Welcome

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

Upcoming events

27 July 2014 02:00 PM
Presentation by Walter Jehne : The Vast Potential of Urban Agriculture Walter will address the potential of urban agriculture to help solve the future challenges of our health and the nutrient integrity of the food we eat. Walter will also discuss trends in Soil Health and answer general questions on soils, so come prepared with those questions you’ve always want answered! Walter Jehne is a retired scientist with a specialist background in soil microbiology and plant ecology who has worked in Australia and overseas, including for CSIRO. He is now the Soils for Life soil microbiologist. This program encourages wide adoption of regenerative landscape management practices. Soils for Life emphasises the importance of Healthy soil which is fundamental to biosystem functioning, landscape regeneration and sustainable food production.
Majura Community Centre Dickson

24 August 2014 02:00 PM
Presentation by Michael Croft, Slow Food Canberra Slow Food is an international movement that promotes food and wine culture. It links pleasure and food with awareness and responsibility. Slow Food is also about forming networks between farmers and consumers; learning about our land and its limitations; and seeking to preserve local, regional and national foods and food practices especially those that are threatened with extinction. Slow Food Canberra's convivium co-leader, Michael Croft, will explain how these aims and principles are put into action in the Canberra region.
Majura Community Centre Dickson

23 September 2014 07:30 PM
Presentation by Gary Watkins-Sully, of Sully’s Cider and Wine, Old Cheese Factory, Reidsdale. The Watkins-Sully family originate from the border town of Chepstow in the picturesque Wye Valley, the location of some of the UK's oldest traditional cider making heritage. They moved to Australia in the 1980s and by 2001 had relocated to the Braidwood region. In 2007 they purchased a disused 1920s Cheese factory in the remote rural district of Reidsdale. Passionate about reviving food heritage, they have rejuvenated the old factory with the ultimate goal of producing a cider using the apples, techniques, methods and equipment used by the original nineteenth century owners, the Wiltons, to recreate an authentic heritage cider experience. With a small remnant planting of the Wilton apples, the factory is already producing cider that contains juice from these apples as well as from more recently planted trees. Other farms in the area also grew apples for the cider factory, and over the past 6 years the Watkins-Sullies have documented a wealth of rare and wonderful apples, pears and stone fruit found in the districts. Gary will talk about his experiences at Reidsdale with a focus on the cultivation of the trees which form the basis of the cider and perry produced at the Old Cheese Factory.
Majura Community Centre Dickson

28 October 2014 07:30 PM
Q&A night with Keith Colls, prior COGS President, current Canberra City Farm committee member and lecturer on organic growing practices. With his wealth of knowledge on all aspects of growing vegetables and fruit organically, Keith will host a Q&A night for COGS members. Bring all those questions and problems that have arisen whilst preparing your garden for Canberra's summer season for Keith and other experienced COGS gardeners to solve, such as pests, soil condition, pruning and organically acceptable sprays and methods. Broader principles underpinning the reasons we garden organically, such as the environment, sustainability and health are also open for discussion.
Majura Community Centre Dickson

Majura Community Centre

Other activities

Organic Gardening for Beginners at CIT Solutions, run by an experienced COGS member (a course fee applies).

The next course will start on 14 June 2014. 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=2%26SubcategoryID=35

Composting and Worm Farms

The next Composting and Worm farming workshop will be held in conjunction with CIT Solutions on 3 May 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 12 June 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=2%26SubcategoryID=35.  A workshop fee applies.

Soil, Potting Mixes and Watering Systems for Home Gardeners

The next workshop is scheduled to start on 12 July 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 30 April 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 workshop will start on 24 May 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.

FREE GardenSmart advisory service and rebate
A horticulturalist will visit your home, assess your garden and then demonstrate practical ways you can use less water in the garden. The horticulturalist will tell you how to make your garden more water-efficient through clever plant choice and garden design and give you practical maintenance and watering advice.  The GardenSmart program also includes a $50 rebate which can be used to invest in water-saving products such as garden mulch, drip irrigation systems or components, weeping hose, tap timers, soil additives for moisture retention, irrigation system controllers, moisture/rain sensors for irrigation systems, water wands, downpipe water diverters, greywater hoses, compost bins, worm farms and books on water-efficient gardening.  To register for GardenSmart, complete and submit the application form available at www.actsmart.act.gov.au. You will then be contacted to arrange a suitable time for the horticulturalist to visit your garden.

The Energy Smart Workshop for ACT Homeowners.

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 energysmart@sustainact.com