Community Gardens Valuable to Property Developers?

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A traditional scare crow man in a brand new housing estate, community garden

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Putting money into the donation box to support the community garden

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Beautifully designed raised garden beds in a community garden

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A community garden sign to encourage envolvement with the garden - my kind of sign

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A shared raised garden plot in the community garden

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Community garden local business supporters

Little One and I, are still in the sunshine state of Australia (Queensland).  I have been here for work (while poor Daddy has been home the majority of time for work).

As my Mum and family live here, Little One and I have been having lots of fun in the sunshine – work, play and family time. We have been staying with family in their brand new home in a brand new estate. 

The brand new housing estate (where we are staying) has a community garden which appears to be installed by the developers – to help build the ‘community’ and hence sell the houses.  Just think about that last statement for a moment. Could growing your own food and community interaction, now be a ‘value add’ by developers?

Never thought I would see the day that property developers would see value in a community garden.  This is probably more from their acknowledgment of the buyers wants and needs rather than their change of values – if you know what I mean.

Still I sense it is a positive direction.

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Learn How to Build Wicking Raised Garden Beds

We have built the frame of two raised garden beds, at Buxton Community Garden (Buxton is part of Wollondilly Council, at the base of the Southern Highlands – an hour South of Sydney, Australia).

Buxton Community Garden will now be building wicking (water reservoirs) inside the raised garden frames.  The purpose of this is to save water and help with watering – like a self watering system.

The date to build the wicking water reservoirs is September the 27th.  Everyone is welcome to come along and learn while getting involved (or welcome to just watch). This is a FREE event.  Children are welcomed and encouraged to get involved too.

For all the details check out our event listing.

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The raised garden bed frames, will soon have an inbuilt water reservoir, soil and plants.

Seeking Creative Upcycling Ideas for Old Wooden Fencing

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I think building our new fence was a job from hell, for the fencer.  Pouring, relentless rain, giant trees and roots, uneven land – truely the list was long, all week.

On the upside he didn’t have to take the old fence away (well I am hpping it was an upside for him).

The large stacks of fence wood, creates unlimited possibilities for me – again I am only limited by my imagination.

An outside children’s cubby house, veggie patch garden fencing, sand pits, privacy screens, outside garden art projects.

Interested to know what you would do with old fencing wood?

You don’t have to be Sherlock to deduce there will be upcycling, wooden project posts in my future.

Supporting Local Farmers and Community Spirit

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Produce market at Sutton Forrest NSW Australia

Next to our family calender, is a list of all the local food, produce markets. Therefore each weekend, we know where to buy our fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables.

It is important to my family, that we know exactly where our food comes from and to support our local farmers and food producers.

The photograph above was taken from a local farmer’s produce market we visited yesterday (in a town South of us).  The cane baskets, cardboard signs and freshest produce was an inspiring ‘throw back’ to before Australia’s multinational grocery duolopy.

We always have a choice.  Our purse and wallets are our biggest power and loudest voice.  Every time we spend money we vote for the life we want – the life we will support.

Yesterday’s visit to the produce market inspired me.  It gave me a potential idea for the future of our town, community hall and garden. 

I had a future vision for a monthly traders / produce market, held at our community garden and hall. An idea to support our local food growers and producers.  An idea to support our community garden and community hall.

Thought I would put the vision ‘out there’ – planting the vision seeds, to see where they may grow in the future.

Share the vision, paint the dream and promote the possibility.

Update on Our New Community Garden Plan

Thursday night I met with those excited and dedicated to building a new community garden in our home town.

The agenda was to agree on our united vision statement and complete our grand community garden design. We achieved this with humour, fun and excitement!

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We have not only agreed on the final ‘grand design’ but also agreed on identifing what items are important to complete for stages one and two of the garden building process.

Stage One (by Sep 2015)
shown as lime green / yellow on the map plan

* First water tank to be fixed to the community hall or toilet block.

* Turning the only existing garden (in the community garden area) into a ‘no dig garden’.  Possibly upgrading the retaining wall and adding stepping stones.  This garden will be mainly herbs and benefical insect, attracting flowers plants. At the top of this garden is adjacent to an existing high, wire fence.  Therefore this area lends itself to growing beans and peas etc.

* To build at least three raised garden, wicking, worm farm beds.

* For fun, build a sign post at the entrance of the garden – signaling what is to come in the future.

Stage Two (by February 2016)
Shown as pink on the map plan

* Install a three bay compost system.

* Install worm farm / farms.

* Complete all the raised garden, wicking, worm farm beds.

*  Paving around the beds.

* Built our meeting area

Future Stages Yet to Be Confirmed

*  Non citrus fruit tree orchard
*  Nut tree orchard
*  Citrus fruit tree orchard
*  Pigs & sheep
*  Chickens and chicken run
*  Strawbale gardens
*  Glass house
*  BBQ area
*  Cob oven area
*  Aquaponics area
*  Vertical gardens
*  Notice board
*  Bush tucker area
*  Fun and creative sculptures and ‘discoveries’ for children and adults eg sundial, flags, large snake & ladder outside game etc
* Revamp and upgrade to existing children’s play ground

Buxton Community Garden Vision Statement

Together building an edible and sustainable garden that everyone in Buxton can love and belong.  A place to learn, inspire and have fun, while creating a financial way to support our community garden.

What to Consider When Designing a New Community Garden?

As previously mentioned, I am again enjoying the starting stages of a new community garden.  If you have read my earlier post (click link above) you will already know, that I believe coming up with a combined, united vision statement is very important.

I have yet to again meet with the others who are committed to building our new community garden but I thought I would share my vision statement I have prepared (still a work in process).

“Together building an edible and sustainable garden that everyone in our town can love and belong.  A place to learn, inspire and have fun, while creating  financial support to care for our community hall.”

Apart from the vision statement, those committed to building the community garden, have also agreed to bring along their garden designs and plans.  I encouraged everyone to dream big and plan what the completed garden will look like.

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My grand community garden design is drawn on a very large piece of paper and stuck to our kitchen wall – so I can look and ponder, to ensure I have everything included (in the big dream).

What is included in my community garden design?

* meeting, eating, sitting area
* raised wicking beds with worm tunnels
* herb and sensory garden
* benefical insect attracting plants
* BBQ & cob pizza oven
* chickens? pigs? sheep?
* fruit and nut orchards
* water tanks
* glass house
* shed
* vertical garden
* strawbale gardens
* compost and worm farms
* aquaponics
* no dig gardens
* fun direction sign posts
* green manure plants

If you were in my position, what would you put in your community garden design?  I am looking for suggestions on what I may have overlooked.

Why Would You Want to Build a Community Garden?

Community gardens are popping up everywhere – never in my life time has personal home gardening and community gardening been more popular.

Why would you want to start or build a community garden?

You would assume the answer is obvious but as a co-founder of a community gardening group in the inner city of Sydney, my experience knows everyone’s answer will differ.

This week I was asked if I would be interested in being part of building a community garden in my home town in the Wollondilly Shire.

I went along to the first garden planning gathering to meet the other interested people and with the goal of understanding what everyone’s reason was for starting the garden.

To assume everyone else will have the same goals, is one of the biggest reasons community gardens fail.

Our new home town community garden group, have agreed to write down their vision / goal / objective statement for the community garden and bring the statements to our next gathering for discussion.

This will help us to know what is important to each other and then together work on one agreed, combined vision statement.

In my experience, it will be this statement that binds a community gardening group together in an united direction – now and in the future. 

I am excited to again find myself apart of starting a brand new community garden.

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One of the community garden patches installed in Green Square inner city of Sydney by the Green Square Growers.