Wednesday, 10 October 2012

October Meeting

 The Importance of Seeds

Sharing seeds and local knowledge in our community

Our group of keen seed savers soaking up some advice from Anne Miller.

Everlasting daisies to swap for other produce from members.

This month we got together to share the essentials of seed raising and talk about the importance of seed saving in your garden.  Members came prepared with seed raising mixes, pots, paddlepop sticks and of course seed to swap and share!

Some advice on seed raising mixes from Anne Gibson
Anne Gibson talked about different ingredients for seed raising mixes.  Bought elements include vermiculite, which is a naturally occurring mineral.  When it is heated it expands to form a very light, even textured substance that is porous but because if its granular size and structure allows for well drained soil.  It is a perfect ingredient in seed raising mix because it is free of other weed seeds and will not contribute to rot or fungal growth in your seed pots.  Coir fiber is also great.  Soak it, crumble it and then spread it out to dry off a little and mix this with some vermiculite to make your own seed raising mix.  Coarse river sand is also great for drainage and it is very cheap.  You will often find that a local nursery or landscaping supply shop is cheaper than going to the big DIY stores.

Elements you might have at hand in the garden to raise seeds in are sieved compost or worm castings, they are are best mixed with some vermiculite to ensure a light and well drained mix.  Do not use soil from the garden, it can have many other seeds laying dormant in it, it has a tendency to dry out and is hard to re-wet and it may also have fungus or other disease spores that are not helpful to your new seeds.

Don't forget to wet these ingredients down before you use them or try and work up wind as the fine particles can be harmful to our respiratory systems.

Basic rules of seed raising:
  • Use a sterile seed raising medium.
  • Wet the medium once after planting the seed and leave until you see germination.  If your mix is drying out, mist only with a fine spray.
  • Situate them in a sheltered position with semi-shade and out of the wind.  A recycled clear plastic lettuce or strawberry container is perfect and also keeps the mice out!
  • Feed them with diluted seaweed solution only once the first two leaves have appeared.
  • Prick out the smaller or weaker looking plants and transfer them to the garden when the first set of true leaves have appeared.
Swapping seed

Anne Millers seed bank and bottles of seed with robust generational seed acclimatised to our local environment.

All you need is some fine, light soil, a little water and a label!
Home gardeners have an important role to play in protecting our right to produce and grow food that is free from chemicals, hybridisation and genetic modification.  Selecting vigorous, disease resistant and plentiful plants that are slow to bolt are the most important factors in seed selection.  If you do this over generations you will be sure of hardy plants to supply you and your family with nutritious food without the environmental and health implications of commercially produced crops.  Anne Miller shared her jap pumpkin seeds with the group that are 8 generations old.  She also shared her 'Asian green' seeds with the group that are specific to her garden as they have been cross pollinated with other greens but produce delicious, hardy and disease resistant crops over the humid summer months.

Be careful to store your seed away from the light and at a constant temperature, between 15-20 degrees is best.  Some seeds can be stored in the fridge.  And if you want to kill tiny pests that may be on your seed from your garden, freeze them for 3 days or so before you store them.  Little zip lock bags are great to keep them moisture free and small envelopes to label and keep them dark are easy to come by.

Start off by getting good quality, organic, open pollinated, heirloom seeds from local gardeners at our seed savers group on the first Sunday of every month at 8am, Sweethearts Cafe Eudlo QLD 4554
or online at;
 Green Harvest Organic Seeds
Diggers Club
Eden Seeds
Jankala Organic Seed
The Lost Seed

Let the best plants go to seed and carefully collect, store and label them for next year.  Happy planting!
Wonderful multi-coloured eggs to swap and share.

Our next meeting is on November 6th from 7pm at the Edulo Town Hall, see you then!

Monday, 10 September 2012

September Meeting

September Meeting 

Unfortunately our planned speaker on community gardens was unable to attend due to health reasons.  The meeting went ahead with members bringing items from their garden to share and swap and chat about the happenings in our gardens.  

