Warming up the garden

Garden Update: October 2020

Over the winter months, the Ecovillage horticulture team has been consolidating its existing projects in readiness for the next phase. It’s good to have the nutrition, weed and pest and disease management programs in place and working well.

Much of my focus in the last year has been on making sure we’re well prepared to support the establishment of the gardens that will be such a big part of Ecovillage life. The purpose of the Ecovillage demonstration garden, next to the Sustainable Settlements office, was to set up a working example of residential food production models. It has been a great opportunity to get familiar with the growing conditions, gather lots of data, refine our methodologies, set up animal systems, build a bank of planting material and so on.

What’s really been exciting is working with a group of future residents who are already gardening at the Ecovillage. They meet weekly and the community garden area has had a new lease of life. It’s giving us a chance to start growing food, share ideas and information, and put things into practice.

Looking forward, the plan is to sow a cover crop throughout the residential cluster garden lots next autumn, which will smother weeds, improve the soil function and provide mulch. This should enable our first residents to start growing food in earnest next spring, exactly a year from now. Along with all this, we have a range of gardening resources including a garden handbook and workshops in development so there should be plenty in place to support our residents with their growing endeavours when they move in.