a note about the residents


when Tending started it kind of felt like stepping into a blank canvas, all it was in the courtyard was a frangipani, 3 tall palm trees and a lot of lawn.

Since spending time there me, Lucas, Betty, Cecilia, Heather, and all the rest of the people involved, increased exponentially the number of species on site.
Yet, as we engaged with Tending we also found out that there was much more there to begin with.

So this post is for the palm trees, tall, old, proud, 3:
The Left, the Right and Back Right.

Recently Left got decapitated.
For some unknown reason it kind-of dropped its living core to the ground. Yes, I am implying that the tree itself, in a desperate attempt at coping with the heat-wave of the past month, cut its own head off!

So there it stand, a bare post, amusing and extreme.
Left is also the tree that sported a scarf, I took a video of it a while back.

While Right, never had a head, it has been a bare post since we stepped in the courtyard, is it dead? is it alive?
Right is the mysterious one.

And then there is Back Right, which is pretty much the only one that I could (with some sort of confidence) name.
It’s alive, is happy, seen worse times, and is native, might even be endemic, as this area might just have been the right environment for it to grow.
It’s a Livistona australis, a Cabbage-tree Palm.
This plant use to be quite popular in early 19th century, as food (you eat the heart of the palm, killing the young tree in the process), and as the fiber source for the Cabbage Tree Hats, a straw-kind hat which became popular at the turn of the century..
So there you have it, the Left, the Right and the Cabbage Tree Hat one..

Tending for Others


It’s now mid-February. We began this garden back in the middle of last year. Our contract – to gently guide the growth of this wonderful place, and to publically notice it, on this here blog – will run out in June.

With the new year, we began to try and turn our attention away from the soil and the beds, away from the very much here-and-now, away from the changing weather of the changing days. We’re now thinking of the future.

Now that there is ‘something’ established here, concrete, tangible, leafy – now that the space has been well and truly ‘occupied’ by our kindly colonialism, it’s time to think about how to make it last a bit longer. Will it all go to seed? To weed? Should we disassemble everything, smooth over the dirt and let the grass grow back? Or can it survive us? When we’re no longer coming along every week, who will tend to Tending?

So we’ve been chatting with Carolyn, who works with Ross (our ‘benevolent overlord’). Carolyn has offered to help out. Together, in the coming weeks, we’ll be talking with the artists, lecturers, workers and students who form the community here at Sydney College of the Arts, looking to come up with ways to make Tending their own. To make sure it continues to evolve. And to do ourselves out of a job!

tending - trading dirt
[Before we began the planting – August 4th, 2010]

Tending, Thursday January 20th, 2011
[Lush growth ensues – January 20th, 2011]

But then what you do with it?


Ok, Tending is producing, big time, the tender tending to the tending garden is bearing fruit, giving us back potatoes, tomatoes, parsley, lemon grass, basil, cucumbers and more to come (see this promising watermelon!)

One important aspect of gardening is that when you have an abundance of harvest, you need to preserve it.
So here I am, with a bunch of great, organic, healthy, free cucumbers, and below is the responses to my task of finding out what to do with them.


From Facebook:

while Lucas chimes in on Flickr:

bilateral added this photo to their favorites. (2 days ago)

bilateral (2 days ago | reply)

ok, here’s a recipe for making those pickles, boss:

www.flickr.com/photos/bilateral/364425028/in/ photostream/

and a pic of the results, when i made them a few years ago:

www.flickr.com/photos/bilateral/364420890/in/ photostream/

these days, i reckon i’d slice em more finely.

do you need any jars?