Recording the Newsletters issued by Casino Community Garden, located on the corner of Adam and Hartley Streets
(adjacent to entrance to Queen Elizabeth Park), South Casino, NSW, Australia.

The garden is a project of Casino Neighbourhood Centre, overseen by the Community Development Project Coordinator. As the flier concerning community gardens says, it is a place of beauty, joy, peace and kindliness, and friendliness too.

All links active at time of publication. Please report any broken link you come across to Jan. Thank you.

8 June 2013



Monthly Newsletter #4 Issued June 2013

Vegetable Planting Guide by Gardening Australia

Beetroot, Broad beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Chives, Collards, Endive, Garlic, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard greens, Onions, Parsley, Peas, Radish, Rocket,Shallots, Silverbeet, Snow Peas.
ABC Vegie Guide
Website advises whether to plant in garden or seed trays and time until harvest.

June in your patch (North from Coffs Harbour)
  •  Still time to plant winter vegies including potatoes, and fruit trees.
  • Time to feed your garden with a seaweed tea, or any low environmental impact liquid fertiliser, perfect for giving them a kick start as they establish.  Apply to soil early in the morning and in the concentrations mentioned on the packet.
  • Plant flowers - marigolds, lupins, pansies, violas, phlox, verbena and lavender for colour and to attract beneficial insects.
  • Consider a green manure crop for an overworked patch. Try millet, oats, lupins or field peas.
  • Water with deep drink first thing in the morning a couple of times a week.
  • Always check soil moisture before watering at this time of year.
  • Top up mulch on your vegie patches, herb gardens and ornamental beds for weed suppression to about 7cm.  Keep mulch clear of plant stems... especiallly young seedlings.  Choose a sustainable, low environmental impact mulch, one that will enrich your soil as it breaks down.
  • Weeding is an awesome job to do at this time of year.  Cut down the competition between your plants and weeds, and tidy up your patch.  It may sound tedious, but it's incredibly rewarding.

Sustainable Gardening  here

Around Casino Community Garden this Month
Every Tuesday from 8.30am: Join in at the garden for hoeing, weeding and general garden activities, planting still going on.

Every Wednesday 12 noon: Lunch gatherings every week at the garden - come on down at noon and have a bite to eat, a cuppa and a chat to the regulars.... we often talk about good things like good food, gardening and all things healthy living.....

We currently have a regular gardener. Come along and say hello to Mark on Tuesday or Wednesday morning, and see all that is going on at the garden.

Photo by Heather Day

May Garden Clinic

Our May Garden Clinic was held under the banner of a regional campaign by Sustain Northern Rivers - Think Global - Eat Local.

It was a glorious, sundrenched Autumn day and the garden looked very inviting.

Speakers kept our interest and were well-informed on their topics.  We enjoyed a generous BBQ lunch, tea and coffee, platters of fruit, homemade damper and rosella jam, fruit cake and jamdrops.

Peter Cotterill - Reducing Waste and Recycling

Peter kicked off the speaking program with his talk on reducing waste and recycling, and answered 
our questions.  He reminded us to consider what we purchase and avoid buying unnecessarily to reduce waste, reuse, recycle and dispose thoughtfully.

Peter outlined RVC services and discussed landfills and pointed out items free to dispose of, which many were not aware of.  He filled us in on RVC's future plans concerning waste and services available.

Eddie Handford - Bees

Eddie spoke about bees being killed out by a mite which is a major pest, and small hive bees.  Eddie demonstrated a trap to catch them which he invented, which was accepted in the industry.  Some pesticides are also taking a big toll on bees and are banned in Europe.
We learnt about the life cycle of bees and why they swarm and many interesting facts.
If you get stung by a bee, scratch out the sting with a fingernail.
Don't Squeeze.
Shirley Wheatley - Container Gardening
 Shirley's talk on Container Gardening was previously given at the "Living on the Line" session at the garden in April with full story in our May Newsletter.

Shirley demonstrated a collection of re-usable items, and a tip -new to many - was planting the stump of celery from the greengrocer for ongoing celery in your container or garden.

In the photo, Shirley is showing us the garlic started in toilet rolls, ready to replant.

Shirley also brought along several books available at the library, to show us. There is a wealth of information available locally.

Keith Day - Home Irrigation

Keith pointed out a concern to many of us, that we waste water hosing our gardens and often we are not available to water at the best time of day.  Keith outlined a solution that is not difficult to implement.

It is a system that turns on and off automatically and directs water where required and can be set up for about $75 for the average vegetable garden, or we can use soaker hoses for much less.

He showed us what we need to purchase and how it all fits together, easily doable by the home handyman.
Words and photos May Garden Clinic Jan Brine

Around the Garden
They're tasty additions to salads, great ground cover, pest controllers, attract beneficial pollinators, make cheerful cut flowers and are also a great medicinal plant.

They attract predatory wasps which attack caterpillars, deter pumpkin beetles and cabbage whites if grown next to brassicas and act as a catch plant for aphids (preferred meal for them apparently). They are a great companion plant and great living mulch.

Unripe nasturtium seeds can be used as a caper substitute - pour freshly boiled vinegar over a tightly packed jar of the freshly picked seeds.

Rocket (Arugula/ Rucola in overseas recipes)

As with other greens, rocket is very low calorie and has many vital phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals beneficial for health.

It is a quick growing crop, preferring well-drained, fertile soil and full sun to flourish.  In general rocket grows to about half a metre in height with creamy-white colour edible flowers.

