I went to a meeting last week to help kick start the discussions off about a community garden in Yass.
It was held in the Yass Shire Council building and there was a good turnout of approx 30 people. This meeting was really to gauge interest in the idea and see if a steering committee could be formed.
The main idea came when a government initative Sustaining our Towns came to town a few months ago. For those that do not know Sustaining our Towns is a NSW Government funded project to help reduce the ecological footprints of individuals, homes, businesses and communities in thirteen Council areas across South Eastern NSW.
They put to us then (they called a meeting a few months ago – open to the public) that there was $10k available for suitable projects. There seemed to be at this meeting a belief that a community garden could be the go.
So next steps. A steering committee has been selected (which I am on) and we will have our first meeting in October. Hopefully we can work out a framework and some suitable land.
Land that is
To qualify for the grant of $10k we do need to be following organic principles on the garden.
Well it looks like we will be seeing out first nuts this year.
We have planted over the past three years.
The below is a photo of a young almond from out front.
Also in further signs of spring, one of our new elderberry bushes is beginning to flower. Over winter we planted 5 elderflower bushes (Sambucus nigra). This is for future production of wine (both still and sparkling), beer and jams. We will see how these first 5 plants go and next winter look at getting a few more.
This also goes into something I have been thinking about and that is living fences. My thoughts being in when the fence out front actually falls apart it won’t be replaced, we will have this hedge instead.
One to remember – Purple broccoli takes all winter to head – I had thought that I planted kale next to the regular broccoli, it turns out that it is in fact purple brocolli, note to self Green brocolli is followed by purple brocolli.
I had also been taking the leaves off and giving them to the chickens.
This actually works out well as my green brocolli has now flowered, and we have 3 massive puple brocolli giving us a tonne of stuff.
One of the winter chores is to ‘control’ your blackberry, ours is a variety called silvenberry. Over summer we got some fruit from it and other than picking the fruit, generally we ignored the plant. The fruit itself is great fresh and like most berries can be frozen. But also like any bramble you need to control it as it spreads quickly. So for those interested in growing it, some information.
Blackberries are the great excape artists of plants, they want to spread, we keep ours in a raised bed and have three blackberry plants.
If you are going to plant some I would recommend a raised bed as they do like good drainage, when it comes to soil type they are not too fussy.
The way it spreads are three fold.
This year we did prune them fairly heavily so I am not sure we will be getting to much fruit from them this summer as generally the fruit appears on 2nd year wood, but as I generally ignored them the summer past this needed to be done.
One last point is that the runners will become kindling for the fireplace.
Now my raspberries are a different matter, they spread via suckers and as all my raspberries are what is referred to autumn raspberries, they are much easier to take care of, in winter you just trim them all down to the ground. They fruit on new wood. If you have summer raspberries they friut of second year wood, so you only take out the parts which friuted the year before.
And the best part was we were getting raspberries till May.