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.

4 December 2013


Monthly Newsletter #10 December 2013

Around Casino Community Garden this Month

Gardening:  Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 8.30am

BYO Lunch:   Every Wednesday 12 noon 

Monthly Meeting: First Wednesday of month.  Lunch 12 noon.
Meeting 12.30 for about an hour
Next Meeting Wednesday 5th February at 12.30pm

Membership Fee Due: $5 per year

Christmas - New Year Arrangements
Xmas lunch at the garden Wed. 11th Dec at noon
Gardening Tuesday and Wednesday mornings as usual
 Bring your sandwich for lunch Wednesdays as usual
Jo will be on annual leave 17th December to 14th January 2014

With all best wishes for a Happy and Safe Christmas and New Year 
to all our Members and Readers

Generator: As most who follow on Facebook would know, the CCGarden generator was stolen in the week leading up to the Welcome to Summer Event.  A big "Thank you" to Greg Cole for the loan of a generator for Saturday 30th November.

Pizza Oven: Newly decorated as a Lady Bug, thanks to time and effort from Owen, Mark, Shirley, Tracey and others.  Top notch job!
 Mark, Richard, Shirley, Jo, Janine - pic by Keith Norman

Undercover Area:   The grant of $1,000 for bench top and amenities in the undercover area has been received, thanks to Richmond Valley Council.

 Garden Seat:  Bautiful mosaic is being added to the garden seat under construction by Casino Youth Early Intervention Service (CYEIS).
Jo and Shirley snapped admiring the garden seat before the December meeting

"Welcome to Summer"  Garden Clinic 30/11/2013

It was a damp, cool day, soon warmed by the friendly atmosphere at the underover area at the Garden.  Everyone pitched in to set up, including the Speakers.

Coordinator Jo introduced the day, thanking the volunteer garden group for their work, most happening since June 2012.  The aim of the garden is to supply the local welfare agencies.

It was heartwarming to meet Clayton and the group from Evans Head in the midst of starting their community garden, The Hive, and a Food Crop Collectors, a community harvest project.

Creating No-Dig Gardens

Jo introduced Roz Borrell, a High School Teacher, who has now attained Certificate 3 in Permaculture.

Roz pointed out the term No-Dig Gardening was coined by Esther Deans about 35 years ago and promotes increased productivity with less activity.  Esther Deans' book by the same name is well known and available at libraries.

Roz went on to outline the procedure, all the while demonstrating in a basket, with the help of her friend, and especially the importance of the nitrogen and carbon layers, and what these terms mean.

If interested, Google to see online versions, or refer back to the July 2013 Newsletter in this blog.

July Newsletter

Preserving Your Harvest
The next Speaker was Vicki Stebbins from Tabulam who soon convinced us that all the preserving methods are easy once we get going.

Vicki concentrates on the high acid produce, (tomatoes, fruit and vegetables), and pointed out some of the concerns with the low acid items such as meat.

Vegetables need to be pickled in vinegar or done in a canner to kill bacteria.  Vicki had on hand the various elements needed, the old style canner for the stove top, and an electric canner, as well as demonstrating the various bottles and accessories.  Vicki elaborated with a lot of helpful hints.

Hygiene and care in sterilisation is vital and there are strong opinions on the best methods. Vicki prefers the oven method which was not as daunting as the audience may have expected.

Other presservation methods are dehydrating and freezing and Vicki talked about the importance of preserving in season.
Preserve what you eat and eat what you preserve

Nickel Energy - Jessica

Nickel Energy is in the process of donating a solar power system to Casino Community Garden, and Jessica is a very enthusiastic exponent of solar power, considering it is still a very good option, with the panels at their most economical now.  They are a particularly good option if consumers are at home during the day to use the power.

Jessica opened the topic to the audience and asked for questions. Several were very interested in the possibility of converting their system to off-grid (batteries) when the current feed-in tariff system ends in December 2016.  Jessica expects that the cost of batteries will come down as demand increases.

It was pointed out that solar power depends on light, and hot water systems on heat from the sun.  So solar panels will not necessarily do better on very hot days.

