Gardens success a reason to party
The Waitaki Community Gardens celebrated its sixth birthday on Sunday.
Gardens co-ordinator Sophia de la Barra said the gardens had been well received since opening in late 2008 and it’s the volunteers who have helped shape it into what it is today.
It is now visited by people who volunteer their services, come to learn or simply to enjoy the gardens.
‘‘We have around 150 to 200 volunteers visit every month. They do anything from general weeding, watering and looking after their own plots to building,’’ de la Barra said.
‘‘We also had a really fantastic group come through the polytech for their seed to table class. They all shared their knowledge and experience.
‘‘ It’s [ also] great to see how many people come up for walks with their families just to see.’’
The gardens have also been used by schools and other local organisations for classes and excursions.
Celebrations of the special day took place on Sunday in the shape of a Pizza Pinata Party.
Members of the community enjoyed an afternoon of music, art, food and games at the gardens.
Oamaru- based band Reed Street Posse and Dunedin-based Whiskey and the Wench were the day’s entertainment, both playing a kids set that included interactive songs.
Local artist Amanda Dennis was there for a garden fairy making workshop, the creations of which hung on the gardens’ lattice walls.
Lots of ‘‘old school’’ party games were played, including a sack race, a wheelbarrow race where one person is pushed in a wheelbarrow by another wearing a bucket on their head, as well as an egg and spoon race.
There was also an opportunity to make your own pizza, a pinata and the obligatory birthday cake.
De la Barra said there were already some plans in place to further develop the gardens in the future including developing a fruit and nut ‘‘ food forest’’ on an additional acre of land.
They are also open to ideas from the community.
‘‘If people come to us with ideas for projects we can make it happen,’’ she said.
Garden music: Oamaru band Reed Street Posse were one of two bands in charge of the live entertainment at the Waitaki Community Gardens sixth birthday bash.
Summer garden: From left, Dave Herbert, Craig Lory, Mark Allan and Waitaki Community Gardens co-ordinator Sophia de la Barra enjoy the afternoon’s festivities in the summer sun.