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.

6 June 2013



Monthly Musings for March 2013

 "Motivation for March"

Vegetable Planting Guide by Gardening Australia
On website, click on subtropical, then vegetable, for description

Amaranth, asparagus pea, beans - climbing and bush, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, burdock, cabbage (loose-headed), capsicum, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chicory, chilli, chives, cucumber, eggplant, endive, florence fennel, huauontle, kale, collards, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, malabar greens, mustard greens, onions, oregano, pak choy, bok choy etc, parsley, parsnip, radish, rocket, rosella, salsify, shallots, silverbeet, squash, sunflower, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips/swedes, zucchini.

March in your patch (North from Coffs Harbour

March is an excellent month to wage war on your patch. Rip out the weeds, mulch up a storm, pop in the plants.
  • Plants feel the need for a feed at this time of year. A Seaweed tea, or any low environmental impact liquid fertiliser, is perfect for giving them a kick start. Apply to the soil early in the morning.
  • Consider a green manure crop to add some life and love to an overworked patch.
  • Water first thing in the morning, with a deep drink a couple of times a week.
  • Top up mulch on your vegie patches, herb gardens and ornamental beds, to 7cm, after watering, especially important for weed suppression.  Keep mulch clear of plant stems, especially seedlings.
  • Keep up the weeding.  
For full details and to sign up  for the Sustainable Gardening Newsletter, go to:
Sustainable Gardening

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Around Casino Community Garden This Month

Winter Vegies, silverbeet, lettuce, radish, rocket, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, beetroot, carrots,potato, onions, etc

Eggplant, cucumbers, sweet potato tops, herbs, sweet corn, zucchini, capsicum, chilli

Watch out for ongoing projects: 
  • The new herb garden near top entrance;
  • new signs around the garden including warning about red backs and snakes;
  • work  on the irrigation system;
  • signboard with 'rules' of the garden;
  • rainforest area at old entrance next to arbour;
  • new citrus trees.

Inaugural Pizza Oven Cook Up - Saturday 18th March at the Garden

Cob Pizza Oven

A fun day was had by all at the building of the Casino Community Garden's new Pizza Oven on Saturday 2nd February. Over 25 locals attended and about 17 people got in and got their hands dirty - literally!  Mud did not fly, but there were plenty of dirty people at the end of the day.

The oven was built using an ancient method which combines earth, straw and sand to form small lumps or 'cobs' of earth.  While the oven was built from the ground up at the workshop, the final touches (a flue and the final render) will be added in the coming weeks.  Once complete, this kind of oven can be used for cooking bread, pizzas, roasts, drying fruit and more.

The garden now needs some assistance in the form of advice, materials and hands-on to build a small food preparation area next to the pizza oven to allow for future gatherings to go smoothly.

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Pics - Building the Cob Oven 

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Reading for March

Bee kind and boost survival by planting the right trees

Home gardeners can help boost the survival of honeybees and protect the food we eat that depends on teir pollination service, by growing the right plants and trees.

A new guide is now available, highlighting pollen and nectar planting choices from the backyard to the bush which will provide food for honeybees.

Gardeners can make a difference by considering bees when they are planning small and large scale planting.

For home gardeners, the guide looks at the appearance and maintenance needs of plants, and notes which attract birds, butterflies and native bees.

Chairman of the Pollination Program R&D Advisory Committee, Gerald Martin, said there is increasing public concernfor the wellbeing and survival of global honeybee populations, so this guide is timely.
"65 per cent of agricultural production is reliant on pollination by bees to produce fruit, vegetables and seeds, and honeybees are coming under increasing pressure from urbanisation, bushfires, changing agricultural practices and changing land management practises" Mr Martin said.

"Pests and diseases are an ever increasing threat, including the deadly bee pest Varroa mite which has wreaked across the globe.  Australia is one of the last countries free of the mite but it is accepted by scientists that it will eventually reach our shores.  Small hive and American foulbrood are major pests our beekeepers already have to manage."

The guide lists herbs, shrubs, trees and other plants, broken up into suggestions for domestic gardens, streetscapes, urban open spaces, rural environments and stationary beekeeping, and further categorised by type of climate.

"Growing plants that provide food for honeybees can be accomplished at any scale, from a pot of herbs on a balcony to thousands of hectares of revegetation or pastures," Mr Martin said. "Many of these plants are also beneficial to a range of other insects, birds and small mammals that live on nectar and pollen."

