Danawa News 2018

The New Year brings delicious fruit to harvest, new members, new working bees!

Fruit picking - join us tomorrow (February) in the Garden at 4.30pm. Most of the late season fruit is ready to harvest!

The apple and pear trees are bursting with fruit and ready to pick! Heritage apples (the dwarf ones), Granny Smith, Jonathon, and more ... Even the apples and pears fallen to the ground and/or sampled by the birds are gorgeous! There are Packham’s Triumph pears, Beurre Brosc and William Bon Chretien pears ready for the picking.

The Green Gage or Golden Gage plums were harvested by Tiffany Bennett the other day – if you’re in contact with her, see if you can have a few.  

Quince  The Quince tree is laden with fruit.  Great for paste or just stew with honey for a mouthwatering dessert.


New Members: Welcome to Lynne Ferguson, Melissa Cox, Jenny Norman and Kay Comodromos!  


 f  Danawa Gardener

Remember, this is our Facebook page. Recipes are always gladly received as well as tips on gardening, or notice of excess produce to share. 

Sadly, Tiffany Bennett and Nina Travis are still operating an unauthorised page passing off as Danawa Community Garden which confuses new members and the public in general. We've formally asked Tiff three times to close it down. 

Music in the Garden: the mandalin players and Mens' Shed can't wait to return for some more music making. Will keep you posted!

Compost and ponies!  Just in case you missed it in the Surf Coast Times or on Danawa Gardeners ...

Thanks again Steve and Lulubelle, with help from Felix and Mark Drill. 

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race - Four members and another 7 friends raised $550 by volunteering. A big thank you to Giuliana, Lynda, Donna, Colin, David, Joan, David Boyle, Marjorie and Bill, Richard. 

Shed - and locks! Two mattocks, a potato fork and crowbar went missing. The shed has been found to be unlocked on several occasions. Make sure you spin wheels after locking to ensure you scramble the code.

Vandals - The Shire is looking into helping us out with security over weekends. 

Watering Team -  The plants and trees thank you Meg (Sun) Jeff (Mon) Lynda (Tue) June (Wed) Judy/Dani (Thur) Graeme (Fri) and Giuliana (Sat).  

Watering system - The main north communal beds will be gradually revamped with help from members. The round shapes will be replaced with raised rectangle beds, allowing plenty of room for wheelbarrows and access from the driveway to the shelter.  

Working Bee - Just once a month now - call in between 10am and 4pm the second Saturday of each month. Steve was saying it was a great help to him working as a team - it seriously cuts voluntary labour in half!

Payments - EFT details are given below and on the Become a Member page. There is no longer a facility for direct payments from danawa.org.au.  
BSB 633 000 Account No. 143328003 

Posted on February 27, 2018 .

Danawa in Summer

Quick Summary
End of year social, Grants, Cadel Evans fundraiser, new time and dates for Working Bees, etc. 

We wish all members a very Happy Christmas and peaceful, fun-filled New Year!

Christmas get together with music
Saturday – tomorrow! - 9 December. 
1 to 4pm.  BYO food and drink for lunch or afternoon tea.  And, if you have one, your musical instrument to join in music making and singing carols. We'll be trying out the new generator!

Just confirming our earlier email - Torquay Community Enterprises awarded us a grant to purchase a generator, which we will use for the first time on Saturday. A big thanks to TCE!
More good news: The Surf Coast Shire awarded the Garden a grant to install a watering system for the main communal beds (north mandalas). We appreciate the Shire's continuous support!

Until we get a team together to install the watering system, we’ll need a couple more on the watering roster for Wednesday and a back-up person for regulars. 
A big thanks to regular waterers for keeping the plants alive!
Sunday: Meg, Monday: Jeff, Tuesday: Lynda,Thursday: Judy/ Dani, Friday: Graeme, Saturday: Giuliana 

Working Bees
We’re starting to call them what they are – not just planting, we do a range of chores while socialising and always feel better for it! Come along and meet new and old members.
Now from 9 to 11am to beat the heat.
This Sunday 10 December – because we’re running out of time this side of New Year.
Second Saturday and fourth Sunday in the new year: 13th and 28th January; 10th and 25th February.

A lot of unwanted stuff has been cleared and bricks have been stacked out of the way. The mowers and whipper snippers have levelled the tall growth around the ditches as well as kept the huge areas of grass in check. Steve and his team are working wonders in the compost bins. 

