Grow­ing up

The CCS Dis­abil­ity Ac­tion com­mu­nity gar­den has broad­ened its hori­zons un­der the sus­tain­able eye of su­per­vi­sor Scott Thie­mann

Element - - Community - By Joanna Davies

In a solid brick shed at the end of the gar­den, Brendan Mur­phy sharp­ens blades and fixes bro­ken tools. If the weather is warm, he helps to weed the raised beds to give the cab­bages and sil­ver­beet et more space to grow, and fin­ishes other odd jobs around CCS Dis­abil­ity ity Ac­tion’s com­mu­nity gar­den.

“I used to work in an of­fice and wished I was work­ing out­side,” Mr Mur­phy says.

“My health de­te­ri­o­rated and work­ing nine to five was re­ally hard, d, and I even­tu­ally lost my job be­cause I couldn’t keep up.

“But now I come here and the peo­ple work around your phys­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties. “It’s not about how much you can do in a cer­tain amount of time.” e.” The CCS Dis­abil­ity Ac­tion gar­den in Royal Oak has been tended to by those with dis­abil­i­ties for over 20 years, but gar­den su­per­vi­sor Scott Thie­mann is en­cour­ag­ing any­one who wants to help to be in­volved.

“Tra­di­tion­ally the gar­den has been for the peo­ple who use our ser­vices, but over the last few years we’ve opened it up to ev­ery­one who wants to vol­un­teer,” says Mr Thie­mann.

“For us this place is about sus­tain­abil­ity, ac­ces­si­bil­ity and in­clu­sion. We want this to be a place where ev­ery­one is wel­come.

“The raised beds make it eas­ier for those with dis­abil­i­ties to do some gar­den­ing, and it’s much eas­ier if you’re a bit older to pick weeds out of a raised bed rather than the ground,” he says.

Af­ter the Au­gust cold snap, and the sea­sonal change, the win­ter crops are nearly fin­ished with but the green­house is full of seedlings, and small bananas have ap­peared on sev­eral banana plants.

Herbs are grow­ing in abun­dance, as well more un­usual fruits, like chokos and guavas.

Some of the h straw­berry t aw­berry plants are al­ready flow­er­ing, and the young le­mon trees are cov­ered with fruit.

Every­thing from the gar­den is reused – old bath­tubs are used as planters and the gar­den­ers make their own com­post and fer­tiliser.

As well as sup­ply­ing vol­un­teers with veg­eta­bles, the pro­duce is sold in the gar­den shop four days a week, and ev­ery quar­ter CCS Dis­abil­ity Ac­tion hosts a mar­ket day.

Mr Thie­mann also or­gan­ises gar­den­ing and cook­ing classes to teach peo­ple how to grow and cre­ate meals from the pro­duce.

“It’s about be­ing as sus­tain­able as we can. We are look­ing at set­ting up some more gar­dens for other com­mu­nity groups to use.

“Peo­ple come here to make a real con­nec­tion to the earth, and it is a place that gives peo­ple space to be creative and give them self es­teem as they watch some­thing grow.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.