Kids’ Patch

kids-patch
WINNER: ANNIE WALTER, AGE 4, WOLLONGONG NSW

Thank you to all the parents that sent in photos of their kids in the garden and with home grown produce. Each month we publish the best photo in our enewsletter and we choose the best to appear here and win a prize.

To enter, send photos with name and age of child and address to maude@pipmagazine.com.au. The winner will receive the book Rockhopping by Trace Balla and an original drawing by the author.

SEEDBALLS: MUDDY HANDS, HAPPY HEARTS, LUSH GARDEN

Words and photos by Morag Gamble

Seedballing is a simple and fun thing to do, and an easy way to seed a garden. Seeds are mixed with clay and compost, and then rolled up into little balls. The seedballs (sometimes called ‘seed bombs’) are then dried and tossed out into the garden. They wait there until the rain comes, when they will sprout and grow. This is a bit like how things work in nature – seeds fall, rest on the ground and sprout when the conditions are right. Plants don’t dig their seeds in.

Experiment with different seed mixes – flowers, herbs, salad greens, beans, bee attractors, wildflowers … the choice is up to you.

HOW TO MAKE SEEDBALLS

1. Find your clay

Dig a few holes to find some clay. You know it’s clay if it’s sticky when it’s wet, and you can roll it into a ball or a long sausage. If you can’t find any, you’ll need to buy some clay powder.

2. Make the seedball mix

5 parts clay soil

1 part compost

1 part seeds.

Add a little water to make the right consistency to roll balls. (Note: if using purchased clay which is 100% clay, add equal quantity of compost: clay.)

3. Roll the seedballs

Roll the mix into little balls and make sure the seeds are protected inside, not showing.

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4. Troubleshooting

If the mix is too sticky to make balls, it’s too wet – add more clay. If the mix is too crumbly to make balls, it’s too dry – add more water.

5. Dry the seedballs

Allow the balls to dry for about a day in the sun, until they’re hard.

6. Fling the seedballs

Find a fun way to spread your seedballs out in the garden – toss them, throw them, fling them, slingshot them…

7. Watch them grow

For more ideas see Our Permaculture Life at www.our-permaculture-life.blogspot.com

BONBEACH PRIMARY SCHOOL GARDEN

Words and photos by Jade Kavanagh and Amy Dowling

Bonbeach Primary School is south-east of Melbourne. It’s a magical place where students, their families and the community can connect with nature.

It has taken three years for mums, Jade Kavanagh and Amy Dowling, and a small army of students to transform a pile of rubble and a patch of grass into a permaculture-based learning- garden. The garden is filled with an organic fruit orchard, native plantings, chicken coop, worm farm, mini food forest, frog bog, nature play areas and twenty-five vegetable beds – six of which are now community plots.

SEED BOMB MAKING
WORMS PLAY A KEY ROLE IN OUR SCHOOL GARDEN
SEEDS GROW IN RECYCLED EGG CARTONS
PUMPKINS GROWING FROM COMPOST
AMY AND JADE
CATCHING SNAILS WITH VEGEMITE AND WATER

A garden club was quickly established, with eager hands wanting to help transform the garden into a place where chickens roam, plants self-seed and nature provides a place for imaginations to go wild.

Wildlife now finds its way in, with blue-tongue lizards, ducks, frogs, native birds and many a gecko making the garden their home. Bug and bee hotels, made by students, are scattered around the garden, and natural pest remedies are a fun part of decorating the garden.

For more information see Growing Green Thumbs at www.growinggreenthumbs.com.au, and @BPSgreenthumbs on Instagram www.instagram.com/bpsgreenthumbs or Facebook.

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