Sometimes it takes me a while to get around to writing up these entries – last weekend I attended my first [Illawarra Seedsavers meeting](http://green-change.com/2008/11/10/upcoming-illawarra-seedsavers-meeting/), and it was great.
There were about 10 people at the meeting. Being my first, I didn’t know what to expect, but the other people were all very friendly and welcoming. They’d all brought snacks and drinks to share, and it was a very laid-back and social event.
One guy brought packaged tamarinds for us to try – they were really nice, sweet like dates but with a citrussy tang. He also had some pigeon peas for people to take home. I had really wanted some of those, but forget to take any home! I’m planning to grow some around the chook pen to prepare the soil for when we put in fruit trees.
The meeting was held at the Dapto Community Farm (map). I’d never been there before (I didn’t even know it existed until a couple of weeks ago!), and it was amazing. You can rent beds around 50’x4′ in size for around $20/month. I wish we had something like that closer to Kiama!
We had a walk around the garden beds and met a few of the gardeners. One man had a few chickens in a chicken tractor that was the width of his garden beds. He could move the tractor up and down the bed, depending where he wanted soil turned over and manured. Very cool!
Here are a bunch of photos from the day:
The next Seedsavers meeting will likely be in February. I’ll post details when I have them.
Glad the meeting was good. I had hoped to attend (it would have been my first time too) but I had a house full of kids. Maybe next time. Funnily enough I just met someone at my school P&C who is very involved with the community farm (after trying to find out more about it for the last few years).
Ally and Rich
Glad to hear you enjoyed the seedsavers meeting and checking out the Dapto Community Farm – we’ve only been there for a quick visit a couple times and that was a while ago.
We went to a working bee at the North Wollongong PCYC Community Garden today which was fabulous- had about 15 people and a few littlies too. The gardens looking really great and wonderfully green coming into summer.
Sweet tamarinds are one of our favourite treats – we buy boxes of them from the Asian shop in Keira street in Wollongong – the large Asian shop near Dions bus depot. Yum yum!
Ally and Rich
Libby, the Community Farm looks awesome. If you live anywhere nearby, it’d be a great opportunity. Apparently they have some vacant plots at the moment. All the people I met there were really friendly, happy to chat and very willing to give you friendly advice. They seem to swap a lot of vegies etc with each other, too.
Ally and Rich, those tamarinds were great. I tried to buy some from the asian supermarket opposite Zoom (kids’ play center), but they’d sold out! Bummer.
I’d love to check out the PCYC Community Garden – I’ve read some interesting stuff about it. Do they have open days or anything?
Coincidentally, one of the people at the Seedsavers meeting was in the same group I toured your garden with on the Sustainable House Day. Actually, a few people there had been to your house and it came up a few times! Don’t worry, it was all good :-).
Ally and Rich
Yeah the PCYC community garden really is something special. Working bees are usually the first Sunday of the month, from about 10am until 2pm – we can let you know when the next one’s happening. It sometimes changes with public holidays etc.
It was fantastic at Sustainable House Day to see so many people interested in what can be done to make homes more sustainable – it was certainly very inspiring for us! We really are lucky in the Illawarra to have so many great people and groups all working in their own way on their ‘adventures in sustainability’ – it’s a really exciting time!
And good luck finding some tamarinds – we’re trying to track some down before Xmas, will let you know if we find any!
Ally and Rich
HI! I AM IN IRAQ AND I WOULD LIKE TO GREEN OUR UNIT’S LITTLE CORNER. WE HAVE ORANGE SEEDS FROM THE ORANGES THAT ARE SERVED IN THE DINING FACILITIES. PLS ADV WHAT PREP WE NEED TO DO ON THE SEEDS PRIOR TO PUTTING THEM ON THE GROUND. THANK YOU.
As far as I know, you just plant orange seeds directly without any preparation. You’ll probably find it best to plant them into little containers and keep them the well watered until they grow to about 6 inches high, and then plant them out. Hope this helps!
Thank you, Darren. Unfortunately, 3 months after planting 20 orange seeds, I still do not see any growth at all. I have watered it and fertilized it with Miracle Gro daily. It must be the nature of the soil that may be preventing its growth. Any other suggestions? Thank you.
Hi Andres! According to this site, they should germinate within about two weeks if the soil is the right temperature. There are lots of things that can go wrong – over/under watering, wrong soil temperature, unviable seeds to begin with, etc. I’d keep trying with multiple pots and seeds from multiple oranges (of different types), and eventually you should get one that germinates.
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