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Notice Board 

1. To promote organic sustainable food raising for home gardens and farms.
 2.   To foster research into improved methods of organic farming and gardening. 
3.   To provide information and support to all those interested in the various aspects of organic growing.
 

Meetings Held:
3rd Thursday of the Month
‍The Meeting Place, Cnr Guineas Creek Rd and Coolgardie St, Elanora.  Doors open: 7:00 pm. Begin at 7:30 pm
Entry is $2 members, $5 visitors.
(No meeting in December)

 Annual Membership Fees:
Single: $20. Family: $30.
To renew or start memberships please transfer funds directly into our bank account, send cheques (payable to GCOG) to Diane Kelly, or just pay at the door.  

Name:   Gold Coast Organic Growers
Bank:   Suncorp 
BSB:    484-799
Account:   0014-21651 

Seed Bank:
Packets are $2.00 each.

Members’ Market Corner:
Please bring plants, books and produce you wish to sell or trade. 

Raffle Table:
This relies on the kind generosity of members to donate items on the night. Tickets - $1each or 3 for $2.

Library: Books 50c, Videos, DVDs $2, Soil Test Kit $2. Available to members for 1 month.  

Advertising: 
(Note 11 issues/year)1/4 page: $15 an issue, or $145 per year, 1/2 page: $25 an issue, or $250 per year, full page: $40 an issue, or $400 per year, 

W: www.goldcoastorganicgrowers.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/gcorganic
 

2018 Committee 

President 
Maria Roberson (07) 5598 6609 
Vice President 
Diane Kelly (07) 5522 7444 
Treasurer
Diane Kelly (07) 5522 7444
Secretary  

Assistant Secretary
Cathie Hodge  0406 575 233  cathie.hodge@gmail.com
Penny Jameson 0411 639 558  
Membership Secretary
Membership Assistant
Diane Kelly
Penny Jameson
Newsletter Editor

Newsletter Assistant
Jorge Cantellano  jcantellanoc@gmail.com
Diane Kelly
Dorothy Coe
Jill Barber (p.r. for Jorge)
Website  Editor
Social Media Editor
Jorge Cantellano
Stacey Panozzo,
Dorothy Coe
Advertising
Stacey Panozzo   0406 007 583
staceypanozo1@gmail.com
Guest Speaker Liaison
Leah Johnston leahbryan9@gmail.com
Emma Litchfield,
tacey Panozzo
Librarians
Evelyn Douglas
Seed Bank
Seed Assistants
Lyn Mansfield,
Maggie Golightly,
Bill Smart
Supper Co-ordinator
Paul Roberson,
Deb Phillips,
Bev Geraghty
Veggie Swap Co-ordinator
Dorothy Coe

Newsletter Contributions are welcome.  Send in a photo of what’s going on in your patch. Deadline for contributions is the one week before the meeting. Send your content to Jorge C. at: jcantellanoc@gmail.com  

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Notice Board 

Membership Renewals
NEW: 
You can now pay your membership fee directly into the GCOG bank account. 
Name:         Gold Coast Organic Growers
Bank:          Suncorp     
BSB:           484-799
Account:     0014-21651 

Remember to put your Name and Membership Number in the comment field. 
Note the number in brackets after your name is your membership number - you will need to quote this number in the comment field, if you pay via online banking.  

Membership Renewals – June 2018: 

Overdue: 
William & Tracey Chen (400), John Drakes (418), Andrew & Helen Blum (344), Alan Ralph (394), Jun Yoneda (428), Emma Strong (429), Sally Machray (430), Angela Anderson (323), Fran Janes (366), Lorraine McArthur (423), Sue Beckinsale (373), Carmen Martin (432). 

June:  Shelley Pryor (72), Jan Wright (191), Karen Hart (198), Mea Lee Khoo (211), Dorothy Coe 253), Ron Campbell (255), Cathie Hodge (304), Eileen Turner (328), Shem Pireh (361)

July:  Ian & Margaret Lee (118), Justin & Jerry Rogers (275)

Latest newsletter can be downloaded from the site at  goldcoastorganicgrowers.org 

Thanks to Contributors this month:  Diane Kelly, Jill Barber,  Jorge Cantellano,  and Dorothy Coe, Pauline Maxwell, Stacey Panozzo.  

Upcoming Guest Speakers 

We are currently seeking Guest Speakers for throughout 2018. If you have an idea for a potential speaker, or a topic that you think would interest our members, please contact Leah Johnston at leahbryan9@gmail.com 

Workshops 

Abilities Plus – Permaculture For more information and bookings contact  Lyn Mansfield 
M: 0409 645 888 E: lynmansfield14@bigpond.com W: http://abilitiespluspermaculture.com/ 

Gardening Girls Lunch – (Men welcome)
20 July  -  11 am to 1 pm


Rose Evans Garden Centre Coombabah
We meet monthly for lunch and a chat
Lyn Mansfield 0409 645 888

Edible Landscape Project
Native Bushfood Garden
14 July   -   8:30am to 10:30am

at the “Moon Mandala Garden”
Edible Landscape Gardens Site
74 Billabirra Cres, Nerang
Country Paradise Parklands

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Garden Angels to the Rescue
By Dorothy Coe  

On Monday 28th May 2018, I had a team of Garden Angels arrive at my property in Tallebudgera to blitz my garden.  After a year of neglect, 3 hrs later they had my garden looking amazing again. Since selling my business 3 yrs ago I thought I would have more time to spend in my garden – but things took a different path as I got busy with various

community and volunteer projects, including working at the local community gardens, setting up a small community garden in Tallebudgera, as well as helping a friend with her garden, etc so my own garden got neglected. I also lost motivation due to the big gum trees on my property taking all the nutrients and moisture and when I was watering daily and watching my plants die I realised I was fighting a loosing battle so I gave up and started planting at the Southern Beaches Community Garden instead where I have had more success with growing there in the last year than I have had in 4 years on my 2 acres in Tallebudgera.  

As you can see from the photos my garden was very overgrown but is now looking amazing again so I can start a fresh.

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The biggest issue I have on my property at the moment is the gumtree roots stealing the water from my veggie beds so my future plan is to either put a membrane down (root barrier) or build some wicking beds. Undecided yet which way I will go. 

My garden does still need work and its going to take a bit of time to get it back to it’s full glory so I am thinking of having another garden blitz soon if anyone is interested in joining me in the next month let me now and I’ll organise another working bee. As before I can provide lunch and all you need to do is turn up with some tools, enthusiasm and smiles. 

We had a great day in the garden and while it was hard work, it was fun and social and apparently everyone loved the food.

Thanks Garden Angels:
Jorge Cantellano, Anne-Maree Andrew, Deb Phillips, David Tangye, Nicole Kimj, Paul Whelligan and Burce Kelly & Heather Ryan (The Bushrangers).

Can We Help? 

In the section BELOW our members can ask about cuttings, seeds or plants that they would like to obtain, or where we could let others know about anything that we might have spare and would like to share around. 

So if you would like to let the Club members know about any particular plant you are looking for, or if you can help out and provide a plant that someone has asked for please email Diane with the details at dianekelly@bigpond.com 

Offers / Wants / Swap / Share 

WE ARE LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEER
for EdibleScapes Inc.

 Gardeners Needed:

As we are yet to commence planting our Edible Landscape Gardens, we are looking for gardeners.

We are looking for passionate and experienced gardeners who can help us get started, as well as share their knowledge with other keen volunteers and visitors through demonstration workshops at our monthly working bee gatherings.

If you want to volunteer as a gardener or know someone who may be interested, please contact as at contact@ediblescapes.org 


We are also taking any donations of plant pots, native plants, edible trees, seedlings and cuttings.

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If You Only Do One Thing this Month – Grow some Leeks!  
by: Dianne Kelly

Apart from the fact that leeks are considered an easy vegetable to grow and that they are largely free of pest problems, one very good reason to grow them is so you can make a “Chicken and Leek Pie”.  Chicken pieces, leeks, celery stalks, parsley, cream, milk and an egg  combine easily under a covering of puff pastry, and so after preparing the mixture and baking  the pie for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden you will be able to enjoy a really tasty meal – and MAYBE some leftovers the next day!

In our area, it is recommended that we plant leaks during autumn and winter to achieve the best production.  As with most vegies, they will thrive in any well-drained soil – provided that the soil is moderately fertile.  They enjoy a pH of 6.5-7.5, and are one of the few vegetables that will tolerate shaded conditions.

Germinating of leeks requires temperatures above 7deg C, and the seeds must be pressed into close contact with the soil.

Seeds can either be sown direct, or in seedbeds or punnets for transplanting.  A 3m row of leeks will yield around 5kgs of yummy plants, so two rows should be plenty for most families. After about 8 weeks it will be time to plant out or thin the seedlings – they should be pencil thick by this stage.  Trim the tops and tails of seedlings prior to planting, as this helps reduce water loss.  Using a dibber, make wide holes about 15cm deep and spaced 20cm apart.  Drop the seedlings gently into the hole, and water them into position rather than back-filling the space – this stops the soil getting in among the leaves.

