|Wollongong Botanic Gardens, Wollongong, NSW, AU
The local Council agreed that a Permaculture Garden would be great as an educational tool within the Wollongong Botanic Gardens. I was asked to draw up some plans but given some really interesting boundaries! It had to look like an Edna Walling Garden for one.
The initial idea was that course participants would be able to take home the produce they grew. Of course, this is local government and since then, the garden has gone through several reviews. I am glad to say, it appears that I will be able to have volunteers again and yes, participants will be able to take away the produce. During the period where they were not able to take home the produce, we harvested it and ate it on site! We will still eat on site and share food, but the surplus can go home to the workers.
Rabbits have been an interesting issue here. One of the stipulations I was given was that the edges on the perimeter needed to be neat. I wanted to get a local highschool to construct a rabbit run to go right around the outside of the garden to keep the edges neat, give me a close section of manure and really use these animals rather then see them as a pest. I didn't get approval. That just set me into looking for a further solution. After some searching and trials, I found that rabbits won't cross dry human hair, so we mulched around with human hair. It did look like we may have killed a lot of fury animals in the gardens, but it really worked. And hair is really high in nitrogen so it is great for the soil. The other thing I did was handed out a heap of rabbit recipies to the locals.
There was an old bridge sitting up at the nursery area of the Gardens. I had a grant, so I got the bridge all fixed up and now it is a great feature of the garden.
Things moove slow here, but only because to get approval to do things it must first be passed by so many. But the people that are working on it have a sense of pride and I know they are using what they are learning. I can see them building as a team, sharing things as a community. Those who leave the garden to work else where stay in contact. and still invite us all to things they are doing, be it a perma blitz or a breast feeding talk! I guess this garden is more of a link and an initial place for people to get started. I am in that great position where I get to watch the fledglings take their first flight. I put them with other community groups and teaches and see them return as eagles!
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