Another sunny and busy Sunday with twenty members and one child working in the garden. At our meeting we welcomed four new members: Raiden, Maria, Laura and Michael. We harvested more turmeric and a basket full of Jerusalem artichokes (see photo below). The harvest was similar to previous weeks some nice beetroot, broccoli, radishes, baby carrots, coriander, Russian kale, curly kale, Cavolo nero kale, lettuce (Freckles bunte, Amish deer tongue, cos), sorrel, parsley and lots of mustard greens (Ruby Streaks, Golden Streaks, Musard Cabbage, mizuna, mizuna red & lime streaks, Komatsuna, Komatsuna Tokisan, rocket Apollo, rocket Runway, land cress). Young Charlie enjoyed the first of our sugar snap peas.
We sowed silverbeet ‘Perpetual’ (Beta vulgaris ssp. cicla) and dill ‘Bouquet’ (Anethum graveolens).
The miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata) we sowed two weeks ago has germinated well. It is also known as Indian lettuce but is not a true lettuce. It is not even in the same family. It is a flowering plant in the Montiaceae Family and is native to North America. Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) belongs to the Daisy Family Asteraceae [Compositae]. The three lettuce cultivars we are growing this year are “pick and come again” types: ‘Amish deer tongue’, ‘freckles bunte’ and ‘green cos’. Just pick outer leaves as you need them. (photos below).
At our meeting we also decided to hold our Annual General Meeting on Sunday 4th August in the garden at 10:30am. All positions are open for nomination: Co-ordinators (TWO), Secretary, Treasurer. During the week we purchase two large compost bins to accommodate all the compost we are processing.
It’s time to renew our membership contribution of $25 for the new financial year (July 2019 to June 2020). Please deposit direct to our Commonwealth Bank (account number in email) using your name as our reference OR give cash/cheque/bitcoins to Jan/Michael/Jock. If you have joined since 1st January this year then you don’t have to pay.
Sunday was foggy and cold but 16 members and two children worked in the garden. We harvested more turmeric, some broccoli, radishes, baby carrots, coriander, Russian kale, curly kale, Cavolo nero kale, our first lettuce (Freckles bunte, Amish deer tongue, cos), sorrel, parsley and lots of mustard greens (Ruby Streaks, Golden Streaks, Musard Cabbage, mizuna, mizuna red & lime streaks, Komatsuna, Komatsuna Tokisan, rocket Apollo, rocket Runway, land cress). See below for photos and location in garden.
We sowed something we haven’t grown before: miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata) also known as Indian lettuce or winter purslane is a flowering plant in the Montiaceae Family native to North America. It is a winter salad green with fleshy succulent leaves. All parts of the plant are edible and it gets its name because miners in California ate it during the 1850s gold rush to stave off scurvy. It will tolerate shade. We also sowed more Amish deer tongue, freckles bunte, mizuna, coriander, cherry belle radish and rocket. We buried turmeric rhizomes we had saved. They will sprout in spring and meanwhile we will have lettuce growing above them in SG1.
The various mustard greens all belong to the Family Brassicaceae. Currently we are growing and picking 13 varieties:
||Cultivar/ common name
||Location in our garden
||1.Ruby Streaks/Red Elk/ Wasabi Greens F1
2. Golden Streaks F1
3. Ruby Streaks self sown or saved seeds
|Brassica juncea coss
||Mustard Cabbage/ Gai Choy/Kai Tsoi
|Brassica rapa var. perviridis
||1. Komatsuna/Japanese Mustard Spinach
2. Komatsuna Tokisan F1
|Brassica rapa var. nipponsinica
||1. Mizuna Diggers
2. Mizuna Red and Lime Streaks
3. Mizuna self sown or our seeds
||Land cress/Upland cress
||1. Rocket/Roquette/Arugula (saved seeds)
2. Apollo (large leaves)
3. Runway (deeply serrated leaves)
On Sunday we welcomed three new members: Kerri and Thomas and Eliska and their young daughter Rachel. Twenty-two members and two children worked in the garden. We transplanted crowded cos, coriander and rocket seedlings and sowed some more dill seeds. We planted yacon our saved rhizomes in the Kitchen Garden.
The harvest included some ripe pepinos and more Jerusalem artichokes. Other crops we picked were radishes, more ginger, kale (Russian, curly and cavolo nero), some nice beetroot, rhubarb, rocket, mizuna, silverbeet, land cress, parsley, ruby streaks, golden streaks, Chinese cabbage, komatsuna and the first baby carrots. Unfortunately during the week our broccoli heads were picked by visitors. We have put netting over the cumquat to preserve the harvest and will have to do this for other crops like broccoli in the future.
Fungi are our friends and a vital component of our garden because they, along with bacteria and invertebrates, help to break down plant material in our compost and make nutrients available for our plants. But beware because some (toadstools) in our garden are poisonous. They also have a bad press amongst humans because of ringworm and tinea, both fungi. They are not plants and have their own kingdom, the Fungi Kingdom. Mushrooms and toadstools are merely the fruiting bodies of an underground network of interconnected threads known as mycelium. The photo below shows the white threads forming a mycelium in our compost.
