Mullum Comm Garden Weekly Aug 5-12

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What’s on at the Mullum Community Gardens this week? How can you get involved?
Read on…
August 5th-12th 2013

Dear Friends of Mullum Gardens,

Here is your weekly update to remind you of all the fantastic, exciting, and fun things that are happening this week. But first, here is a letter on chemical free bush regeneration by Stephanie Stone…

Every fortnight a small team of caring-for-earth people head off into the Crown Land north of Tyagarah Nature Reserve and south of the Brunswick Heads surf club, to remove Bitou Bush and Glory Lily. Bitou Bush was originally planted to cover and stabilise disturbed dunes after sand mining. Glory Lily is an introduced deep rooted bulb that is resistant to glyphosate. It is easily eradicated by hand pulling at strategic intervals.

Three years ago a chemical-free method of removing these introduced plants was begun, with help and advice from scientist Ellen White and under the watchful eyes and skilful hands of Nadia de Souza Pietramale. To date 90% of bitou bush has been hand-cleared.

There has been no replanting as the number of native seedlings found beneath the Bitou Bush has been numerous. Once Bitou is cut and the shallow roots removed and left in situ, native seedlings have room, light, moisture, nutrient and shelter to grow. The ‘hard stuff’ is tackled in winter, and the ‘easy stuff’ in summer – a perfect strategy.

The landscape is repairing itself as nature intended – plant succession is working beautifully. Nature fills the space as follows:

On open ground, creepers and native grasses launch themselves until all is clothed in greenery providing immediate habitat for insects, birds, lizards, small native rodents, and snakes. Each contributes to the health and biodiversity of the soil with their excrement, giving worms and soil organisms much needed nutrient.

In the cleavage between the sand breasts, there is more moisture for larger shrubs and small trees to shoot up from the seed bank on the ground. Ample rainfall over the 3 years has provided ideal conditions for growth.

Whilst I have been helping (about 2 years), I have learned a lot about the area, how natural succession works, how to simply remove the ‘climax weeds’ to enable the native seedlings beneath to prosper and loads more. The team is very experienced and hugely knowledgeable. Watching, listening and learning from them has been invaluable. It’s a great privilege to be around them, and each fortnight we celebrate our achievements together during our morning tea break. Everything is documented and the more interesting or rare finds are photographed as well.

It’s extremely satisfying, enjoyable and easy ‘work’ and rewarding on many levels. A half day spent in quiet natural surrounds is so soothing and the fresh air and possibility of a swim at the finish is like ‘the icing on the cake’.

Bird numbers are re-building, as are wallabies, insects, and the plant species are flourishing. It looks so different to other areas where regenerators use toxic chemicals to remove ‘weeds’ and then plant nursery raised shrubs to ‘fill in’ the gaps left by chemical kill. I’ve observed that many of these introduced natives die and know that the sprays used disrupt soil organisms so anything planted struggles to establish as the soil is already less nutritionally viable and often quite depleted.

It has been an education observing the 2 different methods of operation so close to each other, and the easy regeneration in the area we work within. Every fortnight we take a walk and notice more seedlings appearing, more ground cover spreading, and the soft vibrancy of the emerging landscape is so beautiful it is like a miracle.

GREAT NEWS! You can now renew your MCG membership online…
If you haven’t gotten round to renewing your membership ( or joining up for 2013-2014, you can now do it ONLINE ( through our website. You can update all your details and pay using your Paypal account directly or select one of the other forms of payments. It’s easy, quick and very convenient. Go on… you know you want to. Thank you to those who have already renewed or joined up. Your support makes the gardens possible.


** Announcements
* Calling all allotment holders! In case you haven’t heard, there is a comp on for best allotment to be judged on the day of the festival. We are looking to create luscious little oasis’ in the allotments section for the spring, and NOW is the time to rip out the weeds and mulch before the warmth gives the weeds a run. Don’t forget for your paths too, pulling weeds and sheet mulching is the way to go. Prizes include free allotment next year, seedling and plant hampers, and the über kudos of having the most awesome garden :+) So get down and dirty in your allotments, and enjoy the last of winter. Cheers, James.

* We are looking for a new, reliable, dedicated Volunteer Coordinator ( as Pippy is resigning from her volunteer coordinator position at the end of the month). Please contact Jeannette Martin; ( and/or Pippy Wardell; ( , phone 0421926785. (Pippy is happy to train and pass on her experiences.)

* Chook POD eggs for sale (50c ea or $5.00 a dozen) collect from the ‘eggs shed’ and pay in the honesty box.
* Chook POD is looking for donations of timber and corrugated iron for the new chook shed call Cecile on 0434 156 117
* Request for old boot donations for a planting workshop being held at the Living Earth Festival. Please contact Dianne on 0415 498 753.
* Biochar available 1kg bag for $10 from the MCG Safe Seeds Shed.
* Reminder that content contributions for these emails is due every Wed 5pm for the following week. Send clear emails with all details directly to Thank you.


