Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cloud Farm Community Collective

Despite the shocking weather last Sunday, ten of us braved the rain and toured the Mount Tomah food forest, hosted by the Cloud Farm Community Collective. This collective was formed to preserve a one acre food forest in a massive netting house.

The collective is 'working for food not money'. One of its aims is to share skills and knowledge within our local community. We will go back in a couple of months to give more people the opportunity to tour and do some skill-building and work there.

John outlined the land's history. (John and Judith Chorley established the food forest and have entered into an arrangement for the collective to manage and benefit from the food grown there.) Rob and Gary, members of the collective, filled us in on other details as to how it functions, with people dedicating work and being 'paid' in a proportional amount of food. It's a beautiful work-in-progress.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quarry Garden Gate, Blackheath

The crew gardening the quarry site in Connaught Road Blackheath have honey, home made cordial and marmalade — as well as other fresh produce and organic vegetable seedlings — for sale at the moment.

The garden looks wonderful right now, so rock up 10am to 12 noon/1pm one Tuesday or Saturday over the next few weeks.

Connaught Rd is off Govetts Leap Rd. Drive to the end and turn left through the big gates. (There's a sign out the front.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

ABC Organic Gardener Magazine

Every now and again I browse the ABC Gardening website. Today i noticed a great article that I missed when it came out in the July–August issue of the ABC's Organic Gardener Magazine: 'Catching Falling Fruit'.

The article discusses activities, such as our network promotes here in the Blue Mountains, as part of an 'urban orchard' movement.

There was an article in the July issue of the ABC's Gardening Australia Magazine, 'Dwarf Apples', too; many of our members are interested in, or experimenting with, dwarf varieties.

You might want to take a look at the Fact Sheet on Planting and Pruning Berries too.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lemons and grapefruit

The Blue Mountains Food Co-op in Happenny Lane, Katoomba, is open seven days a week (P: 4782 5890). The fresh vegetable and fruit area includes locally grown produce by gardeners; currently there are lots of lemons (so you can try out the recipes provided in the last post and on 30 July) as well as grapefruit (red and yellow).

We had to cancel Monday's Varuna pruning because of excessive rain, but plan another visit 10 am Monday 18 October (weather permitting).


We can harvest a wide range of fruits and nuts locally each season.

Local fruit and/or nut gardeners are invited to make additions or suggest modifications to the following work-in-progress compiled by Lizzie Connor.


Across the mountains: loquat, mulberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late spring) raspberry

Best in the lower mountains: avocado, jaboticaba, lemonade


Across the mountains: apricot, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, currant (red, black, white), gooseberry, kumquat, loganberry, loquat, mulberry,nectarine, peach, plum, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late summer) almond, apple, fig, hazelnut, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), pomegranate, youngberry

Best in lower mountains:lemon (Eureka), lemonade, lime, mandarin, orange, persimmon (non-astringent) and (in late summer) avocado, babaco, macadamia, rockmelon, wampee, watermelon

Best in upper mountains: jostaberry, lemon (Meyer), persimmon (astringent)


Across the mountains: almond, apple, chestnut, feijoa, fig, grape, hazel, kiwi fruit, kumquat, medlar, olive, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), plum, quince, raspberry (some), rhubarb, strawberry, strawberry guava, walnut

Best in lower mountains: avocado, babaco, cherimoya, grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), macademia, monstera deliciosa, orange, pine nut, pistachio, rockmelon, tamarillo, walnut, watermelon, white sapote

Best in upper mountains: lemon (Meyer), mandarin (Satsuma)


Across the mountains: apple, hazelnut, kiwi fruit, kumquat, pear (incl. nashi)

Best in lower mountains: grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), orange, tangelo

Best in upper mountains: avocado (Bacon), lemon (Meyer)