What’s happening in September 2018?

This month we are looking forward to our AGM on September 29th. Usually it involves short reports by the Board Chair and the Manager, followed by election of Board members. Afterwards a few nibbles and a bit of socialising. It starts at 11.30 so come along if you’re interested.

Early in the month we said goodbye to Damian who has been working with us since June.  He has been a great help in keeping on top of the many tasks needed to keep the gardens functioning and we wish him well with his future gardening endeavors.  Another of our volunteers, Carolyn, has gone off trekking in Nepal for several weeks. She intends to follow this up with some volunteer work in Bangladesh.

In the garden the early days of the month saw us harvest the last of the broccoli, carrots and caulis. The peas have popped up, much to the delight of the local avian population, and the broad beans are coming along magnificently. The tomato seedlings are in the glasshouse, hardening off and growing on in time for our Big Spring Market day on Saturday Oct 6th. They have been joined by hardier seedlings such as cabbages, caulis  and lettuces. Also coming along nicely, but still on the heat pad, are capsicum and chili seedlings. Pricking out is taking up all the hours the volunteers and manager can put in.

Outside areas are still waiting for the ground temperatures to rise a little more before planting. First in this month will be Pak Choy, silverbeet and mizuna as they are quite comfortable with the cooler temperatures we get in September and October, and also carrots and beetroot.

We seem to be processing more food waste lately which helps with our compost making, and our worm farms have yielded up their worm castings which then go into our potting mix. This month we hope to bring two more worm farms back into production after the problems experienced with the drain taps. There are no spare parts available so we have to improvise.

Early in the month the Community Gardens Association dropped off potting mix and seeds from the Southern Seed Exchange. The aim is for us to propagate some of the rarer seeds in order to maintain a viable collection. We are pleased to be part of this important enterprise.

At the Beckenham site we are still spreading bark and we also have some wildflower seedling plugs to plant in order to brighten up the site along the fence line.

Pickling and preserving this month will be focusing on making grape juice from the grapes frozen in April and chili sauce from the frozen tomatoes.