The SAGE Garden began as a mass of head-high weeds. It’s almost impossible to imagine when looking at the garden today. After an initial onslaught with machinery, the battle against the phragmites was won with sheer persistence, rhizome disruption and hand-pulling. We’re still pulling them out, years later!
With small steps, monthly working bees and a group of hardworking, inspiring leaders, the garden today is a showcase of how we can grow food for ourselves and also for profit.
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The garden is always changing. For example, since the above photo was taken, a native flowering garden has been planted to attract pollinators.
We finally reached our ambitious goal of installing an accessible composting toilet on site in 2019 — a vital development to improve everyone’s experience using the garden.
The grant received to fund the composting toilet also provided for paving from the front garden, right throughout “the roof” area and into the backyard, improving the accessibility of the garden even further.
The garden is often used for social events, which are becoming more popular. Work on a food safety compliant kitchen is now underway (August 2019) to help us better cater for our guests.
The front garden demonstrates how we can use perennial species to create an attractive and aromatic street-facing garden while still producing food, while the backyard focusses on growing vegetables for the kitchen using waterwise wicking beds.
“The roof” area represents the house and is where we hold the theory sessions for workshops, committee meetings, discussion panels such as our “Chew the Fat” event and serves as the dance floor for our social events. It also collects rainwater and solar energy.
Another item on the wish list is to fully net the orchard and incorporate chickens into the food production mix.
We’ve come a long way since 2009, but we still have a long way to go.
In 2017, SAGE ran a series of 2-hour workshops at various locations within the Eurobodalla that introduced novices to home gardening. The series of workshops called “Veggies for All” was supported with grant funds from IMB Bank and donations from a number of local businesses which made it possible to offer the workshops for just $10 per person and install a raised garden bed complete with soil, seedlings and mulch for participants holding a concession card.
YOU CAN REGISTER YOUR INTEREST IN THE 2018 “VEGGIES FOR ALL” WORKSHOPS
Dates are yet to be finalised, but workshops will run from mid July to mid October in Narooma, Tuross Head, Moruya, Mogo and Batemans Bay.
COST $15 PER PERSON.
Fill in the form below and we will contact you when dates have been set.
It was a huge success, introducing scores of people to growing food at home. Demand for the raised veggie beds was so overwhelming, SAGE responded by establishing our Garden Partners program.
Anyone can now order a delivered and fully installed raised veggie bed from a small size model at just $200 to a larger size at $285.
The whole package contains:
choice from a range of different raised bed garden designs
top quality veggie mix soil from D & A Excavations, Bodalla
organic sugar cane mulch
local seasonal seedlings from Moruya
It’s ideal for people with busy lifestyles who want to eat healthy, fresh and organic food. It’s also suitable for people with physical limitations, but still want to garden.
We’ve calculated that up to $600 can be saved on food costs over three years!!
To help people keep gardening year after year, SAGE Garden Partners is now offering a range of additional services.
You can get help with:
re-stocking veggie beds with high quality soil, mulch and seedlings
advice on how to grow more of your own seasonal food
These maintenance services are charged at $30/hour per person, plus a location fee to cover members’ transport costs. Proceeds go to SAGE to continue funding the Garden Partners program.
To book your Garden Partners veggie bed installation or enquire about maintenance services, contact Kathryn on 0467 558 645 or Rob on 0412 756 010.
Following the success of the Tilba Food Share, SAGE launched Moruya’s own food share group. The SAGE Food Share takes place on the 3rd Sunday of every month, when residents of Moruya and the surrounding areas congregate at the SAGE Garden from 9.30am – 11am to swap and share their garden excess.
Food shares are a fantastic opportunity to share excess fresh or dried produce, preserves, and seeds and to take home excess product from someone else. If you don’t have excess product on the day of the food share, bring your knowledge or questions, and interact with members of your community.
The SAGE Food Share includes morning tea, with tea and coffee provided. If you have a dish or drink to share, you are welcome to bring it along with the recipe so others can learn to make and enjoy it too. The Food Share is not about placing monetary value on produce. Participants bring and take as much or as little as they would like. As long as you connect with community and respect it, food is free.
For more information, contact Sasha Ermichina on 0431 049 044.
Each year when springs rolls in, we dream of the abundance we will have in the garden — beautiful red tomatoes, tasty capsicums and fruit trees laden with produce (including citrus) — and each year the fruit fly returns, causing significant losses — the loss of quality food for the home gardener, and a significant loss of income to local farmers and market gardeners.
Over the last 10 or so years, the fruit pest known as the Queensland Fruit Fly has spread further south in eastern Australia than it was previously thought possible. At the very same time, the number of approved pesticides used to control fruit fly for backyarders and commercial growers has decreased significantly.
SAGE recognises that a coordinated community effort is required, both urban and rural, to control this threat to our food supply. As such, we now hold regular information sessions about how you can do your part to fight the fruit fly menace!
QFly spend the majority of time in the host tree in the shade of the canopy.
They need a balanced diet of proteins (manures, bacteria on leaf surfaces) and carbohydrates (fruit juices, secretions from aphids and scale etc) for a long life and to reproduce.
The urban environment suits the Qfly better than rural as there is more shelter, host fruit trees, humid micro-climates, therefore urban areas are going to require more vigilance.
Male QFly usually mate once a night, at dusk during a half hour period and the temperature needs to be at least 15°C. They can survive to -2°C in winter but do not mate in these temperatures. They need a protein source before mating.
A female QFLy needs to feed on protein source before laying eggs which she does at dawn and for a few hours after.
Adult QFly can live for a number of months and the female can lay between 500 and 800 eggs in suitable conditions.
A healthy adult QFly can travel long distances, but up to 1km is more normal.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
There’s a lot we can do to control Fruit Fly, but at the very least, we need to pay attention to HYGIENE.
Pick up all fallen fruit. This breaks the cycle as larvae cannot pupate. Destroy fallen fruit with heat: in a black plastic bag in hot sun, in a fire, or a microwave, then compost them. Without heat treatment do NOT bury, put in your bin or put in your compost pile, as they will continue to pupate to adults.