Jessica reminded us there are now more than one million installations in Australia.

Shirley kept the pizzas coming
Home - baked for morning tea


We had some damage with the hailstorms,  but the gardeners had everything tidied up in a few days and the garden has recovered very quickly with the ongoing rain.

 Mark surveying the tattered corn 

 Zucchini looking sad

Asian Vegetables at Garden - Agnes Tierney
Alugbate - Basella Alba
Ampalaya - Momordica Charantia
Malunggay - Moringa Luzonica
Tawatawa Weed for Dinghy-Euphorbia

Recipe Corner 

We have been enjoying delicious treats made by Shirley, at our informal Wednesday lunches, and Shirley has passed on the recipe for two of these, Mango Cheesecake and Tomato Relish, for all to  enjoy.


Prepare 20 cm Springform Tin

12 milk arrowroot biscuits
75 grams butter melted
Combine and press into tin, no need to go up sides. 
Cool in fridge for half hour, or may be made the day before.

3 mangoes chopped or one large tin mangoes in natural juice, drained.
250 gram packet cream cheese at room temperature
1 tablespoon gelatine dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water
Reserve mango for chunks in cheesecake, and topping if liked.
Blend mango, cream cheese and slowly add gelatine mix
Stir few pieces mango through
Place in tin over base

Arrange pieces of mango
Pic scanned from Women's Weekly recipe book

Will keep for a year or more
3 pounds firm tomatoes
1 pound onions
2 tablespoons salt
2 cups brown malt vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vinegar extra

Peel tomatoes, cut into cubes, put in bowl
Sprinkle with salt and leave overnight.
Drain off any excess liquid, put tomatoes into saucepan, add vinegar
Bring to boil and boil for five minutes. 
Combine curry powder, mustard, pepper,
extra vinegar and mix to smooth paste.
Stir into tomato mixture.
Simmer slowly, uncovered for 45 minutes, add sugar, stir until sugar dissolves.
Simmer further 45 minutes
Bottle into sterilised jars while hot, seal when cold.
                                                  Words and pic Shirley Wheatley

Will keep up to four weeks

4 large green tomatoes chopped
1 fuji apple peeled and finely chopped
1 medium bell pepper or capsicum chopped
celery chopped
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in a large stainless pot
Bring to full boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes
Allow mixture to cool slightly
Ladle mixture into small jars with tight-fitting lids leaving 1/2 inch headspace
Allow to completely cool before keeping in fridge

December in your Garden from SGA 
(omitted in hardcopy Newsletter for lack of space).

Things really start ramping up festive wise at this time of year, and things are certainly starting to bear fruit in your patch, its December! Hopefully you’ve already put in loads of produce plants but it’s not too late to get some more growing, especially if you’ve had the pleasure of already harvesting some plants.  Keep up the good work in the garden -  despite the rising heat there’s still plenty to do this month in your patch.
And if you’re heading off on a trip this break, read our tips on preventing “holiday-itis” in the garden.  It’s an all too common occurrence that can turn the most beautiful backyard into a garden grave in a matter of weeks! Give your garden the gift of a bit of your time this December… you’ll be so pleased you did!

Amaranth, asparagus pea, basil, beans-climbing and bush, beetroot, burdock, cabbage (loose head) capsicum, chilli, chives, coriander, cucumber, eggplant, huauzontle, lettuce, long yam, luffa, Malabar greens, okra, oregano, pumpkin, radish, rocket, rockmelon, rosella, salsify, silverbeet, squash, sunflower, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnip/ swedes, watermelon, zucchini.

Suggestions and photos welcome, by email to Jo or
Jan - email
or bring to lunch Wednesdays or the meetings.
Ask Jo about being a member of the Garden - $5 per annum

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Words and photos by Jan Brine unless otherwise stated

Casino Community Garden
A Project of the Casino Neighbourhood Centre
Contact: Jo Nemeth on 6662 5435
Location : head for entrance to Queen Elizabeth Park at South Casino
Garden on left - corner Adam & Hartley Streets