The sun came out for our relaxed herbal tea growing workshop in the garden. After introductions and a quick garden tour, Pippa gave a talk on which are the best species to grow for tea in Melbourne, and demonstrated how to propagate them from the plants we have in the garden.
All the plants that we propagated will spend the next few weeks of their lives in our little greenhouse on campus, where they will be irrigated and fertilised regularly. Workshop participants are welcome to come and pick them up any time, and any leftovers will be put back into the garden and/or sold at our next farmers market on September 23rd.
As always, we did a bit of compost maintenance. We placed the finished compost into our perennial edibles bed and planted pansies into it (sorry, no picture!). They will look beautiful and are also edible! A few of these on top of a salad make it look much more exciting.
We learned that mint varieties and lemon balm are really easy to grow from cuttings: just chop a 5cm portion of the underground section with roots and stick it in a pot. We also propagated ginger and lemongrass, which can do well in Melbourne in a sunny, sheltered position, as well as German chamomile which is tricky to grow from seed, but we gave it a try anyway!
As well as propagating new plants, we put some new spearmint and sage seedlings into our herb spiral. They will be used to make tea later on when they are ready - please come and pick some and try it out!
To reward ourselves for our hard work, we finished with freshly brewed herbal tea with plants from the garden, and harvested a bunch of veggies to share out and take home. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon!
Seed bombs are a necessary item in the arsenal of the guerrilla gardener - they are small balls of clay, compost and seeds which can be thrown into plant-deprived places, such as vacant blocks, neglected car park gardens or beside train tracks. Today we rolled up our sleeves and made a whole bunch of seed bombs containing seeds for edible flowers and companion plants.
Once all the seeds were rolled up into little bombs we put them into egg cartons to dry out. Once they are dry we'll hurl them into drab patches of dirt around the place (most of the seeds we chose flower best in full sun, so we'll try to find sunny spots). Then, we wait for it to rain - the rain will wet the organic matter, which will swell and force the bomb apart. The seeds will also soak up the rain and germinate into a lovely clay and compost soil. Hopefully in late spring and early summer the 'bomb site' will be filled with delightful flowers - keep an eye out for updates!
And then we had cupcakes and tea, I'd like to think that this is also an integral part of the guerrilla gardener lifestyle.
Read all about it: MUC Garden and Burnley Student Association share updates on their activities.