Healing Center Preparation…
We need lots of creative people for sign painting and for site beautification for the festival. Painters and planters, builders, movers and shakers.
There are a few shifts available for healers (massage, reiki, hands of light et al;) in the yurt and a few in the readers teepee. I am looking to sign up more healers and esoteric readers for the healing centre @ the Festival, and volunteers to help me hold The Space in the healing center and be of assistance to the practitioners.
On Saturday, 10th August we will be meeting at the garden to have a meeting and a “holding the sacred space” ceremony for the Healing Center. If you would like to be involved come along at 1pm to the rotunda before we move to the Healing Center site Contact: Pippy Wardell at ( , phone 0421926785.

Love Pippy.

Biochar Preparation:
There will be a Biochar Fest as part of the Living Earth Festival on Sunday September 1 with a morning speaker programme, kiln workshop programme in the afternoon and a bonfire charring in the evening. If anyone would like to get involved there will be working bees on Saturday August 17 24 & 31 to get prepared.
Contact Don on 0459175729 or email ( for further details.
Street Parade:
All those interested in being a part of Mullumbimby’s history in the Living Street Parade can contact Jeanette via e: or by phone –66844876 or 0412322255. There is also information and applications forms on the website ( .
The Living Earth Festival is funded solely by Sponsors for this entry-by-donation event. All proceeds will be used to build a Community Kitchen and forward the Sustainable Education Center at the Mullumbimby Community Garden. There are numerous levels of sponsorship, and terrific opportunities for Sponsors to promote themselves via this event. Please visit the MCG website ( , and contact: Greg Dutton: ( or 0411125939

Join our Living Earth Festival Facebook page (

Check out MCG’s new facebook site, follow us, like us, share us and enjoy!
Whats on this Week?


Sat, 3 August
Want to diversify your garden and experiment with unusual plants suited to the subtropics ? Sharon has cooked using perennials from aibika to yams for years, gleaning recipes from around the world,and creating her own delicious dishes. Learn to grow, then prepare a delicious meal from the perennial garden. Ingredients fee $10.
$60 concession $48
(02) 6684 3374

Sun, 4 August
Introduction to Holistic Management
Allan Savory will be visiting Possum Creek educational farm to give an introduction to holistic management. A land practice that is revolutionizing the way we use animals, sequestering carbon and cutting costs whilst healing the land. This is something we MUST start putting into practice with our land.
Learn from the master himself on an operational property employing Holistic Management practices.
The day comprises of a 2 part series seminar and a walk and talk through the paddocks with Allan. This is a fully catered event from 8.30am – 3pm
Bookings & more info go to:
We look forward to having you on our farm for what will be a tremendous learning experience

Sat 10 August
Healing Center Meeting (festival preparation) 1pm, Contact Pippy on 0421 926 785

Food For All Signage

MONDAYS (office closed)

Yoga 9.15-10.15am, $5 donation, deceptively simple, ‘seduces’ your body no forcing, Contact Pippy 0421 926 785

TUESDAYS (S/visor Pippy Wardell 0421 926 785, 9am-4pm)
Volunteers Day with Communal Lunch at 1pm for a $2 donation. Contact Pippy 0421 926 785

Qi Gong 9:15 -10:15am, gold coin donation to assist the biodynamic pod.
We do a Korean form called the Eight Treasures, It is a
sequential system approximately 1000 yrs old. Contact Kaye 6684 4248

WEDNESDAYS (S/visor Eva Matthews 9am-4pm: )

THURSDAYS (S/visor: Terry Gray 9am-4pm: )

FRIDAYS (S/visor: Terry Gray 9am-4pm: )

SATURDAYS (S/visor: pm-Eva Matthews e:
1st Sat Biochar charring, 1pm Conact Don, 0459 175 729
4th Sat Site Management Meeting 2pm Elders Rotunda

SUNDAYS (office closed)

Learn how to plant and maintain a productive vegetable garden using organic principles. Find out how to convert your lawn to food using no dig methods. Improve your soil, sow seeds and choose the right plants for our climate, as well as learn strategies for dealing with common pests and diseases. All held in an inspiring back yard.
cost $149 concession $119
3 saturdays
Sat, 17/08/2013 – 31/08/2013
“Great course – gave me fundamental knowledge and skills to begin my own garden”
“Inspiring” – Andy
“Sharon is such an enthusiastic and inspiring teacher” – Christine

contact byron college (

2012 Mullumbimby Community Garden Inc, All Rights Reserved
Our Mailing Address is: PO BOX 149 Mullumbimby, NSW 2482

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Mullumbimby Community Garden . Stuart Street . Mullumbimby, NSW 2482 . Australia

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