Sow­ing the seeds for the fu­ture

Waihi Leader - - News - By MELANIE CAMOIN news@wai­hileader.co.nz

Waihi Beach Com­mu­nity gar­den will grow into a per­ma­cul­ture site in the fu­ture.

Western Bay of Plenty District Coun­cil has re­newed the lease to help the gar­den work­ing group em­bark on a three-year de­vel­op­ment plan.

The Coun­cil has agreed to a five-year lease re­newal so that the gar­den can con­tinue its vol­un­teer ed­u­ca­tional pro­gramme and run­ning work­shops on gar­den­ing, waste min­imi­sa­tion, or­gan­ics and nu­tri­tion.

The Waihi Beach Com­mu­nity Board sup­ports the com­mu­nity gar­den con­tin­u­ing to op­er­ate in its present lo­ca­tion on Wil­son Park.

Mayor Garry Web­ber said the com­mu­nity gar­den is a vol­un­tary project and that Coun­cil fa­cil­i­tates vol­un­tary groups wher­ever it can.

How­ever he said it was im­por­tant that the gar­den was used ap­pro­pri­ately and main­tained well.

Com­mu­nity Gar­den Chair­woman Jane Broughton at­tended Coun­cil’s Op­er­a­tions and Mon­i­tor­ing Com­mit­tee to present a plan for the gar­den that in­cludes en­cour­ag­ing com­mu­nity-wide par­tic­i­pa­tion in sus­tain­able gar­den­ing and pro­vid­ing fruit and veg­eta­bles to the com­mu­nity.

“If they need a le­mon, they can come to the gar­den and grab one and just do­nate time in ex­change.

“We also give­away our ex­cess pro­duce back to the com­mu­nity,” Jane says.

The gar­den was es­tab­lished about four or five years ago to get the com­mu­nity in­volved into gar­den­ing and learn­ing from each other.

“We do a lot of cour­ses here on bee­keep­ing with [Waihi Beach ar­borist] Brett Soutar, plant­ing, prun­ing, prop­a­gat­ing, worm farm­ing,” she says.

The gar­den’s com­mit­tee has de­signed the fu­ture of the gar­den, turn­ing it into a per­ma­cul­ture and self-suf­fi­cient site.

Con­cept plans show fruit trees sur­round­ing the veg­etable beds, a mulch area, a worm farm and more.

Per­ma­cul­ture is more than or­ganic gar­den­ing — it is the creative process of de­vel­op­ing a gar­den as an ecosys­tem, in­clud­ing the ef­fect of hu­man im­pact on their en­vi­ron­ment.

This type of de­sign mim­ics na­ture’s re­la­tion­ships, it is en­ergy-wise and col­lab­o­ra­tive to min­imise the im­pact on the sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

Part of the col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach is also mak­ing the gar­den a place for the com­mu­nity to gather, share skills and just to en­joy, Jan says.

There are two pic­nic ta­bles and more struc­tures, such as a pizza oven, are planned for the fu­ture.

“And it will evolve as we go,” Jan says.

The group is work­ing with Coun­cil staff on im­proved main­te­nance and redevelopment of the gar­den beds.

Waihi Beach Com­mu­nity Gar­den co­or­di­na­tor, Jane Broughton.

PHO­TOS / MELANIE CAMOIN.

Bee­hives are in­stalled in the gar­den.

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