported and to the supermarket and then to your home....home gardening uses a tiny amount of water.

It is in its early stages, but FGA could become a great lobby group for food gardeners and I urge everyone to check out their website here. (They've also totally coincidentally used one of our tshirt designs to promote their message...GROW Food and save the world!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Working Bee This Sunday and Fringe Festival Event

On Saturday4th and Sunday 5th October the Lennox Street "Happy New Life" Community Garden will be open to the public as part of the Fringe Festival (thanks to Liz for this info!).
Please click here for more details.
A few of us will be going along on this Sunday 5th October, before coming to OUR WORKING BEE at 1.30 pm. Don't forget Daylight Savings time starts that day too.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gardens History: Part 1

Marijka has a wonderful collection of photos of the development of the gardens dating back to 1997, and I thought it'd be interesting for everyone to see how far we've come!
So here is Part 1;
Summer 1997-ish...while the gardens and shed were being built, and before the shed was burnt.
Also, you can see this is taken before the revegetation area was a twinkle in anyone's eye.

Friday, September 19, 2008

You can order your own calendars now!

Yes, Red Bubble have now made it possible for anyone to purchase a calendar online, so you no longer have to go through me or just click here now and scroll down to the calendars (under the tshirts) and buy all your friends and family calendars for Christmas...don't forget all profits go into the gardens coffers!

Maybe you could pick up a few Christmas cards while you're there?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Revised Tank

Unfortunately the very attractive and perfect for us Tankmaster 12000 litre tank has been discontinued, but we have now put in a Landcare Grant application for this equally stylish- if not quite so handsome Tankmaster 10000 litre tank. Everybody cross your fingers... and toes...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Reservoir Library Display

This is a display of Ros's and Marijka's felt pieces, as well as a display promoting the gardens that we have set up at Reservoir Library for two weeks. Check it out if you're in the area.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tank love

This is the Tankmasta TA1403 12000 litre water tank that we are currently coveting for our gardens. Handsome devil isn't he?
If you would like to check out other tanks available go to the Enviro-friendly web-site here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


This was the agenda for the AGM today at 1.30.
We've had such good turn outs for the recent working bees it was a bit disappointing that more people didn't turn up. Still, it was quite productive and new members Liz and Jenny contributed some good positive energy. If you are interested in the minutes, they will be available to read in the meeting book in the shed.
On a brighter note- the gardens are looking lovely after all the recent rain and we can only hope it continues throughout Spring!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Annual General Meeting

We had another great turn out for our working bee on Sunday- well done all those who turned up and thanks for making all those yummy cakes for afternoon tea!

Our Annual General Meeting will be on Sunday 25th August at 1.30pm and it's important for as many people as possible to attend, so that we can effectively deal with all the issues affecting the gardens and elect our office bearers.

There is an Agenda on the blackboard at the gardens and please feel free to add any issues you may wish to discuss.

Also just a reminder that we have a selection of cards and tshirts available to buy on our Red Bubble site here, all the proceeds of which go to the gardens. Hopefully there will be a 2009 calendar as well which you will be able to order through Rebecca or Marijka for about $25.

We've had some decent rain lately and the gardens are looking lush and healthy, but we all know what's coming in Summer, and need to put some energy into procuring a water tank, so any help anyone can offer researching grants etc. to get one will be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Organic Gardener

Latest Organic Gardener is now in Library Bin. Sign in the book for two weeks or so. Happy reading.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Planting Day

Our wonderful new GM free zone sign and flowering native blue-bells.
We had a wonderful day yesterday and were amazed at how much we can accomplish when people turn up! Everyone deserves a pat on the back, but especially Marijka and Ros who organised it all beautifully.

We have planted out a large area beside the seat and along the railway line with a range of local indigenous plants, so now let's all cross our fingers for rain. Marijka and Chris have a plan to gradually produce a map of the area so that eventually we will be able to walk around the gardens and identify all the various plants.
It feels great to be part of a community effort like this, and hopefully we will all reap the benefits of it in years to come.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May Meeting

Another of Vince's clever devices- this is to train the broadbeans on...
Christine's Sapphire potatoes-

Chris's Brussel Sprouts!

We had a great turn-out for our meeting on Sunday, and managed to cover a fair bit of ground. Thanks to Christine and Alistair we now have a GM free zone sign on our fence, and are proudly supporting the movement to pressure Darebin Council to declare a GM free zone too.
We need everyone to search for new grants to get our water-tanks, as the one we'd planned to apply for has been cancelled.
Next Sunday 1st June is a working bee dedicated to planting out some more indigenous plants purchased with the grant from Darebin Council that Marijka got for us, so hopefully we'll have just as good a turn out for that!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Seed Saving Workshop

A great day as the pictures tell the story.

By putting up so many pictures Blogger decides what to do with them no matter how they are organized in the preview .
A random selection of the seeds that we discussed.
Plot holders can decide, as time goes by, to save the seeds from one plant. Then next Autumn at the Seed Saving workshop we can have a swap around. Marc has already taken up the idea of saving the seeds from one of his plants.

The pumpkin soup as usual was delicious thanks to Roz...

And a hearty welcome to three new members Christina, Alistair and Liz.