Monthly NewsletterJuly 2010
Warners Bay Community Garden
Dear

Thanks to your continued support, the WBCG group continues to go from strength to strength! Here is our latest news...
Council Progress
We are all feeling a little bit in the dark right now, but Council assures us they are working hard to confirm a site for the community garden.

They are still deliberating the process by which they will undertake a re-assessment of the candidate sites for the garden. Once they finalise that process (we have been advised this will be early July) they will then undertake the actual re-assessment. After nearly 2 years of assessments, we are all hoping that it will not drag out too much longer.

Council has agreed to take into account the specific requirements our group has put forward, including the site being community owned, open and sunny with room for facilities to grow and develop over time as needed, accessible by walking cycling and public transport, close by to accessible toilets, currently under-utilised, and central to Warners Bay and Eleebana. If Bunya Park is determined to be the most appropriate site once again, Mayor Greg Piper has told us he will support it.
Jacaranda Grove Working Bee
WBCG are getting on with helping our local community and promoting local food production and education!

An enthusiastic team of around 20 members of WBCG got their hands dirty on the weekend of June 25-27th building two new garden beds for Jacaranda Pre School at their request.

WBCG volunteers also helped with some garden planning, repaired some bare patches in the lawn, transplanted some plants and donated two big trays of home-grown organic veggie seedlings!

The kids at the pre school said thank you by cooking a yummy fruit cake especially for the WBCG volunteers, which was delicious at morning tea. The pre school were rapt with the professionalism and quality of our work, and extend their sincere thanks to everyone who made the working bee possible.

The WBCG volunteers all got a real buzz out of our first garden project as a group, and thoroughly enjoyed working with staff and families from the pre school. It was fantastic to look around and see such great cooperation and so much enthusiasm and good spirit!! We left the fun bit for the kids - planting the veggies!  

The pre school has a chook run, water tank and existing veggie plots that the kids enjoy. The staff are delighted to observe the kids tending their veggies and sampling their harvests. WBCG look forward to continuing to donate seedlings for their garden beds.

Thank you to Blue Gold Enterprises for developing the project plan, J&J Jarvie for provision of power tools, Bunnings for donation of materials, and Teralba Worm Farm for sale of soil. Thank you to the WBCG volunteers and the pre school parents and staff for their wheelbarrows, tools, trailers, sleepers, energy, encouragement and ideas leading up to and on the day!
Vegeblitz Working Bee
- this Saturday!
Are you thinking... "I'd LOVE to grow my own edible produce at home .... but I'm not sure where to start"?
 
We have lots of clever people in our WBCG group...we're itching to get into it... so lets do it!

WBCG member Maree McCarthy is organising VEGEBLITZ working bees! The first VEGEBLITZ is planned for:

This Sat 10th July
1 to 2pm
14 Margaret St Highfields (off Kahibah Rd)

1 hr doing some work in the VEGE garden, then Pumpkin soup, relax, chat and discuss the next VEGEBLITZ!

Let's do a VEGEBLITZ at your place! How good would this be! Imagine ...
 
Free consultations from highly qualified horticulturists, landscape   designists, permaculturists, organic people, etc in your own garden or balcony!
 
A variety of clever friends helping! Share...and show off... your produce! Have FUN!
 
Let's do our Community Gardening in our member's gardens while we wait for a central site!

For more information email Maree: naturesmagic@optusnet.com.au
Market Stall this Sunday
- Volunteers needed!
Our next market stall will be on Sunday 11th July at the Warners Bay Lions CLub Markets in John St.

Our free homemade (and grown!) pumpkin soup was gobbled up by lots of people at our stall last month. This Sunday - come and have a chat!

If you can volunteer just 1 or 2 hours that would be a great help! If you're able to be a friendly face behind the seedling counter, or help setup or pack down the stall, you'd be made very welcome. Please contact Trish!

Why not download a coupon to buy one seedling get one free this month? Visit:  http://www.synergybiznet.com/wbcg

Growing Fun
WBCG currently donate seedlings from our market stalls every month to vegie gardens at 8 local schools, pre-schools and childcare centres across Warners Bay, Eleebana, Mt Hutton, and Windale.
 
Since we began seedling growing and market stalls in November 2009, WBCG have donated seedlings to local school gardens 27 times. WBCG look forward to continuing to support school gardening programs.

If your school is interested in receiving seedling donations, please contact Trish (details below).
Next Public Meeting
Our next group meeting is on Sunday 1st August at 2pm at the Lions club hall, Sweet St Warners Bay. All welcome.

As always, afternoon tea is provided free of charge. Please come along and meet your neighbours, share your ideas and see how you can get more involved with the group.

At the May meeting we enjoyed learning about and tasting Peruvian Ground Apples (Yacon) donated to our group and grown over the last year in a members vegie patch, and we were lucky to each be able to take some plants home to grow for next year!

