28 August 2012

Permaculture Noosa visit

It's not often you have a crowd of people turn up to look over your garden but that is what happened here last Sunday. Permaculture Noosa came to look at our garden. They were such a lovely group of people from a very strong permaculture group that supports and encourages Permaculture and organic gardening in a domestic and community setting.

Here is the group at the tea table. President Judith is the woman with the grey scarf and Jacki, is next to her in the check jumper.

President Judith Anderson asked me if they could come for a look when I spoke at their meeting a few months back. It seemed like such a long away in the future when I said yes, and the day arrived sooner than I expected but it was a true delight. The group looked around the garden and the chook house and then we settled in on the verandah in the shade for morning tea and a chat.

Morning tea time.

I had baked scones and two of the ladies brought cakes - a carrot cake and an orange cake. The scones were eaten with homemade strawberry jam and Maleny cream which, by the look of it, every one enjoyed. Afterwards I spoke about our simple lives and as I had already made a loaf of bread, I used that as my prop and talked about five minute bread.

Organisations such as Permaculture Noosa support experienced gardeners but they're also a great way to get into backyard vegetable production. One of my favourite bloggers, Karen at Gooseberry Jam told me her cousin Jacki would be one of the visitors and sure enough, Jacki and husband Andrew came along with their two children. She told me she joined the group so she can learn as much as possible about gardening while they're still in their suburban home, and, of course, that is just the way to do it. She's picked a great group of mentors. There must be something in the water at those Gooseberry Jam homes because Jacki is just as delightful as her cousin and we hit it off straight away. All in all it was a good day, although Hanno was suffering from vertigo and had to sit on the verandah watching the action. 

I think I inherited the love of gardening from my mother because she was a keen gardener but I learned mainly by trial and error and from reading books to correct my mistakes. But having said that I've had a vegie garden for over 30 years and I'm still learning. I doubt you ever stop.

When did you start gardening? Do you have any groups in your community that support experienced and inexperienced gardeners?



  1. It looks like you had a lovely day. I'm like you Rhonda. I have had veggie gardens for many many years but am still learning everytime I plant things or the seasons change. My parents and grandparents always grew their own food so this is how I started.

  2. Looks like a lovely morning with the Permaculture Noosa group Rhonda. We have a wonderful organisation in Brisbane which supports experienced and inexperienced gardeners. Beelarong Community Farm at Morningside has a community garden where volunteers work on Wednesday mornings and Sunday afternoons. No experience is necessary as knowledge is shared by the other gardeners. Any veggies harvested on the day is shared amongst the volunteers. We also have small allotments for rent. There is a wonderful community atmosphere at the farm, we are usually about 20 folk for morning tea on Wednesdays. The Wednesday group tends to be retired people but we also have young parents with little children. It's great to see toddlers with their little trowels.
    website is http://www.beelarong.org.au

    1. Thanks for that info, Jean. I'm adding their link, with Permaculture Noosa, to my side bar. It looks like a great group.

  3. My parents are keen gardeners (both grew up on farms) and grew our food when we were children. However living in the inner city means a different type of gardening.

    We are fortunate enough to have a local community garden which is wonderful for the inexperienced as you aren't gardening alone, there is always someone to instruct, advise, or congratulate on a job well done. Unfortunately someone isn't a fan of the community garden and has been on a vandalism campaign (they tried to shut it down through council because it is "unsightly"), continued poisoning and plant destruction has taken a toll on enthusiasm and member numbers but the recent warmer weather has seen people return to the garden and hopefully the vandal will give up their campaign once they realise they will not be successful in destroying this great community initiative. Plants, after all, grow back.

  4. Hi Rhonda, it looks as though you all had a very intersting time. I learnt gardening from my father. We always ate our own vegetables all my childhood and even when I was a single mum I grew a veggie garden. My Father never buys vegetables and at 92 still has his own garden at his home and another at the local Community Garden where he won Gardener of the Year last year. I cant imagine not having a veggie garden, it's part of our lifestyle

  5. As a child, living on a 1/4 acre block in country NSW, I grew up with fruit trees in the back yard, but no real veggie patch.

