MCG Monthly Update Email

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What’s on at the Mullum Community Gardens this month? How can you get involved? Read on…
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MCG JANUARY 2013 NEWSLETTER

Happy 2013 Green thumbed Mullum-mites,

Well, here we are, 2013 has arrived and the world is still spinning! Phew… We hope you are enjoying the festive season and this gorgeous summer weather whatever you’re doing. This year has many new exciting projects on the horizon, with the new Board, Onsite Management Team, volunteers and members ready to lead the gardens into yet another productive, exciting year.

A huge thank you to Sharon Gibson who put on a fabulous humane, sustainable, backyard-raised bbq’d rooster Christmas Lunch at the gardens on Christmas day, the food was delicious. And thank you to all who ran, facilitated and participated in our December workshops. Some of these included ‘Natural Remedies for mum’s and bub’s’ and the ‘Natural Beekeeping II’ workshop.

European bee’s eating honey from the hive

Before we get into the nitty gritty grubby stuff of 2013…here’s a beautiful TED video by Cinematographer and director Louie Schwartzberg (7:41 mins) on our beloved, beautiful, hard working pollinators. Bats, hummingbirds, bees and butterflies have never been seen like this before. CLICK HERE TO WATCH (http://www.nextworldtv.com/page/21675.html) . If this grabs you, perhaps you’d like to sign up for the third (due to popular demand) Natural Bee Keeping Workshop on Sat 13th, details below.
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Biochar-An Update from Rameshwar

The Biochar POD started at the MCG in 2010 when we built a small biochar kiln. We then made char and used it in field trial plots to illustrate the potency of biochar for finding fertility in the soil.

Biochar testing plots

We got some bamboo and camphor laurel char tested and approved at NSW Department of Primary Industries’ laboratories at Wollongbar. In early 2011, we built the drying shed frame and roof (for feedstock and fuel), and this year Max and I put the walls on the drying shed. The small kiln was great training for us, and can be a good research, training and demonstration kiln, but it only makes about 3kg in each batch, so it’s too small for ongoing production. We got some design sketches for a bigger kiln in early 2011, and in August 2012, I went to look at a 2 cubic meter biochar kiln at Jiggi near Lismore. It’s the best kiln design so far that I know of, for us to learn from, to build a bigger biochar kiln at Mullumbimby Community Garden. A kiln this size would make (by simple proportionate calculation) about 150 kg of char in each batch.

This could supply Mullumbimby Community with biochar, and be a pioneering example for other rural communities, and maybe farming co-operatives.
Don Coyne has committed to 4 hours/month, to sometimes make a batch of biochar in the kiln we already have. We are proud to say that there is now
biochar for sale at the MCG Seed Savers Shed for $10/kg. HERE (http://www.echonetdaily.net.au/?iid=70381#folio=6) is an inspiring video clip about charcoal being used in farming practises in Indonesia to increase soil fertility, and HERE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzmpWR6JUZQ) is another short video about the introduction of biochar in Australia.

If anyone wants to help speed up our bulk biochar production, there’s many ways that can happen. Ask me via email at rameshwarnow@yahoo.com.au , or ph: 66846194 or 0412944417.

For the best,

Rameshwar
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ANNOUNCEMENTS
* First Volunteer lunch of 2013 will be held on Tuesday the 8^th of January 2013. (Thanks Pippy, you’re a legend!)
* Bales of straw available onsite for $5.50. Please pay using the FFA donation boxes, so mulch can be delivered regularly by Byron Tree Service.
* Biochar is now available at the Safe Seeds Shed $10/kg.
* Onsite Management Team meeting minutes AVAILABLE HERE (http://gallery.mailchimp.com/e2d39506a7a20e224ef6aaa5b/files/december_site_management_comittee_minutes_12_2012.pdf)
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Photo: Stephanie sorting seeds

** JANUARY CALENDAR
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(a little thin on the ground this month, so stay tuned for more activities later in the month)
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SATURDAY 5 (tomorrow)
Biochar charring @ MCG, 1pm All Welcome, Contact Don 0459 175 729

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TUESDAY 8
First Volunteer Lunch for 2013
Volunteers Day with Communal Lunch (for volunteers or by donation) @ 1pm, All Welcome, Contact Volunteer Coord: Pippy on 0411 835 663
The office is open from 10am-4pm, so Tuesdays are also a great day to come down and sort out allotment, membership paperwork or payments.

