Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 27 & 28

Hello all,

Although this week was the last official gardening session for this semester (in lieu of the exam period), Amy will be taking over for the month of June, so everyone's still welcome to come around at the same times of Wed 10-12 and Thurs 2-4 to help out with the garden!

The garden is looking very healthy and is constantly in the process of being improved...!

The Bak-choys are almost ready for pickin'!

Just this week, Sally spearheaded the construction of a new herb bed right below Bed 1. Also, Edwina from the ANUGreen came around to film the garden for a promotional video on campus sustainability activities.

Permaculturalist Barbara Schreiner also paid the garden a visit and suggested a couple of interesting things to "sustainabilise" the garden even more--ie. using old twigs as stakes for the peas.

Just before you go through the pictures, 2 quick reminders:

1) The End-of-Semester BBQ/movie night is set for June 26, around 4pm! Come one, come all and join in the festivities. Details to follow soon!

2) the Great Green Debate, sponsored by the SLC, is also running on June 5 in Bruce Hall. Everyone's welcome to catch the panel discussion on the topic "The role of business in building sustainable futures" beginning 730pm in the Bruce Hall Dining Hall. Look to the SLC and Garden bulletins for details!

Some pictures from the garden this week....

Sal laying down newspapers for the new herb bed

Edwina filming Sal's gypsum sprinkling abilities

Sal putting in some water crystals for the plum tree


Sal teaching Lawrence proper mint transplanting

Trish staking snowpeas with twigs (the idea being while recycling these twigs, they provide the peas a random structure to cling to)

How cool is that?

Bigger, better, and greener (Amy and Trish weeding)!

Thanks to everyone who's been involved in truly making the organic garden into the big, fun, and healthy community project that it is.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

May 21, 22 & 24

Here's some highlights from the week...!

Jia Yun and Amy staking and stringing the peas

All staked and ready to grow straight

Potato tires/bins below bed 4


Keen minds and hands setting up a "herb spiral" for the permaculture planting session

Sal spreading out some gypsum

Laura on growing herbs this season

And in less than an hour we were ready to plant in some herbs!

Daniel transplants some lavender on the top layer (note the water crystals on the lower right!)

Efficient watering...

The herb sprial (herbs requiring high moisture on the bottom, dry tolerant herbs on the top):
parsley, sliverbeet, beetroot, strawberry, brithday candles, lavender

Mulching with fallen leaves

A most impressive project

Laura and Sal

Great stuff, yeah? I have to say, I've never seen and done anything quite like it. More to come next semester!

Next Wednesday 10-12pm, ANUGreen will be coming around to video the garden and the wonderful work that we do. Everyone is welcome to come, and be forever remembered in history as having been involved with the Organic Garden...!

Hello to all the new members of the mailing list!

See you all next week.


! The SLC Recipe Corner!

Recipe #2

Hearty Vegetable Soup (submitted by Jenn McMillin)

1/2 packet soup mix (beans, barley, lentils)
1 1/2 L chicken or vegetable stock
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 sweet potato, diced
100g pumpkin, diced

1 turnip, diced
1 parsnip, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
7 black peppercorns
1 tsp dried thyme

Place all ingredients in a large pot, bring to the boil and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

(Keep sending in your recipes to And if it's in season, we'll put it up!)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

May 12-16

The garden is growing really well..., thanks to everyone who's been involved!

The brocollis and the brussel sprouts are coming out impressively, the turnips have got larger since we last thinned them, the onions are coming along pretty well too--an environment centre first, and we've got our first glimpses of broadbean seedlings!

A leaf mould/composting area has also been set-up to prepare our supply of leaf mould for next season's potting mix.

Its growing!

Peas on Bed 1

Brocollis and brussel sprouts on Bed 2

Here come the turnips!

A road of onion tops on Bed 2

Chinese greens on Bed 3

and the Broadbeans finally come out from Bed 3

(some seeds that needed dampening for better germination...will get back to you on the name)---TURNIPS!

Newly built Bed 4 half sown with peas

Leaf mould area

Regular visitors

For next week, everyone's welcome to come around for a permaculture planting session at the environment centre on May 24, 1230-3pm! Bring along a plant to plant around the centre and the garden! Refer to this week's bulletin for details!

Also, for next week's list of things to do, refer to the top right portion of this blog!

Leave a comment!

See you all soon.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

May 5-9

This week, we concentrated on finishing Bed 4, while also making sure Beds 1, 2, & 3 were properly weeded, spaced, and mulched!

We also started discussing where we could potentially set-up our tool shed...we're thinking just beside the old playground by the parking lot.

Robin's got ideas of setting up a BBQ area made from recycled phone books north of the beds too!

Other than that, activities ranged from appreciating our new tools (thanks Jenn!) and sharing Lawrence's birthday cake. Good stuff.

We're also officially launching the SLC Recipe Corner (pardon the creative title) with this week's blog post! In the spirit of self-sufficiency and eating in season, expect yummy recipes--as conjured up by your friends at the organic garden--to be posted at the bottom of (hopefully) every other blog post!

Autumn plan 1 (click for bigger picture)

Autumn plan 2

Trish transplanting

Singgit weeding

Almost done

A glimpse of pea growth

In the midst of gardeners and Robin's, um, gourds

Amy watering

Lawrence testing the new shower head (don't call the cops just yet, it's grey water)

By the way, the weekly list of things to do around the garden will appear on the right hand side of the blog from now on!

See you guys next week!

!The SLC Recipe Corner!

Recipe #1:

Pumpkin and Leek Soup
(submitted by Amy Cheng)

1 leek

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 kg pumpkin

1 clove garlic

250ml vegetable stock

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup cream

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Wash and thinly slice white part of leek. Place olive oil, garlic and leek in a soup pot and cook till leek is soft. Add vegetable stock, peeled and chopped pumpkin. Cover pot and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When pumpkin is soft, use a stick blender and blend until smooth.

Season to taste. Stir in nutmeg, cream and chives.

Serves 4.

(Yum. Do send in your recipes to, and if it's in season, we'll post it!)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

April 28 - May 2

Here's some highlights from the week!

(Note: Pictures from the gardening event with the childcare centre will hopefully be up by next week! Will also insert the original schematics for the garden by this week!)

So the plan is to plant Beds 1&3 with "heavy givers" this season so as to make up for last harvest's heavy feeding crops. "Heavy givers" like peas and beans have been planted on both beds to fix nitrogen back into the soil.

However, we do have some Chinese greens growing on Bed 3 that are transplanted with some broad beans. By the time the broad beans sprout, the greens would've been harvested, so according to Cath, we're technically still right in saying that Bed 3's on the mend.

Bed 2, on the other hand, we've planted with some brassicas. Little turnip and parsnip leaves are starting to show up, and a couple of onion seedlings too!

We've also managed to start terracing the 4th bed.

The garden! (L-R: Bed 3, Bed 2, Bed 1)

From the other side...

Happy peas from Bed 1

Leafy greens from Bed 2

Parsnips and turnips from Bed 2

Chinese greens from Bed 3

Amy terracing up Bed 4

Spine stretching work

Newly painted potato bins for next week's project

Robin, Cath, James


Thanks to Leeanne as well for helping with the weeding!

See you guys next week! We might try and do a bit of netting for Beds 2 & 3, plant some potatoes or start putting some soil in for Bed 4!