Leek stems are similar to celery plants in that they are blanched to enhance their tenderness and flavour.  As the plants mature, progressively fill the holes to facilitate blanching.  Alternatively you can plant the leek seeds or seedlings into a trench 20cm deep, which you can fill with soil as the plants grow – hilling the soil up continues the blanching process.  You can place milk carton sleeves or short sections of plastic downpipe around the plants to stop the soil from collecting within the leaf folds.

Commercially, leeks are harvested when they have a blanched section 10-15 cm in length, and at least 2.5 cm in diameter – but gardeners can harvest them at any stage!  The plants can be left in the ground for 12 months or more without deterioration in all but tropical climates.  The base of the plants may well end up a considerable depth below the soil surface, so gently use a garden fork to unearth the harvest – otherwise the plants might break.

As I mentioned, leeks are generally pest free – you might have a few snails or slugs nest in the blanched stems.  Also thrips may attack the foliage, but the damage done is largely cosmetic and seasonal.  And that’s it!Leeks take up to two seasons to produce flowers and set seed.  Insects will cross-pollinate different varieties of leeks, but leeks will not cross with onions.  Globular flower

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heads form on impressive stems that can grow more than a meter tall, and you can grow multiplier types that produce suckers – these can be separated and replanted.The other “disadvantage” with leeks is that they need to be thoroughly cleaned, as soil does tend to accumulate at the base of the leaves.  Splitting the stem and rinsing it under running water is the easiest way to dislodge debris.

Leeks add a subtle flavour to many traditional soups, stews and casseroles, but they can also be enjoyed as a side vegetable – boiled, steamed, braised or fried!  They can be cooked whole, and then served hot, lukewarm or cold as an appetiser – and young leeks, when finely chopped – are good in a salad.Leeks can be stuffed with Blue Cheese, raisins and almonds; they can be teamed up with braised pork belly and ginger; you can cook a pumpkin and leek ravioli; or you can settle for a traditional leek and potato soup during the cold nights ahead.  But however you cook them, be sure to “Plant some Leeks this Month”.

p.s.  Don’t forget to regularly weed around the leek plants, and make sure they are well-watered.

Spinach and leek cob dip – yum !!

Recipes
Jill's Best Salmon Pie

This is a recipe that my departed stepmum, Val, gave me, as I loved hers so much. A year since she passed on, and I finally tried it. It’s so simple to make, and so delicious. I hope that you enjoy yours as much as we just have with this one. It actually gave the two of us 4 meals!

Ingredients:

1 ½ c plain spelt flour
½ tsp paprika
1 c grated cheese
125 gm butter
415 gm can salmon, drained & flaked
1 large onion finely chopped
3 eggs beaten .
1 carton sour cream
½ c grated cheese
2 drops tabasco sauce or cayenne, salt & pepper

Method:
  • Mix flour, paprika, cheese; rub in butter.
  • Spread ¾ of mix in 24 cm pie plate – press evenly.
  • Spread on top
  • Mix onion, eggs, sour cream, cheese, seasoning
  • Pour over salmon
  • Sprinkle remaining crumbed mixture on top
  • Bake 40 to 50 mins 180deg.

Recipes contd overleaf…Please email your yummy recipes to Jill jillbarber611@gmail.com

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Recipes
Dorothy’s Winter Warming Porridge

Serves 1

You can also add anything else to this mix and remove anything you may not like.

You can also vary the quantities of ingredients to suit. You can substitute the seeds for your favourite seeds, and substitute milk for your fav milk and also the fruit can be varied. I also like to add PawPaw, Apple or Pear sometimes.

Method and Ingredients

Soak a combination of Porridge Oats, Chai Seeds & Quinoa Flakes in a saucepan of filtered water for 10 mins.

Then, put it on a medium heat and slowly add the following, stirring as you go. I add these in the following order but you can vary it but definitely add berries last as they are delicate.

  • Almond milk or your favourite milk
  • Small amount of chopped ginger
  • Small amount of chopped turmeric (or you can use powder version)
  • 1 tsp of flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp macca powder
  • 1 tbsp of chopped avocado
  • 1 tsp pumpkin kernals
  • 1 tsp sunflower kernals
  • 1 tsp buckwheat seeds
  • 1 tbsp protein powder (I use Hemp)
  • 1 banana (can be frozen as will defrost quick)
  • 1 date chopped
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 pinches of salt & pepper
  • Small handful of berries
(I also add some medicinal mushroom powders, herbs & spices)

Wednesdays from 9.30am
Worongary State School

Our "Seedlings Morning Sesh" are the opportunity for all of us to learn something new, connect and discover new ways. They are focused on sustainability, nature, nutrition, parenting, health as a whole and of course gardening.

Every Wednesday we will meet at Worongary State Hall before heading down to the Seedlings garden together. Bring your own gardening gloves as we only have a few on hands. 

Come and take part in those free or low-cost community sessions where different speakers will share their knowledge on a specific topic every week.

These sessions are there to learn, discover, share and create this healthy community around the Seedlings Program.

It aims at educating children and their parents/family by creating a healthy environment. This encaptures the school community garden, the edible school project, the soft plastic program, and the community sessions.

A French-inspired childminding/class is available from French At Kindergarten whilst you are learning something new. Now you children can do too. From 3 years old (extra cost)

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/181619315985221/

Audrey Mates-Bills,
Seedling program Founder
0416085762
seedlingsworongary@gmail.com

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Seville Orange Tree for the Heritage Orchard Garden at EdibleScapesBy Jorge Cantellano

The Seville orange tree was donated by Margaret Lee to the Edible Landscape Gardens.This tree will set in the collection to be planted in the heritage orchard garden of the project site.  

Margaret explains, “The Shailer family grew huge numbers of fruit trees on their land, now "Shailer Park" suburb south of Brisbane. ” A friend of Margaret, Lynette Shailer gave her the fruit & she has grown some plants. “For history, they go back to 1920 there.”“Seville city in Spain features the trees on footpaths & in many gardens. Now is the tourist season & the blossom & scent is wonderful.

Grafting does NOT work for these & NOT compatible with rootstocks. You may later try 'marcott' or aerial layer. It is rough skinned, no fruit-fly problem, but not good for fruit bowl/eating. The marmalade is scarce & gets a good price.

Lynnes father was an Alderman (now Councillor) on the Albert Shire, now combined with Gold Coast. He died recently aged in his late 90's. Friend of John Franklin, our friend in Mudgeeraba, ex Councillor.

”Margaret continued… “The Shailer fruit was supplied to the IXL jam factory in Brisbane, tinned marmalade etc. (melon & lemon jam too)

”Margaret offer generosity to 'grow it on' in a larger size for Ediblescapes.

Margaret was gardening from the age of 2 in the 40's in her small hometown, Surfers' Paradise. “Remember all the neighbours gardens & what grew around town, including a very large Flindersia tree ! where Chevron Renaissance is now.

”Margaret & Ian have 10 acres volcanic soil in Mudgeeraba with different sections for their

plant collections, & native & honey bees. Keeps them busy.

Margaret’s father’s parents families go back in Brisbane to 1830's & 1860's. Farriers & farmers.

EdibleScapes thanks Margaret for her generosity and willing to share her local knowledge and fruit trees connection to families’ stories.This is a second fruit tree donated to the project, which envision to plant a selection of donated orchard trees that have local story connection to earlier settlement of the region.  Also, EdibleScapes planning to be mapping fruit trees on the city, especially that have been with families for various generations.

Members and Guests

GLAD TO HAVE YOU SHARE
OUR MEETINGS:

Members and guests are always very welcome at our meetings, and we trust you find them enjoyable and interesting.

To cover the various costs of hall hire, insurance etc, it was decided at our February (AGM) meeting to make the member entry fee $2.00 – and for visitors, the cost will be $5.00.  We’ve not increased our prices since our Club started 20 years ago, so we hope you will understand the need to make this change.

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Jill's Garden Update
June,'18

Well, I wonder who followed my suggestion last newsletter for a short article on: “Things I’ve Learned About or From Gardening”….

This article is not that. Since my last article in April, those lettuce seedlings I was putting in grew brilliantly, provided lots of salads, then eventually bolted, and have since been composted. In their place are lots of silverbeet, mizunas, tatsois, rocket, frilly pink lettuces and mustard ruby streaks. Some kale is coming on as well, as are some carrots, beetroot and garlic.

I’m really happy with the brassicas this year: finally, my timing has been right on. A lovely crop of cauliflower is thriving, some red and sugarloaf cabbages are coming on, and, best of all, I’ve just picked our first broccoli of the season!

Surunam spinach continues forever, and some parsley from early in the summer is still going, though all the rest went to seed! I just love the mustard ruby streaks: they, too, continue on endlessly, self-seeding so that as some give up the ghost, others shoot up, and it’s so tasty and pretty in a salad, being all lacey.  

After the prolific lemon grass all went rusty, as usual, at the end of summer, and I chopped it all off and composted it, it is now all shooting afresh. The ginger and turmeric

is doing its usual die off, as is the jicama yam, and already I’m digging some of these tubers up as we need them.

