Welcome to the Canberra Organic Growers Society web site. We are a group of gardeners (mainly urban) dedicated to growing our own organic fruit and vegetables, either in backyards or community gardens. This web site contains information on various practical aspects of organic gardening and is particularly relevant to the Canberra region. It also contains information about our community gardens, notices of coming events of interest to gardeners and a blog which includes gardening questions and answers. The web site will be regularly updated so please subscribe to our RSS feed so that you are notified of any significant additions to the site, new events and breaking news.
News and Events
24 February 2015 07:30 PM
OWEN PIDGEON – LORIENDALE ORCHARD Owen and Noreen Pidgeon settled beside Spring Range at Loriendale in the Hall district in 1982. The Pidgeons soon began planting apple,hazelnut and cherry trees, resulting in some failures along with the successes. Loriendale Orchard now grows a wide range of varieties of apples from around the world, combining the best of heritage and modern varieties sourced from 20 countries, with maturity season spanning from January to June. Other crops include cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, nashi pears, pears, hazelnuts, loganberries, raspberries, strawberries and organically grown vegetables. Loriendale’s production methods are based on organic best practice, including companion planting, mulch and biological methods (and chickens) used for pest control. In addition to his work as an orchardist, Owen writes a weekly gardening column in the Canberra Times’ Food and Wine magazine. Owen will share his expertise in organic fruit and vegetable production with COGS members at the 2015 February meeting.
Notth Side Community Centre Majura
24 March 2015 07:30 PM
Annual General Meeting, Harvest Night and Swap Meet Come along and cast your vote for the next COGS Committee at the AGM at 7.30pm Tuesday 24 March at the Majura Community Centre, Dickson. This is an important meeting as a number of members of the Committee (including the President) will NOT be standing for re-election. COGS needs YOU to keep the Society moving ahead! Please give consideration to nominating for the Committee and being part of the team to guide COGS forward over the coming year. If you are interested in nominating for a position please call the Secretary, Andy Hrast (0408 247 360) to find out more and get a nomination form or you can nominate on the night. Traditionally a Harvest Night Show & Tell session is held in association with the AGM to allow gardeners to exhibit the produce of the growing season. Please bring along your best or most unusual produce for all to see and for the swap table, bring any seeds, produce, preserves and/or favourite recipes (eg for jam, pickles etc) you would like to share. Continuing the preserving theme, Jane Vincent will report on a pickling workshop she attended at Cornersmith cafe in Marrickville recently.
Majura Community Centre Dickson
28 April 2015 07:30 PM
The Capital Region Farmers Market – Bill Watson Bill Watson is a member of the Rotary Club of Hall where he has been Director of the Market and responsible for compliance. He is also the Principal of Watson Agriculture Resources and Environmental Consulting. Bill will speak about the Capital Region Farmers Market, its nature, history and objectives. The market has rules relating to compliance and the authenticity of suppliers and produce and other issues of legislation, waste disposal and competition. He will also outline projects funded by the income earned by the Market. Bill has had a long and distinguished career as an analyst and researcher in rural , environmental and natural resource issues. Bill and family graze cattle on a small farm out on the Yass River Road , Murrumbateman – “Greenfield Farm”. With his extensive background in the economics and science underlying agricultural and natural resource issues and his experience as Market director and as a local farmer, Bill is uniquely placed to provide a detailed perspective on the extraordinarily popular Capital Region Farmers Market.
Majura Community Hall Dickson
24 May 2015 02:30 PM
Film: Open Sesame: the story of seeds This timely and emotionally moving documentary, by filmmaker and writer Sean Kaminsky, illuminates what is at stake and what can be done to protect the source of nearly all our food: SEEDS. According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN), approximately 90 percent of the fruit and vegetable varieties that existed 100 years ago no longer exist today. Maintaining seed biodiversity allows us to breed new varieties that are resistant to pests or thrive in temperature extremes. This is essential in a changing climate. Meanwhile, corporations are co-opting seed genetics using patent law. In the past, seeds were a shared resource not unlike the water we drink or the air we breathe. Today, corporate-owned seed accounts for 82% of the world-wide market. In this film you will meet a diverse range of individuals whose lives centre around seeds: farmers, renegade gardeners, passionate seed savers, artists, seed activists. This film tells the story of seeds by following their challenges and triumphs as they work to save this precious resource.
