A couple of weeks ago I set off in the dark around 6am and headed for the Heemskirk Community Garden in the next suburb of Warrane.
Members of the local community value the garden. It was well into development at the end of 2018 when the local free newspaper Eastern Shore Sun reported. In addition to nearby residents some Permaculture Tasmania members have become involved. For example read here. More information about the garden and a contact person can be found on the COTA Tasmania website.
Across the block are mulched raised beds, swales, and corrugated metal raised beds.
Crops include corn, tomatoes, beans, brassicas, potatoes and African vegetables. Fruit trees have been planted in rows closer to the fence lines.
In my bag I carried a weeding tool and my gardening gloves. No shortage of weeds here as in any garden. I decided to remove a few dozen near the toilet building and those surrounding a mound growing daisies and geraniums. Two hours later I left feeling very satisfied. It was almost as if this little bit of activity was my substitute for volunteering in the Food Garden at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. It was a wonderful experience. I didn’t think to take a ‘before photo’ but afterwards the, as yet incomplete, job looked like this with the pile of weeds to the side: –
As always when weeding, I came away with new wonderings. One of the common weeds I pulled was the long strong tap-rooted Mallow.
The property is alive with these plants which, despite having useful medicinal uses and parts can be eaten, takes over and needs to be controlled by selective removal. I noted that in pulling some out I often watched a scramble from a few beetles that were obviously living near the base and down into the soil of each plant. I saw dozens of these beetles. They looked very much like they might be from the Harlequin Bug family. Very pretty to look at but unfortunately not wanted in a garden and you can read more here. So are these unwanted guests or are they useful? I may be wrong – these may be some other type of beetle and be incredibly useful to the plants.