Sow­ing com­mu­nity spirit

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS - Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell

IN 2009, a small group of lo­cal fam­i­lies de­cided to get to­gether to start a com­mu­nity gar­den.

From that, the Hil­ton Har­vest Com­mu­nity Gar­den was born, a place that has played an in­te­gral role in fos­ter­ing com­mu­nity spirit and par­tic­i­pa­tion for al­most a decade.

In ad­di­tion to hav­ing 16 al­lot­ment beds and six com­mu­nity beds for in­di­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies or other lo­cal groups to use, the space is much more than just a gar­den.

It is all about bring­ing the com­mu­nity to­gether, whether it’s at weekly events like the Buds ‘n’ Bloom in­ter-gen­er­a­tional pro­gram and Chook Club, an an­nual com­mu­nity event like the Earth Hour Pic­nic and Sus­tain­able House Day or even a re­lax­ing movie screen­ings.

Hil­ton Har­vest Com­mu­nity Gar­den chair­woman Sasha Wray said when they started there had been no other com­mu­nity gar­den in the area and de­mand for their ser­vices and pro­grams was just as strong now as it had been back then.

“Around 60 res­i­dents came to our very first meet­ing and there was a pal­pa­ble sense of yearn­ing for the com­mu­nity spirit, and over the last seven years we think we have al­lowed that com­mu­nity spirit to blos­som,” she said.

“The gar­den has grown be­yond our ex­pec­ta­tions.

“In its eighth year, it is en­joy­ing huge growth and there is so much more to come.”

Ms Wray said lo­cals in­ter­ested in join­ing the in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar com­mu­nity group could sign up for a mem­ber­ship, which gives them ac­cess to the gar­den, equip­ment dis­counts, trailer and pizza oven hire and event tick­ets.

“Be­com­ing a mem­ber does not mean you are ex­pected to slog it out for hours in the gar­den as a vol­un­teer, al­though you might want to get your hands dirty gar­den­ing with us, it’s fun,” she said.

Visit www.hilton­har­vest. wee­bly.com.

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Sasha Wray, Ruby Long and Sula Ray en­joy time in the com­mu­nity gar­den.

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