Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spring garden preparations

Finally, we are having some warm Spring days and the garden is waking up from its winter sleep.  In the Food Garden we are raising the beds with layers of green wet, brown dry and compost with a little bone meal added.  Once the bed is mulched with sawdust or straw, we transplant seedlings or sow Bush/Dwarf/French beans and carrots directly into the bed.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Winter garden

Not much has been happening in the garden these past few months, mainly due to the cold, wet weather.  With August around the corner, we can already feel the new, Spring energy in the air and it feels like the plants (and us humans) are awakening from a long, winter sleep!

This week Sarah has been propagating cuttings of some of the indigenous flowerering shrubs to start a nursery.  We have 2 local volunteers who are busy learnng the ropes (or should I say 'plants'?)  

In the Food Garden, summer crops have been sown this week, as well as corn, gem squash and pumpkins planted directly into beds.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Visitors from the USA

Eco-tourists from USA came to see the gardens this week.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Home Gardens! ... our new vision!

February 2012: Home Garden No. 2

March 2012: Home Garden No. 3

January 2012: Home Garden No. 1
A food garden at every home, starting with those in Woodwind Circle, and extending to greater Steenberg... that's our new vision for 2012 and beyond!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Councillor visits the gardens

Ivan takes the new Councillor on a tour of the gardens

Friday, January 27, 2012

Summer Harvest ... part 1

Tomatoes of all shapes and sizes!

Tomatoes ripening on windowsill at home

Over-sized courgette!  This is what happens when you blink your eyes at them!

Harvest of potatoes, tomatoes and our first cucumbers!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hidden treasure ... our first potatoes of 2012!

We proved that the mulch-method produces more potatoes, and bigger sizes too!

Seed bed being sown for autumn planting.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Farewell, Friends!

We say 'Farewell' to volunteers Robbie, Gareth and Toni, whose 3 months in SA came to an end.  They hail from the UK and came here to share street soccer skills with our community children.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Summer garden

Food garden at the beginning of summer.

This is what happens to lettuce plants in the heat, and if left too long!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Food Garden update: November

It's incredible what happens to the plant-world in Spring.
One minute, the plant has just appeared above the ground, and the next minute they have these stunning flowers on them, with baby marrows literally growing by the minute straight afterwards!

Through freecycle we were able to get some bamboo sticks for tomato trellises.  Our aim is to have a trellis on the western end of each bed, to give some afternoon shade in the hot summer days ahead.  We were taught by Soil for Life to design the beds from east to west, in keeping with the path of the sun.  The smallest plants on the eastern end, and tallest on the west.

Marcus, a student in Cape Town, has volunteered to help us in the garden twice a week!  This is a tremendous blessing to us.  Now that the weather is becoming warmer, everything seems to speed up in the garden, and there's always so much more to do than what we have time for.  Every extra pair of hands helps! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Volunteers arrive from abroad

Gareth is one of 3 volunteers from the UK who will be with us for the next 3 months.  They were sent to us by 'Coaching For Hope' and will be spending afternoons with the children, teaching soccer skills.

Rayner (2nd from right) is a medical student from Canada.  She and Trevor Busby are running a Holiday program for the children this week during the school term holiday.

We are so thankful to these kind-hearted people!

Picture Perfect!

Couldn't resist taking this pic on my way to the celebrations on Saturday.  The colours all around the garden are breath-taking!

Garden Birthday

Just in time, the fence around the Court was finished the day before the Birthday.

Residents, children and a few UK volunteers gathered to listen to the speeches, on an overcast and windy day - Saturday, 1 October.

Mr. Morkel, ex-Councillor for our area and recently retired, still took the time to pay us a visit.

Thanks to the Committee and a few caring residents, there was enough...

... to feed all the hungry little mouths!

The highlight for the children was the games afterwards. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Circle's 3rd Birthday this Saturday!

We'll be celebrating the Garden's birthday this coming Saturday, 1 October from 10am until 1pm with music, games and food!  All welcome, bring a platter to share if you can.

New fence for court

New 3m length poles were cemented into the ground around the centre Court this past week.  The idea is to surround the Court with extra-strong net to stop soccer balls being kicked into the garden and destroying the plants. We thank Mr. Petersen, who patiently housed the poles in his garage at home since December 2010!  Dinesh Isaacs, our new Project Manager in the City Council, who managed to get the job done and Basil, the Foreman who came personally to see that it was done properly!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September Food Garden update

We've been busy preparing trellises for tomatoes and beans.

 Laid a 'firewall' of eggshells to try and stop snails from entering the food garden from the big garden outside.
 During the winter months, there seems to be nothing to harvest, and suddenly everything starts to bloom in spring.  There's lots of spinach, lettuce, onions, leeks, parsley and we're waiting for 'spitzkop' cabbages to form heads.  We're giving them one more month.  If nothing, then out they go to make room for the peppers and chillies.  We need lots of old stockings to stake the tomatoes, so please send us some if you have :-)  Thanks!

Spring is here!!!

 We were so happy this week to see all the flowers blooming around the Circle.  After the Spring rains, it can only get better!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Soccer stars

In the centre of our community garden is the tarred court, which is most often used as a soccer pitch.

Most afternoons you will find school-aged kids having a game, but after 5 is the 'big boys' time. These are the young men of the community who come to play after working hours, sometimes until late at night, especially during summer when it stays light until almost 9pm!

Part of the vision for the community garden is that the court could help the young people, possibly by learning new games and skills along with good team spirit and self-discipline.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Winter garden

We've been having amazing weather all through July and August, when it should be raining and cold! It feels more like Spring and the poor plants don't know what to do - some are bolting and putting out seed heads, while others seem to be dormant! We did quite a lot today, but most importantly, sowed some summer crop seeds! The kohlrabi are looking good now, and so are one or two cabbages that somehow survived the snail attacks. Harvested a bunch of carrots and another of spring onions.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Hippo in our Garden!

Ha, that caught your attention! What a shock one morning this week to find what looked like two huge hippo feet lying on top of the veggie beds! My mind squealed silently, remembering all the hard work it took to layer the trench beds, and Sandi's words: 'Don't ever put a foot in the garden bed, as you'll compact the soil!!!'

The Council had made an uplanned delivery the day before and unintentionally dumped the concrete seats together with a load of bark chips in the garden! They were very apologetic about it afterwards though.