Farming Concrete is an initiative to measure and record data from gardens worldwide, allowing measurements of everything from produce harvested to happiness levels and producing reports that clearly display the benefits of these gardens.
We know that MUC garden has innumerable benefits, but recording these allows us to quantify them and really see the impact that it has on the environment and the community. We also hope that recording this data will make it easier for future community gardens to get established by raising awareness of their positive impacts.
Anyone can access our data, by visiting the 'Mill'.
1. Access the Farming Concrete website via this link.
2. Scroll down to "DOWNLOAD DATA'
3. In the 'Groups' box select 'Melbourne Uni Community Gardens.
3. The search results will look something like this:
4. Use the tabs at the top to see the different data that has been recorded (we are currently recording 'harvest count' and 'landfill waste diversion by weight').
Alternatively, you can create your own account here and add the MUC garden to your personal account. This will allow you to download detailed data that we have uploaded.
Once you've made an account, follow these instructions:
1. Under the 'Barn' tab, scroll down and MUC garden should be listed under 'Your Gardens'. Click 'add data' to access it.
2. Under the garden's page, you will be able to see all data we have collected. Please don't add your own data - we will record this at the garden and add it collectively. If you would like to be involved with data collection and recording for the garden as a whole, please get in touch!
3. Click 'add data' next to a topic you are interested in, for example 'landfill waste diversion by weight'. Not all categories will have data available. On the right of the page, click 'download data' to open an Excel spreadsheet, or click 'download report' to download a report automatically formulated by the Farming Concrete website.
4. There you have it! We will endeavour to put a monthly report up at the garden, so keep an eye out for it.
WORDS: Kim Kitchen, PHOTOS: Julianna Rozek
Last sunny Thursday, Andrew Smith, the brilliant Gardens Coordinator at Burnley, took a bunch of Horticultured members on a behind-the-scenes tour of the field station.
Armed with a stack of old photos, we discovered all about the history of the station, including its original purpose as a field nursery, trialling all kinds of fruit trees (220 pear varieties, 200ish apples, 70+ cherry varieties and a whole bunch of other delicious things!). We learnt about two large floods that wiped out the area, and that it is the oldest continually operating teaching garden of its kind in the world, staying operational throughout the two world wars.
Did you know that the centre of the field station gates aligns with the big Sequoia tree within the Burnley Gardens? Check it out next time you head out of the station. Or that there was once an avenue of Chinese Pistachios lining the central path?
Or that the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS) had its origins right here at Burnley? The array of mismatched gardens along the top fence are the remains of the first student-designed-and-built display gardens, built for a garden show held for a few years in the late 1980s.
The area now taken over by Chris William’s edible forest was installed initially as a teaching area for hort students, complete with hedges and fruit trees for pruning practice. A number of the trees, like the citrus and stone fruit, still remain.
And that leaning row of pears, that confuses all of us? These have been grown as cordons, a method of training fruiting pears and apples, and borders this area along with the espaliered apples, albeit in a somewhat neglected form.
Those little huts? Green infrastructure research! That eucalypt forest? A research project on drought-tolerant species. That house? Previously a centre for school kids to come and learn all about alternative energy.
We learnt all of this and more, and it was a great way to spend an hour or so away from the books. Many thanks to Andrew for his time, knowledge and expertise.
Read all about it: MUC Garden and Burnley Student Association share updates on their activities.