Aug 012018

Want your fruit trees pruned?

A couple of weeks ago, the newsletter contained a request for people who were willing to prune fruit trees at an affordable price. One of the people who came forward was Kylie Johnston who said “I have worked in the industry for 10+ years. I specialise in pruning and garden design. I recently designed a community garden for St Pius X Primary school in Heidelberg West, which features an olive grove and orchard. I also have a Certificate 4 in Workplace Training and Assessment and would love to help get your trees back into shape.” She subsequently pruned the trees of newsletter reader Debra Forbes, who was very happy with the result. So, if you want your fruit trees pruned, consider contacting Kylie by phone (0426 137882) or email.

I have now added a section on pruners to the local resources page of our website. There are currently only three names listed. If you would like to be listed, or want to suggest someone else be listed, email me.

Want to get involved in community gardening in Montmorency?

Keryn Johnson runs her own pre-school program (pre-prep) out of a kinder room in Petrie Park, Montmorency and is about to become a Stephanie Alexander pre-school. She is setting up a garden program which will comprise sessions every 2 to 3 weeks on a Wednesday afternoon from 1.30pm to 2.30pm and is looking for a couple of volunteers to help with some veggie planting with the children. The dates for the current term would be: 15th August, 29th August and 12th September. If interested, contact Keryn Johnson by phone (0407 324901) or email.

Does your community gardening group want some free sweetcorn seed?

John Mauger, who works with community gardens, schools, community houses, disadvantaged groups in Gippsland (see, has come by a lot of yellow Supersweet sweetcorn seed that was bred by Snowy River Seeds and which he is offering free of charge to community gardening groups. Any group can ask for, say, 500 or 1,000 seeds (or more). Note that the seeds have been treated with fungicide. If interested, contact Sharron Pfueller by email by 8th August. Note that Sharron, John and I all volunteer at Sustainable Gardening Australia.

The community gardens in Maroondah and Whitehorse

There are currently individual pages for around 40 community gardens in North East Melbourne on our website (see the map) but the material is currently restricted to selected local authority areas only. I am now trying to expand the scope to include both Maroondah and Whitehorse. Re Maroondah, I have made contact with Bedford Park, Croydon, Eastland Multicultural, Glen Park Oaks, Hope City Mission and Tables. Re Whitehorse, I have made contact with Box Hill, Jolimont, Slater and St. John’s (Blackburn). If you are aware of any other community gardens in either area, it would be great if you could email me.

Eltham Farmers’ Market – market research

Nillumbik Council recently commissioned a survey of visitors to Eltham Farmers’ Market. The resulting report is now available. The authors concluded that “The Eltham Farmers’ Market has a strong local audience with a high degree of regular attendance. It does, however, attract revenue from people living in Metropolitan Melbourne who are attracted to the area to specifically attend the market and then spend money elsewhere in the region. It therefore appears to be a good tourism attraction for the Nillumbik Shire … Without the market we believe that many of the people we interviewed would not have come to the Eltham Town Centre so it is a good thing for the local businesses in the area.” Read the full report.

Gardening Australia visits both Heidelberg West and Eltham

Gardening Australia will soon feature Costa and Simeon Hanscamp discussing Simeon’s Spoke & Spade farm business in Heidelberg West. The program will air at 7.30pm on Friday, 3rd August and again at 1.30pm on Sunday, 5th August.

The following week, Gardening Australia will feature a visit to Stuart Rodda’s garden in Eltham to watch him using his concrete mixer to blend spent coffee grounds with carbon-rich ingredients to make hot compost. Stuart gets tons of spent coffee for free from Reground whose founder, Ninna Larsen, organised the visit from Gardening Australia. The program will air at 7.30pm on Friday, 10th August and again at 1.30pm on Sunday, 12th August.

Simeon, Stuart and Ninna are all newsletter readers. Costa is not (yet).

Banyule environmental sustainability grants

$50,000 is available for projects “to see resource conservation, waste and pollution reduction, maintenance and enhancement of our natural environment and to encourage environmental stewardship”. Last year’s funded projects included a low maintenance compost system. Closing date: 10th August.

$10,000 is also available for projects “to host sustainability workshops, educating and equipping people to adopt more sustainable lifestyles”. Last year’s funded projects included sustainable gardening workshops. Closing date: 10th August.

Want a job?

Power Plant, the vegan cafe in Templestowe, is going to start opening Friday and Saturday nights. As a result, they are looking to hire another cook. Shifts Wednesday to Saturday, 25 hours a week. If interested, email them.