Majura Community Hall Dickson
Majura Community Centre
Organic Gardening for Beginners at CIT Solutions, run by an experienced COGS member (a course fee applies).
The next course will start Semester 1 2015. Each course runs for four sessions of 3 hours each. Course details and on-line enrolment is available at http://www.shortcourses.cit.edu.au/categories/list.html?page=1%26SubcategoryID=35
Composting and Worm Farms
The next Composting and Worm farming workshop will be held in conjunction with CIT Solutions on 8 November 2014. Each workshop will be 3 hours (1:30 to 4:30pm). Workshop details and on-line enrolment are available at http://www.shortcourses.cit.edu.au/categories/list.html?page=1%26SubcategoryID=35 . A workshop fee applies.
Organic Pest and Disease Management for Home Gardeners
The next workshop will start on 3 September 2014. It will provide practical information to enable participants to deal with common pests and diseases encountered in the home garden using organic methods. The main focus will be on pests and diseases of fruit and vegetables in Canberra, but these same techniques are also applicable to ornamental plants. The workshop will consist of three sessions of two hours each. http://www.shortcourses.cit.edu.au/categories/list.html?page=3%26SubcategoryID=35 . A workshop fee applies.
Soil, Potting Mixes and Watering Systems for Home Gardeners
The next workshop is scheduled to start on 13 September 2014. There will be two sessions of two and a half hours each. Learn about managing soil for optimal fertility in growing fruit and vegetables using organic principles. Participants are asked to bring samples of their own garden soil for testing. For those growing fruit and vegetables in pots and planter boxes, potting mixes will also be discussed. Advice will be provided on setting up efficient watering systems for the fruit and vegetable garden. To enrol go to http://www.shortcourses.cit.edu.au/categories/list.html?page=3%26SubcategoryID=35. A workshop fee applies.
Introduction to Horticulture
The next workshop is scheduled to start on 22 October 2014. There will be six sessions of two and a half hours each. If you are interested in growing plants and landscaping or want to know more about the best plants for a Canberra climate, then this course is sure to inspire your green thumb. The course offers a taste of what it is like to be a professional horticulturalist. To enrol go to http://www.shortcourses.cit.edu.au/categories/list.html?page=2%26SubcategoryID=35. A workshop fee applies.
Courtyards and Balcony Gardens
The next workshops will be on 9 September and 18 October 2014. It will provide practical information on building and maintaining balcony and courtyard gardens using organic methods. The workshop will consist of one session of three hours. http://www.shortcourses.cit.edu.au/categories/list.html?page=2%26SubcategoryID=35. A workshop fee applies.
Compostable Material Available from Tuggeranong Hyperdome
The Tuggeranong Hyperdome has a variety of organic waste available for composting or worm farms including waste from Fresh Life the fruit market, waste from the Food court, coffee grinds, serviettes, some cooked meats.
They would prefer these waste products did not go to the tip. To access these compostable materials for your compost heap or worms please contact Wayne Hudson on 6293 1000 or email Wayne_Hudson(at)cfsgam.com.au.
This is a FREE workshop being delivered throughout ACT Libraries. Workshops and places are limited. The workshop runs for 40 minutes per session or 2 hours total and covers
(1) Home Improvements: discover how to make your home more comfortable and less expensive to run;
(2) Energy Consumption: bring along your energy bills and take the guess-work out of your usage; and
(3) Energy Smart Actions: discover free and simple actions that save you money and suit your household.
Take home workbook included packed full of activities, information and options. Prepare for winter today. For session times, refer to www.sustainact.com. Book Mon-Thurs by phoning 6248 0885 or email email@example.com