Community Kitchen Garden, Castlemaine

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The Castlemaine Community Kitchen Garden was launched in December 2013. This new community garden is situated right in the centre of town in a carpark behind the Continuing Education building. The development of the kitchen garden project was supported by local organisations including Continuing Education Inc., the Castlemaine Community House through its Growing Abundance project and health organisations such as The Castlemaine District Community Health Centre.

The purpose of the garden is to encourage people to learn about growing fresh fruit and vegetables. It is the venue for gardening programs and workshops and provides produce for cooking programs.

 

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 Most of the garden consists of raised wicking beds placed directly onto the asphalt surface of the carpark.

If you want to know what a wicking bed is, check this out:

The ABC program ‘Gardening Australia’ also has a segment on wicking beds with Rosie from South Australia.

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 There are conventional beds where vegetables have been planted into soil at ground level.

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 I like the way the rounded corners of these beds have been formed.

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 The garden beds are green with winter vegetables – kale, broad beans, globe artichokes, celery, ruby silver beet and other leafy greens I didn’t recognise.

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 This tiny bed at the base of a tree is one of the few devoted to ornamental plants.

There are young fruit trees which are bare sticks at this time of year, a worm farm and a large water tank busy collecting winter rain.

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10 Responses

  1. I like the idea of the wicking beds. I’m thinking of digging up some of the garden to turn over to veggies. There is, however, a base layer of chalk. Wicking beds could be an option here.

    • Wicking beds are quite popular in Castlemaine. I even see them in people’s front gardens.
      I can understand their appeal given the rocky nature of the terrain here. Solid rock can be just below the surface. Castlemaine’s hot dry summers add to the appeal of wicking beds because they are an efficient way of keeping the vegetables watered.

  2. I really like the idea of the raised wicking beds (which I believe are the same as our “raised beds” in the states. After a small investment and a little construction time, they can really yield some wonderful produce. I also liked the curved corners of the sidewalk bed. Just a little creative thought can give small beds like this some lovely appeal!

    • I agree, Lori. I was impressed by the creative use of the off cuts of timber

  3. Love these creative gardens, Margaret! I’m catching up, so forgive my lack on comment on some of your posts. Let me say here, that I’m enjoying all immensely. Also, thank you for your visit to my blog. Blessings, Diane

    • I am glad you have enjoyed catching up with some of my recent posts, Diane.

      Visiting community and open gardens gives me much pleasure. I enjoy sharing these gardens on my blog.

  4. I love community gardens. If Steve and I ever run out of courses to take and are forced into “work for the dole” schemes, I am going to volunteer at the local Beaconsfield community garden. I love that wicking bed video and the rounded edges of those garden beds make them safer as well as more beautiful. I am going to pinch that idea for Sanctuary :). I am twitching a bit at the sight of that lovely artichoke in that garden bed but my “grief” at losing my 11 foot high baby (that was just starting to produce chokes) to the possums is starting to fade. I will have to plant my newly sprouting purple artichokes inside the new compound fence so that Earl can pee on them and claim them as his which means that he will patrol them and keep them free of possums. I won’t be eating the leaves so he can pee on them all he likes, but I will be washing the chokes, even if they grow high on the shrub! 😉

    I love silverbeet with coloured stems and leaf veins. They are beautiful and tasty at the same time. The possums certainly thought so and ate every single one of my silverbeet bushes down to nubs. The amazing thing is that now that I have fully protected Sanctuary from the possums, those nubs have grown back and I have silverbeet from nothing again. I am planting out more silverbeet as well as spinach bushes for our coming season but think that those tenacious silverbeets that survived a whole winter of being harvested down to the root deserve a place for being true survivors 🙂

    Even if people can’t have a garden at their homes (for whatever reason) a community garden allows everyone to come together and share a communal space and grow together. I love the idea and the practice. I also love the sharing that goes on and as I am growing WAY too many seedlings for Sanctuary at the moment and some of what I am growing is a bit unusual, I might just offer my extra’s to the Beaconsfield community garden when they get big enough to transplant on.

    • I am glad you enjoyed this post, Narf. I am sure the people at the Beaconsfield Community Garden will be only too pleased to receive your offerings of unusual seedlings – a great way to expand their experience of new vegetables or fruits. You may have the pleasure of seeing varieties which do well spreading into gardens across your part of Tasmania.

      Something is busy nibbling on my kale plant and it isn’t me. I hoped being on a verandah, it would be protected from predators – not so! I can’t see caterpillars or snail trails so I am going to check on the plant at night so I can see who the culprit is.

      • Do you get rabbits in Castlemaine? A friend had her kale nibbled by rabbits. We don’t get rabbits here thanks to a few strategically placed feral cats (there is always a silver lining 😉 ) and I know that possums aren’t partial to kale because it was one of the very few things that they didn’t touch when they invaded Sanctuary all winter long. Kale and garlic are no-no’s apparently on a possum diet. Could it be one of those slimy slinky little cephalopods that likes to slither about at night? You have a plant mystery! And so the adventure begins… 😉

  5. Hi again, Narf. I have been patrolling the verandah and the kale nibbling culprit has not been discovered. No additional damage appears to be happening right now but there are plenty of Cabbage White Butterflies out and about. I had better set to and start making decoy white butterflies to stick in the pot to ward off the real Cabbage Whites.

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