Switch Your Thinking

Start a waterwise food garden this school holidays

The October school holidays are the perfect time to get the family out in the garden. Little hands love to get dirty and growing veggies can be a great way to encourage eating them! Growing food doesn’t have to take a lot of space or be difficult. Use these tips to get you started:
  • Pick a spot that gets lots of winter sun but not too much summer sun. If you can’t find the perfect spot or only have a small yard or patio, you can grow food in pots and containers that can be moved around.
  • Choose your containers. Food can be grown in almost any container with a minimum soil depth of 20 centimetres (pots, crates, boxes, old boots or wheelbarrows). Avoid containers made from materials that will absorb water like timber or limestone.
  • Improve your soil. Perth soil is often sandy and lacking in organic matter. The best remedy is to add compost, worm castings or animal manures to your soil. Your improved soil will retain moisture and be full of microbes that will help your plants grow strong and healthy.
  • Improve water retention. Water storage crystals or gels absorb water that is held until plant roots draw on it. Mix the granules through the soil before planting.
  • Mulch. A five to ten centimetre layer of mulch will reduce water loss through evaporation, discourage weeds and reduce the stress on your plants.
  • Plan your crops so that you are able to eat what you harvest. Planting from seed is a budget friendly strategy that will also mean you have control over the timing of your harvest.  Beans, cherry tomatoes, spring onions, basil and chilies are great crops for beginners.
  • Hand watering can be the most efficient method for your home food garden. If you are considering an irrigation system choose sub-surface irrigation or integrated dripper to deliver water directly to the roots of your plants with no evaporative water loss. Water in the morning to reduce evaporation and to give your plants moisture to draw on through the day.
For more information see the 'Creating a waterwise veggie garden' fact sheet produced by the Water Corporation.

National Water Week

October 18-24 is National Water Week and the 2015 theme is innovation. Get innovative around your home to save water. Start with our favourite tips for saving water at home.

World Water Week rainwater tank special

Graf Plastics still have a limited number of 2000 litre rainwater tanks available to residents living in Switch your thinking Council areas for the special price of $561 including delivery. 

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Exploring local parks with Transition Town Gosnells 

Thursday 1 October
Walter Padbury Reserve, Thornlie

A casual meet up for the kids to play. All welcome.

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Pinjarra garden day

Sunday 4 October
10:00am – 4:00pm
Edenvale Homestead, corner of George and Henry Streets, Pinjarra 

Come along and discover the health and well being benefits of gardening for all ages.

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What bird is that?

Friday 9 October
10:30am – 11:30am
Town of Cambridge Library, 99 The Boulevard, Floreat 

Get to know your local birdlife with the guides from Birdlife Western Australia.

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Bike swap meet

Saturday 10 October
10:00am – 1:00pm
Barlee Street Carpark, Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley 

Want to sell some of those pre-loved bike parts or keen to find that elusive shiny part for your steed?

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Ride2Work Day

Wednesday 14 October
Various locations

Join the commuter community!

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Life in puddles

Saturday 17 October
9:00 am – 11:00 am
Brixton Street Wetlands

Discover the seething mass of life that lies within the puddles of Brixton Street Wetlands.

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Green cleaning in spring

Wednesday 21 October
10:30 am – 11:30 am 
Ruth Faulkner Public Library, 215 Wright Street, Cloverdale 

This workshop will arm you with a basic understanding of household science and a spray bottle full of natural alternatives to toxic and expensive cleaners.

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Canoeing on the Canning

Friday 23 October
8:00 am – 3:45 pm 
From Riverton Bridge, Riverton to Kent St Weir, Wilson (and return)
Cost: $55

A professional development day for teachers, youth group leaders and community members. Come on a journey of discovery through this unique region by canoe and on foot.

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Southern River Community Garden Springfest


Sunday 25 October
10:30 am – 12:30 pm 
Southern River College on Anaconda Drive, Gosnells

Springfest is a fantastic opportunity for the community to come together, meet their neighbours and celebrate the garden’s progress to-date.

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Young re-inventor of the year

Young people will solve problems and put their creativity to the test in this exciting initiative that encourages you to reuse, repurpose and upcycle used items instead of throwing them away. Enter for your chance to share in $3000 in sustainability prizes!

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Grab a gladi

Sunday 4 October
9:00am – 11:00am
Signal Hill Bushland, Corner of Alexander Road and Belgravia Street, Belmont. 

Assist in removing the Gladi from Signal Hill bushland. 

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Electric vehicle seminar

Thursday 8 October
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Town of Cambridge Library, 99 The Boulevard, Floreat 

Get the low down on electric vehicles and the future with less petrol plus check out some electric vehicles on the night.

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Night stalks

Friday 9 October
6:45pm – 9:30pm
Honeyeater Hollow, Rushton Road, Ellis Brook Valley 

Bring your torch for a guided night ramble to discover the local nocturnal animals. 

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Breakfast with the birds

Sunday 11 October
7:30 am – 10:00 am 
Mary Carroll Park, Gosnells

Take a stroll and learn about feeding, mating, nesting and observe young on nests then enjoy a healthy breakfast listening to the chorus of bush birds.

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Preserving foods at home

Saturday 17 October
1:00 pm – 3:30 pm 
Mundijong Heritage Church and Garden, 18 Paterson Street Mundijong( next to IGA) 

Join experienced local Christine Skitt in a fun and informative workshop on making jams, homemade sauces and pickles.

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Nature rambles

Saturday 18 October
9:00 am – 11:30 am 
Meet at Darling Range Wildlife Shelter

Enjoy a guided walk through Ellis Brook Valley with naturalist Marc Lane and experience a spectacular bush reserve. 

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Lake Monger markets

Saturday 24 October
8:00 am – 1:00 pm 
Lake Monger Reserve, Wembley (off Powis Street parking area) 

Head down to Lake Monger for the Town of Cambridge’s biggest Spring event as part of the Garage Sale Trail.

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