We successfully ran a working bee in Mid may before the winter came on strong. This is the time of year to plant deciduous fruit trees because they are dormant and so less stressed by the transplanting. Rather than the garden being a blank slate there was already some stuff which had been planted and constructed.
In consultation with interested parents I developed a design that incorporated an outdoor classroom, a chook run, a compost pile and worm farm, a workshop space with benches and soil pens for kids to learn garden skills and more raised beds for growing veggies.
The 10 fruit trees that had been put in were overrun with cooch-grass which damages fruit-tree roots. The 4 raised beds were also overrun with cooch grass.
However, despite being neglected there were heritage varieties of tomatos growing and eggplant from previous efforts. There was also a shed onsite at the bottom of the slope which was full of junk and also prone to flooding as the water moved down the hill and over the slab. My design incorporated a large swale that prevented the water running down the hill into the shed and rather catches the water on the slope and forces it to soak in and move down hill underground. Below the swale is a large soil bank planted with peas and beans that can utilise all the captured water.
We had a great day and got lots of the garden built. While we were ambitious in the scale of what we had hoped to achieve we got the bulk of the garden mainframe completed Thanks to everyone that helped out, the blokes doing woodwork, the people wiring up the chook run frame, the person welding the chook run frame, raised bed constructors, gravelers, mulchers, weeders, the cooks, the artists and everyone else.
Tomorrow I will post an update of what is growing the garden now and a gallery of the current plantings and garden plans.