I’m sure that you’d all agree with me: isn’t it absolutely marvellous eating from our own garden! Especially organic vegies!Another idea for a short article in the next newsletter, dear other members, could be: “What I love about my garden”.

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Hints for “All Things Gardening”
By Diane Kelly

1.

How good is the manure you use in your garden?  Here are a few facts:

  • Sheep or goat manure is high in potassium and phosphorus and relatively low in nitrogen, and therefore can be applied directly without burning plant roots.  Plus it is virtually odourless!
  • Cattle manure with straw from the yards is wetter and lower in nutrients than horse manure, but it decomposes slowly and is ideal for sandy soils.
  • Pig manure is best composted with straw, and left for at least three months before use.
  • It might be difficult to get “zoo poo” on the Gold Coast, but apparently you can get specialized manures such as elephant or peacock.  But what I thought was intriguing – tiger manure repels rabbits!
  • A reminder:  don’t use fresh manure (less than 60 days old) in the garden.
2.

I have always been curious as to what a “mangel wurzel” is, so this month I read up about them.  Also known as “mangold” or “beets”, mangel wurzels will grow when and where beetroot and silver beet are successful.  Back in the 1800’s, these vegetables were primarily used for cattle feed – some of the roots can weigh up to 50kg, and have some of the highest sugar content of any vegetable.  Mangel wurzels can be either white, yellow or red – and if you “mix and match” with spuds you can create pink mashed potatoes!  But sliced or diced, they are delicious served with butter and freshly cracked pepper, or with a little olive oil, garlic and a squeeze of fresh lemon. The roots can also be roasted or pickled, and the leaves can added to salads.

3.

Did you know that the crushed seeds of the moringa tree contain a flocculating agent?  In other words, when placed in muddy water, they create conditions that allow the dirt to settle to the bottom. Seeds also have antibacterial properties and are traditionally used to treat skin diseases.

4.

Slow-germinating seeds such as parsnips and carrots are easily lost or forgotten.  So why not use fast-growing “marker” plants (such as radishes or lettuces) to remind you (a) where the root plants are growing, and (b) to water them.  Plus having other plants mixing in with the slow growers helps the seeds be spread more effectively, thus avoiding over-crowding.

5.

Speaking of parsnips, remember that they don’t transplant well, so you won’t be able to buy them as seedlings.  Instead soak the seeds overnight in warm water, and then sow them direct.  Remember to firm the seeds well, as they require good soil contact, and keep them moist at all times.  Covering the soil surface with damp hessian can ensure this happens.

6.

If you are growing plants in soil-less composts and the material dries out, submerge the pot in water until the air bubbles stop rising.  Give seedlings in a dried-out tray repeated light waterings from a fine rose, rather than flooding them with a sudden heavy watering.

7.

You won’t find the seeds of choko plants in a catalogue – a choko seed is really the entire fruit.  The fruit cannot be dried, but must be planted soon after harvest.  Plant the whole fruit by partially burying it at a 45 deg angle, with the growing shoot facing downwards and the stem end slightly above ground level.  They’ll germinate before your eyes!

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Growing African Violetsby
Diane Kelly

Many years ago my mother was given an African violet – it had pure white double-blooms, and the leaves were smooth edged.  (There are at least ten different shapes of African violet leaves, ranging from plain to serrated through to having a heavily rippled leaf.)

The plant was placed on a small table near a glass door, and received plenty of light but no direct sunshine.  The doorway was also protected from drafts, and the plant thrived.  It was watered from underneath twice a week, and feed every fortnight – and it bloomed constantly.

Then my mother decided to grow another plant in case anything went wrong with the first one.  I don’t remember what actually happened to the “mother” plant, but I do know that I was given the “daughter” plant, and it has also flowered consistently – often with many blooms – for the past three years.  It sits on a small table near a window, and receives plenty of light, but again no direct sunshine.

Recently I also started to think about growing some more plants – not just in case the first one died, but I could picture a row of them all in full bloom.  

In my bookcase I have a book called “How to Grow African Violets”.  It cost all of $1.95, and was first printed in 1971.  But I figured the principles would still be the same, so I selected it out, and here are a few things that I have enjoyed learning.

1
African violets are quite easy to propagate:
-
You can separate out one of the crowns that a mature plant grows and plant it.
-
You can remove suckers that may form on the main trunk and plant them
-
You can grow plants from leaves.  Select medium sized leaves, mature but not old.  Keep a 2cm stem, or “petiole” as they are known.  The leaves can then be placed in a glass of water; in a half-half mixture of sand and vermiculite; in a mixture of sand and perlite – or in ordinary gravel!
-
You can grow African violets from seed.  The simplest seed starting medium is vermiculite alone.  But you can use one part milled sphagnum moss and two parts each of perlite and vermiculite.  Whatever start medium you use, make sure it has a good water-holding capacity, and yet is light and drains well.
2.

African violets include a trailing species, and their stems can reach lengths of a metre.

3.

The colours of African violet blooms can range from white to light blue, and from purple to red.  Blooms can be bicoloured or multi-coloured, and plants can be miniatures or semi-miniatures.

4.

When you select a plant from a florist or a nursery, remember to study it carefully first.  Look for plants that have fresh, perky leaves and have a symmetrical arrangement if it is a single crowned plant.  Avoid plants that have spotted, stained or otherwise discoloured leaves – these may indicate pests at work, but will definitely mean that your plant will be less than beautiful until new leaves grow and mature.

5.

African violets have lots of cousins, and their family name is Gesneriaceae!!  The more commonly known ones are gloxinias, episcia and achimenes.

So have a think about growing some African violets.  Good care will keep your plants disease and pest free, and they are quite easy to display on a coffee table; in hanging gardens; glass bowls – and in the case of miniatures, in a tea cup!

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Gold Coast Green Living Inc
By Stacey Panozzo

Gold Coast Green Living Inc, is a not for profit small group of volunteers who aim to inspire and educate locals about living a greener and more sustainable lifestyle.

The group helps local small green businesses grow their business through events, workshops and promotions and aims to create events and projects which are inclusive of all abilities and ages.

Until recent, the main activity for the group has been Botanical Bazaar Garden Festival. We are excited to announce we have received confirmation of funding to build stage one of Sensory Gardens at Country Paradise Parklands in Nerang. These community gardens will be defined by all five senses and open free of charge to all ages and abilities.

We are currently working through lease agreements with Country Paradise Parklands but hope to have the project started and finished in October 2018.

If you have any questions about the Sensory Gardens project or Botanical Bazaar or have an interest to volunteer, please contact Stacey Panozzo on 0406 007 583 or goldcoastgreenlivinginc@gmail.com 

WE NEED YOUR
CONTENT HERESEND US SOME TIPS ABOUT
GARDENING THAT YOU HAVE
DISCOVERED OR PERHAPS SOME INFO ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN YOUR GARDEN.NOTE: THE NEW DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS TO THE NEWSLETTER IS ONE WEEK PRIOR TO THE MEETING.

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WATER HARVESTING
MICRO-CATCHMENTS SYSTEM
by Jorge Cantellano

Our challenge is to harvest rainfall to condition the soil so that plants can grow without depending on pumps, taps or drip water.  The proposal in this landscape gardens project is to grow only with harvested rainwater.      

Water Harvesting

Water harvesting is the collection of runoff for productive purposes.  Water harvesting is a directly productive form of soil and water conservation.  If the available rain can be concentrated on a smaller area, reasonable yields will be received, plant growth will be improved, and there will be softly seasonal rainfall fluctuation.

Micro-Catchments
Micro-catchments for rainwater harvesting to grow fruits is a runoff harvested system from ground surfaces, which is sometimes referred to as a “Within-Field Catchment System”.Runoff stored in the soil profile increases soil fertility and water holding capacity, which prolongs soil moisture. This is possible because we will add a considerable amount of organic matter: composted soils and composted mulch in ongoing seasonal periods. The best way to hold water on your site is through developing the conditions to hold water in the soil.

In our Landscape Gardens Project, we are exploring the adaptation of contour bands and contour Keyline (Yeomans system) in combination with semi-circular bands of a Micro-catchment system.

Edible Landscapes Garden Project specifics:

  • Slope: special consideration is needed as the landscape slope is greater than 10°
  • January to March: there is a mean rainfall of 540mm in 33 days during the period.
  • July to September: there is a 138mm mean rainfall in only 14 days during the period.
  • • Nerang annual rainfall is 1370mm.

Edible Landscape Sites
Mean annual rainfall = 1370 mm/year (1.37m)
Surface area of catchment = 1148 m2
Run-off coefficient = 0.2 (ground catchment -soil on slopes less than 10° = 0.0-0.3)
Mean rainwater supply = 314 m3 (314,550 Litres)

Cultivated Area
The soil in the cultivated area should be a deep, fertile loam. Loam is a medium textured soil, which is best suited for plant growth in terms of nutrient supply, biological activity and nutrient and water holding capacities. A good soil structure is associated with loamy soil and a relatively high content of organic matter. The application of organic material, such as composted soil and mulch, is helpful in improving the structure.

