All posts tagged: gardening

Spring Gardening in Melbourne

Ah, spring. My favourite time of the year in Melbourne. Sun, blossom, green shoots and a winter’s worth of compost ready to be put to use. Although the weather’s still a bit temperamental, there are dozens of herbs and veggies that are suitable for planting in September. Herbs like basil, oregano, parsley, mint, coriander and dill are great to grow in pots if you have limited space, while those lucky enough to have big backyards can go for veggies like beans, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, pumpkins and zucchinis. For a full run-down on what to plant this spring, the Gardening Australia website has a great planting guide. (Here’s another handy one.) Melbourne sits in the southern temperate zone, and these guides are tailored specifically for our city’s climate. For some more general tips on gardening in Melbourne, click here.   Advertisements

CERES Community Environment Park

If you love nature, gardening, organic food, bicycles or animals, or if you’re passionate about conservation and general do-gooderness, you should head to CERES Community Environment Park in Brunswick East. This place is like an urban lung, feeding Melbourne’s northern inner suburbs with oxygen and greenery and the smells of fresh dirt and ground coffee. Apart from being a lovely place to simply wander around and look at chickens, CERES has its own Organic Market, a Permaculture Nursery, and an Organic Cafe. CERES also offers a range of courses and workshops on all things green and sustainable; check the website for details of what’s on offer. There are also a bunch of volunteer opportunities here, so contact CERES if you’re keen to get involved. One popular and very handy CERES service is the team of volunteer bicycle fixer-upperes at The BikeShed. If, like me, you’re a little mechanically challenged, take your ailing bike along to CERES and the kind folk here will teach you how to fix it yourself. You can also buy new and second-hand bicycle parts …

How to make a garden (in Melbourne)

If you’ve never tried making a garden, now’s the time to give it a shot. As the weather warms, this is the perfect time of the year to plant some seeds and watch them grow. The internet is full of information and advice on how best to make a garden, but I’ll pass on a few small tips that I’ve found to be the most helpful. 1. Pots Those of us who live with small gardens (or no gardens) will need to grow our plants in pots or other containers. You can buy plastic pots very cheaply from Kmart; the bigger the better. I also use a couple of large wooden drawers that I found on the roadside. With a few holes cut in the bottom, they work perfectly as a garden bed. One advantage of using pots is that you can strategically place them in the spots that get the most direct sunlight — a crucial factor for growing most plants. 2. Compost Juicy, wormy compost is, basically, plant food. Without it, your plants …

How to keep chickens (in Melbourne)

On a recent sunny Sunday my housemates and I decided to adopt some chickens. We had no chicken coop, no chicken food, no feeder — nothing apart from half an unused back courtyard. So we went scavenging. Within a day or two we had built our very own custom super coop and chicken run using wholly recycled materials that we either found by the roadside or sourced from Gumtree.com.au and friends. We now have two chooks, happy to scratch the days away, which each lay an egg daily. We plan to add two more to our new farmyard. It’s really quite simple — not to mention fun, environmentally friendly, economical and surprisingly therapeutic — to keep chooks. Here’s what you’ll need — and what you’ll need to consider — to set up your own chook coop in Melbourne: 1. Space Chickens don’t need a huge amount of space, but every creature deserves to be able to carry out its primal needs in comfort. For chooks, those primal needs are scratching for food, taking dust-baths, laying …

Event: The Growing Food Project

Where does our food come from? This question is seldom asked in wealthy first-world societies, where food seems to originate — individually wrapped and pleasingly presented — on the supermarket shelf. The lack of basic knowledge about growing food must be one of the more significant tragedies of the modern age — one that has contributed to many of today’s health and environmental problems: food waste, poverty, obesity, even climate change. Melbourne artist, activist and nutritionist Rasha Tayeh is passionate about food. Her new short documentary, The Growing Food Project, looks at Melbourne’s expanding local food movements, which sees local communities coming together to create sustainable food systems. ‘The  Growing  Food  Project  is  an  attempt  to  allow further exploration of positive relationships with food, whilst documenting various stories of grassroots initiatives that search for meaning through food,’ Rasha explains. ‘There is a growing energy in Melbourne responding to food and sustainability issues. Local communities are teaming up to strengthen the way we produce and distribute local food. From community gardening to neighbourhood feasts, these community food projects improve …