Spring newsletter – 2023

by | Sep 12, 2023 | Spring

President’s Message


Dear Members,

Winter is behind us and gardeners can start soil building in readiness for Spring and Summer crops.
With this is mind, the Committee has arranged for the September Working bee to be a working time dedicated to improving your own garden beds.
So on Sunday 17 September 2023 be at the garden in your working gear ready to shovel soil improving compost onto your garden. We have four wheelbarrows or you may wish to bring a bucket and collect the compost in that rather than wait for a barrow. Keen gardeners may like to enhance the compost with some manure or peat to fertilize and improve Water retention.
Our next AGM is on 15 October 2023. Nominations are open for all Committee positions. Committee members attend a monthly meeting on the first Wednesday evening of each month and plan and organise projects and events for the garden. Please contact Jeni Black 0438392020 for nomination forms which will be due back by 8 October 2023. 
Here is our Committee.

Role Current Committee Members
President Torsten Blackwood
Vice President Virginia Pearce
Treasurer Helen Connell
Secretary: Jeni Black
Non-Executive Members Susie Muller
  Bruce Nockles
  Daniel Bloom
  Meagan McDonald
Public Officer Helen Connell

Co-founder & President CPCG
With help from the Communications Team

Photo below: bee heaven

Gardening in Spring

Springtime is all about rejuvenation and growth, and our garden is no exception. Here are some expert tips to make the most of this season:
Plant Selection: Discover which plants thrive in spring, from colourful flowers to crisp veggies. Planting in-season will mean that your produce has the best chance at success. Consider planting a variety of spring vegetables, such as cucumbers, zucchinis, and beans. Remember to include some vibrant flowers to attract pollinators and add colour to your garden. If planting tomatoes, choose fruit fly resistant varieties such as cherry tomatoes and make sure to include a fruit fly trap in your garden.
Here are a few suggestions:
All Year: Lettuce, Radish, Carrots, Spinach, Silverbeet
Spring Veggies: Beetroot, Cucumber, Sweet Corn, Eggplant, Pumpkin, Zucchini, Squash, Green Beans, Artichoke, Asparagus, Spring Onions.
Soil Preparation: Get your garden beds ready for planting by preparing your soil. You can do this by adding compost to your bed. Preparing soil with compost gives your produce plenty of nutrients and enhances both the soil, improves water retention, and your veggies will love it – giving you the best harvest they can.
Watering Wisdom: Learn when and how to water effectively. Make sure to take advantage of spring showers, and water on days that it doesn’t rain. Watering in the morning or afternoon to avoid the hot midday sun. Make sure that the hose is not trailing across someone else’s plot on the way to yours, and always wind it back up and turn the tap off completely when you’re done.
Pest Control: The more biodiversity in the garden, the less chance of pests. However if there is an imbalance of bugs, be sure not to use pesticides. Implement eco-friendly pest management to protect your plants If needed, Neem Oil is a great botanical pest deterrent. If you have tomatoes please make sure they are fruit fly resistant varieties and just for good measure include a fruit fly trap in your garden about a metre from the ground and near your tomatoes. Make sure all fallen fruit is picked up as soon as possible and put in the green bin.
Mulch matters: Apply a layer of organic mulch to help retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weeds.


  • Mark your calendars for our working bees that will help you connect with fellow gardeners and make the most of the season.
    Working bees are held every third Sunday of each month (except January). Search for Cooper Park Community Garden on Instagram and follow us for updates.
    Remember that a responsibility of your membership is that you or one of your family members attends and participates in at least five of the 10 working bees held February to November each year.

