Posts filed under ‘Garden/Permaculture’
Fruit Squad ready for summer fruit harvest in Northcote
Fruit Squad is a project that involves volunteers picking backyard fruit and giving it to SecondBite, an organisation that redistributes fresh, nutritious food to those in need via hostels, rooming houses and community services, many located in Darebin.
With the summer seasons fruit ripening fast, the Fruit Squad is currently looking for back yard trees to pick. If you live in Northcote, in the area bounded by Separation Street, St Georges Road, Grange Road and Heidelberg Road, and would like to register your fruit trees for harvesting, or want to pick your own which we can collect, please call Jika Jika Community Centre on (03) 9482 5100 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fruit Squad is an initiative of Transition Darebin in partnership with Jika Jika Community Centre, with support from Darebin City Council.
For our first gathering of 2013, we are teaming up with Urban Reforestation, who are hosting a workshop called “The Art of Community Gardening” at the Old Apple Tree. It will be more of a discussion than a one-way workshop – people with all levels of experience and interest are welcome – whether you are an old hand or just finding out about community gardens.
If anyone has not come across the Apple Tree before, it’s a bit of a local icon. A very big, very old apple tree right next to the railway line which has been lovingly documented by photographer Cat Wilson, and adopted and given a new lease on life by locals including TD members and people in the neighbourhood, most recently led by Urban Reforestation members, who have spruced up the area, adding seating, a planter box and other plants. And started a facebook page for the Apple Tree.
After the workshop there will be a hands-on working bee, giving the apple tree and surrounds some TLC.
And then a picnic which will double as our first TD gathering of the year. Perhaps we may even bring out the TD banner, which still needs a little more painting to be complete, and features our apple tree inspired by… you guessed it – the Old Apple Tree.
Saturday 12 January
10.30am morning tea and meet up!
11am Workshop and advice sharing on setting up a community garden. Tips
include: engaging community, creative design ideas, working with local
council and ongoing maintenance.
12pm Working bee at The Apple Tree Herbert Street! Putting some
creative design ideas into action.
1pm Yummy vegetarian picnic lunch – please bring a vegetarian plate to share. Come and meet with TD peeps and the locals around the Apple Tree.
Cost: by donation.
For more details and to RSVP for the workshop see http://www.urbanreforestation.com/community-gardens-2/workshop-the-art-of-community-gardening/
Grafting workshop with John Pinniger tomorrow night (27th July 2011) at Loophole Community Centre located at 670 High St, Thornbury.
Be on time for a 6:30 start.
Hope to see you all there!
SATURDAY JULY 16th from 10am-3pm
Come down and help out, as we dig, plant and chatter around the new jewel in Northcote’s crown.
You are welcome to donate healthy seeds, cuttings and plants and to be part of the fun watching a dirt pit transform into the garden of Eden.
Check out the Northcote Library Food Garden Blog for up-to-date info.
We are pleased to announce the start of a new venture – house/garden visits. Nothing new? Yes, these are small groups where the host discusses growing veggies, planning gardens and retro-fitting their house with you. Maximum group size is 10. On the day the group would visit 2 homes.
You must register by emailing John at email@example.com (please put ‘Progressive House Tours’ in the subject). The cost is $5 per person, payable on the day. Once you register, we will email the address of the first house, and public transport details. In most cases the distance between the two houses will be walkable.
Our first tour.
House 1. Northcote. Water diversion, fruit & veggies. House insulated and double-glazed. Aquaculture begun.
House 2. Northcote. Energy-efficient retro-fit of an old house on a small block. Water harvesting, storage & internal use. Solar heating, house orientation, weather stripping. Basic veggie, fruit & berry growing.
Date: Saturday 23rd July.
Time: 2.pm. Finish approx 4.30.
Initial Location: Notified after registration. 100m 246/250/251 bus. 1.5k Fairfield station.
What an inspiring afternoon learning all about Angora Rabbits and how you can make clothes from their fur. It is the softest stuff I have ever felt and when knitted into clothes is just divine. What amazed me about this afternoon was not only has Asphyxia created her own house out of mudbrick, created a garden that supplies oodles of fruit and vege but also has an animal that supplies her with wool to create her own clothes. The rewards of this type of lifestyle are huge. Asphyxia mentioned wanting to see if she could live like a “medieval woman”- what a great aspiration in this fast paced, consumer orientated society.
Early yesterday morning, a group of 12 adults and 6 children set off for a berry picking adventure. We went up the windy road to the lower hills of the Strzelecki ranges and found that the Sunny Creek Organic berry farm was a little cooler than the highway we had transcended from.
