Sunday, March 18, 2018

Polytunnel/Shade House

The past weekend has resulted in the part building of the Community Garden polytunnel. The parts of this have been sitting in the container for a year now, and given to us by a farmer I believe. It was way to high and 60 cms was cut off each pole. It is still about 2.4 metres high.

8am start

Some preparation of the  main poles being concreted in, was done earlier in the week.

A working bee on the weekend was organized , and the arches were put together and raised. Initially the whole thing had been cut in half to transport, so was a bit of a jigsaw puzzle working it out.

Morning tea time by we 2 ladies at this stage.

 We also had a couple of really nice, but very heavy gates and these will be used  for keeping it locked and protecting the seedlings as one day we hope to sell them. The 2 local nurseries have now closed.

Looking good

The shade cloth was purchased from a grant, about 9 months ago,  and was used to cover it. We had a lot of trouble fixing it to the board surrounding the base. Although John purchased the correct metal clips, they were useless. In the end they got it fixed with something else.

This polytunnel shade house is 6 m by 4 m and quite big to cover. The green cloth is 50% coverage, and suitable for what we will do. It will also save me a great deal of time starting and looking after seeds at home.

The next trick will be how to sort joining the centre, for another day.

Till next time.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

A Wet Week

Another week gone by, and I am pleased to say we got heaps of rain. Filled the 10,000 litre tank at the Community Gardens, which I am thrilled about. Meant we couldn't get out to our wet yard though.

The seed packets, the members were doing are coming in, plus I did a few more smaller ones and are ready for selling , and looking like a good start.

 John decided to make some birdhouses while it was raining with some old fence palings. These will hopefully sell at the Harmony Day next week. We also were offered another combined Market stall at the end of March,  which if anything is left over, can try again.

Meanwhile at home although too wet to do the garden, which is such a shame as I was hoping to get planting. I did manage to dig up some nut grass and sift a bit for the wooden bed finished, and noticed today more nut grass coming up so will do it again. Gives me a good start even though I know I will never get rid of it.

Bird Feeder in the making.

The protea is still blooming away, it is getting a bit high now so another tree to prune once the rain settles down. I love the shape of them and they last a long time in the vase.

King Protea.

Now that the children have left it is off to do a big tidy and clean. No washing, it is still raining, one of those dull days to curl up with a project.  How was your week?

Till next time.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Life Happens with a Garden

What a busy week I have had, this week. It has been all go,go,go. The first thing was getting the house organized for an overnight stay by the Sydney family of 5 on their way for a gold coast holiday. Of course all my sewing, ironing in the spare bedrooms had to be sorted, which took several days. I  managed to finish off two cushions for the caravan in the middle of that.

Made with Outdoor Fabric

These are much bigger to lean on for a couch effect on the beds,  as I found the smaller ones I made too small and not comfortable.

Squaring it all off.

John has been putting together another bed despite our very hot weather,  plus installing orange pipe for holding the hoops and bean structures as required.

Edging done at sitting height plus orange pipes for putting polypipe into

This is our front verandah at the moment. No visitors please.

The other side, started  pulling apart the 2nd tin bed which is all rusty.

Getting ready to weed this, for the long beds to be place here.

I have been working on seeds again, this time getting a collection together in order for the members to glue and stick labels on. Ordered seed packets and a stamp then made 12 packets consisting of seeds, 8 stamped envelopes, instructions and pictures all to glue and stick and add the seeds to which I gave out today at the meeting.

Seeds packets done ready for  selling.

Every flat surface in the house is covered in something. Now that it is all in the computer, everything  is  ready for printing, and next time it will be a little easier and I only have to add new ones as they come along.

Yep one flat surface.

The best news of all is that this past fortnight John and I have been working on getting a pavilion together. We are changing our Community Garden insurance through Landcare and managed to save enough money through that, to put away next years as well, plus gain some more to join with the Fund Raising money I did last year. We can now  order a double gable roofed carport 6m x 6m.

Sign I designed and ordered for our Markets stands when we need it.

 It has to go through council of course and I had fingers crossed presenting it to the members and after much discussion they passed that it be purchased. Another long process to go before council etc. and the members will have to put it together but now I can put a deposit on it, while we wait for all the approvals needed. It is going to make such difference to the running of the Garden. So exciting.

In 2 weeks we are having a working bee to finally put the  2nd hand Polytunnel up as well.

Definitely been a great meeting this month.

Till Next Time.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Organising The Fridge and Freezer.

Recently I have been reading a lot about getting your Fridge or Freezer into some sort of order. None of that chucking stuff in, then scrambling around looking for something. Worse still, is when it is finally cleaned, throwing out  food, that you paid for because it was out of date, or beyond using or just plain yucky!

My small freezer.

I have a small 6 drawer freezer, and a freezer above the fridge and another fridge downstairs with the freezer below the fridge. The downstairs one is great for those bulk items, big lamb roast, garden produce, and sometimes rice or bread flour which I buy in bulk.

Freezer drawer mixed everything.

