Working Bee — 16 May, 2010

These glorious autumn days are the perfect time to be gardening, and once again we had a great roll up of over 30, including a happy band of children.

The main tasks for the day were to

  • hand pull the 2 metre tall weeds known as “Apple of Peru”
  • slash the green manure crop
  • complete the cladding of the tool shed
  • start preparing the main beds for planting out

We have purchased tools and wheelbarrows and a 22,000 litre water tank which will shortly be installed adjacent to the bore. We will be using this for bore water storage for irrigation. This will be the first time that we can confidently grow a commercial crop.

Children playing on the Kubota tractor and a toy tractor

SAGE junior workers

Michael brought his old Kubota along to try to incorporate the green manure into the beds, but the plants were too fibrous.

We decided instead to slash the green manure with scythe and whipper snipper and leave them to wilt before turning in.

A SAGE member pulling out shoulder-high weed called Apple of Peru

Emerging from the jungle

A team of SAGE members hand pulling Apple of Peru from the commercial beds

Hand pulling "Apple of Peru"

The tall plant known as “Apple of Peru” fortunately has a small root system and is relatively easy to pull out. Once they were pulled, we stacked them into windrows for future composting. This will also help contain the seeds which are contained in a tomato type fruit (it is a member of the Solanacae family). The green manure plants (mustard, lupins, cow peas) have all done well despite the lack of rain.

A SAGE member piling Apple of Peru into a windrow

Piling "Apple of Peru" into windrows

A local biodynamic grower runs a workshop on caring for fruit orchards

Walter sharing his orchard expertise

Every working bee day we have an education session, and today our local BioDynamic guru Walter Kohler gave us a fascinating insight into the insect kingdom, with particular reference to orchard and vegetable growing. Click here to read more about Walter’s talk.

A group of kids playing with dirt and wheelbarrows

Soil and wheelbarrows -- a winning combo

The individual allotments (visible in the background of the photo above) are now fully subscribed and we are investigating other methods for people to be involved on a regular basis. Each of the 40 commercial beds will be allocated to an individual or group who will be responsible for the maintenance of that bed.

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