No rest for the Wicking

Gardens, Lunchtime Sessions, Plants

Life’s a garden. Dig it!

On this frosty winters day, our in-house “curious gardener” Doug Cousins led the discussion around how to build a self-watering garden bed. Doug says “It is simply really. All you need is some timber, pond liner, a load of stone, some good quality soil and the odd bits and pieces to create your own garden bed to grow flowers, vegies or herbs.”

Doug and the Wicking Bed

Placing a layer of carpet down which was kindly donated by a carpet supplier here in Shepparton.


Jeanie and the Wicking Bed

The team adding the black plastic down to provide a waterproof base for the bed.

Wicking beds are becoming a popular way to grow your own herbs and vegetables as they are self-watering and simple to make. It is said that a wicking bed will use approximately 50% less water than our traditional vegie garden using “capillary action” where the water is absorbed by the plants from the bottom up.


Council worker’s got to work on the shovel. Funny that…


There are many benefits to installing your own wicking bed including:

  • Water-saving! Water is not wasted and evaporation is minimal as all the water is kept within the sealed base of the garden bed. A  wicking bed should irrigate itself for about a week which will vary from season to season.
  • You can use a variety of recyled materials laying around the house!
  • They are perfect for people with mobility issues and require minimal strength as large water containers are not needed to carted around.
  • They are self draining in the event of a large downpour.

That’s how it’s done. All we need now is the seedlings!

For more information head over to

Happy growing!


July – Lunchtime Clean Up

Clean Up Australia Day, Lunchtime Sessions, Waste

The Sustainability Working Group hosted a lunchtime clean up around Princess Park and surrounding areas on Thursday 15 June. The activity aimed to get staff active on their lunch break whilst cleaning up around the river and highlighting how much litter is making it’s way into our environment. A total of 6 council staff participated in the clean up – with around 100 litres collected in about 30 minutes. The location chosen is directly behind the Council offices.

Some of the litter collected by Mel during the lunchtime clean up. A lot of the litter collected was recyclable plastic bottles and glass aswell as aluminium cans.

IMG_4066Litter collected at the same site for Business Clean Up Day earlier this year on Tuesday 28 February 2017.

Swap Party

BuyNothingNew, Lunchtime Sessions, Recycling, Sustainability, Waste


The Sustainability Working Group are hosting a Swap Party just before Christmas to get staff thinking about re-using, recycling and reducing the amount of stuff we buy.

A Swap Party invovles participants bringing along five clean, good quality items you no longer want. You could bring clothes, homewares, toys, books, plants or excess fruit and veg.

Swap Parties are fun, free and green. By swapping you help save water and energy, reduce green house gases and keep valuable resources out of landfill.

You can read more info on Swap Parties HERE


Re-Usable Veggie Bag Making Workshop

Lunchtime Sessions, PlasticFree, Sustainability

Our September lunchtime session, led by Rose M and Maree A, showed us how to make our own reusable veggie bags.  Attendees all had a go at making their own re-usable bags.
The veggie bags are the perfect solution to avoiding the use of the small plastic bags found in the fruit and veggie sections.

You can read 1Milllion women’s tips on how to make your own  veggie bags HERE

We look forward to having similar workshops into the future! Thank you Ladies for helping us to reduce waste!


Lunchtime Information Session – Halloumi Making

Lunchtime Sessions


Our July Lunchtime Information Session is set to be a tasty one!

Halloumi cheese originated from the island of Cyprus and is characterised as a semi-hard, unripened, and brined cheese made traditionally from sheep’s milk with the addition of a smaller amount of goat’s milk. Modern recipes also include cow’s milk.

GSCC Team Member Karen Dexter has mastered an easy recipe to make halloumi at home. Don’t miss this workshop for a taste of cheesy goodness!

Date: Thursday 28 July
Location: Hunter Room (upstairs)
Time: 12.30pm – 1.00pm

Indoor Plant Propagation Lunchtime Session

Lunchtime Sessions


Earth Day (22 April) at Greater Shepparton City Council was celebrated by staff with an indoor plant propagation workshop hosted by the Sustainability Working Group (SWG). A range of plants were propagated and shared including peace lillies, arrowhead plants and a variety  of succulents. The workshop explored the benefits of indoor plants and provided tips and tricks on succesful plant propagation. All participants took multiple plants for their office space and home. #EarthDay

Lunchtime Information Session – Ride to Work

Lunchtime Sessions

Want to ride to work but don’t know where to start?

Seasoned cyclists Doug Cousins & Sam Kemp from the Sustainability Working Group will be facilitating an info session that will cover the topics you need to know.

Date: Thursday 28 April, 12.30pm

Where: Alex Rigg Meeting Room, Eastbank Centre

Check out the flyer below for more info!

Sustainability Working Group – Lunchtime Information Sessions – Poster – April 2016

Winter Movie Screenings – Edible Landscapes

Lunchtime Sessions, Plants, Sustainability

edible gardens

Wednesday 24 June the Sustainability Working Group hosted a screening of two TED talks that looked at edible gardens and their enormous potential to strengthen communities.


Pam Warhurst: How we can eat our landscapes

What should a community do with its unused land? Pam Warhurst tells the story of how she and a growing team of volunteers came together to turn plots of unused land into communal vegetable gardens, and to change the narrative of food in their community.

Ron Finley: A guerrilla gardener in South Central LA

Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA – in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.”