Spring newsletter – 2022

by | Sep 26, 2022 | Spring | 0 comments

President’s Message

A very warm welcome to our new members: Peter Still (Plot 1), Daisy Clementine and her family Ray and Yuankee (Plot 17), Dominique Novak D’Hennin and her mum Priscilla (Plot 26), Daniel Bloom (Plot 34) and Lisa Southcott who is assisting with the community plots.

The garden is looking good after a long, wet winter. Thank you all for keeping Cooper Park Community Garden so well maintained and productive. Our hard work has paid off with Woollahra Council voting unanimously to extend our 816sqm land lease for another three years with an option (theirs not ours) to further extend for another two. This gives the CPCG Organising Committee the certainty we need to continue investing in improving the garden infrastructure. On the strength of this we have poured and polished a new cement floor and set up a reference library in the shed and moved the stainless steel BBQ to a permanent position outside at the rear of the shed for future BBQ working bees.

Our Spring working bee/BBQ was a great success due to the participation of members and family who attended and the Committee members who organised the BBQ. This was the first working bee for our youngest member Ada (aged three months) accompanied by her mum Amelia, dad Chris and of course her veteran gardener brother, Bruno. So lovely to share the garden with young children and to have the Angelucci family back from their extended holiday and ready to lend a hand anywhere needed – thanks for barbecuing Luca. Thanks also to our new member Priscilla for her delicious sate sauce and monumental salad and to Lisa who only joined the garden two days before and worked so hard on the community gardens. Yuankee has made sure that we have lovely clean folding chairs for our next working bee/BBQ in October which will include the Annual General Meeting.

Inés gave a great talk on summer planting with input as well from Rudi and Anna and a garden plan provided by Meagan (see below in newsletter). You might also like to consult the Digger’s planting charts inside the shed to decide the most suitable crops, companion crops and flowers to plant during summer.

A few reminders:
Working Bee attendance and Taskforce participation are conditions of membership. Can members who have not already nominated for a taskforce please email their taskforce preference 
Working bee time is for communal gardening – members are required to work on whole of garden and taskforce activities from 10am to noon. If you need to work on your own plot, please come early or stay later to do this
Now is the time to improve your garden plot with the addition of organic matter such as manures and compost.
Keep up the good work eradicating oxalis in and around your plots (see photo below)

Dates for your diary

Sunday 9 October 2022 -– Nominations due for Committee positions   
Sunday 16 October 2022 10am to 2pm – Working Bee, AGM and BBQ
Wednesday 26 October 2022 7:30 pm – Knit and Natter interest group 
Sunday 20 November 2022 10am to 2pm – Garden Christmas Party
Thursday 1 December 2022 –  Membership renewal forms due
Friday 30 December  2022 – membership and plot payment due
Wednesday 4 January 2023 –  New members invited for vacant plots.

Photo below by Meagan McDonald

Our Bee-utiful Garden

The native bees are flourishing following a garden-wide concerted effort to include bee attractant plantings such as lavender and borage around the garden.
Grow flowers or leave a vegetable plant to go to seed and attract the bees to your plot.
Photos below of bees in our garden taking pollen from borage flowers and a leek that has gone to seed and returning with pollen to the hive.
Photos by Victoria Black and Torsten Blackwood

Planting for spring by Inés and planning your plot by Meagan

At the September working bee Inés talked to the members about the plants that grow well in the garden now including lettuce, spinach and radish. According to Inés gardening takes time and she goes to the garden twice a week – on the weekend and mid-week  – to look after her plot. Watering is very important – Inés plants in furrows so the water can be more easily directed at the roots of the plant in the furrow troughs avoiding the leaves.
Photos below showing a garden design illustration and a plan prepared by Meagan McDonald (Plot 34) for seasonal planting in her garden plot.

Nominations for Organising Committee for 2023

Our next AGM will be on 16 October 2022. Members of the Cooper Park Organising Committee are elected at each AGM for the following year. Committee members are required to attend a monthly committee meeting, organise the working bees and BBQs and work on special projects as deemed necessary by the Committee. If would like to nominate for one of the Committee positions please complete the nomination form at the end of this newsletter and email to Cpcgoc@gmail.com by 9 October 2022.
The Constitution specifies:
15 Election of committee members  

  1. Nominations of candidates for election as office-bearers of the association or as ordinary members of the committee:  
    1. must be made in writing, signed by 2 members of the association and accompanied by the written consent of the candidate (which may be endorsed on the form of the nomination), and    
    2. must be delivered to the secretary of the association at least 7 days before the date fixed for the holding of the annual general meeting at which the election is to take place.  

Garden visits

See below our resident Eastern blue tongue photographed attending the September BBQ and looking quietly confident of lunch. Photo by Rudi 
Also photographed in Inés’ sister’s garden in Spain – some very picturesque chickens. Photo by Inés

Member suggestions

Knit and natter group
Interested in getting out that half done knitting or craft project and finally finishing it or maybe starting a new project?
Heido has suggested a Knit and Natter group for people interested in meeting to knit or sew in our new fancy polished floor shed.
Time for initial meeting 3-5pm Saturday when we will arrange times for following meetings  if there is enough interest.

Herb garden plants
What new herbs would you like in the herb garden? We have thinned out the winter watercress and have room for more herbs so leave a message or catch Inés at the garden and we will try to meet your requests.

So you are thinking of growing tomatoes

Since the garden started most gardeners have tried to grow tomatoes. It looks easy but can be a challenge at Cooper Park which appears to house and feed a large proportion of Sydney’s fruit flies. Last year despite all of our efforts fruit fly won the day. If you are going to give it a try here’s what you need to do:
1. plant only cherry tomato varieties 
2. install a fruit fly lure/trap in your plot if you grow any fruiting plants such as capsicum, chilli, eggplant and tomatoes to help control fruit flies.
3. be vigilant – remove blown fruit and plants and clear the ground of any fallen fruit.
4. make sure to plant this year’s tomatoes in a different spot from last year.


For your garden
Enmore Produce has great manure, compost and organic fertilisers – worth a visit to step back into the 1950s – they even have chooks.
Annandale Garden Centre 34-36 Booth St Annandale; and Butterfly Blooms 162-166 Unwins Bridge Road St Peters for Good quality seedlings and seeds.

For you and your friends
Its picnic season and time to purchase a Peek Neek rug from our new member Daisy Clementine (Plot 17). Made from plastic bottles melted and spun into rPET yarn that is strong yet soft to the touch, water resistant and durable.  

Find Out More