The SAGE e-market has re-opened and despite the current ‘slim pickings’ at the market, we decided to re-open the e-market now in expectation of a busy and back to normal December and January, and to test the interest in the e-market. Please read on to understand why SAGE runs an e- market, and the challenges.
SAGE NSW Inc has secured a $50,000 grant from the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal, to hire a business manager to help increase the group’s organisational capacity and promote food security in Eurobodalla.The business plan will include business models and practical actions to identify revenue streams and improve the organisation’s capacity, ensuring its ongoing financial sustainability and resilience.
At its annual general meeting on Sunday 21 August, SAGE welcomed an all-new committee comprising: President Cath Reilly, vice president Peter Heyward, past president Mark Barraclough, secretary Susan Heyward, treasurer Jan Maitland, Stuart Whitelaw, Sandra Makdessi, Sarah Cooper, Eliza Cannon and Carmen Bellis.
The Sydney Environment Institute (SEI) is conducting a study about how communities in Australia and India are developing initiatives to respond to or prepare themselves for the impacts of climate change on their lives.
November has seen the committee planning our first social event for a long time, working through the new e-market software, the exciting Stepping Stone Farm EcoCrews program, calling out for volunteers, working on the charitable status and planning for the future of the SAGE Garden in Moruya.
Over the last 12 months a wonderful band of volunteers have made the establishment of Stepping Stone Farm a possibility. When Josh, Shani and I were both literally and metaphorically drowning in the work load of starting a farm from scratch in what turned out to be a very wet summer the SAGE members that came to the farm on a regular basis were life savers.
A warm hello to members and the SAGE community, and welcome back to regular updates in this newsletter. The committee has continued to meet regularly through lockdown via Zoom, and we’ve been joined by Peter Heyward and Dallas Tanner who were voted in at the AGMin August. We are now working to implement thestrategic planwe developed earlier this year, including improving our communication and engagement to grow the sense of SAGE as a community, and enhancing membership.
Moruya’s new community garden is now in business! At the launch last week, Veggies for All coordinator Kathryn Maxwell thanked Lachlan McDonald, Manager of the IMB Bank Branch in Moruya for the IMB Bank Community Foundation’s generous grant of $20,000, and the Anglican Parish for their generous contribution of land, room in the garden shed, assistance from the caretaker Michael and the strong support and encouragement of Linda Chapman.
The SAGE garden is moving into hibernatory mode. At least, much of the greenery of the last few weeks has served its time, the produce has been harvested and sold. Yet it has more time to serve for it will now help with restoring the soil for the next intern. The corn that two weeks ago stood tall and proud (with an Apple of Peru towering above it) has been razed to the ground. It lies there waiting to be ploughed in thereby helping to rejuvenate the soil. ...
From 2017-2018 SAGE Market Gardener Intern Leanne Nicolle
Sitting down in the garden to write my little piece on being the 5th intern while overlooking the growing green manure. Thankfully, this year Trevor Moore wrote a fortnightly blog on what I had done in the 17/18 growing season…
I have remarked in previous blogs about Leanne how happy she always seems to be and today was no exception. I found her weeding … and happy in spite of this Sisyphean endeavour. She had taken her eyes off the ball last week and, given the recent rain, she was now paying the price. In fact, she was finding it hard to tell the weeds apart from the plants. She pointed at the corn she planted a couple of weeks ago: “look at that,” she said, “I can’t tell what’s corn and what’s weed.” Kyle Levier, he of Fulcrum Farm, is Leanne’s mentor and he’s getting her to keep a weed catalogue.
I look forward to visiting Leanne at the SAGE garden every couple of weeks because I always receive such a cheery welcome. She says that she never knows what she’s going to talk about and yet for twenty minutes or half an hour I say nothing (which is a rare thing indeed) and she talks me through what she’s thinking and what’s going on in the garden.
New and experienced gardeners are invited to a series of four half-day workshops on backyard veggie gardening run by SAGE, Sustainable Agriculture and Gardens Eurobodalla. This is the fourth year SAGE has offered the workshops which teach how to establish and maintain a successful vegetable patch at home.
Prior to this year’s SAGE AGM and probably over one or 2 beers, a couple of SAGE members tossed around ideas of how we can continue to contribute to the SAGE vision in the limited time available to us. What could be our focus? SAGE has many arms of activity and a requirement for people power to pull it off effectively. However it is difficult to say the least to be across all those activities and so we wanted to focus on one area that we felt needed some attention.
You may have noticed some works going on at the SAGE Garden and wondered:what is going on and what is that thing?
SAGE has been run on a shoestring budget since we started in 2009. The initial infrastructure at the SAGE Garden was cobbled together mostly from found materials by generous volunteers and it has suited us well enough. However, one limitation to the site development has been the lack of an accessible toilet. The money required to build this critical piece of infrastructure has always been hard to find and hence has taken many years of figuring out how to afford the materials and find the volunteers with enough time to take on the task. The garden has also needed other works to the site, such as more paving, to improve the safety and accessibility for our workshops and events
From SAGE member and market gardener Fraser Bayley
While we at Old Mill Road BioFarm may have a reputation as market gardeners primarily, growing vegetables is just the beginning when it comes to our farm plan. As well as having livestock components to our whole farm enterprise, for some time I have been wanting to integrate some type of forestry.
The education spot during the July Working Bee was conducted by Fraser, who explained and demonstrated the use of lime sulphur and Bordeaux spray mixes. He has kindly put together this comprehensive information for everyone’s reference.