UNDER THE TUARTS – December 2017

Summer has arrived.  We’ve had some warm to hot days already but precious little rain – a precursor of what’s to come, no doubt.

Regular watering is key to the continuing impressive performance of our Community Garden and the Watering Roster is ensuring regular watering for our entire Garden.

All the beds are planted to summer crops and many of them are looking very good.  In fact, despite the setback of the mini tornado in July, the whole Garden is in excellent condition after winter.

Of course the warmer weather has brought out the usual pests and bugs – white butterflies have been as numerous as anyone can remember, so cabbage grubs have been a real challenge.

The new raised garden beds are planted and the herbs and flowers are putting on a lovely show.  New equipment is being put to good use, including the mulcher which is being used to feed the compost and adding another element to the garden self sufficiency.

Talking about compost, we could do with some lawn cuttings and shredded paper in the compost bin at the Garden to boost our compost supplies.  Compost is great natural additive to the Garden beds and plants.

The experiment run in Bed 29 has had mixed results but was well worth the effort and yielded some good lessons.

We had a very good turn-out for the Spring Family Open Day last month (November).  Hundreds of plants cultivated by members were sold, as well as donated cakes, pizzas, raffles and Devonshire teas.  The proceeds will go towards Garden admin and day-to-day expenses as well as garden supplies and seedlings. At least eight new members were signed up.

Well done to everyone involved.

Until next time                                                  THE GARDENERS.

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Thankyou Bunnings Balcatta


Thankyou Frank and the team from Bunnings Balcatta for our new cubby!  Bunnings have kindly replaced our other cubby damaged in the mini tornado recently.  Many of our children and some adults will certainly enjoy the new addition.


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Garden Gurus at Hamersley Habitat

The Garden Gurus team attended our garden on Monday to film a segment and feature story on Hamersley Habitat.

The short video will be on the Garden Gurus TV show on September 23rd at 4:30pm and the “5 Things” segment filmed in the garden will be on the following Saturday September 30th at 4:30pm on Channel Nine.

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Artwork in the Garden

Our latest “Work for the Dole” project has provided the garden and surrounds with some great artwork for everyone to enjoy!

Check out the YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ1cvTGdPkk .

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Notice of Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of Hamersley Habitat Community Garden Inc will be held at 5pm on Friday 4 August 2017.  Venue – 15A Brabant Way, Hamersley.
Order of Business will be:

  • Confirm Minutes of 2016 AGM.
  • Report by Chairperson/Coordinator
  • Financial Report/statement
  • Election of office holders and Committee.
  • Fees for 2017/18
  • General Business

You are invited to nominate either yourself or another eligible person to a Position on the Committee.  Both the Nominator and the Nominee must sign the nomination form.  Completed forms to be lodged with Chairperson/Coordinator Donelle Wilson no later than 7 days before the AGM (Friday 28 July 2017).  Download an  AGM Nominator form or you can obtain one at the Garden or Chairperson.

The Positions to be filled are: Chairperson/ Coordinator, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Gardener Coordinator, Maintenance Officer, Media/Communications Officer, Catering Officer, Children’s Activities Officer and Committee member/s.

For more information please contact Chairperson/Coordinator Donelle Wilson (Hamersleyhabitat@outlook.com; or 0466 551 700).

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Grant from Department of Local Government and Communities

Hamersley Habitat Community Garden has been fortunate enough to receive funding to the value of $30,000 from the Department of Local Government and Communities.

D & M2Friend of the garden Stirling Councillor Dr Andrew Guilfoyle introduced David Michael MLA to Hamersley Habitat Community Garden and the Committee.

Mr Michael’s support was instrumental in our Community Garden securing the Local Projects, Local Jobs program grant.

It is very welcome and will fund upgrades at Hamersley Habitat Community Garden over the next 12 months, including reticulation for our many fruit trees and native plants, a new rainwater tank, garden equipment and soil amendments for all our garden beds.

David M 2We are very grateful to David Michael for his ongoing support and commitment to Hamersley Habitat Community Garden.



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Under The Tuarts June 2017

Winter has finally come upon us. We’ve had a couple of good rains and the days are distinctly colder. All the beds are planted with winter crops and many of them are looking very good indeed.


The clover leaf beds with (from the left) broccoli, cauliflowers and spinach

We had a very good turnout for Arbour Day with over 100 school students and a large group of adults to supervise and instruct. Four beds were planted out with vegetable seedlings and a large number of ground cover natives were planted on the southern strip behind the shed. These are doing well. We were very glad to get the rain soon afterwards as it was a lot to water on top of the rest of the garden. Many thanks to everyone who helped on the day.

An experiment is being run in Bed 26 with two parallel beds with similar crops, one with soil charcoal and one without. At this stage the red cabbage in the bed with charcoal is looking healthier than in the other bed. It remains to compare the cabbages when ready to pick. This sort of trial is well worthwhile and could be repeated with other soil additives.


