It's raining again!

Oh, and what a washed-out Easter weekend it was! It seemed the garden's new rain gauge had just gone up in time to measure and confirm the weatherman's forecast of "Sydney will be wettest on Saturday with some suburbs recording above 50mm..." - it read 52mm of rain on Saturday evening. 

The garden's new rain gauge - nice and dry (not for long)

The rain gauge is mounted on one of the tall poles bordering the strawberry plot in the upper garden. You can't miss it when walking along the wall bed towards the caravan.  

There is of course a science behind correctly measuring the amount of rainfall. The Bureau of Meteorology explains the details and how the professionals do it. In the garden, we're interested in getting a better idea of the amount of rain the beds receive. Sydney showers can be quite local, and sometimes a "massive downpour" in one suburb might not mean a lot of rain for the neighbouring one.  It'll hopefully also help our kind watering volunteers to assess whether they need to give the communal beds an extra drop. 

So how do we keep track of the rainfall? Ideally, we'd start each early day with an empty gauge and meticulously check the amount of rain in the gauge at a given time later the same day. Practically speaking though we won't have a rain gauge roster ;-)  As with most things in the community garden, the rain gauge is there for everybody to take measurements. Next time you take a read, why not share it on the white board? Or leave a comment here on the blog? 

We hope you enjoy keeping an eye on the amount of rain the garden gets!


Hello all

I'm just taking this opportunity to introduce myself to those I haven't already met.

I'm Colin Maltman and have recently taken on the role of garden manager at our ever wonderful and productive PermaPatch community garden.

In this role I'll be overseeing all the varied and interesting (and challenging!) tasks and operation within the garden.

As you probably already know every Sunday afternoon from around 2pm is a working-bee of sorts where members  come along and help out with the various activities within the garden - so please do come along on a Sunday afternoon and meet others, help out in the garden and have a well deserved cuppa!

Every now and then I'll be sending out garden management updates and notifications of activities for the Sunday work sessions - I'll try to get these up on our new website too.

As part of my first post as garden manager I thought I'd just list some useful information.

Compost - please bring your fruit and veg scraps and place in the big plastic compost bins - just follow the signs in the compost area for how to do this. When the bins are full we transfer contents to the large open compost bays.

Grass clippings - if herbicide and pesticide free we want them! – place them in the wooden pallet enclosures near the back gate

Leaves and leaf-mulch - same as for grass clippings BUT please no leaves from Camphor laurel or gum trees (they contain chemicals which can deter other plants from growing)

Coffee grounds - these are great to go in the compost bins but best not to spread over the garden beds or on top of plant leaves.

Private and communal plots - all of the raised wooden-sided garden beds in the upper garden (in the area between garden shed and chook shed) are private plots. The communal plots are the large bed and the 5 horseshoe shaped beds in the lower garden (plus herb spiral). However, the beds in the lower garden adjacent to the wall or the metal fence at the far end are private.

Worm farms -  There are three worm farms over by the chooks area, please just follow the sign on the side of the caravan (above the worm farms) for what and how to feed the worms. Food for worms is best chopped up into small sections.
If anyone has spare worms from a worm farm – not from their garden! Feel free to bring them and ad them to the worm containers, we’re a bit short on worms.  

Watering the garden - Pauline has already sent out information and a request for help with watering. We’re proposing that ‘owners’ of individual plots take care of their own watering (as part of the ongoing job of tending to their own garden plots) and that we have a roster for watering the communal beds and other areas.

Planting and harvesting fruits of our labour - We’ll be planning to plant out seeds or seedlings each Sunday as well as harvesting – so come along and help plant the seeds for our future meals!

Chickens - we have a well functioning chook roster for feeding, supplying with water and letting chooks in and out each day. A sign by the hatch on the chook shed has information as to what and what not to feed the chooks. Just remember best not to throw food in for them in the evening or late afternoon as they are less likely to eat it over-night and so could attract rats.

Tank water - we try to use this rather than mains water when we can – to use the tank water you’ll need to switch the electric pump on (or off and on if already on) – the switch is up close by the big water tank. After rain there is also a fair amount of water in the big containers  - 1 by the garden shed, 1 by the chook shed (fed from their respective roofs). These are good for using with watering cans.

Think that’s all – hope to see you in the garden!

Colin Maltman