Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Are you looking to help with the flood relief effort? A quick roundup of this weekends opportunity for you.

Mud glorious mud. We have had a lovely day in it today. How are you? Muddy too?

Isn’t it really heartening to see how people are putting in to help others during this flood? Today a couple of us were helping to resurrect the Jane St Community Garden in West End. Across the road businesses that had been submerged were a hive of activity with staff and volunteers cleaning out the mud and water. We were visited by a mum and her 2 boys all the way from Northlakes. They brought food and drinks courtesy of the Northlakes retirement village. Their gumboots were Blundstones donated by a local business for the cleanup effort.

As we were spreading mulch and ‘borrowing’ flooded carpet from the bulging skip over the road, a couple of people wandered past to see if they could lend a hand in the garden. Joanna came by public transport from Coopers Plains and Katrina just happened to come in by bus from Kedron to see if anyone needed help in West End. These two ladies had never had any contact with the Jane St Garden before. Their help was amazing. Together we mulched paths and made it possible to move around in the garden without disappearing into a sticky quagmire.

Today’s job was the framework for the rebuilding of the garden that is needed over the next few days. The community garden has recently lost 8 members as they have moved away from Brisbane. Jacqui, the coordinator has worked 7 days a week for 2 years, together with a great group of new and experienced volunteers to bring it to the showpiece it was at the Australian Open Garden in 2010.

They need help to rebuild. Two working bees are happening Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Can you spare a few hours to help?

Here are some details if you’d like to meet Jacqui, myself and others at the garden.

Where: Corner of Jane and Montague St West End. Next to the Souths Rugby Leagues Club. You may have been there for the weekend markets.

Time: 7am-12md each day to avoid the heat and allow you to help elsewhere if needed or to go home and soak your feet!

What to bring: Kitchen type rubber gloves; towel; plastic bag and a change of clothes; wear gumboots if you have them or old boots. Thongs are too dangerous.

Bring a drink bottle (water available) and a snack for yourself or to share if you have extra.

You may also like to bring a pair of sharp secateurs to do some trimming.

 

What we may also need: A hand saw for cutting timber; extra spades or forks.

 

Jobs: If we have enough people we’ll be starting some of the following jobs to help the garden start growing food for Brisbanites again:

  • Rebuilding the garden bed edges
  • Spreading chip bark between beds
  • Hosing down mud covered plants
  • Cleaning off plant signage
  • Trimming back pants and freeing up the pathways of overhanging plants
  • Cleaning up the seed raising area
  • Creating compost with all the ‘stuff’ at hand·         Remulching existing beds
  • Looking in the surrounding streets for materials we can recycle into the garden rather than sending it all off to landfill. One person’s rubbish, and all that…

One persons trash is another's treasure

Please keep your eyes open for some of the following things in skips and laying beside the road ready to be dumped and bring them along to the garden on the weekend or in the next couple of weeks.

  • Timber or sleepers suitable for garden bed edges
  • Durable chairs for the morning tea area
  • A water tank without an owner and ready to be discarded of course! Not looted as my family are keen to point out to me :)
  • Star pickets wire and trellising materials
  • Spoiled wool carpets
  • Old fashioned hessian underlay
  • Hessian sandbags filled with sand and no longer need
  • Large sheets of plastic no longer needed
  • Big white bulk food buckets with handles
  • Council yellow-lidded recycle bin
  • Rubbish bins  

The Perma Blitz group of West End are also looking for private gardens  to resurrect. If you live under the flood level  in West End please call me and I'll put you in contact with Ben.

 

If you hear of other people in need of practical help, please email me  at linda@ecobotanica.com.au with the details so I can get the message out to the 500 or more readers of this newsletter. In this way, we may be able to create another network of assistance to those who are in dire straits now and during the cleanup. 

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Is this for the 21st and the 22nd?  If so my family would love to help out. We live in Chermside and were not affected by the floods. I have two teenagers myself and my husband and we always came to west end as often as we can. We would all love to help out. 

We also have a few things that may be useful which I was going to free-cycle but since the flood would rather see if anyone else could find it useful. We have some bricks and a tressle table and a a outdoor setting with chairs they are plastic. Not sure if this would be of use to the community garden. 

 

Do I contact anyone in particular regarding this? 

 

Clare 

Hello Clare Jacqui is the person to contact about whewther they would like your items. Her email is jacqui@arc123.com.au Or you could deliver the items on Wedsnesday afternoon or Saturday morning wjhen the garden volunteers are normally there.

We had a lot of chairs delivered Saturday, so may not need them for this garden. However, other items may be really good. It's worth checking with her.

If Jacqui does not need the trestle table, I will be able to direct you to others who may.

Thanks Clare

Linda

Hi Linda,

I went along yesterday (sunday 16th) just after 7.30 am and saw some people - so parked. By the time I walked over with my things those people had walked away... The gardens was looking amazingly reconstructed and surprisingly intact from the previous days efforts no doubt...so in the end, alone and not sure what had happened , I left. 

No problems, I can come again... just a matter of checking calendar.

Sophie

Hi Sophie.

WE had a later start at the garden Sunday as we'd been putting in some 12 hour days  and were exhausted. We got there about 8.00 after scouring nerarby streets for materials. So sorry to have missed you. The garden is amazingly reconstructed. Not quite finished, but with an army of helpers Saturday, it came together really well.

Hi Linda,

 

I have long wanted to visit, help out in and find more out about community gardens and I think now might be just the opportunity! I'd love to come along and help on Saturday if more people are still needed. The only possible problem is that I have 2 boys (8 and 10) who will be my faithful sidekicks. Will this  be a problem? I know sometimes kids can be a wonderful help but can also be a hinderance when there's a lot of stuff to get done, so if this is the case please let me know and I'll pop down another time soon when things have settled down a bit.

 

Cheers,

Ali

I really do think they will be a benefit to the gardens and will enjoy themselves too. By all means come along Saturday. The working bee is inthe mornings Saturdays. Jacqui will be there.

Cheers, Linda

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