Depth
The depth of soil is particularly important. Deep soils have the capacity to store the harvested runoff as well as providing a greater amount of total nutrients for plant growth. Soils of less than one metre deep are poorly suited. The landscape gardens site on average has less than 0.5 of a metre-deep soil. Therefore, the project needs to add soil.  We

JUNE 2018                                                                                        
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GCOG                                                                                        

are planning to top-up the garden area with 30cm-thick composted soil in the beginning, and add in every growing season another 10 to 15cm of compost, conditioned soil to maintain fertility levels.

Infiltration Rate
The infiltration rate of loamy soil typically is 12.5 mm/hour.  The soils of the cultivated area should be sufficiently permeable to allow adequate moisture to the plants root zone without causing waterlogging problems. A very low infiltration rate can be detrimental because of the possibility of waterlogging. The threshold rainfall can exceed 12mm in soils with a high infiltration capacity. In this case, rainfall of less than 12mm/hour will not produce runoff.  

Available Water Capacity
The capacity of soils to hold, and to release adequate levels of moisture to plants is vital. It is the depth of water readily available to plants after a soil has been thoroughly wetted to “field capacity”. The available water capacity for loamy soil varies from 100-200 mm/metre.

In soils with a high available water capacity (200 mm/metre), there is no need for infiltration pits to depths greater than 40 cm.

Design Model for Catchment: Cultivated Area Ration
Each Water Harvest system consists of a catchment (collection) and a cultivated (concentration) area. Trees are almost exclusively grown in micro-catchment systems where it is difficult to determine which proportion of the total area is exploited by the root zone, bearing in mind the different stages of root development over the years before a seedling has grown into a mature tree. As a rule of thumb, it can be assumed that the area to be exploited by the root system is equal to the area of the canopy of the tree.

In view of the above, it is therefore considered sufficient to estimate only the total size of the micro-catchment, that is the cultivated area and the infiltration pit together.

It is a formula to design micro-catchment for fruit tree, which we have simplify in the form of a recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Canopy area (= root system area)
  • Tree annual water requirement
  • Estimated annual lower percentage (%) of the annual rainfall potential (more or less 70 % of annual rainfall -this is known as design rainfall, --planning for dry years)
  • Soil annual runoff coefficient (the % rainfall not infiltrate in the soil)
  • 0.5 efficiency factor (merged for error)

recipe to estimate the micro-catchment size for a Loquat tree in Nerang.

Method:

  1. tree’s canopy area (7m2) multiply x The result of:
  2. Tree annual water requirement, minus (-) design rainfall
    (1000 - 959 = 41)
  3. Divide by the resulted of:Design rainfall, by (x) the annual runoff coefficient), by (x) efficiency factor
    (959 x 0.15 x 0.5)= 72
  • 41/72=0.57
  • MC = 7x 0.57
Total Micro-Catchment size = 4m2 (2.25m diameter)

We are learning here, we are testing theory. We are prepared for trial and error, the experience will teach us how it works. However, we are open to hear from experienced growers. Any advice is welcome!

Activity participants 9 June 2018
JUNE 2018                                                                                        
PAGE 16
GCOG                                                                                        

WEEDS
by Pauline Maxwell

'Get them out before they seed.'                                                                           That's the rule for handling weeds.                                                                     The welcome rain has raised a crop,
I only want their spread to stop.

This sprawling chick weed's everywhere,
The way it grows is so unfair.                                                                               That nasty thistle full of thorns                                                                             now lies beheaded. Weeds be warned!

Oh, no. Can I believe my eyes?                                                                               Giant Devil's Fig - (what a prize),
sprouted with four small leaves.                                                                           This one, I will remove with ease.

Thickhead weed's a useful herb.
A metre tall - its growth I'll curb.                                                                           No resistance - pulls out easily.                                                                           Chooks fight for this weed so greedily.

Mullumbimby couch - a weed to dread,
Runners are bagged to stop its spread.                                                                Kikuyu mulch is great when dried,
but in the soil, long tendrils hide.

In England Ageratina grows as flowers,
but here is considered invasive bowers.                                                             Singapore's yellow Daisy on display,
is viewed out here with great dismay.

Oxalis lurks like four-leafed clover,
hiding in violets, a perfect cover.                                                                           Handle this one with great care.                                                                           It grows again if the bulb stays there.

Nut grass sprouts thin shiny leaves,
an underground network of nuts increase.                                                         Poison brushed on to centre point                                                                       kills the nuts at every joint.

Fireweed sprouts, dainty and fine,
a sweet yellow daisy is in its design.                                                                   Pull this out - no second chance.                                                                         It spreads like fire, your grass to enhance.

Long rooted Cydra is hard to pull.                                                                       Dock weeds disperse when heads are full.                                                         Cobblers Pegs stick on clothes and socks.                                                         These in my garden, I'm in for a shock.

Some say the weeds have great potential                                                            as fertiliser brews they are essential.                                                                  And medicinal healing can be claimed,
but in my garden, they are tamed.

Upcoming workshops and events with The Herbal Gardenerg

GARDEN OPEN DAY

Open Garden and Celebration of 10 years of certification Demeter Biodynamic

Date:  July 7th  Time: 10am - 2pm  

Come and join in a day of open garden while celebrating 10 years of organic certification with Australian Demeter Bio-dynamic

  • Learn about:  biodynamic practices
  • Enjoy a herbal tea
  • Walk around the gardens
  • Do a water colour painting of a flower with the guidance of an artist
  • Skincare products of The Herbal Gardener will be available for purchased on the day
  • Chat with other herbal, natural skincare, garden lovers.
JUNE 2018                                                                                        
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GCOG                                                                                        

Introduction to Herbalism Course -
Care with Herbs and
Natural Remedies

Introduction to Herbalism Course -
Care with Herbs and Natural
Remedies


Series of 6 workshops in a bundle deal - Saturday morning or Wednesday evening sessions available - each session is 2.5 hrs.

Saturday 9:00 am to 11:30 am

July 21st, 28th, August 4th, 11th, 18th, September 1st

.................or...............

Wednesday 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm
July 25th, August 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th.

Gain knowledge and autonomy for your health. Prevent and care for your health with medicinal herbs to enjoy vitality and optimal immunity. Learn how to care common day to day issues. Take handout notes home. They run for two and a half hours each with a prepared lunch and tea served.

Session 1: Introduction to medicinal herb, how they present themselves, their parts, the quality, fresh versus dry, dose, demonstration of infusion, decoction. Presentation of four herbs – nettle, red clover, yarrow, catnip.

Session 2: Digestive system, the microbiome, how to protect it, how to nurture it. Making a digestive extract. Presentation of four herbs – dandelion, St Mary’s thistle, mint, slippery elm.

Session 3: Nervous system and hormone balance through life, caring for these systems day to day and when extra care is needed. Presentation of four plants – oates, lemon balm, camomile, St John’s wort. Tincture making.

Session 4: Immune system, how to support it and the related respiratory system. Herbal syrup making. Presentation of four plants: Echinacea , garlic, yarrow, thym,.

Session 5: Healthy skin, looking after the integrity of the skin. content. Presentation of four herbs: calendula, comfrey, chickweed, burdock. Ointment making.

Session 6: Bones, muscles, ligament. Poultice making. Natural remedy cabinet. Question time.

BOOKINGS
Cost: $295 (includes lunch & tea)

Bookings: Book early to avoid disappointment - limited numbers

https://theherbalgardener.com.au/collections/workshops/products/natural-care

PAYMENT

Can be by direct bank deposit, credit card or paypal.


Book for 3 or more of my workshops or bring a friend and get 20% disunt.

OTHER WORKSHOPS
https://theherbalgardener.com.au/collections/workshops

JUNE 2018                                                                                        
PAGE 18
GCOG                                                                                        

FRUIT TREES

JUNE

Custard apples: Harvest every 3 to 4 days as fruit matures.  Don’t let trees dry out.

Figs: Dormant period. Don’t let trees dry out.

Lychee:   Do not let trees dry out.  Minimal watering is needed.  Check emerging flowers for flower caterpillars.  If more than ½ are infested, spray with pyrethrum or garlic spray.

Mango:  Don’t let the trees dry out.

Passion-fruit:  Don’t let the vines dry out.  Keep up the fish emulsion or kelp sprays every month.  Small amount of organic fertiliser with added sulphate of potash can be applied to vines, 20 gms per sq m – for example, large vines = 100 gms; small vines = 50 gms.

Pawpaw:  Spray with wettable sulphur if powdery mildew is a problem.  Minimal water.  Pick fruit at mature stage with ½ colour to have full flavour.

Persimmon:  Dormant period.  Minimal water required at this time.

Strawberries:  Feed with organic fertiliser with added sulphate of potash.  Also use fish emulsion and kelp spray regularly over plants to keep in good health.  This will prevent fruit rot.  Pick fruit when fully ripe.  Keep plants fully watered – try not to wet the berries.  This will prevent fruit rot.  Mulch plants so the berries do not lie on the soil.  Pine needs are good.

