Welcome back to the second edition of the Melbourne University Community Garden newsletter! Here, we provide a summary of recent events and update you on all things gardening.
Small Space Gardening: Being Innovative
This event delved into the dos and don'ts of small space gardening and how to best get ahead. Amber (a garden coordinator here at MUCG) gave an informative presentation on how one can start their own small space garden before leading us into a practical planting session. There were a range of seedlings on offer for patrons to pot and take home, including thyme, marigold and coriander.
Tip: Herbs are especially good for small space gardening as they are easily grown indoors if kept on a sunny window sill (they also provide a great bounty for herbal tea lovers too).
The event was a great way to kick-off September so many thanks to Amber for leading such a great event!
R U OK? Day & other September garden news...
In honour of R U OK? Day, the grounds team here at The University of Melbourne hosted a pot-planting workshop to promote mental health awareness. MUCG coordinators and facilitators assisted in running the event by providing event goers with plenty of tips and tricks to help smooth the planting process.
There were a range of seedlings and seeds to plant, with patrons being able to choose from capsicums, basil and even sunflowers!
Following this event, we held our regular weekly working bee and were able to add the remaining seeds and seedlings to the garden. What a wonderful harvest we may have ahead of us!
In other working bees, we continued to take advantage of the turn of Spring by planting seedlings we had raised in our glasshouse in the past month. We also kept up-to-date with regular maintenance tasks such as managing our copious amounts of wonderful compost.
As September turned into October we kept busy in the garden. Warmer weather and spring rain have been keeping us busy harvesting, composting and planting.
Garden Pest Management: The Natural Way
We kicked off October with a workshop run by Volunteer Coordinator Maleeka on the wonders of natural garden pest management solutions. She spoke of ways to prevent garden pests such as weeds and wildlife from appearing in the garden, whilst also focusing on how to deal with these pests once they have.
She also concocted some soap spray for us to use on the aphid invasion prominent on our Kohlrabi crops. It was an enjoyable experience and appeared to have some benefit on the garden.
We thank Maleeka for her efforts and also those who came along!
Art in the Garden: A Calming Event
To commemorate Stress-Less Week, we held the event, 'Art in the Garden'. Event goers lounged on vibrant picnic rugs placed next to our perennial beds while sketching and painting beautiful scenes from the garden. It was a soothing break from our busy university studies and added a small-pocket of joy to our usual Wednesday routines.
World Food Day & October Working Bees
In celebration of World Food Day, we held an extra special working bee where in addition to general maintenance activities, we held a produce/seed swap and gave away some excess compost. Following this, we headed to System Garden where UMSU Environment was holding a picnic to celebrate World Food Day.
As the semester came to an end and exams and final assessments were now looming in students' minds, we continued to hold working bees while bringing our usual workshops to a halt. We thought of our working bees as ideal study breaks and encouraged people to take time to assist in tending to the garden.
With the exam season still upon us, we continued to hold-off on running any workshops while continuing to hold weekly working bees.
In our first working bee of the month, we had a surprise visit from a few students involved in the running of Deakin University's Community Garden. They had been travelling around Victoria visiting university-owned community gardens and it had been very interesting to learn of what these other gardens are like.
Our first two working bees for November involved a significant amount of harvesting. Volunteers took home a variety of crops. These included delicious broad beans and babaco (image below).
With Summer nearly upon us, our final working bee of the month focused on seed raising in addition to general maintenance tasks such as watering, weeding and composting. It was a productive effort that is hoped to lead to positive yields for the garden in future.
Keep in Touch
Read all about it: MUC Garden and Burnley Student Association share updates on their activities.