The experimental beds. The nearer one has the charcoal additive.

The ice cream bean tree (Inga edulis) is a point of great interest in the garden. It has cropped prolifically this year. The large pods contain a fluffy white flesh which is edible and tastes like ice cream. It is a South American tree, a legume and therefore nitrogen fixing. The seeds are also edible when ground up.


Ice cream bean tree – now ready to be picked and eaten

Other fruit trees and vines are coming on well including several citrus trees, the apples and the passionfruit vines which have been quite amazing with heaps of fruit. The bananas have also grown very well and we expect to see bunches of bananas by this time next year.


Citrus, foreground, apples (left) and grapevines on the pergola.

Many thanks to the watering team who put in a sterling effort to keep everything going in the very dry Autumn. Don’t forget to carry on potting for the Garden Open Day in November. We’ve ordered better weather this year! And keep those contributions for the compost bins going.


Until next time:
The Gardeners

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School Arbor Day at Hamersley Habitat Community Garden

Our School Arbor Day event at Hamersley Habitat this morning was another great success, and enjoyed by all.

Many people and groups contributed to this result and we would like to give Big Thanks to:

  • all the wonderful gardeners of Hamersley Habitat who worked tirelessly towards this day for many months
  • the Hamersley Habitat committee whose commitment was essential for the success of the day
  • garden members and friends who worked alongside  the students
  • our fantastic local supporters for their kind donations- Bunnings Balcatta, Brownes Dairy and the City of Stirling for its grant.

Over 100 students from our three local schools were at the Garden today.  They planted native ground covers, plants for a sensory wall or vegetable seedlings.

We were very pleased to welcome Hon Michael Keenan MHR who enjoyed the company of the students with David Michael MLA and our friend of the Garden Clr Dr Andrew Guilfoyle.

Also, check out the video of the day.

A wonderful morning at Hamersley Habitat with the community.

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Artwork in the garden

Participants from Atwork Australia (Work For The Dole Project) are working with our Coordinator/Supervisor Donelle to complete some Art Work in our garden.


They are working on a large colourful mural along the corrugated border fence – (tricky work) and other art projects in the garden.

ArtworkCorrective Services are also inspired working on a mosaic in the newly constructed children’s cubby area (cubby house to be arriving soon!).  Also adding some colourful designs to our recycled furniture.



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As this is being written we are experiencing some late summer weather. Great for the garden so long as you keep the water up. However, this will not last long. The summer crops – beans, sweet corn, zucchini, eggplant, capsicums, cucumbers, pumpkins and rock melons as well as some herb crops are coming to an end.

One disappointing feature was the unfortunate tendency of some people to pick produce (vegetables and fruit) before it was ready.  Much more satisfying to allow the produce to ripen and to be available to many more people.

The change of seasons will be upon us and we have to look at our winter crops.

At a gardeners’ meeting recently we traversed the whole garden and came up with ideas for winter plantings. One new idea is to try planting potatoes in large bags. Another innovation will be “green cropping” to produce natural soil improvement.  Otherwise silver beet, beetroot, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbages, carrots and broad beans as well as seasonal herbs will be sown over the next few weeks.

Two beds are to be part of a trial involving the use of charcoal in the soil to test its effectiveness as a soil improver. There are also four beds to be made ready for Schools Arbour Day plantings in June by visiting groups of students from local schools – East Hamersley Primary, Glendale Primary and Warwick Senior High Schools.

Watering has proved quite a chore over the summer now that the Habitat Garden has grown to full size. Once the cooler weather and, hopefully, rain comes this will be much easier.  In any event, a roster for less frequent watering – perhaps two or three days a week – will be maintained over autumn, winter and spring.  Volunteers are always welcome. Even if you just put your name on a reserve list that will be helpful.

Also useful for the Garden are lawn clippings as an ingredient for making good compost.

One attraction of our annual Spring Open Day (4 November 2017) is the sale of pot plants.  Gardeners have begun potting plants in readiness.  Plants such as Canna Lilly, Geranium and Pelargonium, Federation Daisies, Iris, Snapdragon, Dianthus, Vinca, Impatents, Red Hot Polka, Agapanthus, Tree Begonia, Cosmos and Salvia are always popular.  If you can help out by potting some plants for sale your assistance will be appreciated.   It’s not too early.  In addition, we are always looking for garden pots to grow plants so please bring them along.

DID YOU KNOW? – Hamersley Habitat Community Garden will operate the Bunnings Balcatta sausage sizzle on Easter Saturday 15 April 2017.

TIP – Add compost, bentonite clay and/or rock dust to the soil before planting your vegetables or shrubs.  They will improve the soil and help our sandy soils to retain moisture.

Happy Gardening.  See you at the Community Garden sometime.

The Gardeners

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