Community garden takes shape
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.’’
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.