The guide has been developed with funding from the Honeybee Program, which is managed by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC).

Bee Friendly - A planting guide for European honeybees and Australian native pollinators is available to download free at:  RIRDC

From Coffs Harbour Advocate 25 January 2013

Pages 4 and 5
Are you growing Kangkong?

 Phil Dudman says in Organic Gardener online:
I figured we needed some perennial greens in the garden to tide us over.  I headed to a local farmer's market in search of Kangkong. It's an asian style vegetable that;s ideal for steaming, tossing into stir-fries, soups and salads. Kangkong is a very important vegetable in many parts of Asia and at times has served communities as a staple.

Its incredibly easy to grow, perhaps too easy! I've seen it escape in some gardens, much in the way that it's cousin sweet potato can do (they are both in the 'morning glory'  group of plants /pomea spp.). It's been declared a noxious weed in some parts of the world.  This is a plant you need to take some care with!

There is no way I would consider planting Kangkong in the ground.  For one, I don't have the space for a rampant vine and two, I don't need to be living on it!  So I have decided to grow it in a big pot to keep it contained.  Turns out, this approach has solved another issue.  Kangkong, (Ipomea aquatica) also known as Water Spinach, needs a lot of moisture to perform well. By growing it in a pot, I can keep a dish at the base, which helps to keep the moisture up to it for an extended period.

So far it's been working a treat. The Kangkong harvest tastes great and I have enjoyed multiple harvests already in just six weeks after planting.... and it doesn't stop growing!

This is a great one for the patio or balcony.

To check out Phil's video on growing Kangkong and to find some tips  for propagation as well, go here

Note: Ask at the Casino Community Garden for cuttings available locally. 

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Recipe Corner
Cucumber Salsa (Pictured over fish)  Serves 4
  •  1/2 small telegraph or 2 lebanese/apple cucumbers, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Combine all ingredients, and salt and pepper in a bowl. 
Set aside for 10 minutes before serving.
Extras you might like - add capsicum, chilli, garlic, lime juice isntead of vinegar.
Experiment to suit your taste.
Cucumber Potato Soup    4 serves 
  •  4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, diced and seeded
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream or 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • dill or parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
 In a large saucepan, cook potatoes in salted water until very soft. Mash up with stick blender or processer, retaining liquid.  Return to saucepan.
Stir in Cucumber, pepper, cream, milk and onion.  Simmer gently for about 5 minutes or until cucumber is tender.  Add dill or parsley, salt and pepper.
Serve hot or cold.
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Agnes's Steamed Sweet Potato Tops side dish
  • Good handful young soft stems and leaves of sweet potato vines
  • Honey
  • Freshly grated ginger
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Garlic (optional)
Steam the leaves for one minute and drain.
Mix remaining ingredients and pour over the leaves.
Garnish with sliced ginger, chopped red onion, or tomatoes to taste.
Ask Agnes at the garden for cuttings of the sweet potato vine to plant at home.
Cook Those Cukes
  • Cucumbers can be sauteed in butter or olive oil for a few minutes with some herbs.  
  • Cucumber soup is usually a very simple dish. Combine stock with braised onions and cucumbers, (garlic is optional) and a fair amount of dill.  Mixed with cream, this makes a delicious cool soup in the middle of Summer. 
  • Add some sliced cucumbers to a stir-fry in the last minute or so for a nice texture and flavour addition.

Herbs and Other Ideas
  •   Dill is perhaps most commonly used with cucumbers, but mint, basil, rosemary, tarragon, coriander, and thyme are also good herbs to use with cucumbers. 
  • Try cukes chopped and mixed with yoghurt and topped with dill. 
  • For a classic cucumber salad, mix sliced cucumbers with sour cream, chopped onions, dill, a bit of sugar, and a few tablespoons of vinegar (try balsamic vinegar).
  • Put a couple of slices of fresh cucumber in a glass of water for a refreshing drink.
Cucumber Nutrition and Health Benefits

Cucumbers are a good source of Vitamin C and also contain Vitamin A, molybdenum, folate, manganese, silica, potassium and magnesium. Cucumbers are an excellent source of dietary fibre. Cucumbers are known for their ability to improve the complexion of skin and studies suggest that they can even help lower blood pressure.

Casino Community Garden

A Project of the Casino Neighbourhood Centre

Coordinator—Jo Nemeth    Phone :  6662 5435


Weekly Garden Gatherings—Tuesdays from 8.30 am (all welcome)

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