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 March 2014


Monthly Newsletter #12 March 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
Our beautiful bench seat built by Casino Youth Early Intervention Service, ready for 
Opening Ceremony at Welcome to Autumn event on 1st March 2014.


Members are concerned about the ongoing vandalism at the garden, and several ideas were discussed at our recent meeting.

New Path
Novaskill, and a crew from Jobfind have started work on the new path. We're looking forward to having more people access the garden who currently find it difficult without a solid entrance path.

Splash of Colour
Thanks to Amy and her daughter for their ongoing efforts with the garden beds.  Plenty more to go, and we are issuing an invitation to other artists too, who would like to contribute.

Pics by Amy from FB

Garden Notes
We have had some interesting heritage watermelons grown offsite (Thank you Mark), because of the vandalism.  One French variety is light green inside and delicious.

Luffas or Loofahs are going strong.  They can be eaten small or used as a loofah scrubbing brush when allowed to mature.

Music Group
The Music Group is meeting regularly, with up to 27 attending so far, and more interested, as participants tell friends that it is an enjoyable time. The group should  remain manageable as there are always some away with other commitments.


 Co-Ordinator of the Casino Neighbourhood Centre's Community Development Project, Jo Nemeth welcomed everyone, outlined details about the garden and thanked the great team of volunteers past and present.

First speaker was Andrew Woods who was employed by The Casino Neighbourhood Centre to kick off the garden in 2011.  Andrew's love of gardens came across as he told us how a garden s a special and sacred space and he can feel it here.  It was bare paddock to working garden in 10 months and he felt very supported in his time in Casino.

Andrew shared many anecdotes from the early days of the garden and went on to detail that the basis is building healthy dynamic soil, fostering pride in growing food and learning about healthy nutrition.  Gardening helps unlock the senses in children with Autism and Aspergers and there were many cookups involving school children in Andrew's time.

Andrew went on to say that a garden is a primal space, connecting us with nature, and a community garden knits a community together, and provides a sense of satisfaction with something to show for our day's work.  Andrew spoke about plants with high levels of antioxidants, various healthy juice combinations, mentioning many plants.

Andrew outlined the history of community gardens, which go back to the late 1700s and the allotments  in the UK, and now the fastest growing movement across the world.
 Pic - Andrew and Jo

Our second speaker was Glennys Moran on Mosaiking.

Glennys extended congratulations to the people who did the mosaicking on the Bench Seat and commented that mosaics last and it could be here in 100 years time.

Glennys said that mosaicking is an ancient art, still being practiced and we do need some knowledge to get started.  There is plenty of information available at local libraries, and through talking to other mosaickers, and on the internet.  Many sites have galleries with designs for ideas.  Tiling outlets are helpful with instructions and glues to use, and Casino Country Store has been very helpful and a good place to start.
Pic - Glennys, speaking and Jo, with Shirley preparing the delicious pizzas

There is a huge array of items that can be mosaicked, and various items to use, from purchased tiles to items picked up at op-shops, including baubles and beads for indoor use, and old china with pattern burnt into the clay that can be broken up.  If you are thinking of mosaicking, spend some time collecting beforehand, keeping in mind that some items are destroyed by sunlight and frost if for outdoor use.

Glennys talked about the tools required, most found in backyard sheds, and safety aspects and described various techniques and tips for successful mosaicking for indoor and outdoor in great detail.

Glennys had a couple of small pots for the audience to inspect, and also handed around her album with photos of many projects that she has completed, including tables, sideboards, panels on her home etc.

The third topic on the agenda, Home Cheesemaking did not happen, but we were indeed fortunate to have two such impressive and interesting speakers.

An informal opening ceremony for the bench seat constructed by Casino Youth Early Intervention Service and the bravado Program took place as planned.

Morning tea with home baking by Jean and Ric, and Jan, and pizza freshly made by Shirley, was enjoyed as participants had a good chat and also found time for a walk around the garden.  The jam made by Shirley with Rosellas grown at the garden, as well as home made pickles and other jam from Jean, sold for garden funds, were popular, as was the swap table.  A big thank you to all who brought items along, to those who bought the jams etc, and for the donations for the morning tea, pizza and swap items.  All very much appreciated as the garden works on a tight budget, which has been hard hit by the vandalism, having to replace padlocks and taps etc.

We had plenty of comments about what a great day it was, thanks to everyone involved.  A special mention to Aly for the poster and all who helped distribute it around town, to those who helped with setting up and dismantling on the day, to Fred and helpers for firing up the Cob oven just right, and of course Mark and all the gardeners for having the garden in such great shape.  

Attendance was 45.

Pics - around the garden at the event

Pic - enjoying the new bench seat

Vegetable Planting Guide by Gardening Australia for March
Amaranth, Asparagus Pea, Beans (climbing and bush), Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Burdock, Cabbage (loose headed0. Capsicum, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Chilli, Chives, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive, Florence Fennel, Huauzontle, Kale, Collards, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Malabar Greens, Mangle-Wurzel, Mustard Greens, Onion, oregano, Pak Choy etc, Parsley, Parsnip, Radish, Rocket, Rosella, Salsify, Shallots, Silverbeet, Squash, Sunflower, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Turnips/Swedes, Zucchini.

Vegie Guide - Crop Rotation
Crop rotation is a practice designed to minimise pests diseases, reduce chemical use, aid in building and maintaining healthy soil, and manage nutrient requirements - all of which maximise yield.  The principles of crop rotation have been successfully used for thousands of years in agriculture and are still used today.  The simplicity of crop rotation allows the practice to be used in your home garden with great success.  In the Gardening Australia Vegetable Planting Guide each vegetable is listed with its family name, which will help with crop rotation.

Crop rotation means that no garden bed has the same crop in successive seasons to:
  • Reduce build up of pests and diseases;
  • Helps vegetables get the most out of the soil;
  • Builds soil by using organic materials and turning in green manure crops.
With thanks to ABC Gardening Australia and see all the post at

Recipe Corner
Easy Pumpkin Soup - Jan
Lovely  pumpkins around now, and soup with crusty bread makes a hearty lunch dish.  If you usually prepare soup from a can or packet, so easy, tasty and economical to make your own.  Try other vegetable combinations too, whatever vegies you have at the end of the week, add leftover chicken, or fry bacon  with the onion.

Pumpkin peeled and cut up (3 or 4 cups)
2 potatoes
1 onion
Butter or olive oil
Pinch nutmeg, and maybe cayenne
paprika, cumin or curry powder
Salt and ground pepper to season
Water or milk and water
Cream or yoghurt to serve (optional)

Lightly fry onion in olive oil or butter, in pot that will hold all the soup.
Add pumpkin, potato and a little water to steam until just tender.
Add cup water to cool and  cream with blender stick or in food processor.
Add spices and more water, or water and milk, retaining creamy consistency.
Taste for seasoning, return to stove, stir and heat. Do not allow to boil.
Serve with blob of cream or yoghurt, topped with parsley, chives or grated cheese.

Tip if making vegetable soup and it is not creamy enough, add dessertspoon cornflour dissolved in cold water and stir in whilst heating.

Bitter Melon

Agnes has been telling us about Bitter Melon, and Andrew mentioned it's healthy properties in his talk.  It is a unique vegetable-fruit that can be used as food or medicine.  It grows on a vine and is rich in vital vitamins and minerals.  It has long been used for a range of ailments, and to help reduce blood sugar levels.

Sounds like a good vegetable to follow up on.

Pics in recipe corner from internet.

Kevin picking up smashed watermelon - see firewood door stolen also.
We are also wondering what our stolen taps are now doing in their new lives elsewhere?

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 the 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.