Dirt Club Facilitators Training- help prepare for and learn how to help facilitate DIRT CLUB and get your child in for a discounted rate.
10am-12noon @ MCG
Contact Sainttina on 0402 170 846

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WEDNESDAY 9
Dirt Club-School Holiday kids activities
Cheri and Saintina will be running holiday activities for children, called Dirt Club!
Time: 10-3pm, $30 full day, $20 part day
Contact Sainttina 0402 170 846

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FRIDAY 11
MCG Communications POD Meeting 11am
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SUNDAY 13
Natural Beekeeping Workshop III – $50 p/h
Contact Kat mullumbees@gmail.com (mailto:mullumbees@gmail.com) to book – Filling fast See Flier HERE
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TUESDAY 15
Volunteers Day with Communal Lunch (for volunteers or by donation) @ 1pm, All Welcome, Contact Volunteer Coord: Pippy on 0411 835 663
The office is open from 10am-4pm, so Tuesdays are also a great day to come down and sort out allotment, membership paperwork or payments.

Dirt Club Facilitators Training- help prepare for and learn how to help facilitate DIRT CLUB and get your child in for a discounted rate.
10am-12noon @ MCG
Contact Sainttina on 0402 170 846

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WEDNESDAY 16
Dirt Club-School Holidays kids activities
Cheri and Saintina will be running holiday activities for children, called Dirt Club!
Time: 10-3pm, $30 full day, $20 part day
Contact Sainttina 0402 170 846

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TUESDAY 22
Volunteers Day with Communal Lunch (for volunteers or by donation) @ 1pm, All Welcome, Contact Volunteer Coord: Pippy on 0411 835 663
The office is open from 10am-4pm, so Tuesdays are also a great day to come down and sort out allotment, membership paperwork or payments.

Dirt Club Facilitators Training- help prepare for and learn how to help facilitate DIRT CLUB and get your child in for a discounted rate.
10am-12noon @ MCG
Contact Sainttina on 0402 170 846

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WEDNESDAY 23
Dirt Club-School Holidays kids activities
Cheri and Saintina will be running holiday activities for children, called Dirt Club!
Time: 10-3pm, $30 full day, $20 part day
Contact Sainttina 0402 170 846

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SATURDAY 26
Onsite Management Team Meeting 2pm, Elders Rotunda, Contact Sainttina 0402 170 846
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TUESDAY 29
Volunteers Day with Communal Lunch (for volunteers or by donation) @ 1pm, All Welcome, Contact Volunteer Coord: Pippy on 0411 835 663
The office is open from 10am-4pm, so Tuesdays are also a great day to come down and sort out allotment, membership paperwork or payments.
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Photo: Sainttina entertaining the kids at the Food Festival 2012

** REGULAR ACTIVITIES
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TUESDAYS
Volunteers Day with Communal Lunch (for volunteers or by donation) @ 1pm, All Welcome, Contact Volunteer Coord: Pippy on 0411 835 663
The office is open from 10am-4pm, so Tuesdays are also a great day to come down and sort out allotment, membership paperwork or payments.
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WEDNESDAYS
Qi Gong 9.15-10.15am ($2 donation), @ MCG, Contact Kaye 6684 4248

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THURSDAYS
Volunteers Day with Sharon Gibson and the permacultrue POD, come along, help out and learn from Mullums local budding permaculturalist guru’s, Text Sharon on 0434 190 730​.

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SATURDAYS
Office is open 11am onwards, Pippy is onsite for volunteers and members of the public.
1^st Saturday of every month- Biochar charring 1pm
4th Saturday of every month- Onsite Management Committee Meeting 2pm

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UPCOMING WORKSHOPS/ACTIVITES

Dirt Club-School Holidays, January 2013
Cheri and Saintina will be running holiday activities for children, called Dirt Club! If you have one or more kids and you’d like to get them into Dirtclub at a discounted rate, come along to the Dirtclub facilitator’s training sessions on the Tuesdays before each Wednesday club day from 10-12noon and learn how to be a facilitator. CLICK HERE (http://gallery.mailchimp.com/e2d39506a7a20e224ef6aaa5b/images/Dirt_club_flier.jpg) to see the program in detail.
Wednesdays 9^th 16^th& 23^rd
Time: 10-3pm
Cost:$20 1/2 day / $30 full day, Conc for families.
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Saturday 2^nd March, Jerry Colby Williams forum discussion
As part of the ongoing Living Soil Program, Jerry Colby Williams has confirmed he will be leading a forum discussion. The talk will also include community Q & A. More info closer to the date.
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