By Kit Shepherd and Mylene Turban
25th of January 2021
Five thirty is not the usual time to be in the garden, but for us, it was a special opportunity to do some desk work, in the surrounds of our community garden on our Landshare plot in Bondi Rd.
Four of us – one a complete newbie – with our computers and phones, were pioneering a new system for organizing what we grow and how we keep track of that. Our esteemed garden co-ordinator Jade Peace (who is to leave Sydney at the end of February), is passing on her knowledge before she goes. She and Mylene Turban, another seasoned Steering Group member were on a tech team with Randwick Sustainability hub in 2020, setting up a digital system for our new Seed Library. That detailed and precise work has set the pace for further analysis and organizing of the rotational cropping system.
We adopted rotational cropping after a workshop with the Permaculturist John Kingston last year. The idea is that different types of plants have different nutritional needs, and pathogens can build up in the soil with repeated planting of the same species, so it is advantageous to rotate crops from fruit to root, to legume to leaf. Keeping track and planning ahead, to have our 5 raised beds moving through this cycle is best done digitally! With our online seed catalog, we are now able to plan the year of planting ahead using our own grown seeds. Each bed will follow the rotational cycle. The team will meet again in the next week to plan what seeds to plant for each rotation. Then, the created plan can be used by any new gardener to guide them in their learning journey in the community garden.
It is far from getting dirt under your fingernails, though we did a close inspection of each bed as we were describing the contents. We also had time to enjoy the marvel of our giant zucchini and to chat with a few visitors who wondered about it.
The garden on a mild summer evening is a lovely place to meet! Feel free to get in touch if you want to join us in this gardening adventure. We are now in the garden on Monday (7:30-8:30 am), Wednesday (8-10 am), and the second Sunday of the month for our garden bee!