Gar­den opens up to com­mu­nity

The Invercargill Eye - - FRONT PAGE - JENNY CAMP­BELL

In­ver­cargill’s Te Whenua Awhi Com­mu­nity Gar­den was of­fi­cially opened and blessed by South­land Town Crier Lyn­ley McKer­row this month.

About 20 peo­ple gath­ered for the cer­e­mony, last Satur­day, which was fol­lowed by dis­cus­sion about what has been hap­pen­ing at the gar­den since it was ini­ti­ated prior to Christ­mas last year.

The Lith­gow St project evolved through a part­ner­ship be­tween East­side Bap­tist Church and the In­ver­cargill En­vi­ron­ment Cen­tre, and has been co­or­di­nated by Jac­que­line Ste­wart.

‘‘To­day we’ve seen vol­un­teers who’ve been work­ing in the gar­den over the summer to pro­duce boun­ti­ful crops such as pota­toes, car­rots, cab­bages, kale, sil­ver beet and toma­toes,’’ she said.

‘‘Glen­garry res­i­dents have also called in to check the gar­den out, get a feel for it, meet the or­gan­is­ers and en­quire about their pos­si­ble in­volve­ment, which was en­cour­ag­ing.’’

Fam­i­lies have been made wel­come with a swing, play area and ‘‘Kid Zone’’ gar­den or­gan­ised by Jac­que­line’s son Ziggy, 6, who has learned ‘‘heaps’’ about gar­den­ing along­side his mother.

‘‘My favourite part of the open­ing day was run­ning the Bug Ho­tel work­shop and hav­ing so many friends at our gar­den,’’ he said.

Mrs Ste­wart was ex­cited about the gar­den’s con­tin­ued evo­lu­tion.

‘‘When I first started here it was mostly just a gar­den, but now it feels like we are re­ally grow­ing a com­mu­nity around or­ganic food pro­duc­tion,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve loved see­ing the chil­dren cre­at­ing the artis­tic gar­den tiles and all the adults want­ing to do it too. The food every­one brought turned into a scrummy feast and the Bug Ho­tel, bike rim fence and Te Whenua Awhi Com­mu­nity Gar­den signs, when fin­ished, have all been be­yond my ex­pec­ta­tions.’’

Ste­wart said it was a fit­ting event re­lat­ing to the season of Matariki as the group could look back over their achieve­ments, en­joy food to­gether, share some of the veg­eta­bles still be­ing har­vested, and plan ahead for spring’s ‘‘po­ten­tial and prom­ise.’’

Work­ing bees will con­tinue on Tues­days and Fri­days from 10am to 1pm, weather per­mit­ting.


En­grossed in mak­ing or­na­men­tal gar­den tiles at the open­ing of Te Whenua Awhi Com­mu­nity gar­den in In­ver­cargill last Satur­day are, from left, Terry Guy­ton, Leo Guy­ton, 3, Tas­man Ham­blett, 7, Ziggy Ste­wart, 6, Te Ti­matatanga Bris­towe-An­der­son, 6, Ann Grieve, Han­nah Suren­dran, 5, and Alan Ad­more.

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