Well, hello Autumn!
The monthly working bee on Sunday dawned bright and sunny but with the wonderful chilly lick of Autumn sneaking in first thing – I just love the changing seasons. I packed up my gardening bag and went downstairs to load up with freshly grown seedlings.
This is probably a bit off the point, but in a burst of self improvement I’ve been reading a book called the 7 habits of highly effective people and the key, it seems, is to set a couple of small weekly goals in each and every important area of your life. So in terms of being an effective community gardener, I’ve have been planting seeds weekly in the makeshift nursery at the back of my apartment block so there is always something ready for the next working bee. So far so good…there is lettuce, capsicum, cucumbers, beans, radish, silverbeet and coriander all waving their lovely green fronds at me whispering “oh you’re being so effective Penny”, which makes me feel pretty good :)
I spent the first little while at the garden by myself. Check out the first bed I tackled. A before pic with some very lonely broccoli and coriander…
Before. Looking a little empty…
And the after shot where the broccoli is joined by an energetic audience of white radish.
…and after! Broccoli takes centre stage with an audience of white radish and coriander. I’m watching this bed with great anticipation.
My next job was to admire the beans, blueberry bush, lemongrass and chilies in bed number 5, which Sarah and I planted out in February. I am loving this bed at the moment:
This bed is also now home to super spicy chilies (left corner) broad beans (centre) lemongrass (right corner) and a blueberry bush (back right corner) how exciting!
The next bed I worked on was full of last season’s tomatoes and I had just cleared them when the wonderful Celia turned up to pitch in with the planting. We planted silverbeet, lettuce, capsicum. Here is the result…they look a little droopy at present, but here’s hoping they survive the transfer:
Silverbeet, capsicum and lettuce. All a bit droopy, but I’m hoping they survive the transfer!
Then the wonderful Adam and his daughter the gorgeous Isobel turned up. “What can we do to help?” Adam asks. And boy do I have a job for them…
One of the compost bins has been slowly sinking into the ground on one side and had become so twisted and warped that the lid wasn’t fitting and the side door had fallen off.
“Dear Adam,” I cried, “please fix the leaning tower of compost!”
“Righto,” he replied, and set to work.
The leaning tower of compost is about to undergo major reconstructive surgery
We thought it might be a simple fix and we could just prop up the sinking side, but it quickly became apparent that to do it properly we’d have to disassemble the whole thing and start again. Hello cockroaches, ants, multiple legged critters and all sort of other squirmy friends!
“I hope I can put this back together again” Adam says hopefully as the compost bin collapses at his feet
“I hope I can put this thing back together,” Adam says hopefully as the compost bin collapses at his feet.
Rich and mulchy!
Sludge, cockroaches and a gazillion ants on a wonderful Sunday morning
To make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again, Celia went home to dig out some old bricks that we could use for a solid base for the bin to stand on. Thanks Celia!
Thanks to Celia and John for the free bricks!
Adam levels it off and all is going well until…
Our sunny day disappears!
Our sunny day disappears completely and the thunder and lightning rolls in! Somehow or other we manage to piece the bin back together, and refill it with the displaced compost, to the cacophony of Thor’s orchestra. Despite the change in our fortunes we have a lovely time cooling off under the stamping splashes of 1000 droplets.
At the end of it all the clouds hastened off to bother someone else and sun reappeared to bless the seedlings (and us) with a warm kiss or two.
The leaning tower of compost now stands tall and straight
And now look at it! The bin stands tall and straight and ready to transform food scraps into rich, fertile soil. Adam sent me a text that night saying how awesome he felt after our achievement and I couldn’t help but agree. Isn’t it always the way, challenges and setbacks just make the victory taste so sweet.
See you at the next working bee, as always the third Sunday of the month (20th April) at 10am!