2018 Swapped

After the cancellation at Bayswater North in December 2017 due to severe weather warning, we started off 2018 with much enthusiasm!

Who would have thought that bed/chair pads could be used outdoors in the garden for plants?  We have a creative bunch!  You have to be when summer brings you lots of zucchinis.  And chillies, and plums and figs… With all that food, we have to be aware of the danger of fruit flies which Bronwyn Koll, Regional Coordinator for Agribusiness Yarra Valley, helped by informing about the pest management of Queensland Fruit Flies.

The National Sustainable Living Festival 2018 is well under way as we ramp up our swapping and sharing.  And Bens Bees shares his expertise at Heathmont with Beekeeping 101.  It also happened to be the 1st anniversary at Heathmont.

Then it was an early celebration of the 2nd anniversary at Mooroolbark with a yummy honey cake…and more plums.  And apples start their debut as we settle into autumn.  And we celebrated the real 2nd anniversary at Mooroolbark in April because Claire could make it after all.  It was really an excuse to have cake twice…

We continue living sustainably beyond the SLF month as we learn everyday, achievable waste free living skills with Renee Shaker at Heathmont.  I’m not sure why my sweet potatoes started sprouting just as we are feeling the cold but they did.  But how good is a pumpkin photo booth and weigh-in competition, at Heathmont, which is going to end up with soup to feed the homeless.

At the start of winter, we had the opportunity to hear about backyard chooks by Fleur from Book-A-Chook.  Watching and petting those lovely little bantams warmed us up.  While Claire was busy demonstrating how to make beeswax wraps at Mooroolbark.  Tim was at Heathmont to demonstrate how to make delicious, fizzy kombucha which is a fermented tea drink with probiotics. We had a morning tea treat in July when we celebrated our 6th anniversary at Bayswater North…it was cold, wet and windy but Kim taught us to mimic penguins to stay warm 🙂  Meanwhile, Janine from Classic Garden Maintenance shared her rose pruning techniques at Heathmont.  Finally in August, the weather was kind to us and Claire did an encore of how to make beeswax wraps at Bayswater North.  And August also marked the 3rd anniversary at Warranwood with a talk on “What’s in your green bin?” by Marina Bistrin.  While succulents took the centre stage at Heathmont.

It wasn’t too long before spring was here again and different seedlings were popping up.  We had Michelle and Meryl give us a talk about GMO food which was much food for thought.  Michael Johnson from the Basin Backyard shared his expertise on espalier fruit trees at Heathmont.  And there were exotic plants from Sam’s Exotic Plants on display and for sale when Sam visited Mooroolbark.  Heathmont launched their Food is Free table with the help of Tecoma Food is Free organisers.  If you love the movement, you might want to get in touch to be a FiF angel.

Claire is making sure we are covered – beeswax wraps demo in Warranwood.  And again at Heathmont (but not by Claire).  We can never get enough of beeswax wraps.  November was our tomato month; there was enough tomato seedlings for everyone and more.  And this year, we didn’t get washed out in December so we had a lovely breakup (which was hard to do) at Bayswater North.  And another one at Mooroolbark with Tim talking about kombucha.  And Warranwood too.  And lastly, a Chrismassy one at Heathmont.  After all these breakups, I know everyone is all fired up for 2019!

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