Category Archives: Education

Open Day Fun

We had a great time at our Open Day on September 23rd. Thanks to everyone who attended.

We would also like to send our sincere thanks to Peter Button for welcoming us on behalf of the Dharawal custodians of the land, and for his music.

Thanks to all of the other musicians who donated their time:

  • The Emma Kelley Trio: Bertie Mcmahon on bass, Patrick Kell on keys, Emma on Sax
  • Rockin’ Russ and Josh Smith (thanks Josh too for being the super-roadie! and thanks to a local Hotel  for loaning sound equipment)
  • China and his band:  China Pingnam bass, Andy Matthews guitar/vocals, Dave Deeds  drums

We would also like to thank the local businesses who donated bread rolls and sausages for our barbeque, and plants and tools for our herb spiral and garden.

And a huge thankyou also to our marvelous neighbours Anne and Trevor for donating the electricity and putting up with us – not just on the open day, but 24/7 supporters and guardians of our garden!

The materials for the herb spirals – the lucerne, straw, hay and cow manure – were purchased for us by Wollongong Council from a fund allocated to helping purchase resources for Wollongong community gardens. And huge thanks in particular to Vanessa John for not only informing us of this funding opportunity, but purchasing and arranging delivery of the materials direct to our site.

And last but not least the hard-working members of the Thirroul Gardeners (you know who you are! But a special shout out to event organizers including Kazie, Kade, Paul, Robert, Camille, Paddy, Julie, Jenny, Vicki, Alex, Colin, THANKS!) and their friends and family (Maree! Pete!, Mark, Yoshie, Karen!, Peter, Lisa, Lani, Stuart, and more!) who worked so hard to make this happen.

Photos by Camille


Incredible Community – Incredible Edible

An inspiring TED talk by Pam Wahurst of Todmorden England. Community vision, communication and determination.


Get involved – Join A Garden Sub-committee

Spring is here there’s plenty to do, so its time to get some more hands on deck.

Now we have Team Leaders for our sub-committees we need you to get involved with an area of garden development that interests you.

If you live in the local area and neighbouring suburbs of Thirroul and would like to be involved in the grassroots development of the garden then please join one of the sub-committees below by emailing your details to :

Sub-Committee                               Team Leader

Fundraising and Events                                Kazie Bent

Bushcare                                                             Vicki Marchant

Water                                                                    Ian Miles

Documentation and Arts                              Camille Favoloro

Soil Health/ Compost                                    Paddy Lane 

Site Co-ordinator                                             Robert Haley

Education                                                            Paddy Lane

Communications and social media          Julie Reed 

Structures                                                           Andrew Saunders

Edible City – Film to watch

A film for you to watch and contemplate. Helping you to understand the impending global crisis – who controls the food and your nutrition.

Big Government will do what Big Business wants them to do – keep Big Farming alive. But on closer examination that Big System is falling apart at the very foundations – the soil itself.

Petroleum Companies supply Chemical companies that force feed mono-cultures with chemicals that ultimately destroy soil life and vitality which in turn produce food of poor nutritional value.

Please take time out from the mainstream to learn about whats going on today.

This film is about local communities taking control of the food they eat.

Compost 101

NEWS – The compost team have approached some local cafes who have agreed to save their green scraps and some coffee grounds. We have provided them with a 20L bucket with lid that will be collected every Friday afternoon.

As we are well on our way with our first compost heap it might be good to revise some info about what makes the ‘perfect pile’. Below is a great article from a site called that outlines the best ratios of Carbon – Brown Dry and Nitrogen – Wet Green waste.

The crucial numbers we must remember is 25:1 ratio.

25 parts Brown DRY to 1 part Green WET

A Balancing Act

(Carbon-to-Nitrogen Ratios)

All organic matter is made up of substantial amounts of carbon (C) combined with lesser amounts of nitrogen (N). The balance of these two elements in an organism is called the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio (C:N ratio). For best performance, the compost pile, or more to the point the composting microorganisms, require the correct proportion of carbon for energy and nitrogen for protein production. Scientists (yes, there are compost scientists) have determined that the fastest way to produce fertile, sweet-smelling compost is to maintain a C:N ratio somewhere around 25 to 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen, or 25-30:1. If the C:N ratio is too high (excess carbon), decomposition slows down. If the C:N ratio is too low (excess nitrogen) you will end up with a stinky pile.

