Kitchen Garden Guides

Friday, July 23, 2010

Berries, apples, dill, beans, onions and tomatoes with cake and coffee!

Or..... 2 days in the life of a woman in paradise!

If you are wondering what has happened to the sense of community wherever it is you live, then I am telling you it has all converged on Cygnet.

On Thursdays, people are invited (by a sign on the fence) to come by and help with the permaculture food forest which is using funding from the Green Gym movement as a base. It started soon after I got here and I have been coming every week since..... that's about 4 months now.

Here's a typical scenario..... some regular type people turn up with or without tools/ children/ dogs/ friends. Celia used to be in charge but now we all kind of do what we think seems like a good idea. There's a lot of chatter, laughter and a bit of discussion as we set to and turn the compost/ weed the broad beans/ dig up the hundreds of bulbs that seem to have sprung up in every path/ sow sweet peas around the cubby house/ pat and chat with various dogs and children and sometimes even their owners/ talk about who might have brought a cake or not, to go with the tea on Liz's verandah, at the end..... etc

So, we are all into our morning when along comes a visitor..... this Thursday it was Chris. He is the local apple tree man and what he doesn't know about apples and their growing, is not worth knowing. He brought some spare apple trees he had, to donate to the garden ..... some a bit tall and lanky and some quite odd shapes but all capable of producing a great crop, with a bit of good pruning.

Pretty soon about a dozen of us were gathered around as he began an impromptu pruning lesson on the new trees but also on the established trees in various parts of the garden. Next it was grafting and feeding..... until my head overflowed with information!

In the middle of all this excitement, an elderly woman had parked her gopher by the gate and was coming towards Liz and I..... her name is Janice and she nearly bought my house about 8 years ago but instead bought one 2 doors up! She had come to offer us all kinds of berry canes and cuttings and plants and seeds..... but she also wanted to listen to Chris the apple man so in she came to join the group. Next week some of us, now including Janice, are going up to Chris's to buy some of these very cheap, left over fruit trees.... So the connections are made..... I wonder who will come by next Thursday. (Stupidly I didn't take my camera but next week I will put on some photos of the progress we have made).



Friday, 10am.... a different dozen people have arrived at Frances' house for our second Home Gardeners get together. A breath-takingly beautiful 15 minute coastal drive from Cygnet is Charlotte Cove..... paradise.





I almost dare not put this on this blog because whatever meaning it is you are seeking in life, you will find it here.... warmth, sunshine, total quiet but for the gently lapping sea.... and neighbours who give to new residents a set of animal-proof frames for your vegetable garden, (see the photo) as a welcome gift.... knowing that, of course, this is part of why you have come, and that wallabies, rabbits and possums will be waiting....

Frances inspired us all with what she is achieving and how she is making the most of every single square metre of soil and sun in the most sensitive of ways.... growing vegetables, natives, fruit and flowers. I think I have found a kindred spirit. It was difficult to get good photos and I am sad I could not do better but hopefully there will be a next time!

image We sat around a table laden with goodies made by all the guests and each of us talked in turn about our gardens, about what we had brought in the way of seeds and plants (hence the title of this post!) etc and, this time, we each had a show and tell of one favourite food related book. This is a skilled, experienced and enthusiastic group where the little I know pales into insignificance. Wow, I can't wait for the next time we meet!



Maggie said...

Sounds great Kate, veggie gardeners are the best!

AlexF said...

Sounds unbelievably perfect! I'm so happy you've found paradise, Mum!!

silverhill said...

Yep, it doesn't get much better than this...........