RTBG Thursday 24th June 2021

I can’t believe that on a glorious blue sky winter day, none of my photos included the sky. But trust me, it was wonderful that a sun-filled Thursday returned. The day was sensational, so much so that our team of volunteers and Coordinator basked comfortably in the sun, when eating lunch in the Food Garden at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG).

It was a simple day of weeding and planting, and eight of us laboured on these tasks – it almost sounds like a spiritual uplifting when I say we did it with joy in our hearts. The clear clean air, the general garden atmosphere and the easy team work which we undertook, created an experience that was profoundly rewarding. As usual.

M and I commenced our morning clearing the weeds around a self-sown parsley patch. An excitement occurred when a streaked brown object leapt from beneath the canopy into full view. It seems so long since I have seen a frog so this was a delight; camouflaged not with the parsley greens rather with the rotting foliage covering exposed soil.

I have tried to identify the frog from photos and guess it may be a Brown Tree Frog (Litoria ewingi) – taking my lead from a Tasmanian government website. What do you think? ‘Our’ frog was mostly shades of grey rather than brown and was located beneath a very large spreading cedar tree where perhaps it lives moving up and down the greyish bark on the trunk.

N was successful in planting Kale topped Swedes from seed produced by Peter Cundall, the original Food Garden guru.

P weeded the brassicas, and J did a sterling job removing tiny weeds from around the tiny fronds of baby carrot tops.

L and M went deep into the artichoke plants and removed dead stalks and hunted for hidden weeds.

Cauliflowers seedlings were planted out.

R planted mustard plants before settling them in with a good soaking.

Meanwhile Coordinator Adam strewed fine gravel over old paths and swept and raked and generally made the walking areas exceptionally smart.

I enjoyed wandering around the garden beds to see the changes. It was inspiring to see the garlic bulbs had sprouted and green growth was pushing up high into the air. The future crop looks very promising.

If you have the good fortune to visit the Food Garden, please remember the produce is not for your consumption. Rather it will be collected for Second Bite, a charity which distributes food to disadvantaged families. If you have friends or relatives who plan to visit, please tell them this fact so they do not believe that the produce can be picked and eaten by them – then hungry people miss out. I am sure they will understand once they know this approach is different from other community gardens found elsewhere in Tasmania.

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