A monthly column by the (new) President of our Blairgowrie Community Garden, Wendy Turner.
Dear fellow community gardeners,
We've been so lucky with working bee weather and last Sunday was no exception. Another sizeable group of members were able to attend to undertake tasks such as cleaning out the hothouse to identify seedlings to plant and prepare for the next batch of seed raising; we made a wonderful propagating mix by following Robyn's (Transition Farm) recipe so no need to buy it retail in the future; disinfected and scrubbed seed pots; renovated garden beds for planting; removed the netting from beds as it had done its job in keeping unwanted pests from our young produce; harvested broad beans, snow peas (they're purple!) and beetroot, some of which had been gnawed by slaters (will have to protect them differently next time); made tomato 'enclosures' so that we don't have to stake, and soaked the seedlings in weak Seasol and watered the planting beds so that the moisture level matched, this made planting so much easier. Mulched, watered, weeded and then sat down together to a lovely sausage sizzle, coleslaw, onions and delicious home baked treats.
Thank you again to those who were able to attend. Thank you also to all others for being members who were unable to attend on the day.
We are thrilled with the irrigation system installed by Tony's team as it will make such a difference to our young plants.
I look forward to seeing some of you at the National Community Gardens open day on Sunday 26 November, the next working bee on 3 December or the Christmas party on Friday 15 December.
Our watering roster for this summer is being handled by Vivien Smale. If you want to be added to the roster please contact her on 0400 778 668. The new watering system is installed on some beds, but there is still hand watering to be done.
We are starting up a Thursday garden pottering group. There are members who can't make it on weekends and just feel like spending an hour or so in the garden doing odd jobs. It's always better working with other people so please come along and give a hand maintaining our garden. Thursday mornings 9am to 11am.
Our gate code is about to be changed so this week is your last chance to pay your membership fees for our 23/24 year. Only $20 per family. Details on how to pay are on our website: www.blairgowriecommunitygarden.org If you can't recall if you have paid contact Warwick Watson on 0421 055 709
When the gate code is changed all 2023/2024 financial members will be sent the new code by email.
If anyone has any rusty old tools or farm implements that would look good hanging on our fence collection we would welcome them. Please drop them at the garden.
Members are reminded you can bring down your home kitchen green waste and drop it off at the garden into our compost bays or in the green bin at the gate; leaves and very small stuff from your garden is good but please no branches or woody materials. And the green plastic bags the council supply may break down in a professional composting situation but not in our compost bays.
This years Xmas Party in the Garden is on Friday 15th Dec at 5pm. BYO drinks and nibbles.
New watering system under construction
If you visit the garden you will see that some of our raised beds now have sprinklers installed. A control unit is installed in the pavilion, with 12 volt cable laid underground to the garden to connect to solenoids to turn zones on as programmed. Zone 1 is the four beds on the right just as you walk in the gate and is complete and working. Zone 2 is the 3 beds on the left and is under construction and due to be finished soon. Then we move on to zone 3 which is 3 beds at the north end. This fantastic system is not cheap and is a lot of work to install, however the end result will be worth all the effort.
Thanks to everyone who purchased wine in our fundraiser to help pay for this project. You contributed just over $1,000. In addition we also had recent donations from Sue Cant & Jim Grigoriou, Pamela & John Dewhurst, and Wendy Turner & Warwick Watson. Thank you very much. Any donations are most welcome.
We use a key safe to contain the keys to the pavilion. The old key safe on the gate has been replaced with a wall mounted version fixed to the pavilion under cover next to the door. It uses the same code as the gate padlock.
We now hold working bees for all members at the garden on the 1st Sunday of every month starting at 10 am to noon.
We finish with morning tea in the garden if the weather is suitable, otherwise in the pavilion. Members are welcome to bring a plate.
Your Committee that was elected at our General Meeting Sept 2023 for the 12 months of our 2023/2024 year are:
President: Wendy Turner
Vice President: Tony Weir
Secretary: Libby Weir
Treasurer – Warwick Watson
General committee members:
Anne van Veen
Our General Committee now has an enthusiastic group of members, however if you would like to help out we are always looking for members to join our sub-committees. You do not need to be on the General Committee.
Please contact Wendy Turner (email@example.com) if you would like to assist.
Communication to Members
All our communication is via email. We do not post out anything. It is your responsibility to keep your email contact details with us up to date. Please send any amendments to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Committee have drawn up a simple set of Garden Rules:
All plots are communal and major gardening decisions will be made by consensus of the committee and members.
Tools must be cleaned and put away when not in use and if any tools or areas are damaged, please contact a committee member.
Children to be supervised.
No smoking inside the garden area or pavilion.
No dogs allowed
Ensure premises are locked when leaving.
We respect the environment and do not use any harmful chemicals to control weeds and pests.
Settle any dispute through calm discussion and goodwill. If issue remains unsolved the committee will have final decision.
These rules will be on display in the pavilion.
Your Committee meets every month.
Please note the Committee will have an agenda to work through, but we want this to be an inclusive group and all members are welcome to attend Committee Meetings. Please contact our President Anne van Veen prior to the meeting if you wish to attend.
Membership stays at $20 for a family for 2023/2024 year
Our $20 household membership fee remains unchanged. Our membership year runs from 1st September to 31st August each year. All members are asked to pay their new years subs via direct bank deposit. The gate access code will be changed end of October.
Existing members: you do not need to fill in a new membership form. Please just pay via direct bank transfer to:
Bendigo Bank bsb 633 000 account number: 167642008
account name: Blairgowrie Community Garden.
Make sure you add your name to the bank transfer.
New Members: please click the "Join Us" tab on this website and complete the online application form and pay your $20 fee.
Thank you for your support of the community garden. We look forward to your membership renewal.
Use of the Pavilion
Included in our lease with Council we have the rights to use the old tennis pavilion.
Access to the pavilion is via keys which are in the key safe next to the pavilion door. The key safe uses the same 4 digit code as the garden access gate.
It is our responsibility to keep it clean and tidy. The kitchen has a kettle and the Garden provides tea bags and instant coffee so please help yourself. There is a fridge in the kitchen but it is not feasible for the Garden to supply fresh milk, so please bring your own or check in the cupboard as there may be long life milk there.
There is a first aid kit and sunscreen in the kitchen. During working bees and open days over summer members are reminded to use the sunscreen. There is also a big supply of hand sterilizer in the pavilion which was donated to us.
Access to our garden
All members have been supplied with the code for the padlock which allows access to the garden. Some members have had trouble opening the padlock. Some of that is caused by the previous person locking the gate; please ensure that the "Master" brand name is facing up when the lock is closed. Otherwise it will be upside down for the next person.
If you have the correct 4 digit code you will not need to force the padlock, but it does not pop open, just a gentle pull. If you are having problem opening the lock here is a short video.