I’ve kept busy and warm over winter in city & country Victoria:
- Running a permablitz in Poowong
- Presenting at the EWHA Forum on Sustainable Gardening
- Returning to check on the Bush Food Garden at Coolaroo South PS
- Yea Water Discovery Centre Indigenous Garden, completed at last
- Attending a Moreland Grants Ceremony – my first!
Permablitz at Poowong.
At at the gorgeous straw bale house of Jackie & Jim, The weather gods smiled on us and saved all the rain for watering plants in after the permablitz. We checked out useful weeds, removed not so useful weeds, mulched over them with left over building straw, under planted some of the orchard with herbs for their various uses in the kitchen, the home herbal armory (yarrow, comfrey), for soil (mustard) and compost help (comfrey) and for attracting pollinators for the fruit trees (Feverfew).
We planted the hazelnuts in a group together to help with wind pollination- these nuts need wind not bees. The creek on the property is now sporting indigenous plants on both sides to create a habitat corridor.
At the top of this hill we planted a grafted walnut (for quicker fruiting) and a chestnut (Jackie and Jim will add another one soon for pollination) This is truly zone 5 or more, and these trees, once established will only be visited in nut harvest season each year. In the middle of the pic in the ephemeral creek line you can see some new Carex, Lomandra and a local Tea-tree all with jute weed mat pinned around them, improving the habitat for frogs (we found many) and the Giant Earthworm, native to this area. Higher on the slope is the new Hazelnut grove. Hazelnuts like moisture so are well suited to planting in Gippsland near a creek line. This cold climate is good for them too. Right at the back is the zone 1 orchard.
Encouraging Women in Horticulture Forum
I love sharing my knowledge about gardens and gardening. I was excited to be asked to speak to my peers about Companion Planting and Encouraging Beneficial Insects at the recent EWHA Forum held at Ceres Community Environment Park. We had a great day with 2 other speakers and a healthy lunch.
Coolaroo South Primary School
We’ve been gardening at Coolaroo South PS for 5 years now. I love coming back here to help them maintain the gardens we’ve implemented and provide an ongoing education for the kids and teachers at the school.
Its been a fantastic relationship as we’ve been able to plant a bushfood garden with educational signage; a sensory garden in the early learning centre with bushfoods and edible plants; an edible flower and fruit garden; bush play garden; rain garden and a Carob hedge.
Y Water Discovery Centre Indigenous Garden
Big thanks to Shane Monk, a Taungerung man from GBCMA who worked tirelessly on this garden with myself and others from the Green Army. Russ and Don from Yea Wetlands, Gaye Sutherland from GBCMA and Gareth and Kevin from Murrundindi Shire all part of getting this great garden project created.
Check out this video of all the action happening on site. We also did a slow burn of the grasses in the Taungerung tradition.
Beautiful interpretive signs by GBCMA at the Indigenous interpretive garden at Y Water Centre in Yea. Besides having gorgeous photos and graphics, these signs include botanical name, common name and Taungerung name for each plant, as well as describing the traditional uses of the plants, making this garden a great stop off or destination to connect with and learn about the cultural heritage of this area.
The official opening of this area is in November, you can check it out along with all the other fantastic things to see at the Y Water Discover Centre.
Moreland Grants with Little Sprouts
I was so excited to attend the Moreland Grants Awards Ceremony with Little Sprouts as they accepted a grant to build an edible, sensory, bushfood garden in the Goodstart Childcare Centre in Pascoe Vale. These types of gardens tap into our future, growing up kids with awareness of their environment, using land and food sustainably with respect for the elders of the land and the current custodians, building stronger and more resilient kids and more resilient urban food systems.
Wow, it’s been an exciting month or two, what have you been up to that’s inspired you?