Monthly NewsletterOctober 2010
Warners Bay Community Garden
Dear

Spring has certainly sprung and there has been lots happening in and around members gardens! Two fun Vegeblitzs were held in September, as well as a wonderful market stall at the Living Smart Festival where our seedling growers provided 600 beautiful seedlings for the community to purchase, with all but 50 snapped up!

Council have completed their site assessment report, and the Councillors will (hopefully) be making a decision on how to proceed next Tuesday 5th October at 4:30pm. All members and friends of the garden are welcome at the Council chambers at Speers Point for this meeting.
Council Progress!!
We have some breaking news for you! LMCC staff have completed their site assessment! Their report has basically recommended that the decision be left to the Councillors, and they will hopefully be making a decision Tuesday 5th October at 4:30pm (TONIGHT!). Please note that any decision by councillors will probably need to be formally ratified next Monday 11th October at 7pm. Supporters of the garden are encouraged to come along (families welcome!) to both events.
 
The site assessment report recommends Councillors select between three recommended sites: Bunya Park, Croudace bay (Halton Park) and Lakelands. The site assessment report was done by an objective staff member who is a senior Development Assessment and Compliance (DAC) officer at LMCC. In the report, Bunya Park came out on top, but the Councillors can of course vote for any site they choose (or none at all!). After the Councillor's decision, WBCG will need to submit a development application (DA) and enter a formal agreement with LMCC before the garden could proceed.
 
The site assessement report is available online within the meeting agenda for the Council Standing Committee on 5th October (toward the end) on the LMCC website (click here).

This is an exciting time for the WBCG group and we look forward to soon having a site for our garden!
Which Site is Right For You?
As this newsletter is going out, The Herald is running another online poll asking which of the 3 sites is most preferable to the community.

Cast your vote now!

Voting will close in less than 24 hours so be quick!
Winners at Festival!
WBCG held our September market stall at the inaugural Lake Macquarie Living Smart Festival in Speers Point Park on Sunday 12th September. Many thanks to everyone who contributed behind the scenes and on the day to our most successful stall yet! It was a great day shared with so many members and friends of WBCG and the wider community.

WBCG were the winners of a competition run by the festival organisers for being the group with the most sustainability pledges at the Festival. The group has received a one year subscription to 'Renew' magazine, which comes out 4 times a year. The first copy is now circulating the group!

WBCG's committments to sustainability are:
  1. Installing a rainwater tank on the site of Warners Bay Community
    Garden.
  2. Mulching all garden beds and encouraging members and visitors to mulch gardens at home.
  3. Reducing unnecessary garden watering by using watering cans.
  4. Worm farming at our community garden and at home.
  5. Composting: WBCG collects and composts waste food from a local restaurant, grass clippings from lawn mowing contractors, horse manure from local suppliers and seaweed.
  6. Recycling newspaper to make seedling pots for sale at local markets.
  7. Recycling plastic milk bottles as carry containers for our market stall seedlings (no more plastic bags at our stalls!).
  8. Growing organic vegetable and herb seedlings.
  9. Using organic pest control.
  10. Educating our community in growing and eating fresh, healthy food from your own garden. WBCG donate organic vegetable / herb seedlings to 8 local schools, pre-schools and childcare centres for vegetable gardens tended by the children. In some schools, WBCG members assist the children in caring for their gardens.
  11. Constructing school vegetable gardens on request.
  12. Walking or cycling using our extensive walking / cycle paths along Lake Macquarie Foreshore.
  13. Carpooling when visiting other community gardens / activities.
Market Stall 10th October!
Why not stop by for some home grown organic seedlings for $1 each (or 6 for $5) ready for spring planting, and have a chat with other members and friends of the Warners Bay Community Garden group!

Seedlings are grown in recycled newspaper pots ready to pop straight into the garden, eliminating transplant shock.

All funds raised from the market stall go toward Warners Bay Community Garden activities such as seedling growing, materials and garden building!

Why not join in the Market for an hour or two behind the seedling counter, or help to setup or pack down the stall? You'd be made very welcome! If you would like to be involved with the October stall please contact Julie (ph 4946 6079).
 
We need people to save plastic milk and ice cream containers too.

To join in the seedling growers group (all materials provided!), please contact Trish (ph 49471821).


Working bee 17th October!
WBCG volunteers will be building a new vegie garden at Eleebana Public School on Sunday October 17th! The more the merrier we'd love to see you there! What a great way to work together for our community, meet some new friends and learn some gardening tips along the way!

The plan is...

Friday 15th OCT:
Picking up sleepers from Fairfax Road Warners Bay, delivering them to Eleebana Public School, using cars and trailers. Volunteers needed!

Sunday 17th OCT:
  • volunteers needed to help build, dig, water, mulch the garden etc at Eleebana Public School! 9.00am - 1.00pm Please BYO food, drinks, hats, sunscreen, gloves, protective footwear, chairs etc. Toilets available.
  • volunteers needed to pick up newspapers from Queen St Warners Bay, deliver them to Eleebana Public School (by car) for 9am start.
  • volunteers needed to pick up hand tools from Lees St Charlestown and deliver them to Eleebana Public School (by car) for 9am start. 
  • wheelbarrows needed!
  • urn needed for tea / coffee! 
If you would like to volunteer to pick up materials, or can help with wheelbarrow / urn borrowing, or for more information, or if you would like to see how WBCG can help your school, please contact Trish!

