Beelarong Community Farm Open Day Sunday 10th March

We are having an open day at Beelarong Community Farm where I have my allotment. This is to celebrate the completion of the new wheelchair friendly extension and the new toddler enclosure.  Come and browse the gardens, all are welcome.

Activities include fun for the childen, cob oven cooking, a sausage sizzle, farm tours and a raffle.

Sunday 10th March 2-5pm

Official opening 3-3:15

Here is the address:    Beelarong Community Farm, Cnr. Beverley and York Streets, Morningside

Beelarong open day notice

Beelarong open day notice

First planting of the year – and sweet potato greens

At last. The first planting of 2013 over at the allotment. We’ve had some good rain and the daytime temperatures have dropped to a lovely 28c degrees so hopefully the weather will be kind to my little seedlings.

Much of my allotment has laid fallow and under a thick layer of mulch for weeks during the worst of the summer. Recently I have been over there feeding the soil. I’ve dug in heaps of organic fertiliser, rotted manure, blood and bone, and liquid fertiliser from the horse ‘poo’ barrel at the farm.  I should have the happiest worms in Brisbane in my little patch of dirt.

It was lovely to lift off the sugar cane mulch this morning and find the soil so beautiful and friable.

The first seedlings

The first seedlings, curly parsley and mignonette lettuce

You will see from the photograph, if you notice the little labels, that I cheated a bit. I will be sowing seeds and raising my own seedlings but my impatience reared it’s ugly head this morning. After all, that’s what Bunnings nursery department is for. So I took myself over there. I bought little punnets of silverbeet, curly parsley and that pretty green mignonette lettuce.

A small punnet each may not look like a lot to gardeners in the UK who tend to have much larger allotments but once they spread out they’ll soon fill the space up.

Parsley, lettuce and silverbeet planted

Parsley, lettuce and silverbeet planted

I finished the job with a good dousing of Seasol liquid seaweed to help the seedlings get over the shock of transplanting and then put the mulch back around the plants.

Over on the other side of the allotment the sweet potato which seems to cope beautifully with the extreme weather we’ve been having is really flourishing. You can see from the holes in the leaves that the grass hoppers have been having a nice feed off them.

Incidentally, on the subject of sweet potato leaves I have been told that if you pick them when they are young and tender they are good to eat, either raw or cooked.  I’ve been googling the subject of sweet potato greens as I write this post and there is heaps of information out there. Try this link for a start.

Mmmmm. Perhaps the grass hoppers will have to learn to share – maybe I’d like those leaves on my dinner plate too!

Sweet potato

Sweet potato

Happy gardening.

Running a blogging workshop

When I wrote about my blogging workshop yesterday I concentrated on the audience. So today I plan to write a little about the content of the workshop.

I wasn’t sure how many people would turn up so the first question was how to lay out the room.  I had already set up the equipment. My computer screen was shown up on the large overhead projector screen. Any movement I made on my computer could be seen easily across the room.

The next thing was to decide how many chairs to set up.  Someone advised me once that if you put out too many chairs and hardly anybody turns up it’s not a good look. So we just set up a few rows and if we were mown down in the rush we could always set more chairs out.

I had already decided that if it was a really small turn out I would abandon the overhead screen and we would sit together around  a table and work directly on my computer in a more intimate way.  As it happens this wasn’t necessary as we had a good turn out.  Enough to make it interesting and also small enough so that everyone in the room could have a voice.

When I made the decision to start a blog it took me weeks to actually do it. My main problem was the information overload on the web. It just sounded so complicated and the words used were strange to me. What is a widget? Isn’t a post something that holds up a fence?

Then came a stroke of luck, I met a young man who had already set up a blog and was prepared to sit down with me and lead me through it. It took less than five minutes.  Eureka!  So that, I decided, was the way to go with the workshop.  Just set it up on the screen and go through the process a stage at a time.

I planned to use the first half of the workshop showing my own blog up on the screen and taking people behind the scenes of the blog to show how it works. I went through the process of setting up a new post, how to insert a link , the function of tags and how to manage comments.  We talked about what they need to think about before they set up the blog. The main question being what to actually write about. It needs to be something you are passionate about. (Although why anyone would bother to blog about something that they weren’t passionate about escapes me.) We also talked about security and just how much information you want to disclose about yourself, your whereabouts and your family.

