“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”
Pablo Neruda

4th November 2015

Hi everyone, did you get down to the Sustainable Living Festival last weekend?

It was a wonderful event, as always. Big thanks and acknowledgement to Lissa and the team from Sustainable Living Tas who make it happen. We had a lovely time chatting with long lost FIMBY customers, new customers, and other stallholders over the two days. The pick-your-own microgreen salad bar was a hit, and we even have some trays of micros left over. The chooks are loving it!

Its a quick newsletter this week, lots of notices about good things. See you soon!

Bamboo survival - so far so good

Here's the bamboo that we planted at the farm back in June. We caged each plant  to ensure they weren't gobbled by the gazillions of wallabies and the odd rabbit (dammit) that keep the pasture grass grazed down to billiard table smoothness. You can see how much grass growth has been possible INSIDE the cages!
The bamboo is plenty tall enough, but all that grass growth will be competing for water and nutrients with the bamboo as its getting established. And bamboo like LOTS of water and nutrients to grow fast, big and strong.

As I was weeding, I was fretting a bit, wondering if these rather expensive plants (we had to bring them in through quarantine from Victoria) were surviving. All the original leaves had dried up and fallen off. So I was very happy to see some new shoots beginning to form at the nodes. Yay! Now we're watching for new shoots coming up from the ground.
This type of bamboo - Oldhams Bamboo - will grow quite tall in good conditions, and should eventually produce large sweet edible shoots. Its one of the bamboos that can be propagated from culm (stem) cuttings. So in a few years, all going well, we'll be able to produce many more plants for our little bamboo grove.

This variety are 'clumpers' rather than 'runners'. In other words, they form a clump, that gradually grows bigger, but they don't send out rhizomes to invade the world. Some people get pretty twitchy about bamboo, but generally in our cool climate they're not the horrible invasive things that they can be in warmer places.
We love a good local plant sale! Cara and Fin are lovely enterprising young growers, makers, doers. Fin is one of our regular garden fairies, and Cara has used her graphic design talents on some of our projects too. As the (very cute) poster says: they're having a plant sale, this Saturday. It will be very delightful!
And here's another opportunity to browse from a gorgeous selection of plants:  Woodbridge Nursery is having an Open Day on 14 - 15 November, 10am to 3pm.
Woodbridge Nursery is not the same as Woodbridge Fruit Trees, which many of you have purchased trees from. The Woodbridge Nursery is run by Dan Magnus, son of Bob Magnus who started the Fruit Tree business, and brother of Nik Magnus who now co-manages the Fruit Tree business.

Dan has all sorts of wonderful plants at the Woodbridge Nursery, including edibles. He has a wealth of knowledge about growing things, and his wife Zoe was the instigator of the Channel Living vegie box scheme among other things.

Regading the Open Day, Dan says:

There is minimal onsite parking, but plenty of paddock parking available 50m past the nursery entrance. In the event of wet weather, we suggest to drop passengers at the nursery gate and find parking nearby in the village.

Directions: Woodbridge is 35 minutes drive south from Hobart on the Channel Highway. Upon entering the village from the north, turn right into Llantwit Road. The nursery is the first driveway on the left.

Wanna buy a farm?

We heard just recently from one of our Fimbarisata friends, Claire, that she and the family are preparing to move back to the Hobart suburbs, from their lovely property at Campania. We know this place well, having visited and helped design the vegie garden and orchard layout before they'd even built their house.

And once built, their beautiful house has been the venue for a few FIMBY events over the years, cheese making courses, pasta making, sausage making, and plenty of deluxe morning teas before wandering and marvelling at the bounteous vegies.

If you're interested in finding out the details for the property, you can click HERE. We're looking forward to maybe seeing a bit more of Claire and the family, but it has to be said that we'll miss the beautiful pork that we used to get each year from Claire's happy, soccer-playing pigs. So, we're all on the lookout for a new supplier!

Christmas stocking filler

It was about this time last year that we printed our Seasonal Garden Calendar, beautifully designed by Andy Townsend, and full of photos, monthly planting guides, and ideas from gardens around Hobart.

The good news is: its a perpetual calendar, and so can be used any year, or every year! I'm using one as a garden diary, recording what I've planted, harvested, pulled out, sprinkled on etc. And now that I've had mine running almost a year, I can see the notes I made last time around . . . serving as a good reminder of what jobs are coming up. Over time it will become a store of information specific to my garden.

I hate to start referring to Christmas already, but these calendars do make awesome presents! I know heaps of you supported our crowdfunding campaign and bought one last year (Thankyou!), but we've had a steady increase in our newsletter subscribers, so there might be people out there who haven't yet got their essential gardening companion! Cost is $15 plus $3 postage and handling, and they're available from our Fimby website.
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