Bananas:  Keep up the water and bag fruit. When fruit are formed, bag fruit with banana bag, tie bag to top of stem and drape down to bell.  Leave open at bottom for air.  Cut off bell to get larger fruit.

Citrus:  Harvesting should be well under way.  Keep up watering.

Avocado:  Early flowers should appear this month.  Keep up water needs.  If you have not applied garden lime and gypsum, apply now as per June instructions.

JULY

Custard apple:  Harvest every 3 or 4 days as fruit matures.  Don’t let trees dry out.  Apply garden lime to soil – 20 grams per sq m to drip line – for example, a mature tree, 1kg.

Figs:  Keep well mulched.

Lychee:  Do not let trees dry out.  Minimal watering is needed.  Check emerging flowers for flower caterpillars.  If more than ½ are infested, spray with pyrethrum or garlic spray.

Low chill stone fruit:  Peak water needs.  Water trees 2 weeks before flowering and 3 weeks later.  In late July start blossom thinning.  Winter prune late varieties.  50g of organic fertilizer with sulphate of potash added per sq m to drip line of trees.  Mature trees – 1 kg.

Mango:  Don’t let trees dry out.  Continue with copper based spray or leaf microbes for anthracnose if visible.

Passion-fruit:  Don’t let the vines dry out.  Keep up the fish emulsion or kelp sprays every month.  Small amount of organic fertilizer with sulphate of potash can be applied for vines.  Large vines – 1 kg; small vines – ½ kg.

Pawpaw:  Spray with wettable sulphur if powdery mildew is a problem.  Minimal water.  Use copper based sprays or leaf microbes if black spot is about.  Pick fruit at mature stage with ½ colour to have full flavour.

Persimmon:  Minimal water required at this time.

Strawberries:  Feed with organic fertilizer with sulphate of potash.  Spray fish emulsion and kelp regularly over plants to keep in good health.

JUNE 2018                                                                                        
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GCOG                                                                                        

 This will prevent fruit rot.  Pick fruit when fully ripe.  Keep plants fully watered, but try not to wet the berries.  This will also prevent fruit rot.  Mulch plants so the berries do not lie on the soil.  Pine needles are best for this.

Bananas:  Don’t let the stools dry out.  Keep fruit covered and cut off bells.Citrus:  Pick mature fruit when fully ripe.  Keep up irrigation.

HERBS

JUNE

Annual: Borage, Calendula, Chamomile,Chervil, Coriander, Dill, Garlic, Giant RedLettuce, Herb Robert, Italian parsley, Misome, Mizuna, Mustard Lettuce, Nasturtium, Rocket. 

Perennials & Bi-Annuals: Catnip, Chicory, Chives, Perennial Coriander, Fennel,Hyssop, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lovage, Marjoram, Mint, Mushroom Plant, Oregano,Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Salad Burnet, Winter Tarragon, Thyme, Upland Cress, Watercress, Winter Savoury. 

JULY
Annual: Borage, Calendula, Chervil, Chamomile, Coriander, Dill, Giant Red Lettuce, Herb Robert, Italian parsley, Misome, Mizuna, Mustard Lettuce, Nasturtium, Rocket.  

Perennials & Bi-Annuals: Catnip, Chicory, Chives, Perennial Coriander, Fennel, Hyssop, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lovage, Marjoram, Mint, Mushroom Plant, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Salad Burnet, Thyme, Upland Cress, Watercress, Winter Savoury.

VEGETABLES

JUNE:
Asian Greens, Asparagus Crowns, Beans (French), Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Onion, Parsnip, Peas, Potato, Radish, Shallots, Silverbeet, Snow Peas, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnips. 

JULY:
Asian Greens, Asparagus Crowns, Beans (French), Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Onion, Peas, Potato, Radish, Shallots, Silverbeet, Snow Peas, Tomatoes.

Whilst every effort is made to publish accurate information the association (including Editor, Executive Officers and Committee) accepts no responsibility for statements made or opinions expressed in this newsletter.

GCOG, PO Box 210, Mudgeeraba Q 4213 

Meetings held:
3rd Thursday of the Month 

Meeting place:
Cnr Guineas Creek Road
& Coolgardie Street
Elanora, Gold Coast 

Next meeting:
Thursday 19th July 2018 

Page 2

Notice Board 

1. To promote organic sustainable food raising for home gardens and farms.
 2.   To foster research into improved methods of organic farming and gardening. 
3.   To provide information and support to all those interested in the various aspects of organic growing.
 

Meetings Held:
3rd Thursday of the Month
‍The Meeting Place, Cnr Guineas Creek Rd and Coolgardie St, Elanora.  Doors open: 7:00 pm. Begin at 7:30 pm
Entry is $2 members, $5 visitors.
(No meeting in December)

 Annual Membership Fees:
Single: $20. Family: $30.
To renew or start memberships please transfer funds directly into our bank account, send cheques (payable to GCOG) to Diane Kelly, or just pay at the door.  

Name:   Gold Coast Organic Growers
Bank:   Suncorp 
BSB:    484-799
Account:   0014-21651 

Seed Bank:
Packets are $2.00 each.

Members’ Market Corner:
Please bring plants, books and produce you wish to sell or trade. 

Raffle Table:
This relies on the kind generosity of members to donate items on the night. Tickets - $1each or 3 for $2.

Library: Books 50c, Videos, DVDs $2, Soil Test Kit $2. Available to members for 1 month.  

Advertising: 
(Note 11 issues/year)1/4 page: $15 an issue, or $145 per year, 1/2 page: $25 an issue, or $250 per year, full page: $40 an issue, or $400 per year, 

W: www.goldcoastorganicgrowers.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/gcorganic
 

2018 Committee 

President 
Maria Roberson (07) 5598 6609 
Vice President 
Diane Kelly (07) 5522 7444 
Treasurer
Diane Kelly (07) 5522 7444
Secretary  

Assistant Secretary
Cathie Hodge  0406 575 233  cathie.hodge@gmail.com
Penny Jameson 0411 639 558  
Membership Secretary
Membership Assistant
Diane Kelly
Penny Jameson
Newsletter Editor

Newsletter Assistant
Jorge Cantellano  jcantellanoc@gmail.com
Diane Kelly
Dorothy Coe
Jill Barber (p.r. for Jorge)
Website  Editor
Social Media Editor
Jorge Cantellano
Stacey Panozzo,
Dorothy Coe
Advertising
Stacey Panozzo   0406 007 583
staceypanozo1@gmail.com
Guest Speaker Liaison
Leah Johnston leahbryan9@gmail.com
Emma Litchfield,
tacey Panozzo
Librarians
Evelyn Douglas
Seed Bank
Seed Assistants
Lyn Mansfield,
Maggie Golightly,
Bill Smart
Supper Co-ordinator
Paul Roberson,
Deb Phillips,
Bev Geraghty
Veggie Swap Co-ordinator
Dorothy Coe

Newsletter Contributions are welcome.  Send in a photo of what’s going on in your patch. Deadline for contributions is the one week before the meeting. Send your content to Jorge C. at: jcantellanoc@gmail.com  

Page 3

Notice Board 

Membership Renewals
NEW: 
You can now pay your membership fee directly into the GCOG bank account. 
Name:         Gold Coast Organic Growers
Bank:          Suncorp     
BSB:           484-799
Account:     0014-21651 

Remember to put your Name and Membership Number in the comment field. 
Note the number in brackets after your name is your membership number - you will need to quote this number in the comment field, if you pay via online banking.  

Membership Renewals – May 2018: 

Overdue: 
Andrew & Helen Blum (344), Alan Ralph (394), Katrina Julienne & Finn Eber (419), Jun Yoneda (428), Emma Strong (429), Sally Machray (430), Angela Anderson (323), Fran Janes (366), Elizabeth Grippo (405), Rebecca Bowen (422), Lorraine McArthur (423), Sue Beckinsale (373), Nancy Hageman (388), Deborah Phillips (408) 

May:  Bruce Kelly & Heather Ryan (234) 

June:  Shelley Pryor (72), Jan Wright (191), Karen Hart (198), Mea Lea Khoo (211), Dorothy Coe (253), Ron Campbell (255), Cathie Hodge (304), Eileen Turner (328), Shem Pireh (361) 

Latest newsletter can be downloaded from the site at  goldcoastorganicgrowers.org 

Thanks to Contributors this month:  Neil Ross, Diane Kelly, Audrey Mates-Bills, Jill Barber,  Jorge Cantellano,  and Dorothy Coe.  

