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If you canít eat it, we donít grow it
Unless it attracts bees and other beneficial insects, then why not?
Welcome to the Glenelg North Community Garden. Photo courtesy of Michael Dwyer.
The Glenelg North Community Garden (GNCG) is celebrating its third anniversary with an Open Day this Sunday 15th November, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to visit the garden which is located at the corner of Alison St and Kibby Avenue, Glenelg North.
Produce for sale and exchange. Photo courtesy of Michael Dwyer
This promises to be an excellent opportunity to purchase plants and produce. Also, you will be able to get advice and answers to questions on improving your garden and how to develop your own healthy organic compost.
The Open Day is going to have lots of different varieties of plants for sale, including ornamental, succulents and that sort of thing, fruit, vegetables and herbs. There will be a BBQ. Visitors are invited to tour around the garden. There will be volunteers on-hand to explain different aspects of the garden as you tour and explore the area.
You may purchase plants and produce from the garden on the day. Photo courtesy of Michael Dwyer.
For visitors who may not be familiar with the GNCG, it commenced in 2012 and has slowly developed from a former tennis court and open grassy paddock area to the garden you see today.
Early days establishing the garden. Photo courtesy of Michael Dwyer.
The Holdfast Bay Council trucked in very good soil and members nourished it with composting sheep and horse manure along with vegetable scraps from the garden. Publicity officer, with GNCG, Michael Dwyer said, "We do hot composting, which means we toss it about every 4 days getting the right amount of air and moisture circulating and within a few weeks we finish-up with perfect compost. It gets hot which kills off any weeds, seeds and nasty things. We invite visitors wanting to learn about improving their composting to ask questions and seek further information."
Composs bays good, but need rebuilding. Photo courtesy of Michael Dwyer.
A real hot compost enthusiast, Michael said, "We built these compost heaps with doors to hold the scraps in place, and then we add an awful lot of manure from the horse stables from the Morphett Road area. We even have some sheep manure at the moment, which someone donated, and we mix it all together."
Mums and dads are invited to bring the kids and introduce yourselves to the worms and learn more about how essential they are to creating your own healthy organic garden. Explore all the interesting things from the berries to the herbs, fruit and vegetables from tomatoes, eggplants, cabbages, zucchini, cauliflower and kale, which is very fashionable today, with its dozen different varieties. If you are not familiar with kale, you cook it like spinach and silverbeet.
Michael said, "Our orchard is coming along, considering we had bare earth in 2012. We planted the orchard around the borders, so in time we hope you will able to stand in the middle and you will see green all around you. In the orchard we tried to get one of everything. So we planted them close together. We have citrus trees, lemons and grapefruit and stone fruit like peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines. We have our berries, a special mention of goji berries. They were so easy to grow. Last year they grew like a weed. They cost a fortune in the shops but you can grow them so easily."
Michael was quite enthusiastic about the lovely and interesting flavour of the Cape gooseberries. He said, "they have a dry leaf which wraps around them like a cape. You pull the lovely little wrapping away and you have the gooseberry. I'm sure the kids will enjoy them too!"
Another very important aspect of the GNCG is how it helps bring the community together, which is hugely important. "We appeal to a wide age group," said Michael. "We are always interested in new members. We encourage people if they are thinking of becoming a new member to have a think about when they can come down. Come along, mix around with others. Find out if you like our jokes, then settle back and work out whether you want to come along on a regular basis. Thursdays and Saturdays are our big days."
Michael said," The more effort you put in to the garden the more you entitle yourself to take from the garden. Members are the only ones who can take from the garden. We have a lot of projects and we would love them all to be flying high, but they all need a champion at the top to push them forward. This is good, because this is what keeps people interested."
Establishing path ways and lush expanding garden areas.. Photo courtesy of Michael Dwyer.