I recently visited some old friends in Wangaratta, and took the chance to spread the Tomato love at the gorgeous Booktique bookshop as well as enjoying the Wangaratta Farmers Market. I had fun meeting some real tomato growing enthusiasts at the book store. Although our book was designed to be beautiful, it was nice to see it being used as a reference book as we hope it will be used for many years to come.

Caught up with my old friend Mike Burston of King Valley Walnuts and bought some tasty fresh nuts and a nifty walnut cracker.  I met Mike 30 years ago at Melbourne Botanic Gardens nursery when I was on a work experience visit from my apprenticeship at Melbourne Zoo. Since leaving RMBG he and his partner have set up a beautiful walnut farm in King Valley.

Karen and Mike Burston King Valley Walnut stall at the Wangaratta Farmers Market

My friends took me to visit the incredibly large space of the Wangaratta Community Garden (wangcommunitygarden@gmail.com) and we met the lovely Mary Daly who has recently become coordinator after 30 years stewardship by Val Gleeson.  Lots of cold season plantings to admire such as garlic and wombok.  Mary has big plans for the community garden so watch this space and contact her to become involved.  They are interested in using the available space in innovative ways with more community involvement.

It was great to see what my friends have done with their own garden as you can see from these pictures. It is lovely to see edible plants being used so creatively.

I met the lovely Jess Harris and her dad from Sprocket’s free range eggs and chickens and was so impressed by their happy healthy birds. I visited them recently on their beautiful farm at Thoona to pick up some new girls for myself and my neighbor Susan and all 4 have settled in well. My neighbor Deb (she of the front garden urban agriculture) suggested I pop the new girls into the roosting boxes at dusk so they could all get acquainted in a sleepy relaxed state. This has worked really well as they all emerged in the morning as good friends.