August Newsletter

Hi Danawa members!


As we get ready for spring and summer, we are organising a few events that we hope that all our members will support:

Field Trip to Aireys Inlet Community Garden - Saturday 5th September, 10-12am

  • Aireys Inlet have about 60 members, lots of interesting things happening and lots of garden plots to look at!
  • Meet at Danawa at 9.30 to car-pool
  • We will join them at their regular working bee for a tour of the garden and chat with the members over coffee and cake
  • We are looking for everyone who has a plot at Danawa to try to come along to this!

Garden Art Workshop, Planning Get-together (AGM) and Community meal  - Saturday 19th September, 3pm onwards

  • Workshop at Danawa Community Garden starting at 3pm to make an arty sign for your plot (materials supplied)
  • Planning session/speed dating session to identify the priorities for the next year & create a big 'Jobs To Do' list on the whiteboard
  • Community meal - chop up some veggies together and let it cook in the oven, or bring something to share
  • And...if its a fine night we might even finish off with a movie!
  • This will comprise our AGM so please do attend and contribute to 'growing' the garden in some way

Massive Spring Working Bee  - Saturday 10th October, 12-5pm onwards

  • Complete the renovation of the South Mandala and other projects TBA
  • BBQ and cake!

Build, Grow Live in Torquay  - Sunday 25th October, 12-5pm onwards

  • Sustainable House visits - 4 sustainable buildings are open to view
  • Workshops and stalls at Danawa showcasing sustainable living ideas, local designers and great local food
  • Co-sponsored by Surf Coast Energy Group (SCEG) and Danawa Community Garden


The garden is looking really great for this time of year. The North Mandala beds are all fully planted and have been very productive. Its great to see the produce not just growing beautifully, but also being harvested and used - thats what its all about, after all! Well done to everyone who has put in a bit of time to achieve such a great crop this winter!

Many of the private plots too are looking good too, with a wide variety of veggies growing, and even some artwork beginning to spring up! Thanks in particular to Steve, Grainne and Sian who are managing the compost bays so well. There will be another batch of compost ready soon, it looks like, and informative signs about how to make a 'hot' compost.

Visitors Book

To all gardeners, when you are next at Danawa please take some time to write a little note in the Visitors Book in the Sharing Shed about what you've done. It is encouraging to others to see that in fact there are many visitors to the garden in a typical week, but its easy to miss people and think that's not the case. The Visitors Book is a vital cog in the communications wheel and assists us all in managing the garden effectively, and passing on observations and ideas.

Goodbye Barwon Heath!

We recently had the sad news that Pathways will no longer be bringing the folks from Barwon Health down to the garden on alternate Thursdays,  a program that has been running for a few years. We have really enjoyed having them around, and the beds that they have been managing (over the creek by the pergola) are looking incredibly bounteous, with lots of winter crops nearly mature. The garden visits have been facilitated by Jeremy, Tiffany, Leanne and Nina in particular, and a lot of the credit  for the success of the program goes to them. Not everybody knows this but  Jeremy ran a monthly BBQ at Woolworths for much of this time to raise funds for Danawa to underwrite the cost of putting on lunch for our visitors - a fantastic effort, and much appreciated.

It has been great seeing the changes in  the participants who came to Danawa over this time - at first they were quiet and didn't talk much, but soon were engaging with everyone, chatting and generally being part of the team. Gardening has a very therapeutic effect and 'Horticultural Therapy' is becoming an important part of treating physical and mental problems - I know that I don't feel depressed when I'm in the garden! The Barwon Health management have identified another venue for this program to continue - one that has animals as well!

Last Thursday was Barwon Healths' last visit, and as well as a hearty BBQ we had a cake to celebrate the end of a happy time. It will be a little quieter on a Thursday morning in future, but I hope that plot-holders will again find a good mid-week time to connect up.. perhaps Thursday morning sessions will continue? 

Although the Barwon Health group are leaving us, we have been approached by Karingal to do a similar arrangement, possibly on Tuesdays!


Many of you will have already received an email reminder to renew your membership (and a number have already done so).

Danawa relies on the small amount of money from memberships (as well as the passion and enthusiasm of our members), and memberships are renewed annually.

If you have not done so, please jump on the website to update us with your details (even if you've previously filled in a membership form) and use the payment portal.

Compost for Sale!

Torquay Landcare has received the generous donation of 20m3 of ready made compost from Geelong Compost.

Many of you in driving around the district will have noticed the increasing number of compost piles on farm properties. Local farmers are taking up the opportunity to use compost as part of their pasture improvement program, and now thanks to this donation the opportunity is available to the gardener or small property owner. With Spring around the corner - though we might not believe at this moment - the time is just right for the general garden or vegetable garden preparation.

The compost will be available on the morning of Sunday 13th September between 9.30am and 12pm from its location on Nortons Road, Bellbrae (see the signs on the day) between Charas Road and Flaxbournes Road.

Cos:t   A sack for $5 each, 6 x 4 trailer $40, Larger loads to be negotiated

Geelong Compost have also offered to provide a front end loader on the day, so no compost handling required!

Please feel free to pass on the information to your extended family and friends.

Posted on August 23, 2015 .