It was a strange year, as prolonged periods of lock-down and no public events to serve as mementos, messed with our collective perception of the passage of time. You may be surprised to be reminded that these things happened…
Fig Tree was reborn as Smokva Garden in collaboration with the Croatian Club.
Smokva started collecting compost from Momo wholefood cafe, kick starting a rhythm on weekly compost creation which has totaled about 40 cubic meters of compost added back into our soil from 4.5 tons of food scraps!
We have been making our own bokashi starter culture which has allowed Momo to store their food waste outside of their fridge and for households to collect their waste in a 20L bucket over the course of 3 weeks before bringing it in to the garden – no smells!
The neighboring preschool has been bringing their compost over in an army of tiny wheel barrows, which is a sight to behold.
Bridie Piaf came and wrote a wonderful article about our garden which featured on the cover of Earth Garden magazine.
We have advertised for a paid position making our compost. This is targeted to be an ideal first ever job for someone who would like to make connections in the community and build references.
We have become an authorised organisation, advertising for an over 55yo job seeker to do regular maintenance at the garden.
We have replaced all the railway sleeper garden beds with rejuvenated ground beds and eradicated all the couch grass. Reducing the mowing requirements by about 30%. Many vegetable are growing out of this space at the moment including, rainbow chard, beetroot, kale, silverbeet, beans, corn, pumpkin, zucchini, tomato, okinawa spinach, warrigal greens, rhubarb and more! These are being regularly harvested by gardeners and the public, some of which have made voluntary donations ranging from $2 to $200.
We have 7 chickens who get visits from multiple families every day, donating scraps and collecting eggs.
We have a team of 5 who water the garden on a daily basis as required.
We received a $1000 grant for building a path through the garden which is 50% complete.
We have been increasing the plant diversity at the garden, planting out more things like pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, garlic, tumeric, coffee, davidson plum, monstera deliciosa, avocado, arrowroot and grumichama. Most fruit trees have been professionally pruned, composted and mulched.
Achieving our Mission
Bring a diverse group of Newcastle’s inner west residents together in a beautiful community garden to, provide social opportunities, education and to grow and distribute healthy food on a neighbourhood scale. 👉 Mission, Objective & Philosophy.
We have brought a large group of residents together and made huge improvements to the beauty of our garden space. Each of the working bees have been great social opportunities and we have had several shared meals. Many new friendships have been made. We held one workshop in collaboration with the Seed Library and have two more scheduled. There is regular produce available at the garden including consistent leafy greens, beets, beans, eggs and seasonal fruit from the trees.
The community that comes to the garden is largely centered around the social group of the core participants however we are seeing more participation from people who pass through the space. We should prioritise signage to help the neighbourhood get involved. We should also invite other specific communities to get involved with posters and flyers.