Today we attended our first Harvest Sunbury produce swap.
There was a regular produce swap in the park next door to our old house in Seddon but as I rarely had more than one or two precious stems of parsley to share I was too embarrassed to go along. Silly!
Anyway we picked a load of the mini lemons our tree has been producing – good choice apparently as everyone is always after lemons!
This lemon tree has always been a good performer, but with the disinterest of the previous tenants it hasn’t been harvested regularly, and so I think this is why there is so much fruit but it’s all about half-size. I think we’ll have larger fruit again in no time, just you watch!
Harvest Sunbury HQ is at the Lancefield rd entrance to Rolling Meadows, where they have a fantastic sized lock for their community garden plots and even a very impressive kitchen/workshop space. There are young fruit trees and a grove of olives flanks the fenceline to eventually create some much needed reprise from the wind in years to come.
A large pile of woodchips kept the kids amused and a stroll through the plots showed a bounty of late season tomatoes still clinging on, pumpkins galore and plenty of chillis and kale waiting for the table too.
Our lemons – and those of another young couple were scooped up in no time and we found our bucket filled with a riot of coloured bell peppers and chillis, homemade yoghurt, tomatoes, grapes, lettuce and even some planting chestnuts and a bag of mixed green manure seeds!
We met a really diverse group of people who were so well connected to each other thanks to the opportunity the garden offers. In an age where many people don’t even have time for their neighbours it’s so refreshing to find the camaraderie of a community thriving alongside their vegetables.
In fact when lamenting about our oxalis infestation, I discovered they one of the members is working on trials of ‘oxalis tea’ as a pesticide in the garden, I look forward to hearing the outcome – I love the thought that a perceived enemy can become an ally – it’s classic permaculture ‘turning problems into solutions’.
On our way out we were shown a rather nondescript groundcover taking over the side garden and it was introduced as creeping salt bush – the tiny red berries burst with a salty hit in your mouth! I gathered a few tendrils loaded with berries to try propagating at home. Another suprise edible!