Normally I clean my drawer freezer every 3 months approximately, it takes that long for the ice to get way too much. Usually on a Friday also, as that is the day I wash, so throwing towels on the floor in front of a defrosting freezer saves a frustrating time of cleaning up the water.

Fridge Freezer

Even though at cleaning time I try to organize, by the time 3 months is up, there is no rhyme or reason to any organisation.

With gift card in hand I headed off down to Kmart and purchased $3 and $4 boxes that fit into the freezer. The drawers are quite little actually but I worked out that one small one will fit in 1 kg of vegetables. Four will also fit into one drawer.

Few for testing

The bigger ones only 2 but they will hold mostly my own frozen vegetables from the garden, or for me to work out exactly how much various styles meat they wil hold.

4 small containers fit neatly plus a bit extra for small things.

Of course you can not look at a freezer without noting the fridge, so out all that came as well,  washed a sorted. For the fridge I purchased glass containers with plastic lids, Plus some small clear plastic holders.

Cleaned out and ready

Fridge door compartments. Looking at holding smoothie fruit/veg.

It is still work in progress, need a few more containers but hopefully this will "smarten" us up and make things manageable. The downstairs will hold the bulk items and the upstairs will be what is in constant use and in the case of garden vegetables can refill containers as needed.

Neat and Tidy and working on it, more containers needed.
Fridge Freezer Test

What have I learnt.? As I don't plan menus, buying anything is rather vague, bit  of meat few veg, whats on special, forgetting bulk garden veg., or actually how much is there. Buying peas for instance in case I have run out.

That maybe having a menu or meal suggestions may help, after 45 years though?
Whether to keep meat in drawer freezer, veg.  little freezer but fruit and icecream needs a spot.

Is there too much frozen veg, so cut down on planting it, or go more vegetarian. Currently we are trialling a no carb. diet, which means more meat lol.
A few decisions to make, but it is a start.

Any hints would be a great help. Till next time.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Community Garden Update.

We are all celebrating the arrival of our large water tank, donated by the council. It has taken a year of waiting, and finally it is here. Thanks to one of our member's sons, we have photos of the day. There is more on the South Coffs Community Garden facebook site.

Getting it off the truck.

Crane is part of truck.

 The men had already hooked up two IBC's, which hold 1000 litres, which has been a relief from bringing  water in, but the tank holds 10000 litres, a big difference.

Getting it into place.

Many hands make light work.

It has been 9 months since I became garden co-ordinator, so looking  back, the group have  been very productive. Lots of different vegetables have been taken home by all, and of course lots of seeds to sell on. At the moment I am getting together seed envelopes, and a stamp made with our name, to make up our own seed packets for sale.

Whit spine cucumber ...delicious

The red container now has new shelves in the back of it with a new wall across at the halfway mark roughly, and a locked door, to protect all the expensive tools and such.
The space in front can now take the wheelbarrows, trolleys and ladder. The white container is our office space plus a few garden things, but we can also run meetings in there which happened last meeting due to a spot of rain.

Cherry tomatoes

Thai eggplant

With the tank now in we can finally put the polytunnel up. There had to be space left for the council truck to deliver the tank. One day I hope to sell seedlings either at a yearly festival with market stalls etc. and monthly sales. This then hopefully will help pay for insurance, fertilizers and tools.



Once the hot weather is over we can start the next phase, fruit trees, entrance arch, childrens area, which will be a project with  Special Ed kids next month.

Exciting times ahead

Till next time.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sydney Weekend

To celebrate our 45th anniversary I bought tickets to Shen Yun. It is a form of dance and the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, a classical Chinese culture  that according to the program, has almost been destroyed under communist rule. In 2006 the company was formed , and even today are not allowed to perform in China. There are now 5 troupes touring the world. The Fei Tian College is  in New York, where classical Chinese dance is taught, plus Xian Yun Academy of the Arts in San Francisco.

Held at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney, and  part of the Star Casino complex.

Stairs up to Casino

We had lunch first in the food court, which is unlike any food court I have seen. Quiet luxurious. We sat at a booth and enjoyed some Japanese food.

Interesting trees caught my eye and part of Lunar 2018 Wish upon a Tree.

View from the top floor of the city, and harbour, taken by John as you had to walk up a long curved flight of stairs (56) made of glass and open, I got up 12 of them but that was it, too scary.

The show started at 2pm and lasted 2 1/2 hrs. The following photos are from the Program as we weren't allowed photography of course.

Note their shoes. Only ones used and a great balance. They danced using a form of beige anklet sock, normally.

My favourite mens dance, the backgrounds were like a movie and interactive. A patented art form.

In China these dances have a spiritual meaning to it, and we watched different stories, and various forms of dance, gorgeous costumes, and the live orchestra combined of classical and chinese instruments, for me it was colourful, beautiful and fantastic dancing. Part ballet, and synchronized movements.

Shen Yun Trailer 1

Shen Yun Trailer 2

This was the last performanc in Sydney, and are off to Adelaide, then Auckland.

On our way back to our daughters we decided to have a pub dinner, who wants to cook after being out all day.

It has been a fantastic trip.

Till next time.