A morning’s work in the community garden

Today was our usual Wednesday morning gathering of volunteers who work together on the community garden at the farm where I keep my allotment.

The weather didn’t look very promising, dark clouds coming and going and a threat of rain. We turned up in our various wet-weather gear.

I wore enough layers to tackle Everest – I feel a bit ashamed really because Brisbane is 19c degrees today. But I did peel a couple of layers off once I’d been working for a while.

My first job in the community garden was harvesting. The carrot bed is coming along nicely, when the seeds were planted we incorporated plenty of sand to lighten it up. Despite this, we still found some of the carrots were a bit forked. But this is the one I pulled up first and I think it’s a beauty.

Then we cleared the ground of the old beans which seemed to be going nowhere, into the compost they went, and we planted some fresh seedlings.

Beans cleared and new seedlings planted

Another bed was cleared. We opened one of the big compost bins and barrowed the stuff over to build up the bed before planting English Spinach seedlings.

Bed cleared, compost added, English Spinach seedlings planted

This cauliflower is looking so healthy and strong, no caterpillar holes, but no flower head either! Oh well, perhaps there is still time. I can’t believe it’s not possible to use the leaves anyway, they just look too good to waste. It calls for a bit of ‘Googling’ to find out what to do with them.

Cauliflower – without the flower!

The broad beans are looking good, except that they are just starting to be attacked by bugs.  So one of the ladies mixed up a home-remedy organic liquid and we sprayed it on. See if that works.

Broad beans in the community garden

My last job was over at my allotment. My daughter-in-law had given me a couple of red cabbage seedlings. I planted them and watered them in with Seasol liquid seaweed to help them get over the shock of transplanting.

Red cabbage seedling

My plan is to pickle the red cabbage when it’s mature and I do not intend sharing it with the caterpillars. To that end I have put a cage over the seedlings – one cage per seedling – are they spoiled or what?  Next time I’m over there I’ll cover the frames with a fine mesh.

Cages for red cabbage seedlings

(The frames were hanging around the farm and look like they were originally shelves from an upright freezer. Either way, I think they might do the job.)

We can but try. Happy gardening.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

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