End of year wrap up

By Lou Bull

As the season winds up and the year winds down …
I am never sure which way to go with this idea that the year winds down for Christmas.  In our climate the lush growing season kicks in, the wildlife gets very excited and events galore get organised.  This was certainly true for Seed Savers Albury-Wodonga as both event organisers and participants.

Thank you card image

Thanks Seed Savers. Image: Lou Bull

This update is a brief reflection on the last few gatherings we had in 2015 and to invite your ideas for our plans in 2016.

Early Spring Gathering – Share your favourite garden tool (September)

This mid-week event was great fun.  There was generous sharing of favourite tools and ideas for how to best use them!

The table of tools was impressive and we all went home with either a wish list for Christmas or a greater appreciation for the ones we have.

Table of members' favorite tools

Talking tools. Photo: Lou Bull

The take home message was that good quality tools are worth investing in and that sometimes the simple tools can be most useful and versatile (a sharp kitchen knife was a great example of a tool used for weeding and harvesting).

Seed bank drop in and surviving summer chat (November)

To finish off the general gatherings for the year (no fancy Christmas gatherings this year, sorry) we held a drop-in session on November 5th.  Anna lead a fantastic discussion on surviving the summer predicted this year.  We discussed the various watering options, wicking beds always pop in for an appearance, how to manage fruit fly, timers for irrigation (an Israeli company was recommended for their higher quality equipment) and the seed bank was added to and taken from! See the information sheets and past workshop notes on our website for more on these topics.

Our stall at the Albury Wodonga Sustainable Living Market (November)

What a great event and morning on November 7th. It was wonderful to see all the local sustainability efforts being made and encouraged.  Our gorgeous committee and members lent their time to talk to many interested passers-by about our group and activities.  There is definitely a ‘growing’ interest from a younger audience keen to grow food and save seed.

How good did we look on the day?!

Photos above by Lou Bull and Ruth Trevaskis Photography.
See more photos in this mini-gallery.

Fruit trees with Pete the Permie (November)

Our final event for the year was hosting Pete the Permie for an intense six-hour workshop on all things to do with fruit trees (November 8th). It was a day where we learnt about selecting rootstock to suit our climate, our garden’s size and needs.  It was about training trees for back yards to maximise space and food.  We leant about grafting techniques and even investigated the timing of pruning and management to phases of the moon.

We hope we can build on some skills in these areas with more of you in 2016.
It was suggested we consider buying and sharing rootstock, as well as perhaps getting together to practice our grafting skills, in the next season. Would you be keen to join in?

FINALLY… now is the time to identify the plants you will aim to collect seed from this season

The seed bank is in need of:

HERBS: basil, parsley, coriander, calendula, dill, fennel
ROOTS: Carrots, parsnip, beetroot, radish
WINTER GREENS: kales, Asian greens, cabbage, cauliflower
SPRING ABUNDANCE: peas, greens, celery, broad beans, lettuce
SUMMER BELLY FILLERS: Cucumber, squashes, pumpkins, beans (we are good for runner beans, thanks Steve!), snake beans are increasingly popular & corn

We will be planning 2016 in February – look for updates when the sun is at its peak. (Or wait for the email!).

Handfuls of mulberries

Mmm, mulberrries! Photo: Lou Bull

May your mulberries make it to the pot and a big thank you to the hard work of the committee Karen Retra, Anna Sullivan, Jane Barlow, Victoria Schollick, Karral Miller, Kirsty Van Grinsven, Lou Bull.

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