The focus of the August meeting will be planning for WBCG's stall at the Lake Macquarie Smart Living Festival at Speers Point Park in September, progressing the 'Yummy Yards' garden blitzs, updating everyone on Council's site assessment progress and discussing ideas for other gardening and community related activities and opportunities for our group.

A gold coin donation is welcome to assist with hall hire costs.
Current Activities
- that you can be involved with!

Vegeblitz's for Yummy Yards!
Do you have a garden project you'd like a hand with? Gardening is fun with friends! Contact Maree to get involved naturesmagic@optusnet.com.au

Seedling Growers Group

Growing seedlings is easy, newspaper-pots, seed raising mix, seeds, and seed trays are provided by WBCG! If you would like to join in the fun please visit our website.

Market Stalls
Each month wonderful volunteers show up in shifts (1-2hrs) to setup the market stall, be a friendly face behind the counter and sell seedlings and have a chat, and pack up the stall. We'd love to have you help out! Please contact Trish (details below).

Compost Turning & Sea Grass Collection
Our compost heap is growing steadily with regularly donated grass clippings, dried sea-grass, manure and shredded paper! If you are itching to get your hands dirty the compost heaps loves to be dug and turned and loves to receive compostable material, please visit our website.

Seed Saving & Origami
Our seed savers have learnt the art of making origami paper envelopes to store seeds in. Everyone is welcome to become a seed saver and we can teach you how to make your own folded-paper envelopes to store them in!

Organic Recipes & Remedies
We have started a collection of organic plant based recipes and remedies for use around the garden and the home to share with the community. Visit our monthly market stall to pick up some free recipes and remedies, and we'd love to hear yours!

A new idea for a WBCG activity? That's fantastic! Please let us know your suggestions.
WBCG Values
At our very first meeting in December 2008, our group agreed upon a set of guiding values. Values are important to us all. As we welcome new people to our group it is important that we introduce people to our group's agreed values. Even though most of these things seem obvious, we need to recognise that as a large group of passionate people, there will inevitably be a variety of opinions on any one topic.

Not-for-profit community groups like ours are the life force of local communities. Some community groups at times struggle to deal with situations where people in the group disagree. Sadly, a disagreement over a fairly small issue can sometimes impact on the overall success of the group. But we hope that the WBCG group is different. We have a proactive approach to how we operate. The following set of commonly agreed values help to ensure the sustainability of our group in the long term.

Since we began, these fundamental values have helped build trust, friendship, involvement and respect between our members and with the wider community:
  • Transparency: In all that we do, we seek open communication and a personal, honest and direct approach. We aim to get information and ideas out as far and wide as possible and consult with as many people as possible in what we do. Our decisions, news, documents, meetings and communication items are able to be viewed by anyone at any time.
  • Respect: We have a great deal of respect for each other's time, beliefs, background and knowledge. We are always respectful in what we say and how we say it. 
  • Responsibility: We have mutual responsibility for any issues that arise. We concentrate on the problem, not the person. None of us make decisions "on the fly": we discuss and consult with the group to find the best way forward. We take great care and responsibility for seeing through our own tasks and commitments and if we get stuck we ask for help. Since we are entirely volunteers, there is no expectation on anyone to do any particular job, only thanks and appreciation for what we get done.
  • Equality: We are all equal. We are strictly opposed to all forms of discrimination. Anyone is welcome in our group.  
  • Encouragement and Inclusiveness: Having an encouraging and welcoming attitude is a key part of our group's thinking. We all have different skills and backgrounds and we recognise that everyone has something to teach and something to learn.
Concept Design 
The concept design for a staged community garden at Bunya Park has now been on public display for over two months. The feedback has been incredibly positive.

People just love it!

We have already received input and suggestions from local residents, which we have gratefully taken on board. We would love to hear your thoughts on the design so far. Thanks again to our amazing design team for all their time, knowledge and skill. If you've not seen it yet, click here to take a look!
 
Letters  
Congratulations to the many people have been writing fantastic letters to the editor in The Herald and The Star. Perhaps you might like to consider airing your thoughts about the community garden. You can do so by clicking here. Let's keep them rolling in! Every bit helps in building momentum for the garden.
Materials
The WBCG stockpile of materials is growing steadily!

Our compost heap is getting bigger and richer thanks to regular donations of lawn clippings, shredded paper, manure and dried sea-grass.

WBCG have a wide range of materials stored on members properties ready to be used at the garden once a site is approved by Council.

Materials currently include: a selection of handy garden tools, a garage full of newspapers, a  gazebo for our market stalls, breadcrates and seedling trays for seedling transport and raising, a stack of railway sleepers for building garden beds, and an offer of all the pavers and bricks WBCG can transport from the old Mitchells Masonry site at Munmorah!

If you have more ideas about materials and/or donations towards the garden please get in touch with Trish (details below).
If you'd like any more information please call or email Trish.
Click here for contact details.  
 
Sincerely,
 
The Operating Committee
Warners Bay Community Garden Inc.
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