a garden update from Theresa (PTTPT project officer & care taker of PSLC )

“In garden news: Chris Mitchell (the Green Jobs Fund field commander), yesterday broke into one of the compost piles he and the crew have built at the centre. It was steaming and the smell was hot and rich and green. We were both very happy about this sign of success in the elite and specialist field of composting – especially as the compost piles are down in a cold, shady part of the garden. However! To my mild surprise the Green Jobs crew and the high school kids found the smell very disgusting, and, as they do so well, protested loudly and long about it. My own reaction to this very strong smell must be related to how highly I value what it represents. We built the piles from layers of straw, stockpiled blackwood leaves and stable manure, and the crew have been turning them weekly – in the home garden, weekly turning is pretty heavy work, you can get away with a lot less, but the price you pay is slow compost (not quite as good as slow food).. I never feel richer than when I’ve a couple of good, working compost piles.

Onion babies are peering out of their long bed, so it’s time to start a-weeding! And I think the chinese cabbage is trying to bolt to seed, which is not ideal.

Coming up on September 4th, Steve Solomon is coming to the garden. This makes me a little nervous. (As the politicians start every unbearable sentence) “Look”; I learnt to garden in Queensland, where you really need a good mulch to keep the moisture in your soil. Down here, I’m rapidly finding that a good mulch is little more than the infrastructure for Slugtown. Those slugs are so appreciative of my good work providing them with food, a place to live, safe, insulated housing; i have an excellent approval rating. Suffice to say we’ve been lifting the mulch of late, and adding it to our steamy compost. Steve will be preparing a bit of ground in our vegetable patch, we’ll be making up a batch of his Complete Organic Fertiliser, and talking about spring planting.

The October working bee, you ask? We are now taking suggestions. What would be most useful to you?

The time has come to begin planning next year’s Sustainable Living Festival, so if any of you would like to be involved, please let me know, there’s a lot of work to be done. Also, if you’d like to receive the North West Environment Centre’s newsletter, go to www.nwec.org.au We still really need your surplus fruit and veg. for Produce to the People even if you’re looking at silverbeet thinking ‘it would be nice if i had time to pick that and give it to PttP’, please get in touch and I can come and harvest it for you! I do accept cups of tea, and you may keep as much of the harvest as you like, of course.”

The Penguin Sustainable Living Centre can be found on Ironcliffe Road, Penguin (a bit past the school on the left…….drive down the sometimes bumpy drive into the wonderland)                             email : penguincentre@gmail.com

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