Below are the average C:N ratios for some common organic materials found in the compost bin. For our purposes, the materials containing high amounts of carbon are considered “browns,” and materials containing high amounts of nitrogen are considered “greens.”

If the numbers in Browns are high they must either be used sparingly or balanced by a higher quantity of Greens to obtain the 25:1 balance

Estimated Carbon-to-Nitrogen Ratios
Browns = High Carbon C:N
Ashes, wood 25:1
Cardboard, shredded 350:1
Corn stalks 75:1
Fruit waste 35:1
Leaves 60:1
Newspaper, shredded 175:1
Peanut shells 35:1
Pine needles 80:1
Sawdust 325:1
Straw 75:1
Wood chips 400:1
Greens = High Nitrogen C:N
Alfalfa 12:1
Clover 23:1
Coffee grounds 20:1
Food waste 20:1
Garden waste 30:1
Grass clippings 20:1
Hay 25:1
Manures 15:1
Seaweed 19:1
Vegetable scraps 25:1
Weeds 30:1

Note: Many ingredients used for composting do not have the ideal ratio of 25-30:1. As a result, most must be mixed to create “the perfect compost recipe.” High C:N ratios may be lowered by adding grass clippings or manures. Low C:N ratios may be raised by adding paper, dry leaves or wood chips.

Many home gardeners prefer to put up with a slight odor and keep some excess nitrogen in the pile, just to make sure there is always enough around to keep the pile “cooking!” Learn more about building a hot compost pile here.

Here are some good Recipes from Jackie French’s Compost Book

  1. 12 parts grass clippings to 1 part saw dust
  2. 2 parts grass clippings, 3 parts weeds, 1 part leaves
  3. 2 parts weeds, 3 parts paper, 2 parts lucerne
  4. 3 parts weeds,3 parts leaves, 1 part paper, 1 part chicken litter, 1 part diluted seaweed solution

AGM Meeting Minutes July 29 2012

Better Late then never –

Click below to view PDF

AGM Minutes July 29 2012 

These are the new Committee Members and Sub-committee Officers:

Secretary                                                             Fiona Chanter 

Treasurer                                                            Paul Harradence

Chairperson                                                       Julie Reed

Fundraising and Events                                  Kazie Bent

Bushcare                                                             Vicki Marchant

Membership and Database                         Greg Robinson

Water                                                                    Ian Miles

(Greg Wilms and Colin La Flamme to assist)

Documentation and Arts                              Camille Favoloro

Soil Health/ Compost                                    Paddy Lane (Jenny Johnson)

Site Co-ordinator                                             Robert Haley

(coordinates planting, propagation )

Education                                                            Paddy Lane(Kaz assist)

Communications and social media          Julie Reed (Vicki Marchant to assist)

Structures                                                           Andrew Saunders

Come along to our first Design Workshop and AGM July 29

Please come along to plan our garden. Have your say! What’s on your wish list for our garden? Let’s visit the site, check out our domain, and start listing what we want to do where. Spring is not far away, let’s get ready to greet it and grow!

We’ll spend some time in the morning getting to know the site. Then we’ll move on to the neighbourhood centre to get to work on our wish list, and start mapping and designing our garden.

At the end of the day, from 1-2, we’ll have our first AGM, where we’ll decide fees, operating times, other necessary business, and elect our management committee for the coming year. (Please consider getting involved in driving this next phase! Nominations welcome!)

Site Visit: 9:30 – 10:15 am at the Garden: Corner of High Street Reserve and Lawrence Hargrave Drive (behind the “Welcome to Thirroul” sign)

Workshop: 10:30 am – 1 pm at the Ocean Breeze Room Thirroul District Community Centre (behind the Library)

AGM: 1- 2 pm Ocean Breeze Room.

Bring/ Wear: Sturdy footwear, sun (we hope, if not, then rain) and insect protection for the garden visit. BYO lunch. Tea, coffee, provided at the Ocean Breeze Room. Bring ideas, dreams, wish lists, friends, relatives, enthusiasm! Pencil and notepad/ camera/ books, plant lists, whatever you’ll find useful in our planning session.

See you there! If you can’t make it along to the whole day, no problem, come for as much as you can.

Download flyers for distribution here.

Information and inquiries,