Working Bee — 20 June, 2010

Another gloriously sunny winter day greeted our eager bunch of SAGErs for our June working bee.

A great amount of work was completed after a comprehensive demonstration by Fraser of the new cultivation tools recently purchased from Gundaroo Tiller. You can read a report of that demonstration here.

Our volunteers made short work of preparing another 4 or 5 rows in the commercial beds with our new tools and a number of crops were planted including carrots, parsnips, radishes, turnips and kohl rabi. There were many comments about how easy and pleasurable the soil at the site is to work.

SAGE members enjoying working with the new tools which make bed preparation so much easier

The new tools make bed preparation so much easier -- and no tractor necessary

A SAGE member uses a broadfork to keep the hose off the bed as he waters in a new crop

A broadfork is also handy for keeping the hose off the newly planted bed

With the new blackboard erected on the side of the shed (salvaged thanks to the Education Revolution!), we now have a way to keep track of our cropping activities. In time, we will be developing our record keeping in a more comprehensive manner, which we will share on this website.

A salvaged blackboard is used to keep track of what crop is in which row and when it was planted

Record keeping is rudimentary at this stage, but a more comprehensive system will be established in time

The potatoes planted back in April were dug up and placed in layers with thick mulch in a large tin drum for storage until being replanted later in the year. This can also be done with sand or another material, as long as it excludes the light.

Seed potatoes stored in a barrel in layers of mulch to exclude the light

Storing potatoes for later in the year

An experimental design of mobile brassica cover was constructed over the cabbages planted earlier in June, using a thick yet flexible gauge wire, polypipe and netting.

SAGE members construct a brassica cover from wire and pvc hose

The prototype for mobile protection against cabbage moth

Guy and Helma have made and now installed some lovely row markers which is making it much easier to keep track of what’s what.

A closeup shot of a row marker with seedlings stretching into the background

Now it's a bit easier to keep track of things

Stuart Scobie also gave a short demonstration on establishing and maintaining a domestic worm farm, which was very helpful to many of those present.

Stuart during his demonstration of how to establish a worm farm

Happy worms, happy garden

Some general tidying and maintenance was also undertaken, leaving the site looking the best it’s ever been. A significant amount of development and infrastructure is now underway or completed and it’s now easy to imagine the vision of the fully operational SAGE site as represented on our home page.

A shot of the commercial beds that were prepared that day using the new hand tools

A satisfying result using only hand tools

A view of the commercial beds with seedlings already coming up

With many crops already established and more beds prepared, the site is beginning to come together in a big way

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