Dec 092015

biocharEverything you might want to know about ‘biochar’ and ‘Leonardite’

Stuart Rodda has written an article on the possibilities for using ‘biochar’ (a form of charcoal) or ‘Leonardite’ (a brown coal-like material) to improve soil quality. His research suggests that there is great potential but that neither of the materials is currently easy to obtain at a reasonable cost. Read the full article.

Editor’s note: Stuart is one of the newsletter recipients who is trying to sell produce on the Ripe Near Me website. He reports: “since your newsletter last week, I have had 3 people contact me about my home produce and they have already come around to buy some from me! You certainly have some marketing power there!

Protecting seedlings from both slaters and snails

plant collarSusan Palmer writes in to say she may have found a solution for her quest to limit the damage caused by slaters and snails without killing them. Last year, slaters started chopping down her young veggie seedlings at night, progressively devouring them over the next few days. Really irritating! Following a tip from the ABC website, she now puts plant collars (old pots with the bottom chopped out) on all her seedlings. She also puts copper tape (can be purchased from Bunnings) around the pot to deter snails. Once the seedling is well established, the collar can be removed as the tougher stems are less attractive to slaters. Since then, there has been no slater or snail damage.

Editor’s note: did you know that slaters are effectively land crabs? Or, that their ‘proper’ common name is woodlice? Or, that they are apparently called ‘butcher boys’ in Williamstown?

gingerbread housePretty as a picture

A newsletter reader who wishes to remain anonymous(!) has sent in a picture of a cake that she decorated at the Making gingerbread houses event at Mill Park Library yesterday. Is that cute or what?

Editor’s note: I happened to look look up gingerbread houses on Wikipedia. As they say, “a gingerbread house is a model house made of gingerbread.”

A large composter coming to Ringwood shopping centre

According to this Age article, Eastland Shopping Centre in Ringwood is working with Joost Bakker to install a large composter so all the organic waste from its restaurants can be turned into compost on site. The compost will be used in Eastland’s community garden.

New events

Free community meal at the Shak

What: Go and and enjoy a meal with them. Welcoming the homeless, people with dependencies, struggling families, asylum seekers, refugees, people with disabilities and anyone who just wants a good meal and a chat.
When: Saturday, 12th December, 1-3pm, Saturday, 19th December, 1-3pm and Saturday, 26th December, 1-3pm.
Where: Mill Park Baptist Church.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Mill Park Baptist Church by phone (9436 8797) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Thrive Christmas BBQ

What: They are having a BBQ on site at the garden to celebrate all the progress from the past year. Whether you’ve just been following progress from the sidelines or helped out during the year, they would love to have you there. Bring a dish to share or something to put on the BBQ.
When: Sunday, 13th December, midday onwards.
Where: Diamond Creek.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Peter Daams by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Generating funding and support for big projects

What: Includes speaker (Amanda Gibson from The Tree Project), workshops (e.g. on seeking corporate and philanthropic support) and resources to help make your project come alive plus information about the 2016 Annual Leadership Program. Lunch, tea, coffee included. The The Rivers & Ranges Community Leadership Program is particularly keen on having more participants from Nillumbik on their leadership program next year. Applications will be open from the 14th December.
When: Monday, 14th December, 10am-2pm.
Where: Diamond Creek.
Cost: free.
Enquiries/Bookings: Rivers & Ranges Community Leadership Program by phone (0409 287577) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Diamond Creek Christmas lunch

What: A community lunch at the Uniting Church Hall on Christmas Day, with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where everyone is welcome!
When: Friday, 25th December, midday onwards.
Where: Diamond Creek.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Diane by phone (9718 2035).
Further information: LFC calendar entry.

Summary of all upcoming events

The list of events has now almost completely wound down prior to Christmas.

Over the next week
Over the next month

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events.

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