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.

5 February 2014


Monthly Newsletter #11 February 2014
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

New bench seat built by Casino Youth Early Intervention Service
due for completion this month.

The official opening ceremony for the new bench seat will
 be held at the "Welcome to Autumn" event at 11.00am on Saturday 1st March, after morning tea.  The crew from the Casino Youth Early Intervention Service assisted local young people to build and mosaic this structure to create a beautiful addition to the garden.

Pic - back of bench seat by Jo

New Path
Clearing of the garden beds in the way of the new path is underway.  It's all go for the path to be built in March.  We are looking forward to the garden being more accessible to various groups in the community.  The path can only go ahead thanks to thanks to generous support from 29 local businesses who sponsored a metre each of the path.
Pic: Jo and Owen discussing the new path with Tony Watego from Novaskill.

Publicity Sub-Group
Ways are being discussed to increase community use of the garden particularly when the new path is in use, to increase attendance at events, and attract more groups to use the garden.  Watch out for exciting developments.

Food Preparation Area
CCG is still working on the stainless steel food preparation area, though it is a couple of months down the track, as is the onsite power supply.  However we are resourceful and can always make tea or coffee on a camp stove, and with a generator at our events, our morning teas with home made cooking and pizzas from the cob oven for lunch are absolutely delicious.

Next Event - Welcome to Autumn 2014

Our next garden clinic will be held on Saturday 1st March 2014 from 9.00am.  So far, the events have gone ahead, even if it is raining in the early morning, so please check our Facebook page if in doubt.

We will have a half hour break for morning tea and home-made goodies, and a friendly chat and time to look over our "plant and spare produce from home" stall.  We are also looking forward to our favourite pizza lunch (provided no total fire ban in place). Donations for morning tea and pizza appreciated to cover costs.

The official opening ceremony of the new new bench seat built by Casino Youth Early Intervention Service will be held at 11.00am.

Topics and Speakers

Building Healthy Soil - Andrew Woods
Andrew was involved in setting up the Casino Community Garden and we are looking forward to his return to the garden to share his knowledge on soil health and organic gardening topics.

Mosaicking - Glennys Moran
Glennys moved into Casino a few years ago and her love for mosaicking is obvious around her home.  Glennys will have some objects to show and will fill us in on what we need from glue to grout and the technique to follow.
Pic - garden pot by Glennys featuring broken blue willow mug.

Home Cheesemaking - Louise Woolbank
Louise is from the Wicked Goat Dairy at Coraki and has years of experience producing different dairy products from her home business.

Louise will run through the basics of making different cheeses at home.

Louise offered to bring two goats along on the day.

Reading for February

How to grow Vegies where space is tight
Raised plots are the answer to growing vegies where space is tight, writes gardening expert Helen Young.  Simply make your bed and away you grow.

The two main requirements for successful vegetable and herb cultivation are a sunny spot and rich, well-drained soil.  But few of us have a spare bit of garden that fits the bill, which is where raised vegie beds prove their worth.

You can install one in any sunny position - on top of concrete, paving or lawn - and very little preparation is needed.  Fill it with lovely new soil and good drainage is assured.   Their height makes working in the beds easier, especially for littlies or those less mobile.  As a bonus, the soil warms up quickly in Spring, the beds always look neat and contained, and they can be covered to protect against weather and marauding animals such as possums.

Do it yourself
You can build raised beds yourself, using new and recycled materials.  Concrete or Hebel blocks, bricks, stone and hardwood sleepers are possibilities.  Straw bales work well but take up more space.  Make your bed 1.3m wide at most, so you can comfortable reach into the middle from each side.  Anything more than 3m in length can be inconvenient to walk around.  Sides should be at least 30cm high to accommodate root growth but can be as high as 80cm.

Modular Kits
Rising demand has seen prices of modular vegie beds fall and the range of designs grow. They are easy to assemble and transportable if you move house.  Some are made from corrugated steel, others in food-grade plastic, pine treated with ACQ (a safe wood preservative), cedar or eWood (made from recycled printer cartridges).  Optional accessories include netting and trellis systems, irrigation kits and clip-on benches.  Some, such as the Ecogreengarden, incorporate water storage and solar-powered irrigation.