Feel free to stop by on the day and lend a hand for a short time or the whole morning :-)
Get together on 7th November
Our next group meeting falls on Sunday 7th November, and WBCG are planning for this meeting to be a picnic or BBQ lunch as an end of year get together - so mark the date in your diaries! More details to follow closer to the date :-)
BBQ at Belmont CG & Men's Shed
On 26th September members of the WBCG visited the Belmont Men's Shed and Community Garden for a wonderful BBQ and tour of the garden, hosted by Rob Byrnes. A big thanks to Rob for his hospitality!

Rob's feedback: "A big thanks to all for coming out on Sunday to share lunch in the Harmony Garden. It was great to see so many people relaxing, chatting and checking out the garden. Thank you also to those who took time to provide feedback and recommendations about different aspects of the garden."

WBCG look forward to continuing our friendship with the Belmont gardeners and inviting Rob and the Belmont group to share a lunch in our garden when we have a site up and running!
Vegeblitz fun x 2!
Reports by Maree
Well, last Sat's (4/9/2010) Vegeblitz was AMAZING! It was a dull, rainy day, and we weren't quite sure what work to organise at Gerda's 1 acres of permaculture gardens.  But at 1.30, the 'Vegeblitzers' began arriving. I suggested Gerda just start off by telling her stories - like about the Kiwi Fruit vine on the verandah of the studio - complete with a lone fruit still attached from last Summer... and kindly gifted to little Josh who gave it much love. The 'taste of Grapes' discussion was interesting.  One person mentioned how he'd forgotten about some Chambourcin grapes left in the fridge that cool-dried into the most delicious sultanas!  It made me think about how few varieties we have access to at the shops.

Gerda showed us her handy picking stick - for reaching the higher branches - whilst we drank in the aroma from the velvety Peppermint Geranium.
As the rain lifted to just a slight sprinkle, we continued on around the garden - weeding here and there, and asking questions and listening to Gerda and Marselle's stories. 'What's this weird plant?' was a common question: 'Oh - that's an unusual form of sweet potato... but never mind, you can dig if you like but I haven't found any potatoes yet'.  Next thing, the Treasure Hunt was on, and amazingly a bucket full of organic white sweet potatoes were discovered! Ben proudly displayed his findings for the camera! 

This was followed by a series of somewhat excited diggings whilst Gerda handed out bags to fill with potatoes, Jerusalem Artichokes, and Yacon.
'What's this weird Yacon thing?'  Gerda appeared with a jug of water to wash and slice the large juicy tubers so we could all have a taste. Amazing!  So crunchy, sweet, and juicy!

It wasn't long and the whole tuber-growing area was weeded and harvested. We were all given some cuttings to take home! But I think it was this giant citrus (Pomello) that impressed Josh.

We smelt the delicious honey coming from the two bee hives as we explored the chook runs and yet more 'gardens of Eden'. The bees looked very busy coming and going from the hives and just dodged around us as we walked past.  I overheard a soft voice nearby... 'How come they don't sting us?' But we weren't bothering them and they were quite happy.

The Giant Bamboo was also quite impressive. It was suggested: 'Maybe we can have a Bamboo workshop someday?'

After an amazing 2 hours, it was knock-off time and we  enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea.  Thankyou so much Gerda and Marselle!

........................................

The atmosphere at Wendy's vegeblitz (18/09/10) was industrious and exciting!  True to her nature, she had organized a laminated list of jobs to make sure everyone felt welcome and wanted. There were 4 wheelbarrows going moving soil into garden beds, there was planting of fruit trees, discussion of garden design, recipes and even exchange of info on how to make your own shoe polish.

There seemed to be children all around - and were obviously very important in the whole process. They were digging holes for fruit trees, helping the guests and explaining the jobs, carting soil in the proportionately-sized wheelbarrow.   In fact, everywhere you looked there were examples of creativity and involvement from the children.  Ceramic tiles had been hand-drawn and made into signs such as, 'Crazy Carrots', 'Strawberry Patch', Root Veges', and even 'Pineapple Palace' in anticipation of the rooftop pineapple garden to be constructed on the pool pumphouse roof.  
A new member phoned to ask if she could just pop in to have a look... 'Of course you can!' She was warmly welcomed and proudly given 'The Grand Tour'. Everyone was happy to share their ideas, show the process and shine with smiles!

Work finished about lunchtime and Gavin - our wonderful photographer took some cute photos of the finished fruit tree bed (which hopefully will be available for viewing on the WBCG website soon!)

Wendy and Chris would like to thank all who came to lend a hand - and said they were amazed that so much good spirit is out there in our community.

...........................................

If you'd like to have a Vegeblitz at your place - just email Maree (click here) or Phone: 4943 0305   M: 0410 405 815
If you'd like any more information on the activities of the Warners Bay Community Garden please call or email Trish.
Click here for contact details.  
 
Sincerely,
 
The Operating Committee
Warners Bay Community Garden Inc.
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