A group of keen Heathcote gardeners has been holding workshops and excursions to improve their vegie growing skills in the face of challenging climatic conditions.BARBARA SUNGAILA April 3, 2014 4:10am
The Heathcote food swap group is two years old and still going strong.
One of the founding members, Mark Hooke, said there had been some demographic shifts due to people moving to and from the district, and the weather had changed.
‘‘The cliché of heaps of zucchinis and tomatoes hasn’t eventuated this year,’’ he said.
The group’s members all value the chance to share produce and knowledge.
Liz Murfitt said the current prolonged dry spell had created new challenges for members.
‘‘Things that were flourishing are now struggling,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s interesting to see how what works in one area doesn’t in another.
‘‘And people who live in town know they’re always going to have water.’’
Linda Cornelissen said growing fresh vegetables was important, but difficult in current conditions.
‘‘Being able to get together over the summer we’ve just had has been great because we give each other support,’’ she said.
‘‘We also get propagating material from each other.’’
Mark said the group was not just about food, but about food production.
They have been producing a database of foraging opportunities in the district so that fruit from roadside trees, for example, does not go to waste.
Linda said trying to find what was available was not easy but there were old apple and quince trees which members had identified.
The group held a weed workshop and visited Ceres Environment Park in East Brunswick, as well as the Newstead Community Garden.
Skills, such as grafting, have been shared and members have visited each other’s gardens.
Liz said they did not just share produce.
‘‘There have been jams, pony poo and other items, such as worm castings and twine,’’ she said.
A fire has destroyed a home in Kialla West.
Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) and other emergency services are preparing for the next round of wild weather in the north-east.
Tatura Fire Brigade volunteers are gearing up for a busy summer period this year.
SNAKES will be coming out of hiding as the weather warms up.
OUR Lady of the Sacred Heart Elmore was a sea of colour earlier this month for Footy Colours Day.
THE Salvation Army in Kyabram is this weekend celebrating 125 years of service in the district.
Seymour A and B-grade in season decider
Extensive rainfall in the Southern Riverina is having a negative impact on farming.
When Pyalong Primary School does something, it does it well. Here are the students all dressed up for the school's recent Roald Dahl day to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the author’s birth on September 13, 1916.
Yarroweyah's Katie Anderson will be heading to Wisconsin in the United States after winning the Dairy Youth Travel Scholarship.
Skipper claims second B&F in thrilling count
Tuesday, August 16
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