Upcoming Guest Speakers 

We are currently seeking Guest Speakers for throughout 2018. If you have an idea for a potential speaker, or a topic that you think would interest our members, please contact Leah Johnston at leahbryan9@gmail.com 

Workshops 

Abilities Plus – Permaculture For more information and bookings contact  Lyn Mansfield 
M: 0409 645 888 E: lynmansfield14@bigpond.com W: http://abilitiespluspermaculture.com/ 

27th May  
LEAF – Logan Eco Action Festival  http://www.loganfoodgardeners.org/

Upcoming workshops with The Herbal Gardener
(half day workshops on Saturdays)
 

19 May 

9am-12.00
Vitality, Healthy Weight and Happy Gut for Everyone 

1pm-4pm
Natural Remedy Cabinet 

2 June & repeated on 16 June

9am-12.00
Herbal Tincture Making 

1pm-4pm
Herbal Syrup Making 

More more info and bookings goto: 
https://theherbalgardener.com.au/collections/workshops or call 0419021606 

Page 4

Relay / Intercropping,
by Neil Ross  

To some extent, this reflects nature’s way of propagation. For example, there are no straight lines, random distribution and plant pecking order. When bringing this element into the house garden, an observation of your landscape is required!  

The best results come with a soil teaming with biological activity and good drainage. Beginning from a bare allotment, that has been mulched and covered to block out previous plants and weeds, grow a blanket planting of a desirable ground cover. 

Your plants or seeds will be from your weekly seeding selection, randomly placed in the garden with a marker. Each week the same method could be used with a different type of plant, from deep rooting to shallow rooting, bulbous types that will give you your meal requirements. Only grow what you like and that will be beneficial or harvested when you need it!  

From the seasonal plant list, select and categorise preferences that you would like to have and would use on an annual planting guide for SE Sub Tropical area. Highlight the start of the seeding time through to the last possible transplant.

From the time line to harvest notes, highlight when you can incorporate the beginning of your grown harvest selections into the daily menus. These time lines can be extended with crop protection. 

Using a transparency envelope over your seeding chart, you mark the number of seeds or seedlings incorporated into the garden, for example, one cabbage, three carrots and a bunch of spring onions, to be harvested for the menus of the future week.

Each planting should incorporate the threes of each variety: one for you, the weak one that’s culled, and the one that’s preserved for out of 

season, or given away. If nature has spit the dummy, waste not, want not: make a contribution to the worm farm for beneficial worm tea.  

The benefits of relay planting
(Edited from Ben G. Bareja, 2010)

Relay intercropping or relay cropping is a system in which a second crop is planted into an existing crop when it has flowered (reproductive stage), but before harvesting. There is thus a minimum temporal overlap of two or more crops. The relay crop should be fairly tolerant to shade.

 Advantages of Crop Rotation Compared to Monoculture 

In addition to increased crop yields and profit, the following are the advantages of crop rotation over monoculture, the continuous growing of a single crop.  

1. Better control of weeds. Crop rotation is intended to break the life cycle and suppress the growth of weeds. The sequential planting of different crops may check the development of any weed species, and reduce weed growth, especially if using cover crops or green manure crops.

2. Better control of pests and diseases. Some pests and causal organisms of plant diseases are host specific. They attack certain crop species or those belonging to the same family, but not other crops of a different family. This is because food will always be available to the pest. However, if a legume is planted as the next crop, then corn, beans and bulbs, the build- up of the pest will be disrupted because they will be deprived of food.

3. Improved soil structure and organic matter content. The alternate planting of deep and shallow rooted plants will break up the soil, and green manure will add significant amounts of organic matter.

4. Improved soil fertility. The continuous growing of a single crop will result in the depletion of certain soil nutrients. With crop rotation,

Page 5

on the other hand, soil fertility will be promoted through alternate planting of crops having different nutrient needs. This will prevent the depletion of any one essential element present in the soil. Leguminous plants will improve soil fertility because of their ability to accumulate nitrogen by fixing it from the air in association with Rhizobium bacteria.  

Members and Guests  

GLAD TO HAVE YOU SHARE OUR MEETINGS: 

Members and guests are always very welcome at our meetings, and we trust you find them enjoyable and interesting. 

To cover the various costs of hall hire, insurance etc, it was decided at our February (AGM) meeting to make the member entry fee $2.00 – and for visitors, the cost will be $5.00.  We’ve not increased our prices since our Club started 20 years ago, so we hope you will understand the need to make this change. 

Can We Help? 

In the section BELOW our members can ask about cuttings, seeds or plants that they would like to obtain, or where we could let others know about anything that we might have spare and would like to share around. 

So if you would like to let the Club members know about any particular plant you are looking for, or if you can help out and provide a plant that someone has asked for please email Diane with the details at dianekelly@bigpond.com 

Offers / Wants / Swap / Share 

 PLANT POTS, NATIVE PLANTS, EDIBLE TREES,
SEEDLINGS, CUTTINGS REQUIRED

 Cathy Beard’s Murwillumbah project update.

Due to stolen, destroyed pot plants and garden I have lost all my plants to donate to Murwillimbah so I have decided to collect seeds and collate a little hub for them to donate to new gardeners and encourage growth in their backyards. 

WE ARE LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEER
for EdibleScapes Inc.

At EdibleScapes Inc. we are seeking long term volunteer interested in social ecological and environmental sustainable development. 

If you want to join a team of like-minded in urban agroecology, we want you on-board.

Connect with us at: contact@ediblescapes.org 

Page 6

If You Only Do One Thing this Month – Plant some Broccoli :
by: Dianne Kelly 

I could not believe when I looked back through my records – I have not previously recommended that “If you only do One Thing this Month – Plant some Broccoli” !!  I’ve quoted Peter Cundall – February 2014 article – saying that broccoli is a “nitrogen hungry” crop; in October 2013 I wrote in a “Getting to Know” article about how Beth Orme uses sacrificial plants to encourage grubs away from her broccoli plants; and in an article in October 2012 I quoted the recommendation to “pick young & tender broccoli heads when they are tiny and sweet”. 

But I’ve not actually suggested we grow broccoli – so seeing there is a planting window in South East Queensland between April and July, let’s give it a go!

Probably my favourite use of broccoli is in a stir-fry, but a close second would be home-made broccoli soup.  And, of course, the florets add a lovely crunch to salads. 

So how do we go about preparing for; planting; growing and harvesting broccoli – and what likely pests and problems might we encounter?
The broccoli that we eat is actually the head of the plant which is harvested just prior to flowering – but the leaves and stems are also edible.  And, as you have probably noticed if you have grown and harvested broccoli, once the central head is removed, the plant will continue to produce smaller florets  lower down the stem.  A broccoli plant can reach up to 50 cm in height.   

The broccoli we buy in the shops are most likely to be the type that have a single, very large, compact head.  But there is also “sprouting   broccoli”, which produces numerous small, dense heads from side-shoots.  Sprouting broccoli is a great “cut-and-come-again” vegetable, and can provide an addition to your vegetable meals for many months of the year.

Broccoli will appreciate a fertile soil in a sunny location to grow in.  So you will need to enrich the planned garden bed well prior to planting – dig in some well-rotted manure or compost before you sow seeds or seedlings.  Aim for a pH of 6.5 to 7.5.

If you are growing broccoli plants from seed, start them off in seed  trays.  Seedlings should appear in 14-18 days, and they can then be transferred into small pots or seedlings punnets until 10cm tall and ready for planting.  Be wise when planting out broccoli – the plants would appreciate up to 60cm of space to grow, and they will continue growing for quite a number of months.  

Page 7

Close spacing tends to result in larger individual heads with smaller side shoots, whilst wider spacing encourages more sustained production of larger side shoots – your choice! 

Be aware that broccoli plants can become top heavy, so they may require staking if the garden site is exposed.  Also, remember that plants stressed by lack of nutrients or water form poor heads that run quickly to flower.  After the first harvest from your plants, top dress the garden area with additional compost – and an application of fish-based fertilizer will be beneficial. 

Your first harvest of broccoli may take some three months after planting, but once you cut the first head, successive harvests will be quick and continuous.  Cut the immature heads as soon as they are well-formed.  Three plants per adult member of the household will provide a harvest of several meals each week.

So …. what are the negatives?  All brassicas suffer from similar pest and disease problems.  Cabbage moths are the most likely challenge – regularly check the plant’s leaves to keep them at bay.  One reason broccoli plants are subject to attack is planting them too early in the season whilst the weather remains hot.  Other problems can include aphids, caterpillars, cabbage root fly and cutworms.

So ….. what are the positives?  A crisp vegie to serve raw with dips; a tasty vegetable to add to stir fries and curries; something you can serve with roast meat or a hearty stew …. and I’ve found a “farfalle with broccoli and anchovy sauce” recipe that sounds like a quick and tasty meal.

Broccoli – an attractive, sturdy plant - the purple versions make an colourful addition to your vegie patch.  So, in May, June and July …. plant some broccoli! 

Page 8

Seedlings
Building a healthy community
By Audrey Mates-Bills 

Come and Join us this Wednesday at 9:30am at the Worongary state school hall for a composting & recycling time with Chelsea McLean. We will make our in-ground worm farm in the seedlings garden after that and some planting of course. www.facebook.com/events/181619315985221/

The seedlings program is born from the concern that our children and the community as a whole are not getting enough education about healthy habits, connecting together and discovering new ways. Time is scarce, broken families and smaller dwellings means that most of our children have no idea how food grow, parents run out of healthy ideas for lunches/dinners and we seem to see each other but not connect to a deeper level as a community. 

