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Martinborough Community Garden news

May 10, 2021 May 2021, Regular Features No Comments

Some of you may have seen the article in the Mid-Week, where we hosted the “Neighbourly” day with the Red Cross and some input from the South Wairarapa Council. It was good to share the history of the garden with people who had not previously visited, and in some cases with people who had previously not even known about the garden’s existence. People left with greater understanding of this project; some with plants that were swapped, and others with a feed of vegies for their dinner.

We have now been gardening on the Oxford Street site for four years and have seldom had a week when we have had no produce for the Larder. Perhaps this is a good time to reflect on the ups and downs over those four years. We have had gardeners come and go but have been lucky to have a dedicated core of four gardeners over that period. 

We always welcome new gardeners, and we are pleased to now have a stronger group of six regulars and several “regular casuals”. This has been great through periods where personal, family responsibilities, and other commitments have impinged on availability of gardeners, and we are very focussed on the voluntary nature of this venture so that everyone feels free to attend to their own commitments.

The other factor worthy of note is that we all learn together… not having any gardening experience is not a reason not to come along. Some gardeners have been bought up in gardening families; some have never gardened at all, some have taken to gardening for the first time, and set up their own home gardens, and others are happy to just garden at the MCG.

Gifts of plants, pea straw, horse pooh, sheep dags, coffee grinds, nets etc have also been generously donated. We are also lucky to have water gifted from our neighbour, and in times of drought, from other members of the community.  We have also received donations of money from local fund raisers, and of course the support of the Community Board. This reflects the support of the garden in ways other than the weekly work which is done by the gardeners. Sometimes we forget the huge variety of ways that a project like this can be supported.

We now have our crops and rotation patterns well sorted and have discovered what does not grow so well and what grows well; and what we need to do to ensure our brassica crops are left white butterfly egg free, despite netting and dusting those nasty little beasts manage to find a way through! We are open to suggested plantings and welcome you to drop by on a Wednesday morning to share your ideas (51 Oxford St, from 10am).

Meanwhile we are harvesting aubergines; the last of the beans and lettuces; silver beet and spinach, and rhubarb. This week we will be getting peas and broad beans underway for the spring.

Enjoy the Autumn weather. It is a gentle time to garden , and a great time to anticipate the abundance of spring by planning crops that will mature after their slow winter growth.

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