Thursday, May 31, 2012

HRN at the Good Life Festival this Saturday

Please visit us at the Good Life Festival at the Daylesford Primary School this Saturday, 1st June. HRN will have a couple of spinning wheels, a super carder, and wool for people to have a go at carding and spinning. We'd love you to stop and show us the knack if you are actually a spinner, as our expertise is limited. There'll also be a display of wool items to inspire you.

Our wonderful shoe maker, Duncan McHage will be close by. His boots and shoes are magnificent, so if you haven't seen them don't miss this chance! You can also register your interest in attending the next shoe making workshop over 4 Saturdays in July.

On 23rd we are going to hold a full day wool craft day at the town hall senior citz room...... so get your spinning wheels, weaving looms and knitting needles oiled up, bring a shared lunch and your project of the moment, or just come to spin some alpaca wool (Su bought at the tip shop) to take home for making something later.

And coming up ....

The Winter Solstice will be celebrated at the town hall on 21st June. Bring a plate of local, home grown or homemade food and drink to share ...vegetarian is easiest for sharing. More on that closer to the time, but save the date in your diaries!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Hermit's Masterpiece

Hi folks, we have another exciting film event coming up:

The Hermit's Masterpiece
Thursday 24 May 2012
Conti House, Hepburn Springs 
Local & organic dinner available from 7pm. $15
Bookings essential: 5348 3636 or email HRN

Film starts 8pm

Hope you can make it
Click for bigger

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Barley, Courses and Working Bee

On Tuesday afternoon at Sailors Falls a big semi-trailer overturned and spilled its 50 ton load of barley all over the road. Good for chooks and goats. People have been collecting it, but there are still many tons to be picked up before the rain comes and spoils it. Take your trailers, bags, shovels and friends and help clean up at the corner of Telegraph and Ballan-Daylesford Roads.

There are a couple of upcoming courses at the Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre that might be of interest to HRNers:

Prune Fruit Trees and Vines on Saturday June 16 ($22) and Chook Wise, a 1-day beginner level poultry care course on Saturday May 26 ($70/$55 conc).

Bookings via the Neighbourhood Centre on 5348 3569.

Just a quick reminder too that this Saturday is the monthly working bee and Daylesford Harvest Swapmeet at the Albert St community food garden. 10am-12pm. Please bring sacks of gleaned leaf mulch, animal manure, edging tools eg spades, weeding tools and your raincoat.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Manure, Worms & National Permaculture Day

Stable manure in desperate need of organic gardens!

We recently had a call from Annemarie Conroy from  Stony Creek Road (south of Daylesford) looking for eager organic gardeners in need of some extra materials for autumn composting. In the early years of Melliodora, the Conroy's horse stables were our main source of imported fertility that got our system happening.  These days we have so much organic matter and manure that we rarely have the need for more.

Over recent years we occasionally get a call from Annemarie. I feel embarrassed and have a sense of failure that after 25 years, there isn't a queue of home gardeners wanting to clean out the stables. It's certainly less convenient and a bit smelly compared to buying Dynamic Lifter or other commercial products but it's free and builds community connections. Maybe most gardeners are getting by with on-site organic materials but there is always good value in getting a more diverse mix of minerals that comes with high quality feed put through performance horses. If you have trouble mastering the art of hot composting, then stable manure from the Conroys (a mixture of manure and urine soaked bedding straw plus spilt lucerne and chaff) is about as good as it gets. Just heap it up in a pile at least one cubic metre, add some water to the layers and away it goes.

If the stables are long overdue for a clean out then it can be very compacted and anaerobic which gives off ammonia, making the job a bit of an initiation rite of passage. But if you survive this and come back on a regular basis you get the sweet soft material without losing any of the precious nitrogen as ammonia.

Apart from this, the Conroys are great down to earth people and you get to see fine horses at close quarters.

Anyway make me feel better about us becoming a more self reliant, connected and productive community by finding the time to make yourself a hot compost heap with stable manure and help Annemarie to sweeten up the stables. You can reach Annemarie  on 0409 388 790.

-David Holmgren

Upcycling Worm Farms 

Make your own worm farm to take home from a selection of recycled materials including wheelie bins, bath tubs, polystyrene boxes and old car tyres. Learn about how to best care for the hardest garden workers you will ever meet! Stinky household compost questions and dilemmas will also be answered.

A partnership with the Castlemaine Community House and Growing Abundance.
11am - 1pm $10 (includes a recycled worm farm with worms, made by you to take home)
Winters Flat Primary School, Roberts Ave, Castlemaine
To book contact Sas on 5472 4842 or

Unfortunately we have had to cancel our National Permaculture Day festivities this year. Thank you to everyone who contacted us with kind offers of stalls and support. We will definitely be calling on you next year!

Happy autumn all!

Love HRN