We've almost completed re-netting the small apricot tree, and finished netting the other one. 
Giuliana pulled out the unwanted undergrowth under the bigger apricot tree and elsewhere. She also cleared a lot of couch, cleared the finished celery, silverbeet, some lettuce and spinach. Giuliana also prepared the soil and planted seedlings from the hot house, broccoli, broccolini, silverbeet, corn, cucumbers, squash and the odd onion. She lifted seeded onions and repositioned them, cleared out the hot house of all the useless punnets (thanks Nina for weeding in there), and rejuvenated the seed raising mix!  Probably three working bees in one! Thanks Giuliana. 

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
If you haven’t checked it out – please go to the Cadel Evans website and register as a Volunteer (remember to name Danawa Community Garden, and team leader June Marks). I’ve asked for a list of our team so far, and will get in touch with you nearer to the date. Let me know if you’ve already volunteered, and thanks!
It’s a fun event and you’ll receive at-shirt¸ cap¸ exclusive gift, food and water.

Life Member
Congratulations Rob Porter, recognised for his many years of service: the constant grass mowing and the recent scrub clearance! 

Website payment facility
We are closing the Danawa website payment facility in the next few days. Had many problems with it and its not necessary when its just as easy to EFT or deposit at Bendigo Bank. 

Unfortunately a couple of members are still ignoring our request to close the unauthorised Facebook page in opposition to our members Danawa Gardeners.  Please ignore them and, if you have any concerns, or would like an update on this situation, email danawacommunitygarden@gmail.com

Invasive weeds
Check your private plot for anything like mint, or any plants gone to seed which have a tendency to take over. A couple of recently vacated plots will be cleared on Sunday or before.

No minutes attached. Please email or ask if you need any information. 

Check out our regular article in Springboard, the Spring Creek Community House publication.

Happy gardening together!
On behalf of our Committee

Posted on December 10, 2017 .

Danawa in November

A warm welcome to our new member, Amy!

Lots on at Danawa this weekend, also get in early to register for the Cadel Evans fundraiser, and join in the Christmas event. 

Pick ‘n’ Plant

BYO this Saturday and the pizza oven will be fired up to heat up or cook your pizza/food following the regular 2-4pm session. There’s planting, tennis court matting, weeding and mulching, and sharing ripe vegetables. 

Remember, helping in the Garden together is a fun and rewarding part of being a member of the community garden.

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

Don’t like baking cakes or fundraising sausage sizzles?  Here’s a fun way to raise $50 each to help fund garden supplies and minor improvements this year. 

Go to Cadel Evans website and register to help, naming Danawa Community Garden as your community group. Encourage friends to register too - so far, we have four people from outside the Garden nominating Danawa to benefit from their volunteering. 

Click on this link:


You will put in a couple of hours on a Saturday or Sunday in Torquay either assisting with registration, set up/pack down, course marshalling. If you get in early you can choose the most convenient street intersection where you’ll be positioned as the contestants ride by. In return, you’ll receive a t-shirt¸ cap¸ exclusive gift, food and water.


We’ve applied for grants – including one to help manage vandalism and security generally, and a generator.

Christmas get together with music

BYO food and drink – the pizza oven will be on - Saturday 2 December 4-8 pm.  Bring along your musical instrument and join in some singing - all ages of course. We will have sheets of music/words.

Sun Bear Children’s Festival

Take the children along this Sunday 11 – 3pm, Spring Creek Reserve (including Danawa) for this annual festival. Tickets at www.sunbearfestival.com


Unfortunately a couple of members have started up their own unauthorised Facebook page titled Danawa Community Garden in opposition to Danawa’s Facebook presence, Danawa Gardeners.  Please ignore this and, if you have any concerns, email danawacommunitygarden@gmail.com

Mint and private plots

A reminder that mint is best grown in pots, otherwise it will take over your plots, and paths.


On behalf of the Committee

Posted on December 10, 2017 .

Danawa in October

A lot of news this month: new members, new signs, Pick ‘n’ Plants, Christmas get together, March 2018 fund raising opportunity, adopt a tree and minutes of meetings are attached.

Pick ‘n’ Plant, 2-4pm

·         On Saturday 14 October, we will have matting from the tennis courts to lay on paths between plots. It can be used around trees too to control weeds and grass.  You will be able to take some home if you have a need for it.

·         Giuliana and Kay are preparing some communal beds for Spring planting to begin on Sunday 22 October. Check out the crop rotation schedule on the white board at Danawa.

·         The Garden always benefits from any weeding you can do

Welcome back Steve, manager of our hard working, indispensable compost team!