Some harmless fungi like powdery mildew, downy mildew and rust, are parasitic on plants but don’t kill their hosts. We get powdery and dowyn mildew particularly on our rocket, peas and cucurbits and rust on our beans.
Two poisonous toadstools I have seen in the garden recently are illustrated in the photos below:
About 20 members and family braved a cold and blustery winter solstice celebration in the garden on Sunday. Delicious home cooked food was enjoyed made with love and a variety of plants from the garden: freshly picked radishes, yacon, Jerusalem artichokes, greens, mustard, kale, herbs and edible flowers. Steve generously donated his chutneys and relishes with their unique St Helen’s label to raise funds for the garden. Our papaya, ginger, turmeric and galangal went into his various concoctions. We raised $295. There are still some bottles of hot chilli sauce, very hot chilli sauce ($10) and jars of green papaya chutney ($5) left over. Please return your bottles and jars for Steve to reuse.
Before the event a few members turned up and we picked radishes, greens, mustard, kale and dug up the yacon, saving the rhizomes for next year.
All this week the Glebe Society has events at the Harold Park Community Hall Tramsheds to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The exhibition includes photos of our garden.
There are also walking tours of Glebe and talks, see www.glebesociety.org.au
We received a request from a Professor at Macquarie Uni asking to complete a survey on community gardens which I filled out on behalf of our group.
Costa needs votes for a Logi for ABC Gardening Australia. Go online and vote to help him get one.
Thanks to Tim who has fixed the table ready for the party
Don’t forget to bring the family to our winter solstice celebration and brunch this coming Sunday, 23 June after gardening at 11:00 am. Husbands/wives/partners and children are invited. Bring a plate of food and drinks to share. Reusable or compostable plates, cups, cutlery please, no plastic throwaway. Steve has made and donated his famous tomato chutney, green papaya chutney, tomato sauce, chilli sauce, kasundi relish and kumquat marmalade. They will be on sale to raise funds for the garden.
Sunday 16th seven members came but the rain put an early end to gardening. The previous Sunday 14 members and two children came. We picked more greens and kale, transplanted seedlings and dug up some more ginger and Jerusalem artichokes.
Jan has sent the photos below of a summer garden in Milan which has, as well as herbs and vegetables, a grain crop. Jan suggests we try a grain crop next season and make some bread.
The Pocket Farm in Camperdown has an oped day this Saturday, 22nd.
The Glebe Society 50th anniversary celebrations run all next week 23-30th at the Harold Park Community Hall Tramsheds. The exhibition includes photos of our garden.
There are also walking tours of Glebe and talks, see www.glebesociety.org.au
Thanks to Tim who has fixed the table ready for the Solstice party.
On Sunday three members from the community garden at Reconciliation Park, Redfern, visited to see our garden and to find out how we operate. We showed them around and they met members. This interaction with other community gardens can only enhance the community gardening network.
On Sunday 15 members were present and we harvested more greens, mustard cabbage etc. We dug up some good ginger rhizomes along with more turmeric. The galangal rhizomes were not very well developed so we left most of them in the tub. Some of the ginger, galangal, turmeric along with two green papayas were given to Steve to make his famous relishes and chutneys which he will donate to raise funds for the garden. They will be for sale at out Solstice Party.
To clarify terms: A rhizome is a swollen length of underground stem that grows horizontally and forms roots on its underside while leaves and new stems sprout from the top. Examples are ginger, galangal, turmeric. A tuber is a storage organ formed from a root or stem. This organ develops eyes or buds all over its surface. Examples are Jerusalem artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes. Our yacon (Peruvian ground apple) that we will harvest for the Solstice Party has both a reddish rhizome at the base of the stem best for propagation and larger brown tubers which are eaten raw. A bulb is formed from the plant stem and leaves e.g. garlic.
Members might be interested in the “pop up Lawn Library” events coming up at the community centre at the Tramsheds, especially Indira Naidoo speaking on community and kitchen gardens, this Friday, 6 June, 5-6pm. FREE Bookings essential! https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/
Members might also have friends who would be interested in a new community garden proposed for a site near the old children’s hospital. The meeting is at the Deus Café, 98 Parramatta Road on Sunday the 9th June at 2:30
FREE: The Council has published an excellent book “Creating habitat for urban wildlife” that lists and gives photos of native plants that will bring wildlife to your garden or balcony. Pick up a free copy from the Council desk in the Glebe Library.
[Some wildlife we don’t like: chase away the ibis that is digging up our garden.]
Save the date: We will hold our winter solstice celebration and brunch on Sunday, 23 June after gardening at 11:00 am. Husbands/wives/partners and children are invited. Bring a plate of food and drinks to share.
On Sunday eighteen members picked a wide variety of greens, herbs, mustard cabbage, turnip tops, Japanese turnips, silverbeet and a big harvest of Jerusalem artichokes. We sowed some endive and planted some seedlings of silverbeet and cos lettuce and relocated some mustard seedlings. Thanks to Tim who put up some bird netting around our green papayas before the possums eat them.
Don’t forget to chase away the ibis that is digging up our garden.