The Pansy Project

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We recently came across The Pansy Project. It’s an inspiring act of guerilla gardening: Paul (based in the UK) plants pansies on sites where homophobic abuse is experienced.

The project’s website has been offline for a little while, but Paul’s blog makes for interesting reading.

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Lemons, limes and oranges

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Orange, lime, orange and lemon
Orange, lime, orange and lemon

The last major task for the front garden this season was getting in the citrus trees.

Two weekends ago, I started by marking out a garden bed 5.5m x 1.2m, and then dug that down to a depth of a foot-and-a-half (a back-breaking job!). I then constructed a treated pine frame to build the bed up.

I hadn’t quite done the numbers first, and discovered that I’d need an extra 2 tonnes of soil, or thereabouts. So another call to the bulk supplier, and a lot of shovel work later, and the bed was full.

The local Bunnings had a reasonable range of fruit trees, and this is what we ended up putting in:

  • Orange, Lane’s Late Navel (full size)
  • Lime,Tahitian (full size)
  • Orange, Valencia (dwarf)
  • Lemon, Meyer (dwarf)

Now to wait a season (or two) for a full crop…

Inner west community gardens

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Path through the Marrickville Food Forrest
Path through the Marrickville Food Forrest

There are a number of community gardens in the Inner West of Sydney (and many more beyond). These provide a great opportunity for those with small gardens (or no gardens!) to grow their own vegetables, herbs and fruit.

Today we visited the Marrickville Food Forrest, located on Addison Road, in the Addison Road Centre (ARC). As is typical, it is squeezed into an unused plot of land behind some buildings, but thriving nonetheless.

It makes me appreciate how lucky we are here. We have easily 5 to 6 times the space of a typical community garden plot, with plenty of sun, and room for growth. Now the pressure is on to really make it thrive!

Over the next few months we’ll try to drop into more of these gardens, to get further inspiration on what (and how) to grow. There is also the potential to join up with a Seed Savers group, to swap seeds (we have plenty left over).

These are the gardens on our list for the Inner West:

Further information:

Good backyard vegetable gardening blogs?

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Setting up a blog is second nature to us both, so this seemed to be an easy thing to do. But it’s nice to have company, and to learn from others on the same journey. Problem is, it’s quite hard to find other similar blogs, with a Google search returning many commercial sites, mostly selling plants or gardening equipment.

So: any recommendations on blogs we should be following? Just add a comment…

Gardenate: online gardening calendar

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I’ve just stumbled across the Gardenate site, which provides a free planting calendar for multiple climactic zones in Australia, NZ and the UK. Super easy to use, a wonderful resource!

Chippendale food fair urban farming

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We recently moved from Chippendale, where I lived for over a decade. In recent times, there had been a big transformation, driven by Michael Mobbs, the owner of the well-known “Sustainable House”. Tree and veges appeared in the nature strip, and a weekly food box organised (which we get and love!).

Michael is in part responsible for our current sustainability activities, and I continue to be amazed by his energy for spawning new initiatives. Thanks Michael, keep up the great work!

Cabbages are bedded in

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I’m excited by the rows of cabbages, both chinese and western. They should provide quite a crop!