IN THIS ISSUE (click on the topic to go there directly)
BOGI - for all ages and places
Kay's notes: Strawberries, bees and what to plant
In just one year: A profile of Elizabeth's Hunter's garden
Pam Burgess' adventures - 3 new wicking beds in one morning
BOGI's 12th AGM - 26th March 2019 - based on notes provided by Suzanne Blanch
Our 12th AGM was held as part of our monthly meeting on 26th March 2019. Here is an overview of the proceedings. Please note that we still need more members to fill our vacant positions to assist the flow of the club, and not overload those that are already helping.
The minutes of the previous AGM 27th March 2018 were circulated electronically to members.
Moved: Peter Burgess, seconded, Maureen Schmitt: ‘That these were a true and accurate account of the 2018 AGM.’ Accepted on a show of hands.
Trevor complimented the Group of the number of activities offered throughout 2018, with the stand out being the Bundy Flavours Festival stalls which further spread the organic word to the community. We had between $700 and $800 outlays for this event. Back to basics, garden visits were popular and the shop thanks to Les and Kay is going very well. Our veggie challenge highlights what is growing throughout the year. Eddie and Jill have been organising members to bring in seedlings each meeting. Trevor thanked Shirley and Karen who have shared the Secretary position, along with hard working Greer who not only has been editing the newsletter but also been our controller of money.
Greer tabled the financial report audited by Lee Christensen. Special thanks to Vicky who has supported Greer. Closing balances: Investment $4,198 and Cheque $9 as at end Dec 2018 as per audited accounts.
Greer moved seconded by Peter Burgess. seconded: 'That the treasurer's report be accepted'. Accepted on a show of hands.
From the President
We are looking for members to assist with a few small tasks: Assistant Treasurer,
library, seed bank, unlock the hall, lock the hall, workshop convenor.
The main need is for a secretary or assistant secretary. Our current secretary will be
absent for several months and we need to fill this vacancy during that time.
BOGI - for all ages and places
Bruce's 90th birthday cake - with baker Lyn
Our youngest members, Austin Critchlow (7) with sister
Olive (3) showing us how to roll paper pots
Mogul Mountain Retreat at Lee and Fred's place at Miriam Vale was a great escape weekend with not too much to do.
We did a little weeding and mulching and converted several bath tubs into wicking tubs gardens.
To the right: Fred is placing coals onto the cam poven
[And no doubt plenty of talking, eating and studying flames. I wish I had been there. Better luck next year? Editor]
Our 2019 editors
Hi I’m Cathy. I have been a member of BOGI a number of years ago. Life got busy and I had to take a break but am glad to be an active member once again. You will see me at most meetings with two small people in tow and my husband Dan when he can make it. Please know that my children are just as keen as I am in the garden and I apologise in advance if they can be a little excited during meeting times.
We have moved from a 6-acre property to now a small very average suburban block in Bundaberg East. We like to think we can do much the same here in town that we did on our acreage, minus the large animals.
Our house had not much more than one sad looking tree when we moved in 18 months ago, but now we have planted many natives to attract the local birds and bees and have fruit trees / vines and a great little veggie garden. The kids are running out of lawn as we turn it all in to more places to grow food, another compost heap, worm farm, or another extension on the chook pen.
When I am not chasing children, I have a business to run:
Bundaberg Organic and Quality Foods.
Hi I'm Heidi and assisting Cathy with the BOGI newsletter. I became a member earlier in 2019 so I'm reasonably new to the BOGI community.
The first thing to know about me is that I don't have a garden and I currently don't have the capacity to be able to have one. Some of you may ask 'why be a member?', and it's because one day I will have my own place and plot of land where I can harvest food directly from my garden straight into my tummy.
So what better way to learn than to be a member of BOGI. That way, when I do get my own little plot, I'll already have all the knowledge to know how to look after the soil, the plants, all the helpers of the micro-ecology and myself.
In my day to day life I work for Queensland Health in an area called Clinical Governance Unit which deals with lots of data and reports. My passion in life is what I teach - Tai Chi & Qigon.
In your Garden by Kay DeGunst
You can plant out runners from last year’s stock or purchase new stock now.
Strawberries planted in Autumn will produce fruit in Spring this year. Strawberries are heavy feeders, so the planting bed needs to be well prepared with manure and compost before planting runners. Strawberries are susceptible to fungal diseases like powdery mildew and black spot. Avoid wetting the foliage when watering.
Strawberries don’t like wet feet. A good mulch around each plant is beneficial and helps to keep fruit clean. Try to water early morning several times a week when plants are established. Liquid seaweed can be applied weekly to build disease resistance. If you have any spare runners, bring them to our next meeting. I am sure they will be popular with members.
Did you know? Bees have 2 stomachs; one is for food and one is for storing nectar. Female bees die if they sting you. Males don’t have stingers and their only job is to mate with female bees. It takes pollen from 2 million flowers to make a pound of honey. Queen bees live for 2 – 3 years but female worker honey bees only live up to 8 weeks. Bees buzz because their wings stroke 11,400 times per minute.
This month's planting
Below is a list of plantings suitable for our area this next month.
· Seeds to be planted directlyinto your prepared ground:
Asian Vegetables; French Beans; Beetroot; Broad Beans; Cabbage; Carrots; Cauliflower; Garlic; Endive; Kohlrabi; Leeks; Lettuce; Mustard Greens; Onions; Parsnips; Peas; Potatoes; Radish; Shallots; Silverbeet; Spinach; Sweet Potatoes; Turnips.
