Monday, 29 October 2007


Sitting listening to the radio a few minutes ago, having a coffee after using every piece of my body at yoga, brings a lot of things to my mind. Firstly,a piece of music played just now which seared through my garden wanderings to the minute the phone rang, about 6 years ago, and I learned that my long-time friend had serious cancer. That piece of music is often played on the radio and in shops etc and I freeze every time, caught in the emotion of that day. I just want to say to others who are suffering with illness, my thoughts also now go to you, your friendship and enthusiasm for gardening and I hope I may be able to see you soon.

Secondly, the soil blocker....Here is an excerpt and a web address to check them out.
...... The handle is spring loaded and a gentle squeeze pushes the blocks of soil onto a board."Won't the blocks fall apart?".
No, the secret is in the potting mix which needs to be quite fibrous and very wet when you make the blocks. Gentle watering with a fine rose will not affect the blocks at all. There is a choice of inserts which leave different imprints on the top of the soil block.

Diana uses them in her course but I had never seen one before Kath lent me her's. I was sceptical, but it worked like a dream. The fact that you don't need any pot or tube and that they are so easily transplanted into pots later or into the garden is quite remarkable. They do hold together without collapsing at the same time staying separate from each other and the mixture is perfect for germination and growth. Ideally I would like one that pumps out a whole tray full at once as the only drawback (why does there always have to be one?) is that it is a bit tedious. This is easily counterbalanced by the success of it and the fact that you don't have to spend ages pricking out seedlings from a foam box where they are all growing together. Time spent up front is well worth it. There is no transplant shock and the seedlings continue on in the garden like there is no tomorrow. I used Kath's recipe that she got from Diana but I can't find it just now. I hope Kath will send it to me again so I can add it here. There is one on the website but Diana's is slightly different, I think.

Thirdly, a man sent me an email, basically saying that he has an area of about 200 sq.m. in Glen Osmond which he would like to use as a vegie patch but has little time (and probably not much experience) and would anyone like to get it going, look after it and share the produce from it ? I have some thoughts about how this could happen and if any members are interested too please ring or email me.
I would like to think that this is a way we could help people who don't want to allocate time but who can see some advantages in growing food. There is nothing more likely to put people off doing this than making a bit of an effort and seeing it all be a waste of time, money and effort because too many things go wrong and it all gets too hard. Some of us have the time, experience and energy to put into such a project....think about it, I am.

Fourthly, grey water/ rain water and "water butts."I think this English term means a surge tank, in my language - something that catches a bit of water and at the same time allows it to drain away to somewhere else, not actually providing storage for later. Bunnings is selling some converted green bins for a ridiculous price but you can just use a small tank like Cath and Rob (as in this photo of theirs) or get a pickle barrel from Paramount Brown, for $20 or so. Paramount Brown's is somewhere that scavenges like me love to go and rummage through acres of eg barrels of every shape, size, colour which are second hand and have been filled with all sorts of funny things, like the ones I got which have 'pickled onions' scrawled across one side and 'India' on the other side (if there is a 'side' to a round barrel !). I cut a couple of feet off the bottom and used the top, with lid, for a compost bin and the bottom as a tub, to set in the ground and grow my water chestnuts in. Roger is setting one up as a surge tank to tidy up my hose-through-the-hole-in-the-wire-door from the washing machine arrangement. Another will be connected to the shower. Simple and cheap and good.


Maggie said...

Diana gave us heaps of notes when we did her Seeds For Health gardening course, I shall look them up tonight.
She is such a gem, boy we had a great time with her and Cath at Fern Ave Community Garden. I am forever grateful that we did that course.

Kate said...

Let the good times roll !

Chook said...

If someone more experienced than me wants to take up the Glen Osmond man's suggestion, I'd be keen to help out!