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.

7 May 2014


Monthly Newsletter #14 MAY 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.

Interesting to see a balloon come into view and hover in the direction
of Casino Airport on a recent Saturday Morning

News from our May meeting at the Garden
Wednesday 7th May 2014

Topics and Speakers for our next Garden Clinic
  Saturday 14th June.  1.00pm to 4.00pm
"Welcome to Winter"

1.00 Pm Tour of Garden with Mark
1.15pm   Intro to Garden Clinic, Jo Nemeth - Co-Ordinator
1.20pm   First Speaker
2.00 pm  Second Speaker
2.45pm   Offiicial Opening and Thankyous Solid Entrance Path donated by business and generous people of Casino, Novaskill and Jobfind.
3.00pm Chat with Speakers and friends, and Produce / Plant Stall
3.15pm Afternoon tea.  Gluten free food/ pizza will be available.

Home Cheesemaking
Talk on home cheesemaking by 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.

Second Topic and Speaker to be Advised
Please watch for details on Facebook, and on Aly's "Welcome to Winter" poster when it is put up around town.

Info Sheets and Recipes for Lend-a-Hand
We have had a request for info sheets and recipes for the veggies that some people may not have used before.

Andrew offered to prepare the sheets to send along when those items of produce are taken to Lend-a-Hand.

Free  Volunteering Expo 10.00am to 4.00pm Thursday 15th May
Several Casino Community Garden members will be on duty at our "stall" at the Expo, at the Casino Community Centre, to answer queries about the garden, and others will be attending.

Weekday Workshops
Mark has mentioned he gets queries from people wanting help with their home gardens. Is there enough interest to run weekday workshops?

Picking Veggies
Thanks to those who responded to our appeal for help on Tuesdays from 8.30am to 10.00am to pick veggies for Lend-A-Hand. Still needing helpers, anyone who has some time.

Casino High School Students
Preparations finalised for several students to be involved at the garden on Thursdays from 11.00am to 1.00pm, starting in May with Linda Brooks supervising.

The Crew with Stage One of the new path completed.

Preparation for final section.

May Feature - Seed Saving

Seed saving: an important aspect of gardening.

Mention seed saving at the Garden and Mark brings out a box with various brown paper bags of saved seeds, and he is very willing to share his extensive knowledge on the subject, and show us through the seeds that he has collected, for use in seasonal propagation. Look out for Seed Saving at a future clinic.

However one of the issues at the garden is that some veggies that have been chosen to set seed, and not be harvested, are being picked by casual visitors to the Garden.  No doubt seed saving has been going on as long as there has been agriculture, but it is interesting to read about the seed-saving network founded by Jude and Michel Fanton of Byron Bay. They started The SeedSavers in Australia in 1986 to preserve local varieties of useful plants and have since played a crucial role in over 37 countries, within communities and networks motivated to preserve seed sovereignty.

Today there are over 100 active seedsaver network nodes in Australia, still actively swapping, preserving and growing many local, heirloom and adapted varieties of the food we eat every day, ensuring their ongoing availability with the small but huge gesture of seed saving.

They also wrote the definitive book on Australian seedsaving "The Seedsavers Handbook", which should be in every public library as it contains invaluable, do-able information on how to save seeds to ensure future harvests of every scale.  Since then Jude has written "Seed to Seed: Food Gardens in Schools".       Pic Internet.

Fact Sheet: Seed Saving by Jerry Coleby-Williams 
Jerry says the most important seed saving rule is to save seeds from the best plants and eat the rest.  It is important to only save seed from non-hybrid plants and these are commonly referred to as heritage, old-fashioned or open pollinated plants.  They are the plants most likely to produce offspring - in the form of seed - that closely resemble their parents.

Most seed, such as lettuce, are dry.  To save them it's simply a case of removing them from their capsules and storing them somewhere cool and dry.  For fleshy seeds such as tomatoes, there are two ways of saving seed.   A traditional method is to soak the pulp in water overnight to allow it to ferment.  This removes the natural germination inhibitors and, after washing and straining through a sieve, the seed can be dried and stored.   Or slice tomatoes, squeeze the pulp directly onto paper towelling and let them dry.  When ready to sow, cut off a piece with four to six seeds on it and sow in a pot.

