The Biodynamic Gardening Group and ACT for Bees have been given custodianship of the former Weston CIT Horticultural Training Orchard by the ACT Government. Sadly Weston CIT was burnt in the 2003 Canberra bushfires, however the orchard survived and also survived years of neglect. It has been a wonderful opportunity to work together using organic and biodynamic practices in a community orchard and invite ‘experts’ in to guide us in the pruning and manual methods of weed control.
Last year we began with clearing away the blackberries from around the trees, mulching and pruning. We sprayed biodynamic preparations BD 500 around the whole orchard and a couple of weeks ago at the July working bee Jonathon Banks (Piallago Organic Apples) gave us a hands on workshop on pruning and grafting, while the kids continued their cubby house building. A few of the trees were painted with Biodynamic Tree Paste and there’s many more to do. (This Saturday 5th August, Canberra City Farm will be having a Budding and Grafting Workshop with him.) It was a great start and there are many more trees that need our attention.
The orchards biodiversity has thrived over the years with no human intervention so the Bee Hotel built last September at the ‘Busy for Bees’ day had lots of local native bees and beneficial wasps booked into it and was fascinating to watch .
Come and join us the Sunday 20th August (every 3rd Sunday of the month) at 10am to help bring the orchard back to its former glory.
Please bring tools for working in the orchard – no power tools please. appropriate work wear including covered shoes, gloves and eye protection. Also food to share for lunch and water.