· Seeds to be planted into seedling trays:
Broccoli; Cabbage; Capsicum; Cauliflower; Celery; Lettuce; Silverbeet;
The club has a seed bank library consisting of seeds from our member’s gardens. Club members have the opportunity to swap or select organic seeds for their own home garden use.
Herb of the month – Curry Leaf Tree - Murraya koenigili - by Christine Jeffrey.
Not to be confused with curry powder, which is made from a combination of many ingredients, crushed leaves from the curry tree are used as an ingredient in some Madras curry powders. Dried leaves are added to a pot pot-pourri to add a spicy note.
I was blessed with a small curry leaf tree 3 weeks ago, and after giving it a little time to adjust to our currently very dry conditions, a few days of rain gave me the confidence to plant it out. The recent months of extreme heat have taken a toll on a few precious plants, but the Curry Leaf Tree will tolerate our sub-tropical climate provided water is made available. The fern like leaves emit a spicy aroma when touched, with a touch of citrus and anise to waft through your garden.
Constituents: essential oil, glycosides.
Actions: digestive, analgesic, vermifuge, vulnerary.
Medicinal uses: Dr S Fernando, in his book, ‘Herbal food and medicines in
Sri Lanka’ says, “If you grow a curry leaf tree in your garden it is like having
a doctor at home”. In the days of attempting to be self-sufficient, it would be
assuring to know you have on hand relief upset tummies, vomiting, diarrhoea,
intestinal worms, haemorrhoids, flatulence and dyspepsia.
Steep 10 leaves in 1 cup of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. The five parts of
the tree (leaves, roots, bark, stalk and the flowers) boiled or powdered
together will answer any type of stomach disorder.
Culinary Uses: A wonderful spicy flavour for meats, seafood or vegetable curries, chutneys, pickles coconut sauces, relishes, omelettes, marinades and vegetarian cuisine. 10-12 leaves per 500g of protein – sauté in a frying
pan oil or butter, add ginger, garlic, and fry the leaves to give an enhanced curry flavour. A very handy survival herb to plant in your garden.
Next club meeting, I will endeavour to bring along some potted Balsam plants. The 3 coloured flowers per stem are so attractive in the garden, and the bees love them.
Our source is: ‘How can I use herbs in my daily life?”, by Isabell Shiphard
A profile of Elizabeth Hunter's Garden
A garden transformation that took just 12 months is worthy of a story to share. Elizabeth at the young age of 72 has taken her tenanted property back in hand after all plants & water lines were uprooted by a dog & neglected by the residents of the time. The first photo was taken in March of 2018, a blank canvas, ground like concrete, zero friable topsoil. She was devastated. But.... with the help of a good man who dug 92 holes, 92 Lilly Pillies & other plants were replanted to create a bushy boundary. They are now humming with bees & birds going through their second flush of flowers this season.
Elizabeth believes in aesthetic beauty, being a decorator, so no space can avoid her eye or loving touch. Each hole that was dug to plant a bush, shrub or tree, had a nasturtium or some other smaller plant added to the hole at the same time as the water could be shared. Lawn is wasted agriculture according to Elizabeth; she has chosen to plant 3 tiered levels of trees, bushes & understory, for the birds, the bees, the beauty & to eat.
And the mulch followed. Much mulch. Lots of mulch. Biscuits thick, mulch. Her garden has been utterly transformed by .....mulch.
A visit to the Burgess's at the Haven inspired Elizabeth to mulch, & wow, what a difference a year makes! The worms have arrived, they are huge & voracious feeders of....mulch....so much so that the garden needs to be re mulched 3 times a year at least. The result is little or no weeds, mega underground zoo inhabitants, friable soil developing & a landscape that is being softened & beautified continually.
Due to Elizabeth's years, physical limitations means that a good potting mix has been used to initially plant in the holes, as she does not dig, but a natural compost made thanks to her 2 chookie girls, is distributed around the garden whenever it is available. Firstly she lays newspaper under the roost. Daily their droppings go into a bucket & the paper goes somewhere into the garden. When the bucket has approx. 2" of poop in it, 15lt water is added, mixed well & fed around the garden. Next, the 2 bales of hay that are the chickens bedding, are collected once spoiled, put into a large wire frame, watered well, & covered with plastic. This over time becomes lovely, rich compost for the garden. Everything is thriving & lush, so much for concrete ground!!!
Elizabeth has used archways, gravel paths, old children's shell ponds, gotu kola, sweet potato, beans, mint, nasturtiums & much more to create a haven for wildlife & a peaceful environment for herself & her guests, in town.
Elevated wicking beds are next, any waste organic material is being collected & piled up at the moment, anything that has ever lived, will be put back into the soil, nothing is wasted. (I also learned that from my parents, who survived the great depression.) Re-purposing & re-using is the way to go. The take home message from this is that it is possible to grow glorious & beautiful abundance 'on concrete' if you have to.
Building three wicking beds in one morning - by Pam Burgess
We have been super busy lately, welcoming French Wwoofers to our Haven, creating new gardens, pits & mulching. But the most exciting visit was to BOGI member, Leslee & Nick's place to create their final 3 wicking beds for year-round free food, organic, varied, nutritious & healthy.
Many hands made light work, job done by noon, then down to the beach for a picnic lunch & a swim. Team work is great work. Their first bed was built during November's heat, & was fully loaded with perennials that mostly suit our subtropical region. This has had an instant & long lasting, positive effect on their budget, kitchen choice, variety, nutrition, abundance & especially on the learning for their 2 children. There are no negatives here.
So now they are ready to plant winter veg. Awesome.