Sunday, November 23, 2014

2014 Annual General Meeting

Once again, Mosman Community Gardeners went from strength to strength. The new rotunda at Mackie Lane provided the focus for our education program as well as many celebrations; the gardens at Mackie Lane and Middle Head flourished; our partnerships deepened; and MCG continued its mission to inspire and encourage sustainability, the cultivation of edible plants and sharing of food, and the nurturing of community connections and friendships.

For the highlights of 2014 see the President's Report.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Autumn News 2014

Here is the latest news from Mosman Community Gardeners:

If you would like to receive email updates please email

Mackie Lane Update: The last few months have 
seen a lot of planting, harvesting and refurbishing, as well as a record number of visitors who came to be inspired and learn from what we're doing at the garden. Mosman Council recently delivered a new load of wood chips and now all the garden walkways are covered. Our childrens program continues with Kids Cottage Middle Harbour children tending and harvesting their dedicated beds and children from nearby Kinderland visiting to learn about edible gardening. Mackie Lane garden is very family friendly with a cubby house, sandpit, bean teepee, blackboard and gardening activities to engage the kids. Students are also volunteering in the garden as part of the Duke of Edinburgh program. The planting committee coordinated by Gill Lee has developed an autumn planting plan and things are well on the way for the new season. For what to grow during autumn see

Individual allotments: Many successful community gardens like Paddington, Randwick and nearby Manly Vale have individual allotments. Now that we have more land at Mackie Lane and the garden infrastructure is well established, we are considering moving to a combination of individual allotments and communal gardens. If you interested in an allotment, please email

Native Bees: With support from Mosman Council we are purchasing stingless native bees from Ku-ring-gai Council and bee workshops are planned for the future. The hives are populated by Tetragonula carbonaria, a bee species that occur naturally in Sydney and have acclimatised to Sydney conditions. See http:/ Here is a fact sheet about the kind of stingless bees we will have at the garden.
Celebrations: On the first Sunday of the month we have a celebration after our gardening hours from 3-5pm. So do some along and join us on Sunday 6th April. Everyone is welcome. BYO food and drinks.

Middle Head update: Planting includes okra, artichokes, tomatoes, kale, mini cabbages, mizuna lettuce, snow peas, shallots, beetroot, carrots, daikon, many different varieties of chillies from mild to very hot and much more. As always, the regular gardeners say that Middle Head garden is a happy place!

Links worth checking out:
Permaculture Northern Beaches has a new Facebook page to keep you up to date on all things sustainable and gardening. htps:// 
Gardening Australia
Sustainable Gardening Australia
Mosman Community College has some fantastic gardening courses and one-day workshops,

Upcoming North Sydney events/workshops

Living with Possums: Wednesday, 30 April 2014. Problems with Possums? Attend this informative presentation for answers.

No Dig Garden: Saturday, 10 May 2014. Learn how to create amazing soil using alternating layers of organic materials.

Herb Spiral: Saturday, 14 June 2014. Herb spirals are a novel way of growing herbs in small spaces.

Edible Gardens in Small Spaces: Saturday, 07 June 2014. Learn how to grow vegies in pots with this free workshop.

Composting: Saturday, 21 June 2014. Turn your kitchen scraps into garden gold.


If you have events or resources that you’d like to share, please email

Farewell and thank you: This is my last news update as President of Mosman Community Gardeners. My work commitments have increased this year so I need to step aside, but Im part of a wonderful team of committed community gardeners, so I know this decision wont disrupt the ongoing operation of MCG. We have come a long way since our first meetings over four years ago when we had no land and spent most of our time lobbying for a community garden. 

Tina at Mackie Lane
Today we have two thriving gardens, an ever-growing membership, and importantly we have succeeded in bringing the cause of growing edible plants to the attention of the Council and the community. I will continue to be active in MCG and look forward to seeing you in the gardens sometime. My heartfelt thanks to MCG members and everyone who has supported our work over the years. It's been a very rewarding journey.

Cheers Tina
Tina Jackson on behalf of the MCG team

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Summer News 2014

Here is the latest news from Mosman Community Gardeners:

If you would like to receive our e-news contact us at 

We hope you enjoyed the festive season and that 2014 has started well! 

Mackie Lane Update

Chris and Gill Lee in front of the Rotunda
New rotunda: Fortunately the Mackie Lane rotunda was completed in time to cope with the hot summer months. This impressive hexagonal structure was inspired by Paddington Community Garden’s rotunda, and we are very grateful to Rob Joyner from PCC for sharing his design and expertise. Special thanks are due to Chris Lee who worked with Calum Findlay and the rest of the Mackie Lane construction team to build the rotunda, as well as to Rotary Mosman who helped with funding. It has already been the focus of numerous garden celebrations and is available to members for private functions. Enquiries to Peter Hook:

Gardening: The amazing sea of sweet peas along the Mackie Lane ran their course and had to be removed, but we are thrilled that they have self-sown and continue to adorn the fence along with magnificent sunflowers and succulents. Our tomato crops have been particularly prolific, as well as the strawberries, rainbow chard and garlic. More unusual plantings like the apple cucumbers, New Guinea beans (which have grown to several feet), loofahs and daikon radish have also been a great success. And the kitchen garden has really taken off! Middle Harbour After Care children continue to care for their garden beds, which are full of vegetables ready to harvest. We’ve covered all the concrete areas with bark chips, which has really transformed the space. See the current garden bed plan

Celebrations: On the first Sunday of the month we have a celebration after our gardening hours from 3-5pm. During daylight saving this has expanded to include dinner. We crank up the BBQ and enjoy the shelter and ambience of the rotunda. So do some along and join us on Sunday 2 February. Everyone is welcome. BYO food and drinks.

