With the aid of mulched green waste from the local council which is then turned to compost (with other necessary ingredients) and lots of time & effort, the former stock route with very poor soil has been transformed into a very productive area.
Sarah showed us various designs of wickers beds, covered rows of upraised beds in the improved soil, open areas that still needed developing, areas for seed propagation, areas of fruit trees and areas of plantings to encourage local bird & insects life.
A white shadecloth or moth net was used in the covered areas, and this cloth was draped over heavy duty polypipe arched between recycled metal droppers. The clamps to hold the cloth down were sections of the same polypipe with a slit . To water these areas, a system of linked rows of soaker polypipes which are set up on a timer, are laid on the upraised beds & then covered with a straw mulch to aid in water retention. The water was gravity fed from a tank on higher ground.
We were shown how to make paper seedling tubes, and given the mix of ingredients for making good seed raising mix to put into these tubes.
Cardboard from the local businesses is collected and laid down between areas and rows and then covered with a thick layer of wood mulch. This aids in weed control & keeping the moisture in the ground.
The local TAFE students go to the Tucker Patch as part of their course.
Marnie showed us the various stages of composting, and soon the general public may be able to purchase this compost.
John explain that a natural method to increase the phosphate level in the soil is to feed Rock phoshate to comfrey, which in turn is used in compost or to make a liquid fertiliser.
The produce from the gardens is sold to the public & also boxes of produce are sold to customers from other areas.The future plan is to pay community people to grow certain type and quantity of produce in their own gardens . This produce will be combined with that of the Tucker Patch to enable the growth in the supply of boxes to other areas.
The Tucker Patch is an amazing place run by inspirational people. The Gloucester community will benefit greatly from the recycling, fresh produce, education & future income return from these gardens.