It was one of those mornings when the Bridgewater Jerry filled the air above the Derwent River and spread left and right across the Greater Hobart areas. Kunanyi was missing. Nipaluna seemed to be missing. Occasionally the sun found holes and pushed its light through – first I watched its golden light at home and then at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Garden (RTBG).
Perhaps the softness of the air helped to strengthen the relaxed spirit of camaraderie and willingness to be productive in the Food Garden of the RTBG on Thursday. The return of a much travelled volunteer and the start of a new one also helped expand the convivial laughter and chatter over an adventurous green tomato cake (recipe to anyone who asks) washed down by our morning cuppa.
In the muted light, I marvelled at varieties of fungi which had pushed their way around through the soil at the edges of a lettuce garden bed. Fairy sized seats.
The harvest was underway. Beets and rhubarb had been picked ready for delivery to charity – Second Bite.
Weeding, path making and seed collection were the tasks for the day. Medicago and Flick (Cardamine hirsute) weeds were the most prevalent unwanted plants across the Food Garden and different volunteers tackled their removal from different spaces to the rubbish bins, not the compost, to reduce the chance of ‘reinfection’. I note flick weed is an edible suitable for salads but its use as such would be too obscure for those receiving the charity donations so this plant is not harvested for distribution.
Buggy loads of sawdust were shovelled over the pathways.
The soya bean plants, which had been growing slowly for months, had hundreds of seed pods to be picked. These will be used to create new larger crops next year, after which time, we may experiment with making our own tofu and other soya based products.
Elsewhere across the Botanical Gardens, the brilliant colours of autumn leaves created stunning displays.