The onset of spring and very dry weather have coincided to produce some pretty unique conditions in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.  The cool nights and dry sunny days have given citrus trees a chance to welcome the spring flush of growth and blossom without the onslaught of pests that can set trees back.  Conditions have also been good for grafted stone fruits on low-chill root stock.  The rain stopped in time for the trees to bloom and germinate with vim and vigor!  Low-chill apples and pears are slowly awakening and mangoes are starting to respond to the warmer days. It's a good time to feed these trees if you haven't already done so!  It's also a good time to feed passionfruit and grape vines before spring growth appears. If you've had paw-paws on your trees over winter, they might just be starting to ripen, bag them against fruit fly and leave them to ripen on the tree for maximum taste and sweetness.  Some mulberry trees are already laden with ripe fruit, I have just picked 2 kilos from my own tree!  Our group of gardeners noticed that the insects and birds have also responded to the warmer weather and are much more obvious around the place.  So, it is time to protect your immature fruit.  Net trees if you can and get your fruit fly traps dusted off and cleaned out.  Spray fruit trees with Neem oil, Eco oil or white oil against mites, aphids and scale.  We should have all had the chance to get some good compost or well rotted manure and rock dust on citrus and stonefruits by now.  If you feed them whilst they are trying to flower and set fruit you may sacrifice your crop for lush green foliage!
Most winter greens are finishing now.  Enjoy the last of those brasicas and abundant leafy greens while you can.  Mine have slowed right down with the switch from rainfall to sprinkler water!  Revitalise beds with compost, manure and don't forget the rock dust for trace minerals.  Mulch your beds thickly with pea straw to keep the moisture in and leave them to 'brew' for a couple of weeks before diving into some spring veges!  I can't wait for cucumbers, asparagus, capsicum and corn! Make this your next weeks activity in the garden and you will have beds ready to plant with advanced seedlings for early spring cropping.

Next month's meeting 2nd October:

How to effectively grow your own food from seed!This session will see the group working together to provide tips and tricks for growing edible food from seeds. Since this is a workshop, the plan is to have everyone actually undertake some planting. So we need you to bring some things along to be able to participate.

1. Pots or seed trays to plant your seeds into
2. A packet of seeds (of a crop that is coming into season, like cucumber, capsicum, heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, bush beans, squash and zucchini) to share
3. Potting mix/soil/seed raising mix/compost or just your special mix
4. A willingness to share your experiences and participate in this activity

If you have a spare plastic tablecloth or some newspaper that we can use to place over the tables to protect them whilst we are doing this workshop we would appreciate you bringing them along.

Buy, swap and trade tableOver recent months we have been lucky to have a few supportive and caring members that have brought in copious amounts of their home-grown produce to share with members. However, the principle of the buy, swap and trade table is to share across members rather than having a reliance on a small number of kind-hearted  members supporting the broader membership. As such, a few members have suggested that if you would like to benefit from the buy, swap and share table held during the meeting it should be necessary that you bring something along to also offer as a buy, swap or trade. The offerings do not have to be significant or something edible. Suggestions of things that you could bring along include newspapers, boxes, egg cartons, glass jars, lids, plastic bottles for fruit fly traps, seeds, pots for re-use, edible offerings, worm wee or just a bouquet of flowers that you have picked from around your garden. Maybe in this way the generosity of the buy, swap and trade table will be realised and a lot more products will change hands and more of us will experience the warm, fuzzy feeling that you get from sharing with friends (both new and old).  

Looking forward to seeing you all there! 

Friday, 10 August 2012

Frog Ponds and Habitat Creation

Eudlo Permaculture Meeting Tuesday 7th August
Presenter: Sean Morrow from;
One Earth Landscaping

Frog Ponds and Habitat Creation in your Garden

By creating frog ponds in your garden you are improving biodiversity, strengthening native frog numbers, introducing many other insect species and helping to create natural balance.  Remember the more native frogs you have in your garden the less of a bug problem you will have!

Creating frog ponds is easy and cheap.  Here's a few tips:
  • Chose a half sunny/shady spot out of the prevailing wind.  Tank over flows or seasonal water courses are great.
  • Stock up on rocks, logs, and strappy plants like, spider lilies, Lomandra grass, Bromiliads, Vetiver grass, Helaconias, Gingers, ground covers like Seaside daisy and small bushes like Lilly Pillys.
  • Choose the type of vessel for your location.  Old bath tubs work well elevated and built up with rocks, old Laundry tubs, old tanks, plastic ponds, or dug into position and lined with a black plastic pond liner or other black sheet plastic.
  • If you are using town water you must let it stand for two days before introducing any fish or tadpoles.  This lets the chlorine gas of, otherwise it will kill your tadpoles and fish.
Bath tubs:
These are good habitats for sedge frogs who can jump very high and tree frog species.  They are also naturally cane toad proof if you leave the sides bare.  Silicone a plug in  and fill it up with rain water, or town water and leave it for a day or two.  Put some rocks, old bricks and logs around the edges to allow hunting and hiding spaces for frogs.  Plant thickly with strappy plants around the edge for visual appeal, to create shade and to entice other insects to your pond for frogs to feed on.

