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Published June 9th 2016
Indulge Your Planting Passion
Many suburbs have one but why not initiate one if you don't?
They vary greatly – smaller or larger, individual plots or community effort. Most enjoy good sponsorship from local businesses and councils and are found in all states. Victoria has nearly 300 and NSW 138 so other states need to get a wriggle and set up more.
And every community garden brings exciting benefits from providing a common ground; vegetable plots for those without garden space; community involvement and genuine connections with like-minded people; a pleasant setting to relax and chat; gets people outdoors and only costs as much as you're willing to spend on seedlings.
Alexandra Community Garden – was set up by an enthusiastic group of women, which has grown and recruited some men. It's small and very public as it fronts onto Nelson Park. It draws locals and visitors alike with many harvesting the mature vegetables to cook for themselves – the honesty donation box allows the keen gardeners to restock. Some even leave their potted vegetables when they move away so the variety keeps expanding. The biggest marauders are the ducks and swamp hens who feast on the carrots and some smaller shoots.
Maroochy Community Gardens – is much longer established, larger and boasts water tanks for the dry periods; individually rented areas for people to grow and harvest what they wish, only legal crops. The beds are raised and some are wheel chair friendly to save harming our backs. They have a larger compost area which is well used by local food businesses. And I've heard their marauders have two legs!
Cities often boast larger areas and you might be very surprised at who you find growing a few greens when you visit. My fondest memories is of Fitzroy Community Garden where I actually met two Aussie TV series stars. And attended a sculpture exhibition in another Victorian community garden. They cross all boundaries of age, race and religion as everyone appreciates fresh organic vegetables. So get involved and share your passion for growing your own produce – no need to buy from the supermarket when you can plant within your own community. They are genuine community spaces to connect, join one now and grow your own greens.