    Ever since I moved out of home and had my own place, I've wanted to grow things - pretty things and productive things. But I've never really had much success.

    I now live in the city on a mere 380m2 block. I've tried growing veggies in the garden, in planters, and in bags of potting mix. Always there seems to be something that causes problems, so it has been really discouraging.

    BUT, within the next year, we are moving back to the country, and one of my goals is to establish a veggie patch and work it properly, getting advice from anyone who will help, and not giving up when something goes wrong. I'm looking at it as a long term thing, not just a NOW thing. I've fallen into the trap of the NOW culture, and I don't like it.

    Patience. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the rewards.

  6. I've taken your 5 minute bread principal and experimented with it using sourdough starter. The 18-24 hour resting time makes a perfectly fermented dough and gives a beautiful flavoured loaf, not too sour but really nutty. I keep only half a teaspoon of sourdough culture alive, not the cupfuls most people recommend, as I'm baking for only two people and found having to discard large amounts of the starter both wasteful and expensive. When wanting to bake I grow it to two tablespoons for bread-making day and keep back the half teaspoon with the rest going into the five minute bread mix.

  7. I started as soon as I could follow my Dad down the back....he would give me one or two of his seedlings and I had my own garden underneath the mandarin tree....picking apples from the trees, climbing the apricot tree, finding worms in the rich black soil...getting itchy from eating fuzzy peaches straight off the tree...picking beans in the Summer evenings and looking for potatoes...picking spinach for the chooks...and prickly cucumbers.....being with him was probably the best part of my childhood....and where my love and knowledge for growing things came from..........

  8. Oh Rhonda that does sound like a delightful day. I do hope Hannos' vertigo is better. I suffer from vertigo at times at it is absolutely dreadful.
    Off to pop a couple of cuttings in the garden beautiful gardening weather at present on the coast.

  9. Hello Rhonda and Hanno,

    Thank-you for your wonderful hospitality on Sunday. We had a lovely time, like visiting old friends. Your garden has inspired us and yes, we have already bought some cow manure from Bunnings to put into our new garden beds:)

    Thank-you for the kind words in your post.


  10. it looks like the group enjoyed themselves rhonda, they all look quite happy
    i hope hanno is feeling better soon

    pumpkins is what i remember in the back yard & my dad had a go at growing melons which never did well. think my step mum had a few meager vegetables but nothing much that i remember making it to the table. so my young adult life didn't know much about the humble vegie patch. when i found myself pregnant with my first I had to give up alot of the work i was doing (lifting hay bales & huge buckets of feed), i discovered the gardens around the house & started tidying up & then progressed over to the old vegie patch that was on the chook pen. i got a keen interest in gardening then, enjoying the common & the exotic plants i found & grew.

    selina from kilkivan qld

  11. I opened my garden to the public as part of Permaculture Day a few months back. It was a very rewarding experience to show and talk about my garden. I think opening our gardens helps those looking for a little inspiration. I also recently was honoured to give a permaculture talk to primary school students. Again tremendously rewarding.

  12. I started gardening some time after my olny child died. We were in a terrible car accident and he died, and I nearly did. After I had recovered from my injuries and mental grief enough to realise I had the rest of my life stretching out before me and no clue what to do with it, I made a list of things I had always wanted to try. Gardening, in particular growing roses and vegetables were two of the things on that list. Fast forward ten years and I now have three vegetable gardens, a herb garden, five potted dwarf citrus trees and 32 roses. Turns out I have a knack for it, and my house is always filled with vases of fresh roses, and our dinner plate is often filled with home grown vegetables & herbs.....I just read about Hanno. Wishing him a speedy recovery. All the best :)


I welcome readers' comments. However, this blog never publishes business links or advertisements. If you're operating a business and want to leave your link here, I will delete your comment .

Blogger Template by pipdig