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Tamar & Meander Valley Community Garden Network

This network meets quarterly to share knowledge about community gardening.

Spring | Community Garden Network Newsletter

Tamar & Meander Valley Community Gardens
Tamar & Meander Valley Community Gardens
Spring had well and truly arrived up at Beaconsfield House last Wednesday when we gathered on the deck to share news and food. The gardens and orchard were humming with food and life, and delivery of a new ride-on lawnmower made some people's day! Let's not mention the hayfever - aaah, the delights of spring gardening :-) Much like at Meander, the Beaconsfield Neighbourhood House grounds used to be part of a public school, with the neighbourhood house taking over around 15 years ago. It took a little while to get the paperwork transferred over, so the community garden has been in for about 10 years. During this time, the team who designed the garden had moved on, so the design implementation became a bit more organic than originally planned. They’ve had lots of things donated, like beds, seeds, manure, straw and timber, and have an extensive network of organisations and people that feed into the upkeep and development of the garden. The orchard went in around eight years ago, however there’s no record of which particular varieties of trees were planted. Around six months ago the neighbouring primary school offered them a majority of the space in their own food garden, and Ralph has worked extensively in there clearing the blackberries and weeds, with the upshot being that that space is now producing a lot of food as well. Gathering on the verandah of the neighbourhood house, we shared news, ventured down such diverse rabbit holes as volunteerism, the amazing regional seed library network, and the loss of local nurseries (Habitat and Allan’s Youngstown) before taking a tour around the extensive grounds with their hothouse, orchard, two intensively grown sites and also a small area where some beds are leased by the public for their own personal use. We then gathered again for lunch and a photo. A lovely way to spend a few hours, and thankyou to Jenny, Julie, Sharron, Vicki, Ralph & Jeremy for making us feel so welcome ☺️ Definitely the biggest multi purpose space we have seen so far, although once Meander is up and humming it might quickly catch up. It’s really an honour to see around all of the gardens, with their unique, demographics, purpose and flavours - so a big thankyou to everyone who has so far volunteered to host, and we will be looking for new host sites in the new year. Thankyou also to those gardeners who were able to contribute seed for Irene & David to take away away for the UTAS Inveresk garden ☺️ Regards, Karen Hewitt CGN Convenor P: 0430 371 116 E:

Winter | Community Garden Network Newsletter

Tamar & Meander Valley Community Gardens
Tamar & Meander Valley Community Gardens
Winter is supposed to be a time to sit back, prepare and plan for the growing months, but Network members have been super busy popping up in all sorts of places - including an inaugural go at community engagement as a Network! Read on for all the details ☺️ Thank you to Jeff for being such a wonderful host up at UTAS’ Fifty Trees Heritage Orchard in Newnham for our get-together. We started by gathering around the fire pit and sharing news, before moving onto a tour of the site, where Jeff explained that the close by buildings were in fact Newnham Hall, which had been built in 1832, and had had its own market garden. The trees in the orchard didn’t date back to then, but there were some pear trees which had been planted in the late 1800s. Jeff then took us down through the orchard, with its resident mixed flock of guineafowl, australorp and peacock, and explained that the plan to revitalise the site had been part of the SIPS program run through UTAS, where a paid intern contributes to the sustainability of the university. For this example, the intern had planned succession planting for it as part of her degree, and this had also are been the case for the students who had worked on the composting solution down at Inveresk. We then walked through the orchard down to where we took part in a short working bee to spread compost and mulch under the dripline of the trees, before heading back up to the fire pit for a lunch topped off with home-made fruit crumble from the trees in the orchard kindly brought down by David and Ian - a couple of Jeff’s fellow UTAS cohort. Regards, Karen Hewitt CGN Convenor P: 0430 371 116 E:

Autumn | Community Garden Network Newsletter

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