Welcome also to new members: Jeff, Anne, Louise and Lisa.  Jeff is already on the Building and Maintenance Team and has cleaned up the steps into the Garden, and will refix the shadecloth and plant two passionfruit vines. Jeff and Anne have plot 17 and Louise is working on plot 23.

New signs throughout the Garden: If you have a plot, please write your name next to the number of your plot with chalk (in the kitchen overhead cupboards, right side).  This helps manage maintenance of your plot while you’re away. For example, use Facebook to ask for people to water in your absence and get to know members in neighbouring plots.

Facebook: just a reminder to keep your posts and comments brief and positive. Email danawacommunitygarden@gmail.com if you have a query, or observe anything untoward in the Garden, have a complaint, or a lengthy suggestion to make.

Adopt a tree: We are in the process of identifying all the trees.  You can adopt a tree - one to each member – to look out for it: weed around its base, fertilise, and notify members on Facebook when fruit is ready to share. There will be printed notes on fertilising posted on the pinboard at Danawa. Email me if you are interested: we have six trees adopted so far, and 30 more looking for a carer.

Rich compost: Members can use half bucket of the newly arrived, rich compost for their private plots.

Cadel Evans Geat Ocean Road Race – If you volunteer to help one or more times between 22 to 29 January 2018, naming Danawa as your group, you’ll receive a t- shirt, cap and an exclusive gift and the Garden will receive $50. Visit the website  http://www.cadelevansgreatoceanroadrace.com.au/the-event/volunteers/ to register – we need at least five members to form a group for Danawa Community Garden.

Sun Bear Children’s Festival is on again at Danawa this year - Sunday, 12 November, 9-3pm  – for further information contact Katja at sunbearboy@gmail.com if you would like to take part in this fun, family event or can help on the day.

Christmas get together with music: BYO and a musical instrument if you have one on Saturday 2 December (time to be confirmed, probably 4-6pm).  More details to follow.

Minutes: Draft minutes of the AGM (to be approved at the 2018 AGM), and Committee minutes are attached to 7 October email to all members.

Posted on October 6, 2017 .

Danawa in September

Hi members
Welcome to Spring!  Always a bit wet and windy but it offers hope for the warm months ahead. 

THIS SATURDAY - Focus on the Plots
Just a reminder the weeding and general clearing up is on this Saturday, 2-4 pm followed by a scrumptious afternoon tea.  All welcome, especially plot holders!

OPEN DAY - Bring your family and invite friends to the garden. 
Pick n Plant, Sunday 24 September 2-4 pm.  
Another afternoon tea - please bring a plate to share - and there'll be a harvest of the current crop.  We will make a start on planting out some seedlings which are sprouting in the propagation house. 

MINUTES - attaching minutes approved at last night's committee meeting.

ANNUAL FEES - Thank you to those who have paid subscriptions and plot fees. 

For other valuable members:
     Go on line to www.danawa.org.au/membership
     Click on the Make a Payment box and follow the prompts.

on behalf of your Committee

Posted on September 7, 2017 .

Danawa in August

Hi everyone


Look forward to meeting up for the AGM this Thursday, 3 August, 6.30pm, Spring Creek Community House, Price Street.  If you are coming and would like to stay on for the curry, email back by tomorrow afternoon.  

We have received nominations for all eight positions on the Committee.  If you wish to nominate, you can still do so.  Submit nominations on the form sent out via email with the AGM notice, by the start of the meeting, and there'll be a vote where two or more nominations are received. 

The Pruning Day was very informative and inspiring - this last Sunday we finished off the pruning of all fruit trees, and some natives.  The pile of branches and twigs are waiting for the Shire to chip them all into mulch. 


If you've ever wondered how to install overhead kitchen cupboards, now is your chance!  Or, if you know how to do it and would like to help, come down to the Garden at 10am this Saturday. 

Thank you Kay and Ian Champion for donating them!


While there is no group working-bee this month, there is plenty to do whenever you visit.  

  • Private plots - keep them looking cared for and help with weeding on the paths around them.
  • Weeds!  Weed wherever you find them.
  • Spread mulch on beds and paths between mandalas and plots


The following four tasks will be done progressively. Let a Committee member know if you're interested:

  • Install edging around fruit trees
  • Level out steps into the garden.
  • Level tracks through grass to sharing shed and around trees. (Short term solution to prevent rolled ankles - long term: waiting for contour survey for proper drainage levels.)
  • Raise mandalas 

If you haven't already done so, let Giuliana know your ideas for Spring planting (or return email). 


