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Kids’ Patch

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ROHANNA 5 YRS, HILLDENE, VIC
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HOLLY 1 YEAR, NORTH MELBOURNE, VIC
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KURT ALLWOOD 2YRS, KENDALL, NSW
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ELLIOT, 10 MONTHS, ADELAIDE, SA

We love seeing kids getting out into the garden and enjoying home-grown produce. Here are some of our littlest Pip folk sharing what they’ve found in the patch.

This issue’s winner is Rohanna from Hilldene, pictured with this issue’s permaculture animal—the worm! Congratulations Rohanna! You will receive a copy of the CD Listen to the land: Stories and Songs for Children by Annie Bryant. This CD includes seven songs and six audio stories about growing food, living on the land, caring for the bush and bees, and listening to Mother Earth.

Next issue’s prize will be a Kid’s Garden Trowel and Fork set by Ryset. Parents, you can send photos for this page through to editorial@pipmagazine.com.au, including your child’s name, age and suburb in the email.

SHOW US YOUR GARDEN

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Name: Owen

Age: 7

Location of garden:

My home in Northcote.

Describe your garden:

My garden is good because it grows food and I like it very much.

What do you grow?

I grow raspberries, kale, carrots, broccoli, basil, tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, rhubarb and succulents.

What is your favourite thing to grow?

I like growing raspberries the best as I love the taste of them!

Why do you love gardening?

Because it’s fun to plant different plants.

Favourite job in the garden?

Digging the soil so the plants can grow.

MAKE YOUR OWN STREET LIBRARY

Words and photos by Costa Georgiadis (aka the Garden Gnome)

Libraries are magical places where we learn to communicate in new and creative ways through language. A library bag is a passport, a rite of passage for all children to learn how to use, understand and share the joy of the unknown that books bring.

Imagine being a librarian in charge of your own library. Imagine having the chance to put books in front of people so they can learn new and inspiring things about the world, art, music and everything and anything. Imagine if the library was at your place, and you get to see books come and go, read and exchange them.

Well, you can become a street librarian! It’s really simple—all you need to do is find a place where you can set up a waterproof container to hold the books so that your neighbours can then come along and start to use the library.

Here are some tips for setting up your own street library:

• Start small, with something as simple as an old Esky, which makes a perfectly waterproof container when placed on its side and attached to a fence. An old toolbox can be given a liftable lid and made waterproof, or you can build something out of second-hand materials.

• Try to re-use what you already have. The best place to start is to have a look around the garage at home, then you can look at the street clean ups with a new eye for what you need. Of course, my favourite place is the tip shop or recycle centre, because then you are giving materials a second life instead of them going to landfill. I found an old purpose-built communications box: it was perfect because it already had some shelves in it, a perspex door so people can see in it, and was pretty much a sealed box.

• Think outside the box. I put a back on the communications box and added a floor above the drawer. The drawer got me thinking about the layers that I could add to my library. Books are the key, but why not add some other extras? The drawer was perfect for a seed swap, so I have envelopes and a pen inside so people can leave seeds as well as take and plant the ones that I have left in there. Then I thought, ‘what about the roof, how about a rooftop garden?’ so I filled a container with sun-loving succulents that will slowly cover the whole roof. There was one side of the library that was just a wall, so I figured why not turn it into a bug hotel to encourage pollenating insects to come and set up home and work in my garden. I had fun collecting banksia cones, pine needles, clay and bamboo pieces and leaves to fill into empty 150 mm pots. I attached them as a honeycomb-like structure to the side of the book library.

So now when people ask me what I do, I can say that I am a street librarian. Making a street library is a project that you can do using things from home, the tip, off the street and out of nature. Go on, start collecting and make a library with your signature all over it.

You can contact Street Libraries Australia so you can get an official number and sign, and to help make the sharing of books something that happens all over the country. Everybody welcome, come one come all, libraries are for everyone. www.streetlibrary.org.au

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