Grand Opening

Lyneham Commons is officially open! On Saturday 22 August we planted the first trees and celebrated the beginnings of the transformation of a disused and neglected space into a place where people can grow, learn and share food and knowledge. This marks culmination of two years of planning and negotiation, and many hours of hard work undertaken by volunteers. It was a very proud day.

Anne-Marie, Shane and Alison opening the Lyneham Commons Food Forest.
Anne-Marie, Shane and Alison opening the Lyneham Commons Food Forest.
Matt applying the mycorrhiza- the
Matt applying the mycorrhiza- the “internet of the plant world”

Commoner Anne-Marie Delahunt kicked off proceedings by speaking briefly about the principles Lyneham Commons is built on and the vision for the future of the food forest. You can read her speech here. We then heard from Minister Shane Rattenbury, to whom we are very grateful for his help in getting this project off the ground. He then joined Lyneham Commons founder Alison Stewart to plant the very first tree for the food forest: a white mulberry! This was under the guidance of tree guru extraordinaire Matt Kilby. Matt gave us all a tutorial in tree care, which you can watch along with Anne-Marie and Shane’s speeches, and more events of the day, in the video below. You can also learn more about tree care on Matt’s webpage www.globallandrepair.com.au.

After the opening speeches we enjoyed a brief morning tea before getting started on the work for the day. Students from the three local schools helped plant more trees.

Students from Brindabella Christian College planting a pomegranate.
Students from Brindabella Christian College planting a pomegranate.
Students from Lyneham Primary School digging the hole for another tree
Students from Lyneham Primary School digging the hole for another tree
Students from Lyneham High planting an apple tree
Students from Lyneham High planting an apple tree
Susan planting another apple
Susan planting another apple
Silas helping to construct the tree guards.
Silas helping to construct the tree guards.

Others made seed bombs- a gorgeous mix of seeds, compost and soil bundled up in a clay shell. These can then be thrown into a bare patch of land (or buried, as we did on site), where the seeds will germinate. Our seed bombs will grow nitrogen fixing plants which will help improve the soil around the trees where they are planted.

Making Seed Bombs
Making Seed Bombs
Completed seed bombs ready for drying
Completed seed bombs ready for drying

A dedicated group of volunteers got to work finishing off the mulching in the lower corner of the site.

A special eucalyptus free mulch to go around the trees
A special eucalyptus free mulch to go around the trees
Yadav spreading the mulch like a boss
Yadav spreading the mulch like a boss
Brendan busy mulching
Brendan busy mulching

We shared a delightful picnic lunch.

Some of the spread for the picnic lunch. Yum!
Some of the spread for the picnic lunch. Yum!

All in all it was a wonderful day and we are all proud as punch to see Lyneham Commons open!

Lyneham Commons looking glorious at the end of the Grand Opening Day
Lyneham Commons looking glorious at the end of the Grand Opening Day

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