June, on behalf of the Committee


Posted on August 8, 2017 .

Danawa in July

Hello gardening members

Over the next couple of weeks we will be concentrating our efforts on preparing for a Pruning Day on 23 July.  Also to note:

§  No official working bees this month.

§  When you are at Danawa please do some weeding – they are thriving.

§  Adopt a fruit tree! (Explanation further below.)

§  Upcoming AGM mentioned at the end of this email - attached forms are explained.


Great news!  Bunnings have donated a wonderful array of tools and equipment from a ‘wish list’ we provided them a couple of weeks ago.  (Thank you Steve and Giulliana for initiating this.)

Bunnings Torquay have given Danawa some quality items:

§  one digging fork

§  two spades

§  two watering cans

§  three pairs of secateurs

§  three hand trowels

§  bird netting

§  one set of hose fittings and spray nozzles

§  a new first aid kit


Pruning Day   Sunday 23 July – Drop in any time from 10am until 4pm

Our fruit trees are ready for a professional prune!

John Purtill, a well known heritage fruit tree expert, has agreed to spend the day down at Danawa to instruct members who are interested on how to properly go about pruning. 

Bring your sharp secateurs!

Danawa will jointly host this event with the Torquay Urban Fruit Farmers (TUFF).  Thank you to members of (TUFF) for organising this event (some of whom are also members of Danawa), and for obtaining a donation to cover the fee for John’s services. 

We acknowledge this generous donation ($300) given by Tim Carson of McCartney Real Estate.

Members of neighbouring community gardens – Aireys Inlet, Anglesea and the new Torquay North – have also been invited to attend.

There will be something hot to drink and eat all through the day (sausage sizzle, soup, tea, coffee) and, of course, cake! 

As members co-hosting this event, let me know if you would like to assist - bring some soup or cake to share.  However, don’t stay home if you can’t contribute in this way – no pressure! - come and enjoy the day.  It’s an opportunity to get to know one another.

Adopt a Danawa Fruit Tree?

A member has suggested some lucky people might like to adopt one of Danawa’s fruit trees.  Who'd like to be one of the lucky ones?

By being the tree’s carer you’ll be responsible for all the things the trees love - clearing and mulching underneath, pruning, ensuring it gets a deep monthly water, then letting members know via Facebook when the fruit is ready to pick.  You’ll get help to get started, and then recruit your family or co-members to help. A fun thing to be involved in!

Let us know by return if you want to hug a tree!

Annual General Meeting(AGM)

Another opportunity to meet members of Danawa.  We are finalising the details – for it to be held locally (probably at the Spring Creek Community House) later this month, or in August. 

You will receive a formal notice by email along with a couple of forms, which are also attached here.

One is for you to complete if you wish to nominate either yourself or another member to serve on the Committee.  We need a President, Treasurer and Secretary, and five other members to either be a Vice President, Members’ Secretary, Social Secretary, Coordinator of Gardening, and Maintenance and Building Coordinator.

The other form can be used if you think you will be unable to attend the AGM.  Ask a member if they would vote for you and complete the form accordingly.  You can either state who you want them to vote for, or empower them to vote on your behalf as they see fit.

Enjoy this month at Danawa!


On behalf of the Committee

Posted on August 8, 2017 .

Outcomes AGM 2016-2017

The AGM went well last Thursday, 3 August 2017, with 15 members in attendance.  In addition, 28 members were represented by proxies.

New Committee Members

There being only one nomination received for seven of the eight roles on the new Committee; these were elected unopposed.  Two nominations were submitted for Gardening Coordinator, Nina Travis and Giuliana Talbot, and a secret ballot was held.  The new Committee comprises:

Richard Marks, President

Kay Champion, Vice President

June Marks, Secretary

Simon Walsh, Treasurer

Nikki Barnes, Membership Secretary

Giuliana Talbot, Gardening Coordinator

Lynda Harding, Social Secretary

John Harrison, Coordinator of Maintenance and Building

In addition, 'Plugga' Newton, a founding member of the garden, accepted the role of Propagation Manager on the 1st August, and this will be ratified at the next Committee meeting. We will be aiming to use Danawa seeds rather than buying in seedlings, and Plugga has a great deal of expertise to offer. 

New Subscriptions and Plot Fees

We also voted in favour of an increase in membership subscriptions and plot fees. The aim is to work within the budget provided by fees for the basic gardening inputs, rather than rely on fundraising, often left to a few who quickly burn out. Small grants applications will be submitted for particular projects. 

