On Thursday 31st August NPCG hosted a surprise visit from none other than Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis. Accompanied by our Mayor, Emma Cole, other invited guests and several very excited garden members who got to meet the gardening guru. There was a lot of laughter as Costa spent an enjoyable morning being shown around and was most impressed with the shade structures, our frogs, the front gate and the whole garden vibe generally.
Sunday was a raining and at times blustery day a perfect atmosphere for having nourishing warm soup. We have some wonderful cooks amongst our membership, that Spicy Thai Pumpkin Soup made with our pumpkin and lemon grass was to die for. Rocket & Parsley pesto on homemade focaccia – yum. The Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup had great zing, there was carrot soup, pumpkin soup, broccoli & cauliflower soup and a hearty barley, spinach & leek soup, banana muffins and spinach & parmesan muffins. We picked our first mandarins and shared them around – very tasty. Olive oil for dipping from the latest harvest of North Perth Primary School which includes olives from the garden’s tree.
Thanks to our friends at the Vincent Men’s Shed for offering us the use of their kitchen
facilities, and it was great to see some of them join us. Thanks also to our Mayor Emma Cole for joining us on such a rainy day.
Thanks also to all those who contributed to the Salvation Army’s shaker tin as part of their Souper Heroes fundraiser, will update when I know how much we raised.
On 29th April NPCG hosted a workshop run by Tan Fowler, themed Crop Rotation and Companion Planting. Tan gave valuable insight into how and why to rotate crops each season and what types of plants are good growing together. We thank Tan for her time and effort to come down to the garden and give a wonderful workshop filled with such useful tips. The bed workshop attendees planted is thriving well. Here is some of what she said.
Crop rotation is a useful tool to have in any garden, it has many benefits that can help your garden prosper! Every plant grows differently and has different interactions with the soil, atmosphere and with other plants and animals. By rotating your crops you can balance nutrients in the soil, reduce pests and overall make it easier for you as a gardener!
Below is Tan’s 7 step guide to rotating crops.
- List all the plants you want to grow.
- Group plants into similar types e.g brassicas, solanums
- Give each group a code letter
- Create a map of your garden beds
- Set each bed a code letter
- For each group decide what plants you want to grow this rotation and plant in corresponding beds
- For the next rotation, move each group one bed, so code letter A moves to B’s space
Companion planting is another wonderful tool to use in your garden, experienced gardeners may already know of several plant combinations. When it comes to companion planting there are four main reason why it’s used.
- Increase flavour! Tomato and basil anyone?
- Reduce pests- French marigolds for nematodes
- Attract beneficial bugs- Flowers for bees
- Structure and shade- corn for beans to climb
- If we want beneficial insects we need the pests that they eat!
- Something that tastes good together most likely grows well together
- Plant something that grows faster between plants that take longer to grow, harvest them whilst the slow growers are still small. Radishes (fast) with carrots (slow)
- One plant is better than a few that will compete for soil nutrients
- Some plants may be used as a sacrifice to pests so that your harvestable crops remain uneaten
One of my favourite notes was Tan’s motto about permaculture: Observe and interact!
This is so true. Gardens are dynamic, every garden is different and every spot in that garden is different, so to find what grows well in that spot…observe and interact!
What a wonderful day it was, the whole of North Perth seemed to be at Woodville to see Alex Lloyd and others perform enjoying a lovely afternoon in the slightly too warm sun.
We had a constant trickle of visitors interested in where we were and what we do. The kids enjoyed making their pots and planting a seed to take home. We had some interest in the plant sales. Everybody was very impressed with what we have achieved in our garden, something which every member can take pride in being a part of. So congratulations everybody on making our garden a success.
Peter Coppin held another very successful workshop on Sunday 26th June about winter fruit tree pruning & maintenance. He explained how to prune to promote size & shape, encourage fruiting and flowers, and maintain the tree’s health. He also answered many participants’ questions about their own tree problems. His workshops are always informative and interesting. Peter will be returning later in the week to do some winter pruning of our trees so say hello if you see him there.
Thank you Peter for taking the time to hold this workshop and also to the committee members who supplied afternoon tea.
We had an incredibly successful afternoon on Friday 24th June, with 17 volunteers from Woodside Petroleum turning up for a very busy and productive afternoon. They moved the compost heaps and bins across the garden to the loading bay area, propagated a whole heap of new plants for the greenhouse, did a whole heap of maintenance on the fruit trees, weeding and tidying of native garden beds and other general jobs around the place. They also removed the pumpkin vine & tidied beside the Men’s Shed, Emily made pumpkin soup with the pumpkin, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all at afternoon tea. Volunteering WA also supplied a very yummy afternoon tea.
Everybody had an enjoyable afternoon, we would like to extend a huge thank you to; Volunteering WA for organising & catering for the event, Woodside Petroleum for allowing their staff to come during work time and finally their staff for volunteering to come and help us. Much was achieved.
We currently have 3 members who regularly supply our worms with their food scraps. We would love to have another 3 to 6 people to contribute to the worm farms on a regular basis. There are some basic guidelines to follow and minimal work involved.
Help reduce your waste going to landfill and at the same time contribute to the health and vitality of NPCG. If you would like to contribute please contact us on our email or via Facebook.