Past Visits

We are a group of Tasmanians who like to grow what we eat and share skills, surplus produce, seeds, seedlings and  plants. 
We meet at informal monthly food-garden visits and welcome both experts and novices. 
Membership is open to anyone living in Tasmania and is free of charge.  
To join please send an email to mentioning the town or suburb where you live.

On Sunday 24 September the Food Garden Group visited Loes's garden at Conningham:

Dark clouds followed by rain on the way to Loes's garden made me think we might only have a small number of people at the first food garden visit of the season.  But then the weather did what it has done so often on mornings of food garden visits: the rain stopped, the skies cleared and more than forty people turned up.  Wow!
Here Loes (on the right) welcomes us
Our group had visited Loes's garden a few years ago, but she is an energetic person who always come up with a new idea, and many things had changed.

A very effective new veggie garden cage

The veggie garden enclosure does not look new, but it certainly wasn't here last time we visited.

Inside the veggie cage
Adjacent to the house (and benefiting from its brick wall for heat) is a hothouse 'under construction' made with recycled windows.  Loes can't wait for that to be finished.

Throughout the garden are many fruit trees (apples, pears, stone fruit and lemons).  Some of them had been pruned severely because the had suffered from disease last season.

Around the tree in the photo Loes put four plumbing pipes in the lawn (a helpful foot in the photo points to one of them).  When netting is needed to protect fruit, Loes puts four star pickets in the holes and connects them via fat irrigation pipes, so she has a good structure for the net.  I was surprised how far the holes need to be away from the tree.

The photo above shows a young espaliered Comice pear.

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Jan R (red jumper on the right) explained the basics of propagating.

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And Max K (middle of photo) showed how to graft a tomato onto another tomato.

I hope to use Jan and Max's expertise to create a blog post on the subject in the next few weeks.

Also in the two photos above there are wooden walls in the right corner of the galvanised iron shed.  This is 'the Hilton' Loes created for her chooks.  Below is a photo of the exit from the shed into their run.  You can also see the layer of wood shavings she has on the floor.

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In spite of it being very early in the season there was an amazing variety and quantity on the produce table, and the many and varied contributions for morning tea were also yummy.

Thank you, everyone who came and contributed.  All of us together made this into a very nice and informative morning.   And a special thanks to Loes, Pauline and Dirk, who were perfect hosts!

On Saturday 2 September 2017 the Food Garden Group's annual start of season workshop took place ......

Good workhops challenge people’s ideas and methods, and that is what Marcus Ragus did in the Start of Season 2017 workhop in the very nice Banksia Room at the Botanical Gardens, Hobart. Marcus discussed how, according to the latest research, plants behave, live and grow, and this was fascinating.

After morning tea this was followed by a demo of deep hay mulching in the garden’s vegetable patch.

One of Marcus’s heroes is Ruth Stout, writer of Gardening Without Work many years ago. Vicki (one of the participants of the workshop) found out that the book is now back in print. Have a look here: A video in which Ruth, at the age of 92, explains some of her methods can also be found on this page (thank you, Vicki, for this info).
People asked many questions on many subjects and Marcus very patiently answered them all.

This was a great session. Everyone went home with new thoughts on how to do things in their garden, precisely what this kind of workhop is meant to do.

I hope to add a post on deep hay mulching to the Food Garden Group blog in coming months.

Thank you, Marcus, on behalf of all participants, for inspiring us to see things in new ways.
Thanks everyone for your enthusiastic participation and your great contributions to morning tea.