Plastic pond liners:
Choose an appropriately shady/sunny spot and dig your hole.  Ideally it should be a depth of about 600mm in the middle to avoid excessive algae growth.  Use old carpet underlay, or 2 layers of old carpet to line your hole, this will stop punctures from invading grass and tree roots.  Lay your black plastic, use 3 layers of normal plastic, or pond liner plastic.  Be careful not to step on it, use a plank over your pond to help with this.  You can then carefully sit in the middle of your pond and place rocks around the pond walls up to the lip of the pond.  Use sand or river stones from the bottom of the pond.  Cut the edge of the liner to the shape of your pond, you shouldn't be able to see any plastic.  Sunlight will cause more rapid deterioration of your pond liner.  Place logs around the edge of the pond and mulch up to the liner/rocks.  Plant your strappy, bushy and ground cover plants around your pond and fill it up. You should have frogs within a week or so!

Trouble shooting Mosquito's and Cane Toads:
  • Use a pump to move the surface of the water if you find you have a mosquito problem, but nature should find her balance.  Native frogs feed on mosquito lave.
  • Keep cane toads out of your pond by protecting your pond with thickly planted strappy grasses or a 600mm high sheer barrier (cane toads can't jump as high as native frogs).
  • Cane toad eggs are laid in long strings (pull them out of the pond and leave them in the sun to kill them off).  Cane toads are toxic at every stage of life including eggs, so be careful of pets and wildlife.
  • Native frogs eggs are clumping not stringy.
  • Native tadpoles are irregular shapes and often multi colours.  They are also translucent.  
  • Cane Toadpoles are perfectly round, jet black and solid colour.

  • Experiment with your grey water run off for ponds.
  • Avoid introducing fish to your ponds until your tadpoles are at least 1 inch, otherwise you will be providing high protein fish food!
  • Birds and insects are more active when the moon is in an air sign of the Zodiac calendar.
  • Weeds are an essential part of your habitat for bugs that birds and frogs prey on.  It's OK to have a few patches of weeds!
  • If you are introducing tadpoles, you may feed them with algae, ot steamed lettuce, silverbeet or papaya.  Do not feed them with fish food.
  • You need to allow at least 1L of water per tadpole to prevent them from eating each other!
Come along to our meetings each month, as you can see they are very informative and worthwhile.  We also have a mini market place, where members bring in excess produce from their gardens, seeds and cuttings to share.  Here's some of the produce from this meeting.

Happy gardening and enjoy those lovely croaking frogs in the evening!

Next meeting: Tuesday 4th September.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Potters Market

Suncoast Clayworkers 

Potters Market 

 Eudlo Town Hall 

Saturday 18th August from 9am-4pm

Featuring all local artists

Entertainment by the "Pluckin Wonderful Originals

    • Garden art
    • Plates
    • Teapots
    • Windchimes
    • Jewellery
    • Cups and Mugs
    • Candle holders
    • Water Features
    • Sculpture
    • Jugs
    • Plant Pots and more!

Monday, 6 August 2012

August Permaculture Meeting

Tomorrow night (07/08/12) at Eudlo Community Hall, Permaculture Eudlo gets together to share some great ideas and meet some fantastic people.

Our presenter this month is Sean Morrow from One Earth Landscaping. He is kind enough to come and talk to us about frog and water gardens.

(Source: Frog Lodge)

Come along to Eudlo Hall from 7pm to share produce and ideas, presentation from 7:30pm with a group cupper following.

Gold coin donation to cover hall costs.

Hope to see all of you tomorrow night.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Up coming workshops held at the 
West Woombye Men's Shed:


  257 Blackall Range Rd, West Woombye


The Aim


Provide community access to:
Garden Growing Space
   Training through workshops and projects
 Organic Produce and Plants
 Demonstration of Permaculture Solutions for our area

Our upcoming workshops
14/7/12 - No Dig Garden set up
28/7/12 - Worm Farms for any budget

The garden is open each Saturday 9 am – 1 pm come along and say hello
For further info contact Keith Upward (Project Officer)
Ph: 0405 641 155; Email:

Bio-Dynamic Gardeners Association Inc

Susan Rodger has been kind enough to forward on the details of the Biodynamic Gardeners Club as mentioned in her talk during last month's talk.


The Bio-Dynamic Gardeners Association Incorporated (BDGAI) was formed in 1975 with the aim of teaching home gardeners and small-holders the Australian DEMETER Bio-Dynamic Method. Bio-Dynamic literature and field days introduce the bio-dynamic method, inclusive of compost making, and storage and application of the bio-dynamic preparations.

Membership ($35 annually) provides access to the highest quality bio-dynamic preparations, regular meetings and field-days, Practical Notes booklet, Bio-Dynamic Growing magazine, member's Newsletter, annual sowing chart, Bio-Dynamic library, seedbank and free advice on all aspects of Bio-Dynamics.

Bio-Dynamic Gardeners Association Inc. (BDGAI)
4A Fairleigh Ave.
Beaumaris Victoria 3193 Australia

Telephone: +61 (0)3 9842 8137 

The Queensland contact is - Dick Marriott,
Phone: 07 5485 0938