Growing greater understanding - Clovelly Park Community Garden
Find out how volunteers at a community garden are improving understanding of different cultures while learning how to grow fruit and veg.
This article appears in City Limits magazine - Issue 47 - December 2014.
Back in 2010, a group of likeminded residents came together with a simple vision to "create a shared space where school and the wider community, young and old, combine in goodwill to produce food for the benefit of all".
Four years on, the Clovelly Park Community Garden continues to deliver on that vision and grow not just organic local produce but a local culture for working together for a worthwhile goal.
Based at Clovelly Park Primary School, the garden is a joint venture between the Clovelly Park Community Garden group, the school and the City of Marion.
Culture is the operative word. In four years, the facility has gone above and beyond the expectations of a garden to provide somewhere people representing more than 50 different cultures from around the world can come together, share ideas and grow food.
Garden organisers Geoff Richards and Margie Goodchild have been working tirelessly to bring the community into the project and create a place people can grow fruit and vegetables, learn from each other and make friends.
"We have a very wide net of people involved," Geoff said. "The students have already started planting herbs, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and we're getting parents involved too.
"We're very sensitive to the different needs of different cultures. There's a lot of cultural learning from both sides and this is a great a place where people can come and grow together.
“We want to learn what veggies people from different cultures grow so we can grow them in our garden. It's important that we learn from them and they learn from us. Students have to work and live together during school hours and their parents are often looking for people they want to get to know and assimilate with."
Geoff said the "next big project" is to build a shelter where the local community can drop in for a cuppa, discuss their gardens and trade ideas.
"We think this is very important as a meeting place," he said. "People can also come in and pick what they like. The gardens have a range of vegetables as well as orange, apple, lemon and pear fruit trees and we're in the process of building more garden beds.
"We're going to great lengths to show the kids how the plants are growing, when the fruit trees blossom and when to pick them. The children are really learning and getting involved."
If you would like to find out how you can work with the City of Marion to establish a community garden, contact the Community Development team on 8375 6600.
- Find out more about Community Gardens.
City Limits Magazine
The City Limits Magazine is a community publication that keeps Marion residents in touch with what is happening in their community. It includes information about major projects, council initiatives and events, as well as profiles of community members.
It is published three times a year and distributed to 40,000 residents and businesses in the Marion Council area.