The fees and subscriptions up to this point in time have remained the same since at least 2005, when they were: Singles $10 plus $25 for a plot ($35); Family $25 plus $25 for a plot ($50). The mix of the costs changed in 2008 to $25 single and $35 family, plus $15 for a plot ($40 Single, $50 Family). 

It was agreed that the new fees be $30 for Singles and $50 for Families, plus $25 for a private plot rental; and that the fees for this financial year be payable by 31 August 2017.  

Congratulations have been conveyed to the new Committee members and thanks to those who continue to serve.

Kind regards


Posted on August 7, 2017 .

Danawa in June

Despite the cooler weather (and rain), many of you have been busy in the Garden, and it shows!  Regular fertilising and keeping on top of the weeding between the seedlings will pay off. Most of the paths between the beds are looking clear of weeds and are well mulched.  The area along the tennis court fence has also been cleared. Some of the fruit trees have been freed from choking grass and weeds and have been mulched to the dripline.  The artichoke bed has been boxed and is looking rather smart. 

Here are some reminders and a list of jobs to tackle in June. Further below, and attached, is an invitation from the Shire to attend Power Up this Saturday.


Bins    Council picks up rubbish Thursday, Friday and Saturdays. Place them outside the driveway gate by the road next to the end of the low fence.

Diary   Pick 'n' Plants and working bees (with hot cuppa and something good to eat)

            Each Saturday at 10am, and

            2-4pm Saturday 10th and Sunday 25th  


-  Regular watering is not necessary for this month. Thank you to all who have maintained this roster.

-  Digging rushes out of drains where they are obstructing water flow.

-  Freeing the rest of the fruit trees of grass and weeds - layer old carpet to discourage weed growth, fertilise and mulch to the drip line.

 -  Moving the corrugated iron near entrance to storage.

-  Raising of mandala beds - ready for Spring. Richard and Jeremy will lead this work and would love volunteers to help lay and mortar bricks, and eventually prepare the beds for Spring planting.

-  Spring crops:  We can all start thinking about what we would like to plant in Spring. Bring your suggestions to reply email when they come to mind. 


Ongoing work:

o    fertilise everything with diluted worm wee or Seasol

o    weed between the new seedings

o    clean up and weed area between strawberry bed, sharing shed and olive tree (old carpet)

o    mulch each fruit tree to the dripline, keeping the trunk clear

o    private plots and paths between: keeping the weeds down and mulch

Keep warm!

June, Secretary

Posted on June 29, 2017 .

Danawa in May

We hope you are all enjoying the rain (!).  A bit of flooding experienced at Danawa, but it should quickly subside.  

THANK YOU to all who continue to maintain the garden: mowers, pruners, weeders, waterers, compost makers, mulchers, bin monitors, etc.!  (Just on bins ... It might be helpful for all to know that Council picks up rubbish from the bins Thursday, Friday and Saturdays.)

Starting today, you'll receive a monthly email to alert you to what is coming up in the month ahead at Danawa.  

After a wonderful autumn harvest, food production will quieten down for the next few months.  However, there is still much to do and you'll have at least ten opportunities to work as a group during May.  Also, there are still lots of leafy greens and herbs for helpers to share.

Firstly, we have the Pick 'n' Plants on Saturday 13th and Sunday 28th from 2pm to 4pm - with a  hot cuppa and cake!

Tasks, coordinated by Giuliana, will include:

  • fertilise everything with diluted worm wee or seasol
  • weed between the new seedings
  • clear zucchini plants once they have finished producing
  • more root vegie seeds to be sown in the those mandalas

Next, we have another eight morning sessions, coordinated by Nina and/or Tiffany. Just turn up around 9.30 am, Wednesdays and Saturdays. On Saturdays, there will be bacon and egg sangas for helpers (gold coin donation).

  • clean up and weed area between strawberry bed, sharing shed and olive (weed mat is being considered: to be costed for committee approval)
  • weed each fruit tree - then a layer of cardboard/old carpet to discourage weed growth
  • mulch each fruit tree to the dripline, keeping the trunk clear
  • clean up and weed around and between artichoke bed and raised bed - use wood from that bed to build up around artichoke bed
  • weed paths in private plot areas, and area vacated by Barwon Health in the south-west
  • weed between tennis courts and wind break
  • mulch these areas (two items above) - first layering with cardboard/old carpet to discourage weed growth. 

That should keep us busy!

With thanks and cheers!




Posted on April 26, 2017 .