Audrey Mates-Bills, the founder originally from France, struggled with the idea of children eating on the floor cold sandwiches and chips for 15min when in her home country, schools feeds the children an entree, a main and a dessert at a table every day. Unfortunately to change this at such a large scale would be impossible.  

With a children population growing heavier and environment majorly struggling with plastic intake, it didn’t take long to think of an alternative within our school system. Take a look at the amount of plastic in all lunch boxes it’s quite scary! Many schools now have plastic free day which is great. Many families can’t afford organic food and that is where the Program comes in. 

The Seedlings garden function as a community garden but inside the premises of schools. It is the community itself that  

keeps it alive. We find that schools are already running off their feet. Even though most schools have a veggie garden it only takes for that enthusiastic green thumb teacher to be transferred for the whole garden to fall apart. We have seen it too many times happen again and again. Children can now take part of the garden during big lunch, but also special children can have access to the garden when needed. The before, after & vacation care also help to its maintenance. 

Educating children is a great step forward but we found that parents were the one making the food. Therefore, Seedlings Morning Sesh were created to empathize the sense of community and learning. 

The organic fruit and vegetables will be sold for small cost to the community to generate funds for the garden allowing families to eat better and healthier food. 

Everyone is welcome to the Morning sesh which runs at the moment from Worongary State School Hall every Wednesday from 9:30am and we hope that the program will multiply in many schools in the coming years. 

If you want to present a topic or share some of your knowledge with the community please email us at seedlingsworongary@gmail.com 

Building our vegetable garden 
Page 9

Hints for “All Things Gardening”
By Diane Kelly 

This month we are looking at some hints for growing a variety of vegetables:

  1. Preparing seed potatoes for planting: Buy seed potatoes in winter and take them out of their bags at once and place in a cool, well-ventilated room. After a week or two, set them in seed trays with their “eyes” (from which the sprouts will grow) uppermost. Place the trays in a cool room.

    In five or six weeks the sprouts should be sturdy and, ideally, 1-2.5 cm long. Sprouted, or “chitted” in this way, the potatoes have a longer growing season and produce a heavier crop.
  2. Did you know that ….. sweet potato can be used as a colonising groundcover to improve poor soil.  Planting sweet potato provides a protective cover to the soil and also helps to retain soil moisture and build up levels of organic matter by creating its own mulch.  The harvest from crops grown in this manner is less than for crops planted in good soil conditions, but as this is not the primary purpose of the planting, any harvest obtained is considered a bonus. 
  3. Kale – plant in May, and then during August to October.  Keep kale plants well-weeded, and occasionally tread the ground around the plants to prevent the wind rocking them.  If they become overly large and floppy, push a bamboo cane into the soil alongside each plant and tie the plant to it.

    When harvesting kale, cut the centre out of each plant first to encourage the production of fresh side-shoots. 
  1. Endive …. Must be harvested before mid-spring.  Mulch your endive plants well, particular where daytime temperatures are high.  In our region, establishing plants in the protect shade of trellis crops can be beneficial.

    Endive can be blanched in a similar way to celery – if you are growing the broad-leafed types, gather together the outer leaves and tie them together over the centre of the plant as they approach maturity.  Blanching helps improve the flavour of the leaves by making them less bitter – but make sure the plant is not damp when you start blanching the leaves. 
  2. May, June and July – time to plant swedes!  Dreaded on my dinner plate as a child, but more appreciated with age!  Swedes are thought to be a natural hybrid between a cabbage and turnip, and their skin colour can range from yellow to purple.  Swedes can be cooked in a variety of ways, including being used as an alternative for pumpkin. 

    The green tops can also be eaten – you can steam or stir-fry them.  Cooking removes any bitterness in the leaves, making them an acceptable substitute for spinach.
  3. And a quick hint to end on:  Spinach does not require additional water for cooking.  Immerse the leaves in a large bowl of cold water, lift them out and repeat with fresh water – once or twice more – until the water is quite clear of sand and grit.  Then it is sufficient to put the washed but still wet leaves in a large pan and cook over gentle heat for 7-10 minutes, until soft. 
Page 10

EdibleScapes’
Edible Landscape Gardens
Project  Milestones
by Jorge Cantellano

Ediblescapes reached two major milestones last Saturday, 12th of May: 

  • After a year-long wait, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Country Paradise Parkland’s management committee and EdibleScapes was completed.  This will enable the Edible Landscape Gardens project to commence soon.    
MoU signing day   
  • Our first compost heap process, which was done in 18 days, is ready to go into the garden. This will be followed each week by 1 cubic metre of composted matter . 

The Edible Landscape Gardens projects area will be topped-up with approximate 100 cubic metres of composted made soil. The project is testing a system to produce 1 cubic metre per week, which will disperse over an area of 3 square meters of 30 centimetre thick of new garden section per week.  At this pace the project will be completed in 2 years.

Each compost heap is built to about 1.3 x 1.3 metres to 1.3 metres high, and will be topped up in successive layers of brown (rich in carbon), and green (rich in nitrogen) organic material.

We collect veggie and fruit scraps daily from our local fruit market “Landies Fruit World” at My Centre Nerang shopping centre and our

local Farmers market “Markets Lavelle Street” Nerang on Sunday, weekly we collected about 9 tubs (42Lt bucket).  Also, we gather weekly another 42Lt (1 tub) of coffee grounds from Cadence Café; 9 tubs of horse manure donate by Healing Hooves, a tenant of the Parkland; and 4 tubs of fresh grass clippings.  This makes 7 layers of green material making up 23 tubs in total.

The 7 green layers are integrated between 8 layers of brown material.  In total 25 tubs of mixed matured mulches, dry leaves, dry grass clippings, bamboo leaf/sheath are collected in the parkland.  The collection and heaping process takes 14 hours of work per week.

As you can note, we now use a volume ration 1 to 1: brown to green tub volume. We started with the recommended ratio of 2 to 1. However, we learned that the density of leaves to veggie scrap in the tub is too loose in comparison to brown material density.  

We have not sieved the mulch and any brown and green material has not been chopped.  This is why our heap end is predominantly coarse material with less fine soil than you can expect from composting soil.  The process has pasteurised the heap content and we believe it is free from weed, has produced a very nutrient rich material, which will act as slow release nutrients and minerals to the landscape soil.  This is validated in the experience of Paul Gautschi’s “Back to Eden” deep mulch planting method. 

Hot Compost make soil in 18 day workshop 
Page 11

Producing the composted material in 18 days requires 5 turns, maintaining the heat at 65° C during a least the first 3 turns.  Each turn takes about 2 hours of very hard work. 10 hours in total of making a final one cubic metre.  You can follow the process and information details in the documented photo journal at https://www.facebook.com/pg/n.ediblescapes/photos/

When we require fine composted soil, we will sieve the initial material.  When the fine composted soil is required for seeding, we will screen it.   This will add 3 and 5 respectively hours extra of work to the cubic metre.

How do you value the social and ecological impact and volunteer contribution of this project?  In two years, the project will save 38 cubic metres (m3) of fruit and veggies scrap and 4,2 m3 of coffee grounds going to the tip.  Also, it will sustainably upcycle 38 and 17 m3 of horse manure and green grass clipping, as well as 105 m3 of brown mix material: tree mulches, dry leaves, dry grass clippings, bamboo leaf/sheath.

In sum, the energy of 2800 working hours will be used to cultivate good soil which will be added to the edible landscape gardens for edible trees, edible plants and community to grow:  co-creating a permanent educational, social, ecological site to pass on knowledge for the future generations.   

Composting system 
Keyline next workshop topic 9 June 

EdibleScapes next practical demonstration workshop  

Keyline Water Harvest”

will be on Saturday 9 June 8:30
at the Edible Landscape Gardens site
74 Billabirra Cres, Nerang.  

This is a hands-on learning and working workshop where you will be taught how to store water in the ground via Keyline Water Harvest techniques. 

The workshop is supported by  Botanical Bazaar Garden Festival.

Limited spaces are available and pre-bookings are required for this workshop and will open shortly. Workshop cost is via Gold Coin Donation which is donated to the Edible Landscapes Project.

https://www.facebook.com/events/196550274477901 

Page 12

Recipes 

Bobote, May,'18 

Traditional South African recipe for a sweet curry mince dish with a custard topping: 

Ingredients: 

500g mince (lamb or beef)
1 – 2 Tbs oil
1 large onion – chopped
several garlic cloves (crushed)
herbs to taste, include bay leaves
1 ½ Tbs curry powder, or masala mix
2 tsp raisins
2 Tbs vinegar
Salt & pepper
1 lge slice stale bread crumbled for fresh crumbs
1 c milk
2 eggs 

Method: Pre-heat oven to 180deg
1. Fry onion & crushed garlic
2. Add 1 Tbs curry or masala - stir
3. Add mince & toss
4. Add bread crumbs, raisins, salt & pepper
5. Leave to cook till just done 

  • · Separately, whisk together milk, eggs & ½ Tbs curry pdr 
  • · Lightly grease an oven proof dish (so mince is 4 – 5 cm deep) – add mince, pour over custard 
  • Bake at 180deg till golden, about 40 mins

Serve with yellow rice (cooked with turmeric, ginger, chicken stock & a few raisins) and stewed dried peaches or banana slices. 

