Welcome to the Garden of Edendale!

So post number one has a bit of catching up to do about the development of our new school garden so lets get to it. Discussions began last year between some parents and teachers about the possibility of a school vegetable  garden and an orchard. Through various contacts we had a Permaculture designer and teacher, Dan Palmer, come and visit the school in May and help us decide what to plant and where. Dan lives in Melbourne so the local contact he gave us was Finn Macksey, who also teaches permaculture. Finn has been to the school twice to assist us with planning irrigation and the placement of specific trees in the orchard.

We have had 3 working bees so far. The first one was on July 12th to clear and prepare the ground for the orchard, which as most of you probably know by now, is down by the swimming pool.

We got to work one blustery Sunday morning (it was the weekend that the ‘weather bomb’ was predicted, whatever that is), clearing rubbish and piles of garden waste. Then we dismantled the old long jump pit and spread the sand around, which will be good for drainage. After that we covered the site with blood and bone fertilizer and sheet mulched the site with soaking wet newspaper and cardboard. This was then covered with all the mulch we already had.

After much planning of what trees to plant, Finn came and helped us position them in the orchard. The idea is that we have something fruiting all through the school year (hopefully!) and avoid too much fruit at one time. We also had to leave out trees that mainly fruit in the school summer holidays.

The first lot of trees were delivered from Kings Plant Barn, and our second working bee was August 2nd.  We planted 3 feijoas, 1 lemonade lemon tree, 2 mandarins, 1 loquat, 1 dwarf almond (which is flowering already!) and 6 apple trees – 5 of which were ballerina apple trees which grow 3-4 metres high but only 50 cms across (they are the ones that currently look like little dead sticks). We also plan to get one dwarf heritage pear tree but this is not available until next year, so we have left a space.

Last Saturday (August 22nd) we had our third, very well attended working bee to plant 30 chilean guava’s to create a hedge. We also planted one Tamarillo. And people even brought baking. I think we had 12 adults and who knows how many children were running about. It was great to see so many people getting involved and a big  THANK YOU!!  here to all of you who have given up your time to get this project going. I also would like to mention a lady called Natasha at Kings Plant Barn who has endured about 1 million of my questions with the utmost patience.
Karen Ward

And now for some photos…..

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Penelope said,

    Just a quick thank you to you Karen – don’t think anyone has any idea how many gardening and fruit tree books you have read, or the hours of planning that have gone into this project so far!


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