Working Bee — 20 September, 2009

A warm day with the promise of rain, and storm clouds beginning to form over the mountains. The main tasks for this working bee were to start erecting the cyclone fencing on the front boundary, tidy up around the potting shed, spread the slashed green manure crop and do garden maintenance.

SAGE member slashing the green manure crop in the orchard with a whipper snipper

Hand slashing the green manure crop around the orchard trees

The slashed cover crop of lupins and vetch can be seen in the foreground of the picture above. The deciduous orchard trees are beginning to show good leaf growth. The cover crop had to be hand slashed in the orchard and provided enough mulch for a good drip line cover for each tree. The pile of humus on the right is the result of the original vegetation on site being slashed, put into a windrow and turned several times by front end loader. Although not high in nitrogen, it has turned into a good source of organic matter and has been used to mulch both the fruit trees and the vegetable gardens.

SAGE members spreading the slashed green manure crop over the future commercial cropping area

Spreading the green manure

One of the most thankless tasks for the day was breaking up the clumps of green manure so that the vegetation could dry out slightly before being turned in. We will think about another method of slashing or working with a cover crop next time. The 6 bed rotation garden is being watered in the background. Two beds were planted out by TAFE students on 16th September: the root crops( beetroot, carrot, radish) and the pulses (climbing beans, bush beans).

SAGE has been very fortunate in being well supported by donations from the community. All of the mesh for the front boundary was donated by John Nader and Fraser Bayley who also donated the gates. Most of the mesh was recycled from other sites.

SAGE members erecting the boundary fence

Attaching the mesh

After the fence is completed, we plan to attach shade cloth as a wind break for Southerly winds.

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