Sow regularly for rocket all year.  Keep well watered in well drained ground.  Will go to flower rapidly in hot dry weather.  Harvest by picking off the leaves as required.

Source: various Google
Grow Citrus Trees in Pots

No longer do you need a big old-fashioned backyard to have citrus on hand.  With new dwarf varieties, you can grow productive citrus trees in pots even on a sunny balcony.
Lots a' Lemons and Dwarf Eureka,  both lemons, suit pots.  For a small lime try Dwarf Tahitian or one of the Australian native limes.  Citrus splitzers are multi-grafted citrus with both lime and lemons (and other combinations) on one plant and are ideal for large pots.  Mandarins, cumquats and calamondins also make good potted plants.  As citrus are productive in Winter there is a good range available now at the nursery.
To get the most from your potted citrus, give it regular care and attention.   One thing thatis essential is sunlight.  Citrus need full sun which means placing them in the sunniest part of your garden or balcony.  As they fruit during Winter, make sure the spot is sunny in Winter.

Getting Started
Select a large pot to grow your citrus and put the pot into its final position before you beginto fill it with potting mix.  Pots that are suitable must have several large drainage holes in their base and be elevated slightly off the ground on pot feet or bricks.  Buy a good quality potting mix and make sure you have enough potting mix to fill the pot to within 4cm of the rim (to allow space for watering).  For a large pot - that is one that is over 40cm in diameter - you'll need several bags of potting mix.  Modern potting mixes provide good drainage, but for a plant that's going to be in a large pot for a long time it is best to add about 10 percent soil to the potting mix, combining it well.  This  prevents the mix from slumping - that is diminishing in the pot so the plant is sitting well below the top of the pot.  Water the plant in well, firming it in the potting mix.

On-going Care
Potted citrus need to be watered two to three times a week. In very hot or windy weather, particularly if this type of weather occurs when your tree is in flower or forming small fruit, it may need daily watering.  Always make sure the water soaks into the potting mix and doesn't simply run through without soaking in.  Citrus also need to be well nourished.  The best way to provide all the nutrients they need is to use complete citrus food.  This should be applied in small amounts once a month from August to mid Autumn.  Water the pot well when applying any fertiliser.  To avoid pest problems, regularly spray new growth with horticultural spray oil such as PestOil.  This treatment controls citrus leaf miner and aphids along with sap suckers like spined citrus bugs.
By Jennifer Stackhouse

Recipe Corner
Choko Pickles
2 kg chokos
3 large onions
2 cups sugar
1 litre vinegar
1 heaped dessertspoon each turmeric, mustard, curry powder
3 heaped tablespoons of plain flour
2 tablespoons salt.
Peel and dice chokos, peel and slice onions, put in plastic ontainer, sprinkle with salt and let stand overnight.  Next morning strain liquid off.
Put chokos and onions on to cook with vinegar and sugar (15 - 20 minutes).
Mix the dry ingredients together with vinegar (you may need a little extra for this), add to choko mixture and boil for 15 - 20 minutes.
Bottle while hot.
Other combinations of vegetables can be used such as cauliflower, green tomatoes, cucumbers, beans to make up 2kg.
If preferred, less sugar can be used as this is quite sweet - maybe one cup!
Choko Chutney (I'm sure 2013 is the year of the Choko)
10 fair-sized chokos
2 large onions
4 Granny Smith apples 
1/2 red and 1/2 green capsicum and a little ginger, fresh or crystallised  (can be added)
1 litre vinegar (reserve a little of this to mix the dry ingredients)
200g sultanas
1 dessertspoon mustard
1 dessertspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon turmeric
3 tablespoons plain flour
4 cups sugar (maybe less could be used, depends on your taste, seems a lot!)
Cut chokos and onions rather small, cover with cold water and a handful of salt.  Boil until soft, drain off water, add vinegar, sultanas, capsicum and sugar and boil for 10 minutes.  Mix remaining dry ingredients with reserved vinegar.  Stir into choko mix, boil 10 minutes to cook the flour, stir occasionally.   Bottle while hot, this chutney will keep well.
Thanks to Shirley Wheatley for these recipes 
Moist Boiled Fruit Cake
Place following in medium saucepan
1 x 425 g mango slices in natural juice, or any tin fruit
500g mixed fruit
1/2 cup water
Spices (cinnamon, mixed spice etc to taste)
Bring to very gentle boil on stove top hot plate for a minute or so.
Add 1 flat teaspoon bi-carb soda, it will froth up.   Allow to cool.
Later add 1 and 1/2 cups Self Raising flour 
2 beaten eggs (or 3 small)
Mix through and spoon into medium springform cake tin lied with baking paper.
Bake in moderate oven for 1 hour,  Test with skewer to see if cooked, should be just drry.
This is a very forgiving recipe, substitute port, sherry etc for some of the liquid, add walnuts, almonds, ginger, glace cherries, mixed peel, liked.
Makes a good Christmas Cake decorated with slivered almonds.
If you are thinking of making gluten free, check the label of the Mixed Fruit as many contain wheat.
If you only have the 375g dried mixed fruit, it still works.  Or buy the 1kg mixed fruit and use half, and the 800g tin mango in natural juice and use half and freeze remainder for next time.
 Words and photo Jan Brine

Casino Community Garden
A Project of the Casino Neighbourhood Centre
Coordinator - Jo Nemeth   Phone 6662 5435
Weekly Garden Gatherings -
Tuesdays from 8.30am and Wednesdays at noon 
for a free lunch - all welcome!