We had another large harvest of rocket, mizuna, komatsuna, mustard (ruby streaks, golden streaks), land cress, silverbeet, lettuce (cos, Amish deer tongue, freckles bunte), curly endive, coriander, French sorrel, kale (Russian, curly, cavolo nero), rhubarb, some peas, a few broad beans, herbs (parsley, mint, chives, thyme, sage etc.) and two parsnips. Photo of Judith with a three fingered parsnip:
We planted ‘Sydney’ rhubarb crowns in the Secret Garden, ‘Hawaiian’ sweet potato in the Kitchen Garden and the first sweet basil seedlings. We built climbing frame for beans and sowed climbing beans ‘Purple King’ and bush beans ‘Brown Beauty’ and ‘Hawkesbury Wonder’.
Two members sowed tomatoes ‘Tommy Toe’ and ‘Yellow Currant’ in pots for taking home to grow into seedlings for our garden. This Sunday there will be another opportunity to pot seeds.
During the week Judith led a group of thirteen members of the National Parks Association through our garden. They were impressed with the variety of plants and particularly interested in our worm farms.
It’s time to prevent scurvy! Start adding miner’s lettuce to your salads or cook like spinach. We have some growing at the moment as a first time experiment (photo below). It grows best in shady, damp soil. Miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata, Family: Montiaceae) is a fleshy, winter annual native to the west coast of North America. Also known as Winter Purslane it is not related to lettuce. It gets its name from miner’s eating it during the 1840s California gold rush to prevent scurvy.
Daniel Harris, Community Garden and Volunteer Coordinator for the City of Sydney, visited the garden on Sunday. The following issues were discussed:
- Native Bee Workshop Saturday 9 November 9-12am. The City has reserve 3 spots for St Helen’s community gardeners and those places are free of charge OR you can book a place for $10/$7.50 on https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/native-beekeeping-workshop
Places are limited.
- Kitchen waste and our compost overload. We explained that we are overwhelmed with people wanting to bring their kitchen waste to the garden for us (Michael) to compost. Everyone is trying to reduce waste to landfill and there is no Council alternative. Daniel said it was an issue experienced by all the community gardens and that he is “working on organising a meeting with our waste strategy team on how we can meet the demands of compost”. Meanwhile we will have to close our “public” compost bin.
- Expanding the Secret Garden. Daniel approved in principal the expansion, at our expense, with three new corrugated colourbond raised beds buts he wants more details and it may require a community notification letter.
- Can’t have champagne and canapés if you haven’t paid your $25 for 2019-2020!! The Lord Mayor is hosting a cocktail reception to thank City of Sydney Volunteers on Wednesday, 27 November 2019 in Sydney Town Hall. They need a list of our active members along with their emails so that they can send out invitations. We will do that.
SAVE THE DATE: The visit by the children from the Library is now Tuesday, 22 Oct at 11:15. Theresa will lead the activities but welcomes help from other members.