Forty five minutes I reckoned was just about as long as folk can sit down listening to me and looking at the screen. Time for a tea break and the chance to mingle with other bloggers or bloggers-to-be. I took this opportunity to get to know everybody.

The second half of the workshop was an opportunity to discuss what everybody wanted to get out of the session. I encouraged, and received, lots of input from the audience. It was interesting to discover so many in the room who were already writers, both electronically and on paper.

Two days later, and I still feel so grateful to the people who turned up to the workshop and threw themselves right into it. I couldn’t have met a more positive crowd. Debbie has already started two blogs and is looking at a third. I am looking forward to following this. Maria is writing it up on her blog.

Happy blogging.

My Blogging Workshop

Thank you to New Farm Library for hosting my blogging workshop yesterday.

I was delighted to meet the lovely group of people who turned up.

I have been following Maria’s blog The Next Stage for some time now and yesterday I met her in person. Thanks for taking this pic Maria. (I should have got someone else to take the photo so that you could have joined me. Sigh.)

At my blogging workshop, all ready to go.

At my blogging workshop, all ready to go.

We had a couple of authors in the audience, Rhyll and Wayne Paul. Rhyll has written Pebbles in the Road and, for children, Friends of the Flood. Check out her website.

Incidentally, Rhyll is giving a writers’ workshop at Sandgate Library on 26th February and Corinda Library on 26th March.

Wayne Paul is an illustrator with a heightened sense of humour and his book is Crutches. Check this link for his website Droopy Draws (I didn’t dare ask where he got his nick-name from). Watch out for his name in The Courier Mail shortly.

Wayne Paul and me with his book 'Crutches'.

Wayne Paul and me with his book ‘Crutches’.

Debbie came along from Brisbane Booze and Books (I quote) “A bookclub for like-minded people who enjoy great food, alcohol and books.”  They have nearly 300 members.

I was going to write about my workshop, but I found that there was much more talent in the audience than there was standing in front of the overhead projector!

I havn’t mentioned everyone who attended by name, but they were all a wonderful lively bunch, for that I thank you.

A talk about blogging

I will be talking about blogging at New Farm Library at noon tomorrow (Sat 2nd Feb).

Here is the link. Scroll down to All About Blogs.

It’s free, all are invited.

Frugal Queen

Writing about all things thrifty, home cooking, fun on a budget and living between Cornwall and Huelgoat in Brittany.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

The Power of Thrift

and other ramblings

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

could do worse

adventures in London

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and daytrips

Pickle Me Too

Nourishing foods for the whole family (including pickles!)

myproductivebackyard

Sustainable Backyard Food Production

My Front Burner

making what matters

30 acres of sunshine

organic, sustainable and self-sufficient hobby farm in the making

Lottie Land Girl

Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...

Foodnstuff

Energy decline & self-sufficiency from Melbourne, Australia

horticultural 'obbit

'obbitry of the horticultural kind

Leisa Rayven

Passionate stories for lovers of words

Frugal Queen

Writing about all things thrifty, home cooking, fun on a budget and living between Cornwall and Huelgoat in Brittany.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

The Power of Thrift

and other ramblings

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

could do worse

adventures in London

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and daytrips

Pickle Me Too

Nourishing foods for the whole family (including pickles!)

myproductivebackyard

Sustainable Backyard Food Production

My Front Burner

making what matters

30 acres of sunshine

organic, sustainable and self-sufficient hobby farm in the making

Lottie Land Girl

Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...

Foodnstuff

Energy decline & self-sufficiency from Melbourne, Australia

horticultural 'obbit

'obbitry of the horticultural kind

Leisa Rayven

Passionate stories for lovers of words

The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

One homemaker. One Acre. My quest for Self Sufficiency.

not just greenfingers

Mrs Thrift's Simple Living in the Modern Day......Kitchen Garden, Allotment, Baking And More...

quarteracrelifestyle

The "Good Life" on a quarter acre, frugal living

Gardener Jen

Trials, errors and joys of creating and maintaining my first garden.

Our Everyday Life in Pictures

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

Exercising Septuagenarian

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

frugalfeeding | Low Budget Family Recipes, UK Food Blog

n. frugality; the quality of being economical with money or food.

The Next Stage

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

The Greening of Gavin

Sustainable Living in the Suburbs

Down to Earth

Growing vegetables on one small allotment