Community and Council Working Together for Food Growing Initiatives


Joynton Park edible community, garden patch. Gadigal Ave, Zetland, Sydney, Australia - near the undercover BBQ area

This is a good news update, regarding the community garden patch at Joynton Park, Zetland, Sydney, Australia (food growing patch).

You may recall that the garden patch had deteriorated to the point of needing to be replaced.

The Parks Department of the City of Sydney came to the Green Square Growers rescue, by recently carriering out some urgent repairs.

A large piece of formply has been attached to the front of the garden patch.  This repair isn’t a permanent solution but will give GSG approximately 12 months before we will have to replace the garden bed.

Within this 12 months time the Green Square Growers will:

* update / replace and potentially extend other garden beds, that GSG has installed in the area.
* replace the garden bed mentioned above and potentially extend it.
* continually work alongside City Council, local residents and all those who are keen to help.  For the community and by the community!

Who’s Obsessed with Light?


As a professional photographer I have been obsessed with light for over 20 years (occupational hazard 😁). 

Today while gardening, it occured to me that I have also become obsessed with light as a gardener of edible plants.  Where, when and how long light falls apon my plants. Every season taking careful note that my veggie gardens have access to at least six hours of light (while protecting them from the harsh setting, Southern hemisphere’s Westley sun).

With the tremendous rainfall we have had over the last twelve months, trees have grown much taller around our vegetable gardens.  Taller trees and a lower sun (winter sun is lower in the sky than summer) means far less light.

Basically this all means, many more tree branches will need to be trimmed in the coming days – more branches to get creative with.

What to Consider When Designing a New Community Garden?

As previously mentioned, I am again enjoying the starting stages of a new community garden.  If you have read my earlier post (click link above) you will already know, that I believe coming up with a combined, united vision statement is very important.

I have yet to again meet with the others who are committed to building our new community garden but I thought I would share my vision statement I have prepared (still a work in process).

“Together building an edible and sustainable garden that everyone in our town can love and belong.  A place to learn, inspire and have fun, while creating  financial support to care for our community hall.”

Apart from the vision statement, those committed to building the community garden, have also agreed to bring along their garden designs and plans.  I encouraged everyone to dream big and plan what the completed garden will look like.


My grand community garden design is drawn on a very large piece of paper and stuck to our kitchen wall – so I can look and ponder, to ensure I have everything included (in the big dream).

What is included in my community garden design?

* meeting, eating, sitting area
* raised wicking beds with worm tunnels
* herb and sensory garden
* benefical insect attracting plants
* BBQ & cob pizza oven
* chickens? pigs? sheep?
* fruit and nut orchards
* water tanks
* glass house
* shed
* vertical garden
* strawbale gardens
* compost and worm farms
* aquaponics
* no dig gardens
* fun direction sign posts
* green manure plants

If you were in my position, what would you put in your community garden design?  I am looking for suggestions on what I may have overlooked.

Why is it Sustainable to Add Fun for Children in an Edible Garden?

A friend told me a story years ago that profoundly changed my attitude towards gardening and sustainability.

She described her own childhood with sustainable ‘hippie’ parents. Gardening for her as a child was a chore – always work that she, her siblings and parents needed to do in order to ensure food was on the table.

What struck me as noteworthy was now as an adult, she wants nothing to do with growing food, as she holds the belief, it is just hard work.

Her story has impacted my sustainable gardening approach.  I want dearly to create a magical and fun garden for children to love as well as a food growing garden.

Perhaps when building a sustainable edible garden, including fun ‘spaces’ for children is the most sustainable thing we can do – to inspire the next generation.

Fun, inspirational, magical, colourful, creative and beautiful is just as important for our garden, as sustainable and practical.


Every day I am adding new, exciting and fun items for our Little One to discover and interact with in the garden.  These little birds have been ‘liquid nailed’ to our recently repaired back deck rails.  I watched and waited till she saw them – her reaction was pure joy (for me and her).

Heirloom Seeds – an Amazing Journey of Discovery into a Lost World


Red bananas
Purple carrots
Yellow beetroot
White egg plants
Multi coloured corn
Lemon tasting cucumber
Brightly coloured spinach
Fully ripe yellow tear drop tomatoes
Fully grown, tiny compact capsicums

They are all examples of old heirloom varieties of fruit and vegetable – you won’t find them at any supermarket.

To grow heirlooms is to challenge one’s experiences and senses.

Want to start growing heirlooms? Check out The Diggers Club for information and seed purchases.

To grow only non heirloom varieties, is frankly to be boring. You can disagree.

DIY Bean and Peas Climbing Trellis


This post is not a ‘how to build’ instructional guide on building your own trellis.  I am no expert.

This was my first attempt of building a climbing frame from tree branches that had blown down in storms. I just decided to give it a go. The string is unbleached and organic so hence will break down in time in the garden.

Is it toddler proof? Not really up to a grade 4 or 5 toddler destruction storm but should be OK for the winds we regularly get around here.

Underneath my home made trellis, our Little One and I planted more snow peas.

Thinking it may become a statuette feature in the garden when covered in snow peas.  I’ll post photos in a couple of weeks.

Happy gardening 🙂

My Favourite and Easy Way to Save Tomato Seeds


Simple and effective are adjectives that describe my gardening preferred style.  I am not retired.  I have a business and I am a Mum to an active toddler.  Even though I am passionate about sustainable living, it needs to also be time effective.  Hence why I mostly opt for easy and effective solutions.

Hence saving food seeds to plant for next season, needs to be quick. So this is what I do for saving tomato seeds:

* Slice tomatoes in half (or quarters for larger tomatoes) and squirt the seeds onto paper towels.
* Try to evenly spread the seeds around with your finger.
* Allow the seeds to completely dry onto the paper towels.
* Fold up each paper towel to fit into a small clean recycled jar. Store safely.
* Make sure the jar is labeled with what seeds are inside.
* Next season take the paper towels out of the jars.  With scissors cut small sections off the towel – only having a couple of seeds on each section.
* Plant each section of seeds into your prepared garden bed.

I also find this method easier for planting and allocating space between plants.   If more than one seed germinates from each section, I then just thin out the plants (choose the healthiest looking plant and remove the rest from that section).

* NOTE You need to make sure your tomato seeds come from open pollinated or heirloom tomatoes.  Don’t try this with grocery store purchased tomatoes.  Otherwise you might get a great bushy plant with no tomatoes.

Pretty easy hey!?!