Middle Head Update
Our summer harvest at Middle Head has once again been bountiful with tomatoes, beans, lettuce, celery, potatoes, leeks and broad beans and we have four new beds of rosellas, a native fruit that makes great jam. We’ve grown okra for the first time successfully and the flowers are exquisite. There is a working bee coming up to cut away the grass and repair the nets and beds and new members are very welcome.


Permaculture North is a good resource and runs workshops and courses. 

Slow Food Sydney has a stand at the Eveleigh markets where they host monthly guests. Next one is 1 February presenting foods, preserves and other goodies. 

Gardening Australia has some great resources to help with edible gardening. 

Another gardening website with lots of resources and information is Sustainable Gardening Australia

If you have events or resources that you’d like to share, please email

We look forward to seeing you in the gardens sometime.

Tina Jackson
on behalf of the Mosman Community Gardeners’ team

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Spring News

Here is the latest news from  Community Gardeners:

If you would like to receive our e-news contact us at 

Mackie Lane Update:

Norma's amazing sweet peas along Mackie Lane
The garden is an absolute picture at the moment with the majority of beds planted out and producing generous crops of vegetables including rainbow chard, carrots, turnips, Asian greens, lettuce, rocket, broccoli and peas.

Mackie Lane is a sea of brilliant colour from the two metre high sweet peas growing along the fence. Large bunches of flowers are being picked each Wednesday and Sunday, encouraging even more growth and flowers.

There has been a great deal of progress over winter with the building of new beds in readiness for groups of children from Middle Harbour After School Care and Bond Street Montessori coming to participate in our garden. We continue to celebrate with food and drinks on the first Sunday of the month, but were sad to farewell Maria, Scott and Anna who are leaving Australia. Greg Burns has been busy trying new ideas as he explains below:

Perry Runners: going gang busters!
The Strawberry Wall: What do you do with a surplus of wooden pallets, a desire to explore the vertical space in your garden, and a great need for lots more strawberries? Build a vertical strawberry bed! We simply placed four pallets on their side secured by steel posts, lined the inside with weed mat to hold the soil, and then filled both sides of the pallets with 200 strawberry runners! The inspiration and all the instructions were from ABC Gardening. The 200 strawberry runners were sourced from Perry Runners, who provided great service and the right price.

Wicking Beds: The garden seems to be forever expanding as the total area has doubled during the last year and bed construction steadily progresses. Naturally the task of watering and the amount of water required is also growing. In response we decided to build raised beds that virtually watered themselves. A growing bed of soil and mushroom compost sits on top of a reservoir of water and a wick acts as conduit between the two. This wicking bed approach can be found in the Gardening Australia magazine, Sept 2011 p52.

Edible TeePea: What do you get when you throw together a few bamboo sticks, some string, a few bricks and pots with some pea seeds? A productive cubby house for the kids! The inspiration and instructions for our edible TeePea can be found in the Gardening Australia magazine, Oct 2011.

Thank you

We have had some wonderful financial support lately for which we are very grateful. Rotary has given us a grant to provide shading in the garden; Mosman Council has given us a grant to expand the number of garden beds and implement our plans for a kids program and Bunnings Balgowlah has kindly donated a garden shed.

Middle Head Update:

Visitors at Middle Head

Production and harvesting has continued throughout the winter and we’re pleased that the native beds are surviving well without netting. We have decided to plant dwarf paper daisies at each end of our native beds as the paper daisies we planted last year were very tall. Our broccoli and brocolini plants have been very successful and we continue to harvest celery, parsley, coriander, snow peas, silver beet and lettuce. Broad beans and potatoes are progressing well.

Members have enjoyed nibbles and drinks on the last Sunday each month and we had a special celebration in July for Anna and Dario before they left for Italy to be married on August 31st. We look forward to welcoming them back in Spring. Our spring planting will include silver beet, Asian salad greens, capsicum, lettuce, eggplant, zucchini and possibly tomatoes.

ABC Vegie Garden App: ABCVegie Guide is an essential tool for all vegetable gardeners – from the novice to the experienced - to help you find out what vegie should be planted when, no matter the climate zone you’re in. ABC Vegie Guide will give you all the information you need to produce healthy crops throughout the year, including growing tips, pest and disease control pointers and harvest guides.

Mackie Lane September 2013

We hope you are enjoying the warmer weather and look forward to seeing you in the gardens sometime.

Cheers Tina

Mosman Community Gardeners