When sowing your own seed generic variations might become apparent, most plants stay true to type, but you may propagate a plant that is an improvement,

Saving seeds helps to adapt plants to your garden conditions, for example plants from cooler climates may slowly adapt to our subtropical conditions.

Jerry concluded "Seed saving has given me better adapted plants and my own personal cultivars.

From internet.

Vegetable Planting Guide by Gardening Australia for May
Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Burdock, Cabbage, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Endive, Florence Fennel, Huauzontle, Jerusalem Artichoke, Kale, Collards, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Malabar Greens, Mangle-Wurzel, Mitzuna, Mustard Greens, Onion, Pak Choy etc, Parsley, Parsnip, Peas / Snow Peas, Radish, Rocket, Shallots, Silverbeet, Spinach, Turnips/Swedes.

Featured Vegetable
Alugbati also known as Malabar or Ceylon Spinach

Thanks to Agnes for notes and also getting the Alugbati established in our garden.

Alugbati is a common vegetable in the Philippines and is also known as Malabar and Ceylon Spinach, and although not a spinach, can be used as a substitute in salad, stir-fry or curry and other recipes.  It has a wealth of nutrients as well as other health benefits as seen online in Philippine Medicinal Plants.

It is listed as low calorie and an excellent source of calcium and iron, and a good source of vitamins A, B, C and high in fibre.

There are several types, green stem, red stem and variants of green and red, and it grows several metres in length.  It is propagated by cutting or seeds, and planted on hills with a trellis.  Plant in full sun.  It prefers warmer temperatures.

Also grown in Asia, Africa and Malaysia, and used as a dye and for folkloric, cosmetic, veterinary and pharmaceutical applications.

Recipe Corner
Fish Lasagne with Cheesy Topping

Make a tasty main meal with a 425g can of mackerel, and lasagne sheets from the pantry.
Any canned fish, or fresh or frozen could be used. 

What you need:
Lasagne sheets, regular or gluten free, heat in boiling water on stovetop, to soften, drain.
Can mackerel or other fish, drained, mashed and flavoured with half finely chopped red onion (optional).
50 grams butter, 50 grams flour (or gluten free) and 600 mls milk for the sauce
Carrot grated
2 or 3 silverbeet leaves from the garden or baby spinach, chopped.
Salt and Pepper
Grated cheese to taste, about a  cup.

To Make the sauce:
Place saucepan on a low to medium heat, melt butter and quickly stir in the flour.
Stir and cook for two minutes.
Gradually add milk and, stirring with a wooden spoon, bring to a gentle boil until it thickens to a smooth custard-like consistency.
Add half of the cheese, salt and pepper if liked.

To Assemble lasagne:
Pour a little sauce into your large oven-proof dish and spread evenly to make a thin layer. (I use a large round pyrex casserole dish).
Add lasagne sheets to cover the sauce but don't allow lasagne sheets to overlap.
Add another thin layer of sauce, then one third of the fish on top, then a thin layer of  spinach and carrots.
Add next layer of lasagne sheets and repeat until there are three layers of pasta, sauce, fish and veggies.  The lasagne should be the top layer.  Press down with hand to level.
Top with remainder of sauce and sprinkle rest of grated cheese on top.
Bake in 180C oven for 25 minutes or until lasagne is piping hot and the cheesy topping is golden brown.
Serve with garden salad or steamed veggies to taste.
I   adapted this recipe from one on the internet intended for children with several "how to" segments.    

Worm Farm Workshop
A workshop was held at The Hive, Mid Richmond Community Garden at Evans Head.

Clayton demonstrated how to set up and maintain a worm farm, and answered questions so that everyone had a clear understanding of setting up, and feeding the worms with kitchen scraps and equal amounts of dry matter, and what to expect in the way of castings and liquid fertiliser and how to use them.  Also how to start and maintain a worm farm in broccoli boxes and an old bath.

It is another step in reducing waste to landfill, and cutting costs in the garden with the nutrient-rich fertiliser.

Everyone enjoyed Clayton's yummy muffins too, and the friendly atmosphere.

 These pics and more: Facebook page of The Hive, A Mid Richmond Community Garden

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.