pots

Sustainability Lane 2014

Sustainability Lane is one of the garden's biggest fundraising exercises. It's an exciting day where we get to promote the garden, participate in community and sell some plants and preserves. This year, as always, lots of people pulled together to make the day a success. Our stall looked amazing compared to our neighbours (no offence intended neighbours, but one has to state the obvious:). Lush greenery and gorgeous homemade things spilling out onto the pavement, an oasis of shade and organics along the hot, hard tarmac desert.

 Mandy setting up our stall, Day of the Triffids style!

Mandy setting up our stall, Day of the Triffids style!

 Our very berrylicious stall!

Our very berrylicious stall!

 Front of house, Mandy and Gary.

Front of house, Mandy and Gary.

It was a wonderful, blue sky-ed sunny day. All the plants looked so healthy and tempting – mostly thanks to months of TLC by Jo, Lian-Choo and Gary. We generated a lot of interest in the community garden and in how to grow things in general.

  The preserves made by Pauline, Helen, Gary and Mandy looked gorgeous in their chic labels made by Kim.

The preserves made by Pauline, Helen, Gary and Mandy looked gorgeous in their chic labels made by Kim.

  Cassie helped out and Jane put in amazingly long and cheerful day. 

Cassie helped out and Jane put in amazingly long and cheerful day. 

As a reward for a long, exhausting day in the sun for Mandy, Gary and Lian-Choo in particular, Jo, Helen Smith, Ruth, Jane, Cassie and Colin pulled through with our best total ever - $570 clear. More importantly of course, sharing the magic of sustainable and healthy, happy living.

Pots and Horse Poo

I was invited a ride along with the boys to go and get some horse poo for the garden and to drop off some of the millions of old pots we have had piling up around the place.  Jo brought his trailer along and Roman, Colin, Jo and I piled most of the pots the pots into it.    

 Trophy shot of Colin with the haul of pots!

Trophy shot of Colin with the haul of pots!

After a bit of discussion, a decision was made to also donate an old, smaller compost bin to the same place that takes the pots, Eden Gardens in North Ryde, so we loaded that up into the trailer too.  

 The bin was really fiddly to take apart, a rather silly design we all agreed.

The bin was really fiddly to take apart, a rather silly design we all agreed.

 What a good service these guys are doing for the community by running this pot recycling service.

What a good service these guys are doing for the community by running this pot recycling service.

So we arrived at Eden Gardens at North Ryde and offloaded the pots into the wooden crate they have for pot recycling.  Apparently you can just come and help yourself to these anytime you want, so keep that in mind next time you're doing some seed sowing or re-potting and need a bunch of pots.

 Help yourself!

Help yourself!

They had a bunch of other free stuff around their parcel pickup bay too, such as wooden pallets, turf and pavers.

 Free wood.

Free wood.

 There was also this rather gruesome scene!

There was also this rather gruesome scene!

We tried to leave the compost bin amongst all the other free stuff, but were mildly reprimanded by one of the staff, who accused us of dumping (which is of course the last thing we wanted to do!).  We explained the misunderstanding to him and back on the trailer it went.  

And so from Eden Gardens we travelled to the RDA in Ryde to load up our now mostly empty trailer up with pony poo!!  Riding for the Disabled Association of Australia (RDAA) is a voluntary, nonprofit organisation which provides opportunities for anyone with a disability to enjoy safe, healthy, stimulating, therapeutic, horse-related activities in Australia. When I was a kid I actually went to a riding camp that they run at their centre in Kellyville, and it was the best riding camp I had ever been to as far as the care they provided for both the horses and patrons, so I was really looking forward to visiting their rather new instalment in Ryde.

 They had some pretty serious fencing so we only caught glimpses of the ponies between the bars!

They had some pretty serious fencing so we only caught glimpses of the ponies between the bars!

They are looking for volunteers always at RDA, something I might follow up on as soon as I get more time!

 A pile of steaming horse $H17

A pile of steaming horse $H17

 Jo loading the manure into the trailer.

Jo loading the manure into the trailer.

 The manure was obviously full other great organic matter such as straw and wood chips, BONUS!

The manure was obviously full other great organic matter such as straw and wood chips, BONUS!

We took turns filling the trailer and of course then had to load the unwanted compost bin back on it too. What a lucky compost bin, getting to go on such an interesting excursion!  Once we got home back to PermaPatch we offloaded the the manure onto a pile just outside the gates of the garden.  We let it cure and dry there and then add it to the compost as a good source of carbon.

When Roman asked me to come along to journal this task, he pitched it to me as a story about one community organisation helping another.  Through horse poo.  Which of course appealed to all my best instincts, as I love horses, horse poo and recycling and am committed to the concept of not for profit upcycling, recycling and freecycling within the community as a means to not only help each other but reduce waste.  So it was fun and special to be part of something that achieves those ends in a real way.