Courtesy of Liz Louw, March 2018 “Australian Bio-dynamic Newsletter”
Please email your yummy recipes to Jill jillbarber611@gmail.com 

Eggplant Sex Scandal Are Male Eggplants Superior?  

‘Interesting - I wondered why eggplants sometimes bitter but not always!’  (Dorothy)

Male eggplants tend to have fewer seeds, and are therefore less bitter than female eggplants. To sex an eggplant, look at the indentation at bottom. If it’s deep and shaped like a dash, it’s a female. If it’s shallow and round, it’s a male.   

Smaller eggplants also tend to be less bitter. Freshness is important, so don’t store them for very long.
Source: The Cook’s Thesaurus, by Lori Alden.

OK “scandal” may be a bit tabloid but there has been an ongoing controversy regarding whether male eggplants are less bitter than female eggplants and whether eggplants actually have sex at all (bitter and frustrated?). 

We’ve gone to the experts to set the record straight. Here’s what they said: 

“Male” and “female” eggplant is a case of unfortunate terminology. “Vegetables,” such as eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash, are – botanically speaking – really fruits. The fruits themselves can’t be considered “male or female.  

Page 13

“Male pollen was transferred to female parts of the flower, resulting in the fruit we eat. Different varieties of eggplant may be more bitter and contain more noticeable seeds than others. Also, as an eggplant fruit matures, the seeds become more noticeable. So an eggplant picked when very mature to over-mature might appear “seedier” than others picked when less mature, even those from the same plant. Pick eggplant fruits when full size is reached but while the exterior is still a glossy purple. Once the exterior becomes dull purple, the eggplant fruit is over-mature. 

Source: Robert Cox, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Horticulture, Jefferson County.

Despite the ages old, old-wives tale that there are male and female eggplants and the male of the species is better eating –detected because it has an “outie” blossom end as opposed to the female “innie” blossom end – there is no such thing. I follow different old-wives adivce, learned from my many years of cooking with old wives in Italy. 

Source: The Food Maven Diary, by Arthur Schwartz. 

WE NEED YOUR
CONTENT HERE 

SEND US SOME TIPS ABOUT
GARDENING THAT YOU HAVE
DISCOVERED OR PERHAPS SOME INFO
ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN YOUR GARDEN. 

NOTE: THE NEW DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS TO
THE NEWSLETTER IS ONE WEEK PRIOR TO THE MEETING.
 

It’s time to start again... with a
“Backyard Make-over”
by Diane Kelly
 

After removing our chook run and giving our back-yard a good tidy-up recently, it was time to move some garden beds around.  And this time I decided to have another go at growing plants in bath tubs as well.

I mentioned my plan to Margaret, and she advised the following:  

“They are especially good for 'bandicoot food' i.e. potatoes, sweet potatoes, muscari ( dwarf bluebells) & arrowleaf native violets.  All have tubers that they love.” 

Now this puzzled me for a moment, because I wondered why I would want to grow food for bandicoots!  But then I realized that what was meant that bath tubs are good to grow those plants IN, because then they can’t be “bandicooted” for the tubers!! 

So, with anticipation of the best time of the year for gardening, we’ll see how it all goes. 

New beginnings ……..  
and The Girls having fun in Sept 2014 
Page 14

FRUIT TREES 

MAY
Custard Apples: 
Peak harvest period, harvest every 3-7 days.  Don’t let trees dry out.

Figs:  Dormant period.  Don’t let trees dry out.

Lychee:  Don’t let trees dry out.  Fertilise trees this month.  Mature trees (5 years and older) 1.5 kg organic fertiliser with sulphate of potash added per sq m to the drip line of trees.  (For trees under 5 years, use only 50 grams.)

Low Chill Stone Fruit:  Fertilise trees with 50 gms of organic fertiliser with sulphate of potash added per sq m to the drip line of trees.  Prune off 2/3 of new growth.

Mango:  Apply gypsum if soil pH is 6 or more.  If below 6 pH, apply lime, 50 gms per sq m of either.  Mature trees (5 years and older) 1.5 kg organic fertiliser with sulphate of potash added per sq m to the drip line of trees; water in well.

Passion-fruit:  The water can be tapered off.  Harvest fruit every 3-4 days under vines.

Pawpaw:  If you have not applied boron, apply now.  1 teaspoon per tree.  40% of annual organic fertiliser can be applied e.g.  20 gms per sq m.

Persimmon:  Decline water needs.  Apply a little garden lime and gypsum, 20gms per sq m

Strawberries:  Plants should be coming away well.  A little organic fertiliser with sulphate of potash can be applied now.  Use fish emulsion or kelp spray regularly over plants to keep in good health.

Bananas:  Keep up the water.  When fruit are formed, bag fruit with banana bag, tie bag to top of stem and drape down to bell.  Leave open at bottom for air.  Cut off bell to get larger fruit.

Citrus:  Harvest should start this month, and continue until August.  Keep up watering.

Avocado:  Add garden lime, 20 grams per sq m to drip line and gypsum 20 grams per sq m again to drip line.  Early varieties can be picked.  Don’t let trees dry out.
Queensland Planting Guide, BOGI




JUNE

Custard apples: 
Harvest every 3 to 4 days as fruit matures.  Don’t let trees dry out.

Figs: Dormant period. Don’t let trees dry out.

Lychee:   Do not let trees dry out.  Minimal watering is needed.  Check emerging flowers for flower caterpillars.  If more than ½ are infested, spray with pyrethrum or garlic spray.

Mango:  Don’t let the trees dry out.

Passion-fruit:  Don’t let the vines dry out.  Keep up the fish emulsion or kelp sprays every month.  Small amount of organic fertiliser with added sulphate of potash can be applied to vines, 20 gms per sq m – for example, large vines = 100 gms; small vines = 50 gms.

Pawpaw:  Spray with wettable sulphur if powdery mildew is a problem.  Minimal water.  Pick fruit at mature stage with ½ colour to have full flavour.

Persimmon:  Dormant period.  Minimal water required at this time.

Strawberries:  Feed with organic fertiliser with added sulphate of potash.  Also use fish emulsion and kelp spray regularly over plants to keep in good health.  This will prevent fruit rot.  Pick fruit when fully ripe.  Keep plants fully watered – try not to wet the berries.  This will prevent fruit rot.  Mulch plants so the berries do not lie on the soil.  Pine needs are good.

Bananas:  Keep up the water and bag fruit. When fruit are formed, bag fruit with banana bag, tie bag to top of stem and drape down to bell.  Leave open at bottom for air.  Cut off bell to get larger fruit.

Citrus:  Harvesting should be well under way.  Keep up watering.

Avocado:  Early flowers should appear this month.  Keep up water needs.  If you have not applied garden lime and gypsum, apply now as per June instructions.
Brisbane Organic Growers Handbook 

Page 15

VEGETABLES 

MAY:

Asian Greens, Beans (French), Beetroot, Broad beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Endive, Garlic, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Onion, Parsnip, Pea, Potato, Radish, Shallots, Silverbeet, Snow Peas, Spinach, Tomato, Turnip. 

JUNE:

Asian Greens, Asparagus Crowns, Beans (French), Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Onion, Parsnip, Peas, Potato, Radish, Shallots, Silverbeet, Snow Peas, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnips. 

HERBS

MAY

Annual
: Borage, Calendula, Chamomile, Chervil, Coriander, Dill, Garlic, Giant Red Lettuce, Herb Robert, Italian parsley, Misome, Mizuna, Mustard Lettuce, Nasturtium, Rocket.

Perennials & Bi-Annuals: Catnip, Chicory, Chives, Perennial Coriander, Fennel, Hyssop, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lovage, Marjoram, Mint, Mushroom Plant, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Salad Burnet, Winter Tarragon, Thyme, Upland Cress, Watercress, Winter Savoury.

JUNE

Annual:
Borage, Calendula, Chamomile,Chervil, Coriander, Dill, Garlic, Giant RedLettuce, Herb Robert, Italian parsley,Misome, Mizuna, Mustard Lettuce, Nasturtium, Rocket 

Perennials & Bi-Annuals: Catnip, Chicory, Chives, Perennial Coriander, Fennel,Hyssop, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lovage,Marjoram, Mint, Mushroom Plant, Oregano,Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, SaladBurnet, Winter Tarragon, Thyme, UplandCress, Watercress, Winter Savoury. 

Whilst every effort is made to publish accurate information the association (including Editor, Executive Officers and Committee) accepts no responsibility for statements made or opinions expressed in this newsletter. 

Page 16

GCOG, PO Box 210, Mudgeeraba Q 4213 

Meetings held:
3rd Thursday of the Month 

Meeting place:
Cnr Guineas Creek Road
& Coolgardie Street
Elanora, Gold Coast 

Next meeting:
Thursday 21st June 2018