Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Butterflies and Bushland

Ben Middleton from ABC 1233 did  walk through the rainforest on Ash Island with Rosie Heritage and me.
This is one of Rosie's beautiful watercolours (Copyright Rosie Heritage)

Ben has done us proud as we talked his ear off and he had to whittle it down to this clip.

The book we wrote and illustrated as part of the Caring For Country grant and the plantings done by the Kooragang Volunteers on two hectares of partially revegetated land next to the rainforest walk to Scott's Point from the Old Dairy have been a labour of love for the future. We tell people they will have to come back in two centuries at least to see something like the lush and majestic growth which existed on Ash Island in 1801.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Garden tools for people with disabilities

Have found just one source on the web, www.wisdomactivities.com.au, which is in WA. They have all the garden tools plus the add-on handles. Every other place is in the UK or USA. There may be others in Australia but I haven't found them. Our letter of offer from Minister Jenny Macklin has arrived and been returned so the funds will be available for using pretty soon. Mitre 10 Mayfield will look after us, as usual, (thanks guys) and we will have a raised garden bed installed plus we hope to have a purpose designed "pod" which allows people in wheelchairs or on walkers with a seat to sit at the right height and pot and plant without getting covered in soil. Saw a model on-line from a website www.terraform.fr which was for a group of designers and architects in France. Actually spoke to them, at least to the one person with some English and with some help from my 20-year old French, and tried to find out how much one would cost to import . At that time, three years ago, it was 1300 Euros for one pod. The website has recently been changed and we hope to contact them. We could get a local person to use their design under some kind of licensing arrangement and produce a local version.  With a  decent sized garden umbrella for shade - hey presto!- some gardening for people with "mobility issues" - euphemism for a lot of people who want to garden but have bad backs, weak shoulders and whatever (like a lot of our members).  Small shallow pool going into the centre of the stone circle for bird watering. If "cured" in the way the pot man explained, the clay bowl could become a fire-pit with the addition of a steel plate in the base. Maybe we will just have an oval area with half being a fire pit in another circle of smaller stones.  Hmm, have to think on that one.  Meanwhile - the Kale has and is being a beautiful, purple, frilly-leaved and productive crop. The purple cauilflower on the other hand is a miserable disappointment, pretty purple-tinged leaves and a head the size of a coffee cup. It is being cut out and will become egg-plant instead. The smaller and long-fruited eggplants are very nice, and very decorative.

Kale has been very popular on the stall at the Newcastle Farmers Market.