Saturday, 21 November 2009

Irrigation, and preparing for the summer heat in the veggie garden

The group got together for our monthly meeting this afternoon, and we had a great time learning about how Michael keeps his garden green during the summer months even with the scorching temperatures we have here in Melton.  He has a fantastic irrigation system set up that is all fed by rainwater and the bi-weekly mains water we are allowed whilst on water restrictions.

Just last Saturday his garden featured on Vasili’s Garden which airs on the community Channel 31.  It used to be shown on SBS.

Here is the write up about what Vasili thought about Michael’s garden; and here is the 25 minute episode which was very entertaining and the entire family got involved.

Here are some photos taken by Kim during the workshop.

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Some of the members listening intently to Michael,

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The proud gardener!
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Green everywhere.
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The runner bean bed.
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The broad beans are still going.

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How to stop birds from digging up you cucumbers and keep the soil moist at the same time.

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Sunflowers against the west wall.  They were about 5 foot high.
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More ways to keep the birds from digging up your plants.

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And finally a way to keep the cabbage moths off of your cabbages any time of the year.  A simple frame with mosquito netting.  It hides the shape of the plants, and stops the moths from laying eggs on the leaves.

His irrigation set up was all set up to work from low pressure rainwater that was gravity feed from smaller tanks set higher up on the property that he filled from his main tank.  His garden is an inspiration to anyone who wants to grow food in a dry area, as the west of Melbourne has now become, and all the member took away a swag of ideas on how to implement this type of garden into their own veggie patch.

From all the member, a big thank you to Michael and Carolyn for letting us into their home and showing us around there green oasis.  You were great hosts.

Guess what?  It is now raining for the first time in a month!  There will be full tanks for everyone tomorrow!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Fun at the DJ Festival

All I can say is that I believe that our stand at the DJ festival was a success and fun to boot.  Not only did we get the message out into the community that we exist, met many like minded people from other environmental groups in our shire, we made $121 for the group by selling plants grown by Michael, Jan and Gavin, chicken and duck eggs donated by Jan, and T-Shirts and hats for members provided by Kim.  I must say the the Sunflower plants were the biggest seller of the day followed by the salad gardens and the multitude of heirloom tomatoes.

It was a great day, and it was good to see that many members and volunteers were able to man the stand throughout the day.  Here are some photos of the event taken early in the morning.

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Setting up at the start of the day

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The first shift.  Left to right; Amanda, Amy & David

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Inside the marquee as you move from left to right; The Gardening Panel. 

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Green Cleaning and Energy efficiency panels

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Poultry and Preserving & Baking panels

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Finally the Waste and Water panels.

There were free ReNew and G magazines, lots of informational booklets and even a renters guide to going green.  We gave away about 40% of the booklets, so there was quite an interest in what we were doing.  We had 10 people who were interested in further information about the next meeting, which I thought was fantastic. 

All in all, a great event.  Many thanks to all who contributed to make it as successful as it was.  Special thanks to Iramoo for the loan of the display boards; Sustainability Victoria, Environment Victoria, Iramoo, Melbourne Water, and the ATA for all the educational material; and to Kim for all the hard work on the pictures and laminating.

See you all at the next meeting as it will be very informative.  It is a workshop at Michael Howard’s house and we will be learning how Michael prepares his veggie patch for the scorching summer ahead and how to still have a productive patch.

For details of the groups activities and when meetings are held, please call Kim on 03 97473616 for further information.

Warm regards,

Gavin Webber, President