Garden opens up to community
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.