    Join us for delicious food and community bonding at our upcoming working Bees:

    17 September Spring Kickoff Working Bee and BBQ 10am – 12pm  followed by BBQ
    This working bee is dedicated to looking after the soil in your garden plots. We have a delivery of compost which members can use freely to improve their own plots during the working bee and then it’s our Spring BBQ.
    15 October – Working Bee 10-12 and AGM 12-1pm
    19 November – Working Bee 10-12 and BBQ 12-2pm 

News from the Committee – we all need good neighbours

We take pride in maintaining our garden’s beauty and functionality. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Everyone in the garden is expected to treat other members politely and respectfully. A small number of members have reported being angrily addressed by other garden members in the garden. This sort or disrespectful behaviour is totally out of place in a community garden.
2. Weeds such as oxalis are very invasive and we need to keep these and other weeds out of the garden by eradicating them from individual plots so they don’t have a chance to spread to neighbouring gardens
3. Tools and : Explore the newly organized tool shed, and remember to clean and return tools once finished using them.
4. Reporting Issues: We count on your vigilance; please report any concerns promptly to our garden committee.
5. Look out for neighbouring gardens that have a blue stick – this means please help with watering while the gardener may be away temporarily. 
6. Red sticks indicate over abundant produce that other gardeners can pick.

Meet Victoria (plot 49)

Looking very organsed for the garden with her tote bag for garden tools, Victoria tends plot 49 up near the amphitheatre. 

Spring cooking

Nothing beats the taste of freshly harvested produce. Try this delicious recipe featuring spring’s bounty – green peas:

Fresh Pea Soup

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 cups leeks, white and light green parts chopped
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 5 cups fresh shelled peas or 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh spinach
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground blαck pepper
  • ½ cup creme fraiche
  • ½ cup chives, chopped
  • Croutons or bread crisps for serving

 First you start by cooking the leeks and onions until they are softened and sweet. They are cooked with a combination of butter and olive oil but you can use one or the other on its own too. Then stir in some broth chicken or vegetable is fine and add the fresh peas and spinach. Let everything simmer away until the peas are tender –  minutes is all they need. Cooking the peas briefly retains their vibrant color. Take the pot off of the heat and then purée the soup in batches using a blender. Once puréed return to pot and stir in some creme fraiche and some fresh herbs. You can use chives,, parsley, or mint – also a very classic combo. It’s an elegant soup and makes a great start to a spring meal. If you don’t have fresh peas, it’s also a great way to use up your frozen peas too. It’s a delicious springtime staple that is creamy yet refreshing. Enjoy!
Substitutions & Storage

  • Substitute creme fraiche for sour cream
  • Substitute fresh peas for frozen
  • Substitute spinach with lettuce
  • Substitute chives for parsley or mint
  • Leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3-5 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.

 De-Shell your fresh peas 
It’s tedious but simple and it’s one of those things you can do with company – you can take your time and chat at the same time. To do it, remove the stem end of the pod, peel the stringy fibre from the seam, pry the pod open, and run your thumb along the interior to detach the peas.

Recipe from Oliveandmango.com



Bunnings have a great selection of spring vegetables at the moment.
Inés has tried Swift Grow and thinks it is a great fertiliser – look for it at your local nursery. 


In the ABC Organic Gardener Magazine Aug-Sep 2023
See the useful extract from Kate Flood‘s (aka Compostable Kate) book THE COMPOST COACH.
Best quote: “It‘s worth making the effort to chop up scraps before composting them, as this creates more surface area for compost microbes to access“ . The compost food web is divided into 3 tiers of consumers:
1st level consumers (bacteria,actinomycetes,fungi)
2nd and 3rd level consumers(beetles,black soldier fly larvae,earwigs,millipedes and centipedes,mites,slaters and springtails

“All these bugs help process food scraps into black gold“!!!!!
The motto of the story – continue to bring your well chopped up food scraps!! 

Connect with us

Follow us on social media for daily garden inspiration:
Instagram: @cooperparkcommunitygarden
Visit our website at www.cooperparkcommunitygarden.org.au for additional resources, event registration, and the latest news.
Contact Us

Got questions, suggestions, or want to get more involved? Reach out to our garden committee at Cpcgoc@gmail.com

Committee meetings are held each first Tuesday of the month. If you want to raise any matters for discussion at a Committee Meeting please email Cpcgoc@gmail.com at least a week before the meeting.

Thank you for being a part of our vibrant community garden. Together, we’ll make this spring season one to remember!