The day started with a talk on the history and setting up of the permaculture designed property by one of the owners, Phil. We learnt of the importance of frogs and bees to the organic berry farmer, why currants will grow under chestnut trees but raspberries won’t, and how to tell a golden raspberry plant from a red raspberry, even before it fruits. Most importantly for our purposes on the day, we learnt how to judge a berry for immediate eating versus one for keeping a few days or freezing.
Then it was time to pick and be merry. Everyone had a bucket to fill, and there were oodles of beautiful plump berries to be had – silvan berries, boysenberries, youngberries, blackberries (all types of brambles), a rainbow of raspberries (yellow, red, purple and black) some red currants and a smattering of blueberries.
It was a perfect temperature for picking and we were in under the nets reaching for large clusters of berries, some so ripe that they fell off their stalk as soon as they were touched (then you had to ferret in the undergrowth to save them!). Of course a fair amount of berry grazing was done along the way, encouraged by the owner, who suggested we savour the sharper, more acidic, less ripe fruit and compare it with its more fully ripened and darker neighbour.
The owners gave us a lovely spot to have morning tea and our picnic lunch, and the children had a lovely time seeking adventures in the nearby bush and looking for tree frogs in the pond.
After weighing and packing our bounty, we wandered our separate ways home with our berry treasures, some stopping off in Yarragon on the way for a cuppa, and others checking out the new foal on a local farm, all determined to add one or two varieties of berry to our gardens next spring.
Perhaps the apple season will take us for another venture up into the hills– cox’s orange pippins and Canadian cider apples await. We will keep you posted re picking season for the apple crop and highly recommend the quality of the berries and berry picking experience at Sunny Creek.
Rachel and Jos
(on behalf of the fun_raising group)
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Once again a group of indefatigable Transitioners met at the old apple tree site next to the Epping train line in Northcote to continue its transformation from vacant land and dumping site to public garden and community meeting place, this time as part of the global 10/10/10 action movement.
Hard-working volunteers pruned, planted, mulched, sifted soil, weeded, watered and picnicked in the shade of the tree. Passersby were impressed by our industriousness and the metamorphosis taking place.
As usual, Cat set up her camera to document the day. Here’s the timelapse video:
On Saturday 9th of October more than 30 people came on on a tour of local food sites, taking in community gardens, productive backyards, Preston Market and a talk on Preston’s rich food producing history, as publicised in the Preston Leader a couple of weeks ago.
We met at Sprout, a community garden next to Thornbury station that helps people experiencing homelessness and mental illness get some hands-on skills. The garden plots are communal rather than private, and the garden throws open its gates to the wider community with a market on the first Thursday of the month.
Transition Darebin’s very own Kat Lavers opened our eyes to the useful weeds growing all around us on our way to Angelo’s house. Angelo’s house has an amazingly productive permaculture bursting out of his backyard and he was only to happy to give away tips and even seedlings and cuttings to people inspired to start growing their own.
At Costante Imports on Bell Street we found all kinds of food processing and preserving equipment – which is just what you need if you have a yard as abundant as Angelo’s!
Then we grabbed lunch from Preston market and walked to a nearby park to listen to tales of Preston’s food-producing past from Merv Lia from the Preston Historical Society. You can download a scanned copy of Merv’s notes (PDF, 292 KB).
Finally we had a well-deserved sit down at Motor Mower cafe on Murray Road where we heard about how a cafe can be set up in a low-impact way.
See the map below or download the schedule (PDF, 60KB).
Short days, cool weather and a forecast for rain can’t keep keen blitzers indoors. Where there’s a yard to make over, they’re there in spades. Or is that shovels? That was just one of life’s more enduring questions to be debated on Saturday 29th May in Damian’s front yard as its gentle slope was engineered into swales to feed a future orchard. In between chai breaks and a hot vegie feast, an old bath tub was converted into a frog bog, surrounded by relocated rocks and plants, and a new ‘plucking garden’ laid out next to the back door.
There aren’t many social occasions where the guests are asked to bring a plate of rotting food. In this case the bounty of past-it produce went into the compost pile along with a healthy helping of manure, leaves, straw and grass. Paul the compost connoisseur demonstrated the Berkeley hot compost method, the result of which Damian will be able to spread on his new garden in a matter of weeks.
You can also see the whole day unfold on YouTube.
Thanks to everyone who dug, mulched and weeded. See you at the next blitz!
If you are a Darebin resident who has a balcony, courtyard, back or front garden ready to be transformed into an edible oasis, simply lend a hand at 3 blitzes then get in touch with Transition Darebin! Find blitzes happening near you at www.permablitz.net.