Use best-quality soil from your local landscape supplies company.  Many sell a special vegetable-growing mix.  Rich, organic soil should not be deeper that 50cm, otherwise it can turn foul. Some high modular beds have a false plastic bottom or use the lower space for water storage.  Otherwise, fill the base with coarse gravel, cover with landscape geotextile fabric and then just fill the top 50cm with soil.

Survival Tactics: Summer Gardening
Early morning gardening and constant watering are the keys to protecting your garden, and yourself, during the summer months.

Harvest leafy vegetables in the cool of the morning to prevent them wilting. Keep soil moist with daily watering and a cover of soft mulch, such as lucerne.  Seasol applied fortnightly helps protect against drought stress.  Treat powdery mildew on pumpkins, zucchini and other cucurbits with a weekly spray of one part full cream milk and six parts water.  This works on grapevines, figs and roses too.  Keep removing flowers on basil to prolong its life.  Prune stone-fruit trees after fruiting finishes.  Harvest garlic bulbs, leaving them in the sun to harden for a few days.  As summer crops end, sow a fast green-manure crop such as mustard to improve soil before autumn planting.

Brightly coloured sunflowers, geraniums, bougainvilleas and marigolds are favourites that stand up to the sun's glare.  Stand-out flowering trees include frangipani and flaming red poinciana
With thanks to Helen Young.  here

Vegetable Planting Guide by Gardening Australia
for February
Amaranth, asparagus pea, beans - climbing and bush, beetroot, broccoli, burdock, cabbage (loose head) capsicum, carrots, chilli, chives, choko, cucumber, eggplant, hauazontle, leeks, lettuce, malabar greens, mustard greens, okra, onion, oregano, parsley, parsnip, pumpkin, radish, rockmelon, rosella, salsify, shallots, silverbeet, squash, sunflower, sweet corn, tmatoes, turnip. swedes, watermelon, zucchini.

Around your garden in February
If your garden is anything like the CCGarden, you still have summer vegetables that haven't finished their season, and you are still harvesting.  However it is also time to start thinking about your autumn planting.

As always, weeding is necessary at this time of year to cut down the competition for nutrients between the plants and the unwanted grasses and weeds.  If you have backyard hens, edible weeds make a tasty treat for them.

Top us the beds with good organic compost and it will pay off with improved crops.

Keep up the watering.  It might be worth looking into an irrigation system you can lay yourself, if you haven't already installed one.

                 Pic Mark and Shirley

If you don't already have shade cloth tents, a simple movable structure to cover some of the sun sensitive vegetables will soon pay for itself, help on windy days, and may save your vegetables from a moderate hail storm and sparrows and grasshoppers if they are a problem in your yard.
Edited from various online posts

Recipe Corner
Around the garden, Agnes will always help with ideas for the use of Okra,
and whilst delicious raw, here is another recipe to try.

Okra Simmered with Tomato
Serves: 4, preparation: 10 minutes, cook: 30 minutes, ready in 40 minutes.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 green capsicum, chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • handful chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 500g okra, trimmed and sliced.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until soft.  Add capsicum and cook and stir until tender.  Drain the tomatoes, reserving juice, and our them into the frying pan.   Season with thyme, parsley, cayenne, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes over medium heat.  

Add the okra, and pour in enough of the reserved juice from the tomatoes to cover the bottom of the pan.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until okra is tender.  

Health Benefits of Okra
  • Very low calorie, no saturated fats or cholesterol, rich source of dietary fibre, minerals and fibre.
  • Healthy amounts of vitamin A and flavonoid anti-oxidants.
  • Fresh pods good source of folates.
  • Excellent source of vitamin C
  • Rich in B complex group, niacin, vitamin B-6, thiamine and pantothenic acid.
  • Good amounts of vitamin K.
  • Also good source of many important minerals such as iron, manganese and magnesium.

Back Page:

Music Group at Casino Community Garden

Casino Community Garden is open to more local groups using the garden.  One of the first is the CCG Music Group pictured at their first session.  Talk to Jo if you have a group interested in meeting at the garden, and Jan if you would like to have a chat about joining in with the music group.

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/ annum

If you are new here, scroll down for back issues of the Newsletter.

Words and photos by Jan Brine unless otherwise stated.

Casino Community Garden
A Project of Casino Neighbourhood Centre
Contact: Jo Nemeth on 6662 5435  Email:

Location: Head for Entrance to Queen Elizabeth Park at South Casino
Garden on Left - corner Adam & Hartley Streets.