Com­mu­nity gar­den takes shape

Hauraki Herald - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - TERESA RAM­SEY

About 40 green-fin­gered res­i­dents pitched in to build raised beds on Au­gust 6 for a new com­mu­nity gar­den in Hau­raki Tce, Thames.

Res­i­dent Samantha Claire said the idea for the com­mu­nity gar­den was pitched sev­eral years ago.

‘‘At that time, the re­serve had kind of died a bit of a slow death, the play­ground was aw­ful and there wasn’t much go­ing on,’’ she said.

‘‘And then slowly, there was a bit of mo­men­tum pick­ing up.

‘‘They planted na­tives down the bot­tom, fruit trees have been planted by Thames Be Fruit­ful, the Thames South class re­vamped the play­ground, and there was just that sense of some­thing that was ready to get more pos­i­tive.’’

The gar­den is a Tran­si­tion Town Thames (T3) project, made pos­si­ble with fund­ing from the Thames Com­mu­nity Board and do­na­tions from Trin­ity Real Es­tate and pri­vate donors.

There were also fu­ture pledges from lo­cal busi­nesses, and a do­na­tion of ma­te­ri­als from Mitre 10 and ITM Bar­gain Boards in Kopu, she said.

Dur­ing the work­ing bee, res­i­dents made four sta­bilised adobe mud brick raised beds with builder’s mix, which con­tains clay and gravel, and a small amount of ce­ment.

They also planted 10 fei­joa trees to mark the edge of the com­mu­nity gar­den space.

An­other four raised beds will be built in late Au­gust in time for spring plant­ing and a com­post and gar­den shed was also planned.

The gar­den would be open to any­one who lives in the area who wanted to grow their own food at a time when fruit and veg­eta­bles were in­creas­ingly ex­pen­sive for many fam­i­lies, Claire said.

‘‘You don’t want to pay five bucks for a cau­li­flower when you can grow your own,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m a great be­liever in com­mu­nity gar­dens, they are so great on so many lev­els, peo­ple learn how to grow their own food, it in­creases food se­cu­rity.’’

The com­mu­nity gar­den would also be so­cial for res­i­dents, in­clud­ing chil­dren, she said.

‘‘We were all work­ing to­gether yes­ter­day, it doesn’t mat­ter where you come from, who you are, what lan­guage you speak, what your so­cial de­mo­graphic is, it’s just ev­ery­one muck­ing in to­gether, kids, older peo­ple. It’s a real re­la­tion­ship builder,’’ she said.

‘‘We’re talk­ing about it as a gar­den but for us at T3, it’s actu- ally about build­ing this com­mu­nity.

‘‘It’s about peo­ple con­nect­ing with each other, hav­ing some­thing pos­i­tive to do for younger kids to know how to grow their own food but also hav­ing some­thing bet­ter than sit­ting on the couch watch­ing telly.’’

PHO­TOS: SUP­PLIED

Vol­un­teers help build the adobe raised beds for the Hau­raki Tce com­mu­nity gar­den.

A group of res­i­dents and vol­un­teers make a start on the first raised bed.

The first adobe bricks go down for the Hau­raki Tce com­mu­nity gar­den.

The first four of eight raised beds take shape at the end of the day.

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