"Without community it's just a garden"
from Start a Community Food Garden The Essential Handbook - by Lamanda Joy
Our wonderful garden community has made an excellent start to the summer growing season with many of our raised beds packed with flowers and vegetables. There are many great examples to follow if you are new to this game and in my experience our gardeners are only too pleased to share their knowledge and insights. We will all become better gardeners as a result.
A huge thank you to the members of our community who were able to attend two recent working bees to extend the garden fence, install the orchard watering system and spread garden mulch. The northern boundary fence is now finished and looks great. We now have a large stockpile of pallets ready to be broken down and the western boundary fence is underway. Thank you to Seaford Total Tools and P&T Recycling for donating the pallets and to Tony for leading both the fence construction and the orchard watering system. His Christmas elves did a sterling job, collecting pallets and starting the breaking down process. Thank you to Rory, Scott, Antonio, Zoe, Mary, Sonja, Debbie, Janine, Jack, Julian, Robert, Tyler, Fallon and Ben. I'm almost certain I've missed someone - please let me know so I can complete the list.
Many of our gardeners have joined our WhatsApp chat called Seaford Wetland Gardeners. It's a quick, efficient and secure way to contact committee members and other gardeners to make suggestions, offer advice, and ask for or offer help. If you would like to join simply download WhatsApp and send Wayne an SMS on 0413 440 545 with your name and Seaford Wetland Gardeners in the message.
Meet the Members
A regular feature coming up in our newsletters in 2023
Rory Fitzsimons is the Chairperson for Mid Coast Sustainability Inc. Originally hailing from Dublin, Ireland, Rory moved to Adelaide 11 years ago and took up residence in Seaford 7 years ago. Rory is proud to call Seaford his home and is passionate about creating a strong community for his family to live in. Over the years Rory has developed a variety of interests, mainly in the arts and culture space. He has played bass guitar since age 15 and dabbles in guitar, keyboard and drums as well as enjoying creative writing.
Rory’s interest in gardening developed as a means to improve his own mental health, and advocates for gardening as an effective occupational therapy with many benefits for the body and soul. Rory holds a deep connection to nature and takes any opportunity to be immersed in the natural world.
Correction from our last newsletter
In the November newsletter it was stated that the raised garden bed area was only accessible to members and their families. This is not strictly correct - the raised bed area will be open to everyone to visit provided the gates have been unlocked. We do ask that you are mindful of our neighbours' peace and quiet and that you do not remove produce from raised beds or interfere with watering systems etc. The other areas of the garden such as the orchard, and the yet to be developed market garden and native garden will be open to the public 24/7.
Our man of all trades Mr Tony Watkin and yes, we have reminded him about his footwear but it seems to have fallen on hearing impaired ears! Here is some of his handiwork - the northern boundary fence.
I love seeing our members in the garden and asking how their garden is going. Everyone has been very positive about their garden setup and it seems to be working well so far. There were several common questions and I thought maybe you would like to know more about them as well, so here goes -
How are we going to control the kikuyu grass? The committee decided from the outset that we would not spray with Glyphosate or other chemicals. The plan is to lay down flattened cardboard boxes (stripped of any plastic material) and cover it with a dolomite material called Yankomite. It may take sometime to complete this job and until then the kikuyu will be controlled with mowers and whipper snippers with on going spot control by hand and perhaps steam guns etc.
Once the garden is fenced, gated and locked how will members get access? the gates and sheds will have combination locks and all members will be given the code
What is the fence structure? The fence is steel post and rail, concreted into the ground and completed with pickets from pallets and topped to about 180cm with reinforcing mesh. The pickets used are heat treated only (permapine is not used.)
Are all the raised beds leased? We are very pleased to announce that all 32 of our raised beds have been leased. The committee will decide at their next meeting whether more beds can be added to the present setup.
That's all for now but if you have any questions about the community garden or the wetland biodiversity project please send them in via email, Facebook, Whatsapp, SMS, or ask Rory in person now that you know what he looks like!
The plan for the four zones of the Seaford Wetlands Community Garden
This is the basic plan that we are working towards but much of the detail is yet to be decided.The northwest area will be devoted to larger beds, and will be open to the public for planting and picking.
The southwestern area will be planted with native plants and have meandering pathways, perhaps a small maze and a hexagonal pergola with paving and seating to enjoy the view across the wetlands. Below the pergola the land slopes down to the path and seating overlooking a small performance area has been suggested. The raised bed and orchard areas are well underway.
Have a happy and safe Christmas. We look forward to catching up in the garden in the new year.
This project was seeded by
Our committee is Rory Fitzsimons (Chair), Kaarin Wilkinson, Tony Watkin, Lisa Schuyler, Debbie Saegenschnitter, Tyler Edwards, and Wayne Good. If you have any questions or ideas please contact us via Facebook, on our website or on the Seaford Wetlands Gardeners chat.