Every newsletter needs a good picture

Ola Cohn’s Fairies Tree in Fitzroy Gardens (see picture right).

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

The interview with Audrey Beard.

Joke of the week

What do you call a sad strawberry? A blueberry.

Read all the jokes.

New events

Fruit tree planting

What: 11 fruit trees are ready to be planted in the Watsonia Library Community Garden. If you are able to bring a spade, the holes will be dug that bit faster. Train tracks side of the library.
When: Saturday, 4th August, 10-11am.
Where: Watsonia Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Lakeside Good Earth Group presents – creating a permaculture garden for beginners

What: Permaculture is an organic and eco-friendly way of gardening that helps to minimise your effort in the garden while maximizing your harvest. Go along to hear Claire from Outer Eastern Permaculture Swap talk about permaculture.
When: Tuesday, 21st August, 2-3.30pm.
Where: Lilydale Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Plant propagation

What: Spring is approaching. Learn how to sow seeds and take cuttings for your Summer garden. Participants will make their own seed raising mix, sow five different vegetables punnets and make four different herb cuttings to take home. You will discuss how to create the best environment at home for baby plants, when to plant them out, correct placement, water requirements, and when to harvest.
When: Saturday, 25th August, 10-11am.
Where: Joe’s Market Garden, Coburg.
Cost: $22.
Bookings: BookItBee.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Mooroolbark Growers & Weeders present – all about composting, worm farms and reducing food waste at home

What: Learn about the best composting system for your home and how to care for it. Also learn about how to improve an existing compost system to make sure you get the best end-product for your garden. Presented by Lisa Loulier, Sustainability Officer at Yarra Ranges Council.
When: Tuesday, 28th August, 2-3pm.
Where: Mooroolbark Library.
Cost: free.
Bookings: their website.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

TKW cooking school – winter wonders

What: Join The Kitchen Whizz for an interactive class where they will be showcasing seasonal Winter produce in an intimate environment, learning how to cook the recipes as well as enjoying a three course meal whilst creating connections around the dining table. All recipes are whole food, grain and dairy free, using organic and local ingredients. They will also provide you with a recipe booklet.
When: Friday, 31st August, midday-2.30pm.
Where: Diamond Creek.
Cost: $95.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Veggie gardening for beginners

What: What you will learn: how to set up and prepare a vegetable garden; how to select, plant and care for crops; and how to grow veggies in the ground, in raised beds and in pots. Presented by Nicole Griffiths. This class will teach you everything you need to know to grow delicious produce in your own backyard. They will cover all of the veggie gardening basics, from setting up your patch to harvesting.
When: Saturday, 8th September, 9.30am-12.30pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $55.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Preparing your productive garden for Spring

What: Join them at the Veggie Spot Community Garden to learn all about: what food crops to plant in Spring; preparing the soil (compost and worm farm solutions); choosing the right plant varieties; seeds vs seedlings; and crop rotation.
The session is appropriate for those who are new to productive gardening up to those who have been growing food for a few seasons.
When: Saturday, 8th September, 10-11.30am.
Where: Veggie Spot Community Garden, Lygon Street.
Cost: free.
Bookings: EventBrite.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Organic gardening for beginners

What: Want to grow your own healthy vegetables, herbs and fruits but don’t know where to start? Would you like to improve your family’s food security and increase your skills and garden productivity? Part theory and part hands-on, this workshop will help the beginner organic gardener develop the skills and knowledge to start a thriving edible oasis at home.
When: Friday, 21st September, 10am-3pm.
Where: Edendale.
Cost: $65.
Bookings: TryBooking.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Produce in pots

What: What you will learn: why edibles fail and what how to improve their chances of success; how to choose the right pots, potting mix, additives and mulches; and the best fruit and vegetables options for pots, and the best sustainable and organic maintenance techniques, including watering and feeding. Presented by Diana Cotter. Is your lettuce and coriander running to seed? Do you have beans that flower but don’t fruit, or flowers falling off your citrus? Or do your plants seem to die no matter you do? If any of this sounds familiar, or if you’re a complete novice, then this class will teach you how to avoid these issues. You’ll learn how potting mix and watering work, how plants react to different situations, and how the weather affects different plants differently. There will be a practical demonstration showing how to properly prepare potting mix, plant seeds and seedlings, and maintain the potential fruits (and vegetables!) of your labour.
When: Thursday, 27th September, 6.30-9pm.
Where: Bulleen Art and Garden.
Cost: $55.
Bookings: WeTeachMe.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

View the complete calendar of upcoming events.

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