A robust community garden in New Gisborne is helping to put fresh food on the table for vulnerable residents.
Volunteers see that the garden supplies a donation of seasonal fruit and vegetables to the Gisborne Foodbank each week.
Community garden coordinator John Randles said foodbank donations began from the plot began about four years ago.
“Most of our focus at the moment is growing foods suitable for the foodbank. We try to grow fruit and vegetables that people recognise easily and use regularly,” he said.
Volunteers have gradually transformed the soil over the past 10 years for a productive and bountiful garden plot.
Some of those foods grown include tomatoes, lettuce, beetroot, broccoli, capsicum, pumpkin, peas, potatoes and beans.
The garden’s orchard includes apricots, nectarines, apples, plums, olives, figs and cultured blackberries.
Volunteers have also been saving the seeds of some of their successful harvest to grow more resilient crops.
“The seed collection means we don’t have to make as many seed purchases and we then have the best varieties to grow in our environment,” John said.
The garden has not only been a place of productivity for a good cause but also a place for sharing skills, learning and socialising.
A core group of eight volunteers continue work at the garden and welcome more people to be involved.
Those interested in being involved in the community garden can visit on Wednesdays between 9.30am and noon. It is located next to the Church of Christ at 31 Saunders Road, New Gisborne.
Future monthly Saturday gardening days are also being planned.
The garden has had funding support from various groups over the years including Gisborne’s Bendigo Bank branch, Church of Christ, Macedon Ranges Shire Council and Western Water.
For more information about the community garden, contact John Randles on: 0417 546 462.