Sunday, June 19, 2011

Of community workshops and visitors

Obviously here, at the gardens, we are about ..., ummm, gardening. Go figure. But a community garden is so very much more. It is also a place to gather, share, teach and learn. From the very beginning we 'wished' that the garden would be a site where members of the community could come and learn. This blog is about 3 such events.

Back in February we hosted a Propagation Workshop
, with Karl, the workshop facilitator, working with the group (a mix of community gardeners and others) teaching us about propagating from seed and cuttings.

Karl is very involved in bush regeneration work, so the day was particularly focused on knowing your local 'natives', collecting seed and cuttings from indigenous plants and growing local species from 'scratch'. The benefits for us of hosting such an event were many - we learnt (we will be propagating in our own hot-house soon), we shared our space and we gained new members!

To mark National Composting Day/Week (who would have thought there was such a thing), in early May, Penny from Wollongong Botanical Gardens facilitated a Composting Workshop. She shared her wisdom regarding all things 'compost' (and gee, does she know a thing or two). We looked at composting, bokashi bins and worm farms. Once again we regulars got much out of it, and got to share our own composting practice, which includes compost bins, a compost bay, which you can read about in a previous post (pictured below), and worm farming.

I end this blog with a photo from today, 19 June. A group of folks interested in getting a community garden up and running in the Mt Kembla region visited our garden. They had also visited the PCYC garden in North Wollongong and the Lane-way in Port Kembla so we gather they had heard the message "WE AIM TO GROW SOIL, (NOT FOOD)" a few times!

We spoke to them about the history of our garden, our philosophy and practice around gardening, composting, soil nurturing, harvesting etc. It was a great visit; we wish them luck with their endeavours!

By the way, they are seated on our awesome 'seating arc' - lovingly constructed using recycled materials by some very cleaver folk at the gardens, lead by 'our' Joe.

Creative gardening to you all!


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