Though the current lock down has meant that we need to cancel all our regular group working bees, the garden has been a welcome and safe refuge for some of us to go and spend time with a friend in fresh air, at a distance. Similarly to exercising, anyone is allowed to garden with 1 friend or with people from the same house and many people have been using this opportunity to get their hands dirty and do some gardening experimentation.
Over the last two weeks all the fruit trees were pruned by Anton, Adrian, Michelle, Lachy and Curtis. Meg Launched an assault on the couch grass hiding around the tank (the idea is that the black plastic deprives the grass of light and cooks it over summer.) Anneliese seeded out some vegetables in the hot house. Curtis and I made a bamboo chicken star dome (here’s the recipe).
I should also mention that Anton (and sometimes Rochelle) seems to be toiling away in the garden any time that I drop in day or night! Nice work Anton! And thanks to everyone who’s been helping out that I haven’s seen (or remembered!)
After a few failed attempts to get mulch delivered into the garden – due to the covid testing que blocking the carpark – we took matters into our own hands and felled a few of the weed trees that have popped up over the last few years. Lachie cut down 4 Chinese Hackberries and then later in the after noon Jack came and fed them trough mulcher. It’s always surprising how small trees pack down when they are reduced to chips. Never fear, they’ll be trees again soon. Thanks Lachie and Jack!
Sunday was another delightfully sunny winter day. Lee, Pete and Kate did a meticulous job of some much needed lawn care, pushing further back on the areas of the garden that have been over run with a mix of debris, domesticated grass and plastic bags. Freddy honed his carpentry skills as he put latches on the cabinet doors that have been flapping in the breeze. Spencer unleashed all his fury upon a decrepit railway sleeper, getting us a few steps closer to removing all the old garden beds. Alas the prior mentioned brothers were lured away from the working bee to a Pokemon trading day at Islington park and productivity rapidly declined. Andrew and Laura saved the day though, rocking up with some date and walnut cake which, along with Pete’s Treats, fueled the rest of an unquestionably successful day, in which Lee and Alistair did some pruning and mulching, Laurandrew made a new garden bed and Julia planted a Monstera Deliciousa!
You missed a cracker of a day in the garden, there were eight people in attendance and it was a beautiful sunny winter day. Marko bulldozed through some of the remaining old garden beds, separating sleepers, soil and couch grass. Meg was the reigning compost queen and turned all the compost and made a big new batch. Both Maddie and Anton made new garden beds AND planted them out- with the help of Nick who also potted on all our tomato seedlings. Riley and Adrian disassembled the bocce fence, after it started to disassemble itself. There was a great feeling of rhythm as we have been adding garden beds, planting seedlings, planting seeds, making compost and each of these processes feed into each other every week!
On Sunday 15th August 2020 we held a special committee meeting and invited members of the community to come and share their visions for the future of the Fig Tree community Garden. We began by reviewing the previously stated aims of the organisation and heard a round of feedback. We followed this guide: How to facilitate a team vision workshop.
We would like to uphold the previous aims of providing organic food, smiles, skill development, cultural diversity, sustainable development, water wisdom, waste reduction, engaging community development, hands-on gardening and construction, inclusion, therapeutic involvement, native and food producing plants, innovation, opportunity and fun.
We also asked what members should be able to do in the garden and how it should make them feel. Overwhelmingly, people wanted clear and simple communication about the ways the people can get involved in the garden. These opportunities to get involved should be regular, predictable and well publicised in diverse channels.
Everyone should feel welcome to eat something from the garden, help with growing plants or just chill and maybe share a cup of tea with a friend.
We would like everyone to know when the events are happening and for people to know what they are “allowed” to do in the garden. We want them to know how they can help and for everyone to have something to do- whether they have a little time to give, or a lot.
The garden should be an accessible, safe space and positive for all of our mental well being. We want people to feel kindness, belonging, empowerment, solidarity, agency, ownership and intimacy with the land.
We want to be sharing skills, experience and knowledge that we can put to use in the garden, or take out and help regenerate the world. Individuals should be able to express themselves and instigate change.
We believe in caring for the earth (including providing wildlife & insect habitat), caring for people (like supporting each other’s mental health, fair work opportunities) and fair share – the permaculture ethics.
Fig Tree Community garden should be financially sustainable and allow for economically diverse participation, reducing the effects of wealth division.
Though FTCG has previously partaken in work for the dole, we will now concentrate on directly providing fair work opportunities.
We seek to build partnerships with other organisations, including with the Wickham Croatian Sports Club Cooperative to build events around music, food and culture.
It is at this point that the posts from the previous two websites relating to Fig Tree Community garden were imported in to this site- smokva.garden for the fun of being able to look through old photos and see how things have changed. These were all pulled from https://web.archive.org/ Watch the dates! See In the media for more old stories and pics from bygone eras.
Edit August 2021 I should mention that this website sat for a whole year unpublished as we had not decided on a name for the garden. Slow and steady, eh?
For some obscure reason this website was offline for a while but has now been reactivated. The Garden continues to grow thanks to a very small but dedicated group of volunteers. We are also pleased to have groups from Life Without Barriers, Mai-wel and Richmond PRA as part of the gardening community.
For those people out there who have not visited the Garden in the past 12 months it is still growing but with a slightly altered structure.
The Garden is now maintained by a small but dedicated and hardworking group of volunteers who give of their own time and money to ensure that the Garden continues to be an asset to the Wickham Croatian Sports Club on whose land it operates.
Those wishing to join the Figtree Community Garden Association must be financial members of the Club.